Category Archives: SPIRITUALITY

this pressed: Think you’re important because you have money? Think again, Pope says :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)


PHOTO:  Pope Francis celebrates Mass with new cardinals Feb. 15, 2015. Credit: Lauren Cater/CNA.

Vatican City, May 26, 2015 / 08:21 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his homily Tuesday Pope Francis cautioned against the “counter-witness” of those who seek to follow both Jesus and worldly temptations, saying that to follow Christ means denying oneself and serving others.

“There are three things, three steps that take us away from Jesus: wealth, vanity and pride,” the Pope told attendees of his May 26 Mass in the Vatican’s Saint Martha guesthouse.

Riches, he said, are dangerous “because they immediately make you vain and you think you are important. And when you think you are important, you build your head up and then you lose it.”

Francis took his cue from the day’s Mark Chapter 10 Gospel reading in which Peter asks Jesus what the disciples will get in return for following him. The scene takes place right after Jesus had told the rich young man to sell all of his possessions and give them to the poor.

Instead of talking about wealth, the Lord gives an unexpected answer when he says that the disciples will gain the Kingdom of Heaven, but only “with persecution, with the cross.”

“When a Christian is attached to (worldly) things, he gives the bad impression of a Christian who wants to have two things: (both) heaven and earth,” the Pope said, explaining that that the daily cross of denying ourselves is the remedy.

From a human perspective following Jesus “is not a good deal” because it means serving others, he said. If the Lord gives you the opportunity to be first you have to act like the one in last place, and the same goes for wealth, he continued.

Pope Francis also indicated the Gospel passage in Matthew when the mother of James and John asks Jesus to secure a place for her sons at his side.

By essentially telling Jesus to “make this one prime minister for me, (and) this one, the minister of the economy,” the disciples’ mother took the worldly path in following Jesus, the Pope noted.

When a person wants to be “with both Jesus and with the world, with both poverty and with riches…this is a half-way Christianity that desires material gain. It is the spirit of worldliness,” he warned.

To follow the Lord freely, he said, “is the answer to the gratuitousness of love and salvation that Jesus gives us.”

Francis observed how the frequently the attitude of worldliness prevails in the Church itself, saying that “it’s sad” to see Christians – laypersons, priests and bishops included – who strive after both heavenly and worldly things.

“(It) is a counter-witness and furthers people from Jesus,” he said, and encouraged attendees to ask the Lord to teach them the “science of service,” which provides a lesson in humility and in placing ourselves last so as to serve our brothers and sisters in the Church.

The Pope closed his homily by telling those present to continue the Mass with both Peter’s question and Jesus’ answer in mind.

“The recompense that (Jesus) will give us is resemblance to Him. This will be our ‘recompense;’ to be like Jesus!”

Tags: Vatican, Pope Francis, Humility, Wealth

via Think you’re important because you have money? Think again, Pope says :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

New at euzicasa: This Pressed: Catechism – Baltimore Catholic News Agency


 

Catechism :: Catholic News Agency.

Is Islam a religion of war or peace? Both – and Muslims must decide, priest says :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)


 

Rome, Italy, May 21, 2015 / 12:05 am (CNA/EWTN News).-

Following last week’s online release of an audio message from the caliph of the Islamic State, one expert says the group’s understanding of Islam calls on all Muslims to re-evaluate Islamic history.

“The only solution is a radical reform to the internal reading of Islamic history,” Fr. Samir Khalil Samir, an Egyptian-born Jesuit and acting rector of the Pontifical Oriental Institute, wrote May 15 at AsiaNews.

A day prior, the Islamic State had released a recording of its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, saying, “There is no excuse for any Muslim not to migrate to the Islamic State … joining (its fight) is a duty on every Muslim. We are calling on you either to join or carry weapons (to fight) wherever you are.”

The recording also says that “Islam was never a religion of peace. Islam is the religion of fighting. No-one should believe that the war that we are waging is the war of the Islamic State. It is the war of all Muslims, but the Islamic State is spearheading it. It is the war of Muslims against infidels.”

Fr. Samir said al-Baghdadi’s message is “very shrewd because it corresponds to the expectations of

via Is Islam a religion of war or peace? Both – and Muslims must decide, priest says :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

 

Saint of the Day for Friday, May 22nd, 2015: St. Rita


Saint of the Day for Friday, May 22nd, 2015

today’s holiday/commemoration: Fiesta of Santa Rita


 

Fiesta of Santa Rita

Villagers in Apastepeque, San Vicente Department, El Salvador, celebrate Santa Rita‘s feast day with a dance-drama called the Dance of the Tunco de Monte, or Wild Pig, an Indian dance going back to pre-Christian times. One person dresses in pig skins and pretends to be a pig, while other dancers portray various other stock characters. They enact the chasing and, finally, killing of the pig. At the concluding “feast,” the hunter who has caught the pig alternates between praying to Santa Rita for the welfare of the village and cracking jokes. More… Discuss

today’s birthday: Laurence Olivier (1907) (the best ever Hamlet!)


 

Laurence Olivier (1907)

One of the most revered actors of the 20th century, Olivier took on more than 120 stage roles and appeared in nearly 60 films over the course of an award-winning career spanning more than six decades. A versatile performer, he earned accolades for his portrayals of Shakespearean characters, like Henry V and Hamlet, as well as for his performances in modern dramas. He won four Academy Awards, three BAFTA Awards, three Golden Globes, and five Emmys, and was the first actor to receive what honor? More… Discuss 


Laurence Olivier’s Hamlet

Saint of the Day for Wednesday, May 20th, 2015: St. Bernardine of Siena


Image of St. Bernardine of Siena

St. Bernardine of Siena

In the year 1400, a young man came to the door of the largest hospital in Siena. A plague was raging through the city so horrible that as many as twenty people died each day just in the hospital … continue reading

More Saints of the Day

Watch “EU asylum plan presents a threat to our civilisat…” on YouTube


EU asylum plan presents a threat to our civilisation – Nigel Farage

“Ebullient, Cleansing, Awakening… Refreshing, Graceful, Water …The Well Spring of Life”


“Ebullient, Cleansing, Awakening…
Refreshing, Graceful, Water …
The Well Spring of Life”

For Arab Christianity, new women saints give encouraging example :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)


Tapestry of Sister Marie Alphonsine Danil Ghattas at St. Peter’s Basilica May 16. Credit: Daniel Ibanez / CNA.

By Ann Schneible

Vatican City, May 17, 2015 / 06:38 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Catholic Church’s celebration of the canonization of two new women saints from Palestine on Sunday helps recognize both women’s important role in Arab culture and Arabs’ important role in Christianity.

“These two humble and simple women, consecrated women, give us also encouragement to pray for peace,” said Father Rifat Bader, general director of the Catholic Center for Studies and Media in Amman, Jordan.

He was in Rome for the May 17 canonizations of Saints Mariam Baouardy and Marie Alphonsine Danil Ghattas.

Saint Marie Alphonsine herself called for prayer of the Rosary “for peace and tranquility in our region,” Fr. Bader told CNA ahead of the event.

Pope Francis presided over the canonizations and Mass in Saint Peter’s Square, before a congregation of tens of thousands of people.

The canonization of these two women saints, Fr. Bader said, is “a good example for all the citizens,” Muslims, Jews, and Christians alike. The canonizations show “that the woman can do positive and good things in her society.”

“It’s very important issue to talk about the mission, or the role, of women in our Arab countries,” Fr. Bader said, explaining that the role of a woman within society and within her own family is not always recognized for its importance.

“Now, when we talk about these two examples, of saints, women, from the Holy Land, it gives encouragement for the woman to go ahead and to go forward.”

One of the new Palestinian saints, Sister Mariam Baouardy (1846-1878) was a mystic and stigmatic also known as Mary Jesus Crucified. She was a Palestinian and foundress of the Discalced Carmelites of Bethlehem. She and her family were members of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church. She spent time in France and India before helping to found the Carmelite congregation in Bethlehem in 1875.

The other new Palestinian saint, Sister Marie Alphonsine Danil Ghattas (1843-1927), was a co-founder of the Congregation of the Rosary Sisters. Born in Palestine, she spent much of her life in Bethlehem and its area, where she helped the poor and established schools and orphanages.

Father Bader explained the joint identity of being Arab and Christian simultaneously.

“We have the possibility to be saints, even if we are Arabs,” he said. “It’s not something impossible.”

The region is not unknown for its saints. “The Virgin Mary herself was living in the Holy Land,” Fr. Bader observed. Also from the region were all the companions of Jesus Christ, including Saint Peter who was buried at the very basilica where the canonizations took place.

“Now we have these new saints of the modern time,” he said. “That’s why we are happy: that modernity cannot forbid a person to be a saint.”

The Palestinian women were canonized alongside two others: Saint Jeanne Emilie de Villeneuve (1811-1854) and Saint Maria Cristina Brando (1856-1906), from France and Italy, respectively.

Tags: Women, Church in Middle East, Canonizations

via For Arab Christianity, new women saints give encouraging example :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

J.S. Bach: Mass in B minor “Agnus Dei” – Andreas Scholl


J.S. Bach: Mass in B minor “Agnus Dei” – Andreas Scholl

credo in unum deum – closing mass of the synod of bishops – 28.10.2012


credo in unum deum – closing mass of the synod of bishops – 28.10.2012 

 

MIssa for Sunday, May 17, 2015: Beethoven – Missa Solemnis – Philharmonia / Karajan


Beethoven – Missa Solemnis – Philharmonia / Karajan

great compositions/performances: “Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op.24″ by Wilhelm Kempff


Johannes Brahms Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op 24 W Kempff

just a thought: Just the fact that one is not part of the problem doesn’t make one part of the solution


just a thought: Just the fact that one is not part of the problem doesn’t make one part of the solution

Read the words of an Orthodox bishop kidnapped in Syria nearly two years ago :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)


Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim, the Syriac Orthodox Archbishop of Aleppo, who was kidnapped near the Turkish border April 22, 2013. Courtesy of Aid to the Church in Need.

 Aleppo, Syria, Mar 15, 2015 / 06:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On April 22, 2013, both the Greek and Syriac Orthodox archbishops of Aleppo, Boulos Yazigi and Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim, were kidnapped in Syria near the Turkish border. Their driver, Deacon Fatha’ Allah Kabboud, was killed.

Today, 23 months later, the bishops remain missing – though for some time it has been rumored that only one of them is still alive.

The bishops were abducted on their way back from the Turkish border, where they were negotiating the release of two priests, Fathers Michael Kayyal and Maher Mahfouz, who had themselves been kidnapped in February 2013.

Archbishop Ibrahim and Archbishop Yazigi are only two of the multitude of victims of the Syrian civil war, which today is entering its fifth year.

The war has claimed the lives of more than 220,000 people. There are 3.9 million Syrian refugees in nearby countries, most of them in Turkey and Lebanon, and an additional 8 million Syrian people are believed to have been internally displaced by the war.

On March 15, 2011, demonstrations sprang up in Syria protesting the rule of Bashar al-Assad, the nation’s president and leader of its Ba’ath Party. The next month, the Syrian army began to deploy to put down the uprisings, firing on protesters.

Since then, the violence has morphed into a civil war which is being fought among the Syrian regime and a number of rebel groups: the rebels include moderates, such as the Free Syrian Army; Islamists such as al-Nusra Front and Islamic State; and Kurdish separatists.

Only about a week before his kidnapping, two years into the war, Archbishop Ibrahim had told BBC Arabic that Syrian Christians are in the same situation as their Muslim neighbors: “There is no persecution of Christians and there is no single plan to kill Christians. Everyone respects Christians. Bullets are random and not targeting the Christians because they are Christians.”

Archbishop Ibrahim had written a book in Arabic in 2006 called “Accepting the Other.” At that time, before the start of the war, Syrians of different religions lived together in peace.

An excerpt of this work, focused on “the dialogue of life,” was translated into English for Aid to the Church in Need and appears below thanks to that international Catholic charity, which has pledged $2.8 million in emergency aid for the Christians of Syria:

The plurality of religions and faiths does not foment an inter-religious conflict due to the fact that the common denominator of its teachings, heritages and ethics affirms the oneness of God and the multiplicity and integrity of its people.

Whenever Christians and Muslims approach the sources of divine teaching, they may feel that their common heritage is part and parcel of the universal belief of the relationship between man (the weak) and the Creator (the mighty). Christians say we have one God and Muslim say there is no God but God.

From this understanding of our common heritages derived the concept of the “Dialogue of Life” – to which we owe our peaceful coexistence and the flourishing of our communities. However, even given the rich ethno-religious diversity of our communal tapestry, it is not at all like the concept of multiculturalism that is emerging in Western society.

The “Dialogue of life” is a rather simple, spontaneous, and natural way of life – a sort of coexistence sustained by the values of solidarity, humanity, impartiality and accepting the other unconditionally. Some may argue that our “Dialogue of Life” draws on the principles outlined in the Geneva Convention. Not so, our “Dialogue” has its own unwritten codes, whose values far predate this relatively new Western concept of dialogue and coexistence.

via Read the words of an Orthodox bishop kidnapped in Syria nearly two years ago :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

From CNA: A modern-day St Francis? Archbishop works to rebuild Syrian Church amid destruction


.- A four-year civil war in Syria has left a mounting death toll and displaced millions of persons, but one bishop is staying to rebuild the Church in Aleppo, in the northwest corner of the country.

“The Church is living,” Melkite Archbishop Jean-Clement Jeanbart of Aleppo told CNA earlier this month. “Here, I am building, I am restoring, I am maintaining a lively Church in which every stone is a human being and who can be a witness, a testimony to the world.”

“I wondered if I am not copying St. Francis when he was working to rebuild the Church. It was crazy, nobody thought that he would succeed,” the archbishop noted. “And he succeeded because the Lord was with him.”

The four-year Syrian conflict being fought among the Assad regime and various rebel factions has devastated the country. More than 3.9 million refugees have fled to surrounding countries, and around 8 million Syrians are believed to have been internally displaced. The war’s death toll is currently around 220,000.

Outside countries and entities have taken advantage of the civil war, profiting from it through the arms trade or waiting for Syria to collapse so to move in and take power in the vacuum. Pope Francis has spoken out against the arms trade here and has been criticized for it, Archbishop Jeanbart noted.

Aleppo endured a terrible two-month siege by rebel forces last year. Its infrastructure has been devastated, and its residents endure great poverty.

Those who chose to stay face a myriad of challenges. Houses, businesses, schools, and hospitals have been damaged or destroyed in the war, leaving fathers without work, families without shelter, the sick without medical care, and children without education.

Thus it is an uphill battle to convince residents to stay and not re-settle elsewhere, Archbishop Jeanbart admitted. Syrians see the U.S. on television and think it a “paradise,” and want to move there. He has to convince them of the unseen difficulties that such a move might bring.

Words are not enough to convince people, however. The Church must act to help Christians who stay so once peace comes – and it will, the archbishop maintains – a stable Christian community is in place and Christians can have a seat at the peace negotiations.

“We want that we may have our rights,” he said. “We want that everybody may feel comfortable in the country.”

“What we want to do, and what I am looking for,” Archbishop Jeanbart said, “is to go to another position, a position looking positively to the future, trying to give them hope that the future of their country may be good, and will be better if they work and if they prepare themselves.”

The Church in Aleppo is working to meet the local needs. It provides thousands of baskets of food to needy families, 1,000 scholarships for students to attend Catholic schools, stipends to almost 500 fathers who have lost their business in the war, heating to houses in the wintertime, rebuilding homes damaged in the war and medical care for the needy since many government hospitals were destroyed in the fighting.

It’s a daunting task for an archbishop in his seventies. He admitted to initially wondering how he could do it.

“But when I began working on it, I felt that I was 50. Like if the Lord is pushing me to go ahead and helping me to realize this mission,” he said.

“I invest myself entirely. I have decided the consecrate the rest of my life to do that.”

Archbishop Jeanbart has been assisted in his efforts to serve the people of Aleppo by the international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need. The charity has ensured  a six month supply of medical goods for the city, and paid for repairs and fuel costs at the city’s schools, in addition to the rest of its work throughout Syria.

Archbishop Jeanbart maintained that another reason Christians need to stay in Syria is to be a light to people of other religions, especially Muslims. If the Christians leave, no one will be left to preach the Gospel in Syria.

“Perhaps the time has come to tell these people ‘Come, Christ is waiting for you.’ And many Muslims now, I must say, are wondering where should be their place? Are they in the right place? Are they perhaps supposed to rethink and review their choices? It will be wonderful if I told them we may have the freedom and the freedom of faith which would allow anyone to make his own choice freely.”

Critics of the Church in Syria have accused it of not immediately supporting the rebels in the name of freedom and democracy, the archbishop noted, and this is a false mischaracterization.

Christians are wary of regime change because they have seen what has happened in surrounding countries where fundamentalists took power in the Arab Spring and religious pluralism suffered as a result: there is “a feeling among Christians that they are afraid that the government may change and with the change of the government, they may lose their freedom … they are afraid to lose their freedom to express and to live their Christian life.”

He cited the success of the Islamic State, which in the power vacuum caused by the Syrian civil war has established a caliphate in eastern Syria and western Iraq where “many Christians were killed because they were Christian.”

Christians in Syria are, in fact, supportive of freedom and democracy, he said.

“They want to have a democratic regime where they may have all their freedom and where they may live tranquil but at the same time happy in the country,” he said.

“In any settlement,” he maintained, “the Christian must have the rights to be Christian in this country. And they should not become Muslims because the regime will be Muslim.”

“We want to have our rights and to live as free Christians in our country,” he said.

Tags: Syrian Civil War, Aid to the Church in Need, Aleppo, Melkite Archdiocese of Aleppo, Archbishop Jeanbart

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Saint of the Day for Sunday, May 17th, 2015: St. Paschal Baylon


 

Image of St. Paschal Baylon

St. Paschal Baylon

Franciscan lay brother and mystic. Born to a peasant family at Torre Hermosa, in Aragon, on Whitsunday, he was christened Pascua in honor of the feast. According to accounts of his early life, … continue reading

More Saints of the Day

quotation: There is no instance of a nation benefiting from prolonged warfare. Sun Tzu (544 BC-496 BC)


There is no instance of a nation benefiting from prolonged warfare.

Sun Tzu (544 BC-496 BC) Discuss

Lone Christian in Iraqi Delegation, a Nun, Denied Visa by Obama State Dept. | The Stream


Read the article “Lone Christian in Iraqi Delegation, a Nun, Denied Visa by Obama State Dept.” here: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/417679/malice-toward-nun-nina-shea

Sister Diana wants to tell Americans about ISIS persecution of Christians in Iraq, but the State Department won’t let her in. Why is the United States barring a persecuted Iraqi Catholic nun — an internationally respected and leading representative of the Nineveh Christians who have been killed and deported by ISIS — from coming to Washington to testify about this catastrophe? Earlier this week, we learned that every member of an Iraqi delegation of minority groups, including representatives of the Yazidi and Turkmen Shia religious communities, has been granted visas to come for official meetings in Washington — save one. The single delegate whose visitor visa was denied happens to be the group’s only Christian from Iraq. Sister Diana Momeka of the Dominican Sisters of Saint Catherine of Siena was informed on Tuesday by the U.S. consulate in Erbil that her non-immigrant-visa application has been rejected.

via Lone Christian in Iraqi Delegation, a Nun, Denied Visa by Obama State Dept. | The Stream.

Iraqi Christians have lost everything – except their faith, nun tells Congress :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)


By Matt Hadro

Photo:  Sister Diana Momeka, OP appeared before the House of Foreign Affairs Committee in Washington D.C. on May 13, 2015. Credit: Matt Hadro/CNA.

Washington D.C., May 13, 2015 / 03:41 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Having lost their homes, their heritage and their sense of dignity, Iraqi Christians victimized by the Islamic State feel abandoned by earthly powers, but their faith in God has only grown, an Iraqi nun told members of Congress May 13.

The faith of homeless Iraqi Christians is “increasing more and more,” Sister Diana Momeka, O.P., told the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Many of the displaced lived in devastating conditions – families taking shelter in containers, parents without jobs and children without an education.

But Sister Diana insisted the spirit of the people has not been broken by the adversity.

“It’s making us stronger,” she said.

“We were displaced, yet we feel that the hand of God is still with us…In the midst of this darkness, this suffering, we see that God is holding us,” she explained, adding that it is a “gift of the Holy Spirit” to be able to stay and have faith through hardship.

Sister Diana was part of the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena, originally from Mosul in Northern Iraq. Islamist militants bombed their convent in 2009, and after the prioress sought protection from the local government and found none, Sister Diana and the community moved to Qaraqosh.

The ISIS onslaught caught up to them last summer. As the Islamic State swept through parts of Iraq and Syria, establishing a strict caliphate, more than 120,000 Iraqis were displaced on the Nineveh Plain, faced with the decision to convert to Islam, stay and pay a jizya tax to ISIS, or leave immediately.

The religious community moved again, this time to Kurdistan. “We were driven out of our homes in a couple of hours,” the nun described, “without any warning.”

Almost no Christians are left in Mosul, Sister Diana said, except for about 100 Christian hostages of ISIS.

Slated to testify before a congressional committee as part of an Iraqi delegation, Sister Diana’s application for a visa was initially denied by the local U.S. Consulate because of her status as an internally-displaced person.

Amid mounting pressure, she was later able to enter the United States and testified before the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee May 13 regarding “ISIS’s war on religious minorities.”

“I am but one, small person – a victim myself of ISIS and all of its brutality,” Sister Diana stated in written testimony before the committee.

“Coming here has been difficult for me – as a religious sister I am not comfortable with the media and so much attention,” she admitted. “But I am here and I am here to ask you, to implore you for the sake of our common humanity to help us.”

The Christians in Northern Iraq lost “most everything” when ISIS destroyed and desecrated churches, shrines, and other sacred sites, she said.

“We lost everything that today, every Christian that’s living in the region of Kurdistan, we feel we don’t have dignity anymore. When you lose your home, you lose everything you have. You lose your heritage, your culture.”

When monasteries that have existed for centuries have been destroyed, it is a sign that “your history is gone, you are nothing anymore,” the Iraqi nun explained.

Children are growing up without proper education and whole families’ lives have “changed tremendously,” she said. “We’re abandoned, that’s how we feel.”

The local and regional authorities have been of little help to the displaced, Sister Diana said in her testimony, calling their reaction to the crisis “at best modest and slow.” The Kurdish government allowed Christian refugees to enter its borders but did not offer any more significant aid.

The Church in Kurdistan has been a big help to Christians, though, providing food, shelter, and other support, she noted.

Ultimately, the displaced want to return home and not to be re-settled elsewhere, witnesses at the hearing insisted.

“There are many who say ‘Why don’t the Christians just leave Iraq and move to another country and be done with it?’“ Sister Diana stated in her testimony. “Why should we leave our country? What have we done?”

“The Christians of Iraq are the first people of the land,” she said. “While our ancestors experienced all kinds of persecution, they stayed in their land, building a culture that has served humanity for the ages.”

“We want nothing more than to go back to our lives; we want nothing more than to go home.”

Tags: Refugees, Faith, ISIS, Iraqi Christians

via Iraqi Christians have lost everything – except their faith, nun tells Congress :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

 

Bird on a wire-Perla Batalla_ Special_Features “I’m Your Man”


<a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6sujip0vq_jTW69yQkKS2w">http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6sujip0vq_jTW69yQkKS2w</a>

Leonard Cohen‘s Bird on The Wire:

The most beautiful interpretation of “Like The Bird On The Wire”, ever. Perla flies like a dove above all, off a wire up in the skies, and dive on the winds of the accordion, so divinely played. Perla Batalla is the priestess of freedom and joy of life everlasting in this magnificent scene: Sweet like nectar, and the salt of the Earth. If Leonard is the man, Perla is the woman, the lover, enchanter, charmer, the voice.

Like a bird on the wire
Like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free

Like a worm on a hook
Like a knight from some old fashioned book
I have saved all my ribbons for thee

If I, if I have been unkind
I hope that you can just let it go by
If I, if I have been untrue
I hope you know it was never to you

Oh, like a baby, stillborn
Like a beast with his horn
I have torn everyone who reached out for me

But I swear by this song
And by all that I have done wrong
I will make it all up to thee

I saw a beggar leaning on his wooden crutch
He said to me, “You must not ask for so much”
And a pretty woman leaning in her darkened door
She cried to me, “Hey, why not ask for more?”

Oh, like a bird on the wire
Like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free

Songwriters
COHEN, LEONARD

Published by
Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

historic Musical Bits: Liszt: Années de pèlerinage, S.163 – 4. Les jeux d’eaux à la Villa d’Este – Claudio Arrau


Liszt: Années de pèlerinage, S.163 – 4. Les jeux d’eaux à la Villa d’Este – Claudio Arrau

Published on Jan 12, 2013

Les jeux d’eaux à la Villa d’Este (The Fountains of the Villa d’Este) – Over the music, Liszt placed the inscription, “”Sed aqua quam ego dabo ei, fiet in eo fons aquae salientis in vitam aeternam” (“But the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up into eternal life,” from the Gospel of John).

 

Saint of the Day for Friday, May 15th, 2015: St. Dymphna


Image of St. Dymphna

St. Dymphna

Dymphna was fourteen when her mother died. Damon is said to have been afflicted with a mental illness, brought on by his grief. He sent messengers throughout his town and other lands to find some … continue reading

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quotation: Ralph Waldo Emerson


The world is all gates, all opportunities, strings of tension waiting to be struck.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) Discuss

Pope Francis’ Daily Homilies: Spiritual Reflection: “The days between the resurrection and the ascension of the Lord” From a sermon by Saint Leo the Great, pope (Sermo 1 de Ascensione, 2-4: PL 54, 395-396)


The Ascension of Our Lord

The Ascension of Our Lord (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You can access
NEWS.VA – Official Vatican Network

from the Widget on EUZICASA sidebar:

“The days between the resurrection and the ascension of the Lord”  From a sermon by Saint Leo the Great, pope (Sermo 1 de Ascensione, 2-4: PL 54, 395-396)  Beloved, the days which passed between the Lord’s resurrection and his ascension were by no means uneventful; during them great sacramental mysteries were confirmed, great truths revealed. In those days the fear of death with all its horrors was taken away, and the immortality of both body and soul affirmed. […]  The blessed apostles together with all the others had been intimidated by the catastrophe of the cross, and their faith in the resurrection had been uncertain; but now they were so strengthened by the evident truth that when their Lord ascended into heaven, far from feeling any sadness, they were filled with great joy.  Indeed that blessed company had a great and inexpressible cause for joy when it saw man’s nature rising above the dignity of the whole heavenly creation, above the ranks of angels, above the exalted status of archangels. Nor would there be any limit to its upward course until humanity was admitted to a seat at the right hand of the eternal Father, to be enthroned at last in the glory of him to whose nature it was wedded in the person of the Son.

“The days between the resurrection and the ascension of the Lord
From a sermon by Saint Leo the Great, pope
(Sermo 1 de Ascensione, 2-4: PL 54, 395-396)
Beloved, the days which passed between the Lord’s resurrection and his ascension were by no means uneventful; during them great sacramental mysteries were confirmed, great truths revealed. In those days the fear of death with all its horrors was taken away, and the immortality of both body and soul affirmed. […]
The blessed apostles together with all the others had been intimidated by the catastrophe of the cross, and their faith in the resurrection had been uncertain; but now they were so strengthened by the evident truth that when their Lord ascended into heaven, far from feeling any sadness, they were filled with great joy.
Indeed that blessed company had a great and inexpressible cause for joy when it saw man’s nature rising above the dignity of the whole heavenly creation, above the ranks of angels, above the exalted status of archangels. Nor would there be any limit to its upward course until humanity was admitted to a seat at the right hand of the eternal Father, to be enthroned at last in the glory of him to whose nature it was wedded in the person of the Son.

From dawn to dusk, as Kathmandu rebuilds— BBC News Asia (@BBCNewsAsia) May 15, 2015


New at the #Vatican: Palestinian Liberation Organization –> State of Palestine.— Religion NewsService (@RNS) May 13, 2015


Vatican decision to recognize Palestine upsets Israeli government, Jewish advocacy groups – Religion News Service


JERUSALEM (RNS) The Vatican’s decision to recognize Palestine as a sovereign state on Wednesday (May 13) angered Israeli officials.

The move comes four days before the first-ever canonization of two Palestinian nuns and it solidifies the standing of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who is scheduled to meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Saturday.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon told The Times of Israel that the government is “disappointed by the decision. We believe that such a decision is not conducive to bringing the Palestinians back to the negotiating table.”

Israel insists that for the Palestinians to achieve statehood, they must first end their armed struggle against Israel and recognize its right to exist as the homeland of the Jewish people.

Although the treaty codifies the Holy See’s relations with the Palestinian Authority, the Vatican has already referred to the “State of Palestine” in some official documents, including the official program handed out during Pope Francis’ Holy Land pilgrimage last year.

In recent years, the Vatican has stepped up its efforts to support Palestinian Christians in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza as their numbers have dwindled due to emigration spurred by wars and economic hardships.

A majority of Christians in the Holy Land — including Israel — are either ethnic Palestinians or live alongside them in the same towns and villages. Sisters Maria Baouardy and Mary Alphonsine Danil Ghattas, who were both Christian Arabs, are due to be canonized by Pope Francis on Sunday.

William Shomali, the auxiliary bishop of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, said the Vatican’s announcement “was not a surprise” because “the pope called President Abbas the president of the State of Palestine” during his 2014 pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

But David Harris, executive director of the AJC, the leading global Jewish advocacy organization, said the decision was “regrettable“ and “counterproductive to all who seek true peace between Israel and the Palestinians.”

“We are fully cognizant of the pope’s goodwill and desire to be a voice for peaceful coexistence, which is best served, we believe, by encouraging a resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, rather than unilateral gestures outside the framework of the negotiating table,” Harris concluded.

Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, said the action was “premature” and would “undermine the only real solution to the decades-old conflict, which is engaging in direct negotiations.”

YS/MG END CHABIN

Categories: Institutions, Politics

Tags: AJC, Foreign Ministry, Israel, Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, Palestine, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Vatican

via Vatican decision to recognize Palestine upsets Israeli government, Jewish advocacy groups – Religion News Service.

Pope Francis Is Making Saints Out Of Two Palestinian Nuns


VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Francis will bestow sainthood on two Palestinian nuns on Sunday (May 17), a move that’s being seen as giving hope to the conflict-wracked Middle East and shining the spotlight on the plight of Christians in the region.

Sisters Maria Baouardy and Mary Alphonsine Danil Ghattas are due to be canonized by the pontiff along with two other 19th-century nuns, Sister Jeanne Emilie de Villeneuve, from France, and Italian Sister Maria Cristina dell’Immacolata.

The coming canonizations have been described by the Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, Fouad Twal, as a “sign of hope” for the region.

“The canonization of these two Palestinian saints is a spiritual highpoint for the inhabitants of the Holy Land,” he told Vatican Insider.

“The fact that Mariam (Maria) and Marie (Mary) Alphonsine, the first modern Palestinian saints, are both Arabs is a sign of hope for Palestine, for the entire Holy Land and the Middle East: holiness is always possible, even in a war-torn region. May a generation of saints follow them!”

Twal will travel to the Vatican for the canonizations and has invited Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to the ceremony.

Palestinians have waited more than 30 years for the sainthood of Baouardy, following her beatification by St. John Paul II in 1983.

Born into the Melchite Greek Catholic Church in 1846, in a village near Nazareth, Baouardy went on to join the Carmel of Pau in France. Despite being illiterate, she was sent to India where she founded other convents, before moving to Bethlehem where she died in 1878.

Announcing the canonization in February, the Vatican said Baouardy “experienced many sufferings together with extraordinary mystic phenomena” from an early age.

Ghattas, who was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI in 2009, lived a distinctly less international life. Born in Jerusalem in 1843, she entered the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Apparition at the age of 15. She went on to found the Congregation of Sisters of the Most Holy Rosary of Jerusalem and “worked tirelessly to help young people and Christian mothers,” the Vatican said.

The canonization of the two nuns will inevitably draw attention to Palestine and the Middle East, a region that Francis has repeatedly highlighted in recent months.

In his Easter address, the pope said: “We pray for peace for all the peoples of the Holy Land. May the culture of encounter grow between Israelis and Palestinians and the peace process be resumed, in order to end years of suffering and division.”

He additionally called for an end to “the roar of arms” in Syria and Iraq, while also pushing for a stop to “barbarous acts of violence” in Libya and peace in Yemen.

Twal had no doubt that the approaching sainthoods would have a positive impact on the entire region.

“I am sure that it will rekindle the hope of our faithful in the Middle East and encourage them to remain firm in the faith and keep their eyes fixed on heaven,” he said, “especially in these difficult times that Christians are experiencing there.”

via Pope Francis Is Making Saints Out Of Two Palestinian Nuns.

When was the last time you said ‘thank you’ and ‘I’m sorry?’ Pope asks :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)


 

 

By Elise Harris

By Elise Harris

Vatican City, May 13, 2015 / 09:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his general audience Pope Francis focused on the concrete challenges families face in daily life, and said that simply remembering to be grateful and to apologize can go a long way in avoiding conflict.

“Dear brothers and sisters, today’s catechesis is the opening of the door to a series of reflections on family life, real life, daily life,” the Pope told pilgrims present in St. Peter’s Square May 13.

“Above this door are written three words that we have already used other times: May I, thank you, and I’m sorry. They are words linked to good manners, (and) in their genuine sense of respect and desire for good, (they are) far away from any hypocrisy and duplicity,” he said.

Francis’ address was a continuation of his ongoing catechesis on the family, which he began at the end of last year as part of the lead-up to the World Day of Families in September, as well as October’s Synod of Bishops on the Family.

Although the words ’May I,’ ‘thank you’ and ‘I’m sorry’ can be hard to say or put into practice, their absence “can cause cracks in the foundation of the family, which can lead to its collapse,” the Pope said.

However, if families make a habit of including the phrases in their daily lives as a sign of love for one another rather than just a formal expression of good manners, they can strengthen a happy family life, he continued.

The word ‘May I’ is a reminder that we should be “delicate, respectful and patient with others,” he said. Even if we feel like we have the right to something, “when we speak to our spouse or family member with kindness we create space for a true spirit of marital and familial common life.”

Kindness helps to renew trust and respect, and reveals the love we have for others, the Pope noted, saying that we should always imitate Jesus, who stands at the door of our hearts and knocks, waiting for us to open it to him.

He then turned to the second word, noting that to say ‘thank you’ can seem like a contradiction in a distrustful society, which tends to view this attitude as weakness.

Despite this perception, it is through an “education in gratitude” that that social justice and the dignity of persons are upheld, he said.

Gratitude Francis continued, “is a virtue that for believers is born from the same heart of their faith… (it) is also the language of God, to whom above all we must express our gratitude.”

via When was the last time you said ‘thank you’ and ‘I’m sorry?’ Pope asks :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

Saint of the Day for Wednesday, May 13th, 2015: St. John the Silent


Image of St. John the Silent

St. John the Silent

Bishop of Colonia in Palestine and a hermit. Born in Nicopolis, Armenia, he established a monastery at the age of eighteen. Appointed a bishop at the age of twenty-eight, he spent nine years in his … continue reading

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Pope Francis: Spare no effort in defending life, family :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)


 

General audience with Pope Francis on March 18, 2015. Credit: Daniel Ibanez / CNA.

Vatican City, May 12, 2015 / 03:26 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his meeting on Saturday with the bishops from Mozambique, a southeast African nation, Pope Francis urged support for public policies that promote the family and protect human life.

“Spare no efforts in supporting the family and in the defense of life from conception to natural death,” he said May 9 in the Vatican. “In this sense, remember the options appropriate to one of Christ‘s disciples and the beauty of being a mother, accompanied by the support of the family and the local community.”

“The family must always be defended as the main source of fraternity, respect for others and the primary path of peace.”

The Mozambican bishops – whose country borders Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, South Africa, and the Indian Ocean – were in Rome for their five-yearly ad limina visit, a meeting with the Pope.

The Bishop of Rome cautioned his brother bishops against a worldly sense of success, saying, “the fecundity of our mission … is not measured by the number of collaborators, nor by the prestige of the institution, nor even by the quantity of available resources.”

“What counts is being permeated with Christ’s love, allowing oneself to be led by the Holy Spirit, and grafting one’s own existence onto the tree of life, which is the Cross of the Lord,” he said, adding that “from St. Paul, the insuperable model of the Christian missionary, we know that this means trying to conform to Jesus in his death so as to participate in his resurrection … the paschal mystery is the beating heart of the mission of the Church.”

“If you abide in this mystery, you will be protected both from a worldly and triumphalist vision of the mission, and the disappointment that may arise when faced with trials and failures.”

Pope Francis encouraged the bishops to be particularly solicitous for their priests as well as for the religious communities in their dioceses, and to live among their faithful in the “’existential peripheries’ where there is suffering, loneliness, and human degradation.”

Reflecting on the nature and role of a bishop, he said: “you are spouses of your diocesan community, profoundly tied to it.”

The Pope stated that “the pastors and the faithful of Mozambique need to further develop a culture of encounter,” saying Christ’s only request is “that you go out in search of the neediest.” He mentioned those who suffer from natural disasters, as well as displaced persons and refugees.

“These people need us to share in their suffering, their worries, their problems,” he told the bishops. “They need us to look upon them with love and you must reach out to them, as did Jesus.”

Turning to the challenges facing Mozambique, Pope Francis encouraged investment in education, so as to oppose inequality and social division. He said education “teaches the young to think critically, and offers a path towards maturity in values. In this sense, it is appropriate to raise awareness among leaders in society and to revive pastoral ministry in universities and schools, combining the task of education with the proclamation of the Gospel.”

“The needs are so great that they cannot be satisfied simply through individual initiatives or by a union of individuals educated in individualism. Community networks are needed to respond to social problems.”

He concluded by encouraging the bishops in going to the peripheries, saying, “When we go out to take the Gospel with true apostolic spirit, [Jesus] walks with us. He precedes us, and for us this is fundamental: God always goes before us.”

Tags: Pope Francis, Family, Pro-life, Abortion

via Pope Francis: Spare no effort in defending life, family :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

Saint of the Day for Tuesday, May 12th, 2015: Sts. Nereus & Achilleus


Le Pere Goriot … Honore de Balzac LIVRE AUDIO FRANCAIS ( AUDIOBOOK FRENCH)


 

Le Pere GoriotHonore de Balzac LIVRE AUDIO FRANCAIS .. FULL AUDIOBOOK FRENCH

 

On Monday, a little boy asked Pope Francis: ‘What is peace?’ :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)


On Monday, a little boy asked Pope Francis: ‘What is peace?’

By Ann Schneible

Pope Francis meets with children at the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall on May 11, 2015. Credit: Daniel Ibàñez/CNA.

Vatican City, May 11, 2015 / 01:31 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- This question was part of a special question and answer session with the Bishop of Rome touching on a wide range of themes – from the link between greed and war, to arguments with siblings, and the role of religion in promoting peace in the world.

“Religion helps us because it makes us walk in God’s presence,” the Pope said: “it helps us because it gives us the Commandments, the Beatitudes.”

Above all, religion helps us learn “to love our neighbor” – and this is a commandment that all religions have in common, he said.

It is this “love of neighbor” which helps everyone make peace, and “to go forward in peace.”

Pope Francis made these remarks on May 11 during during a encounter with 7,000 children in the Vatican’s Paul VI hall. The meeting was sponsored by the Fabbrica della Pace – the Peace Factory – an initiative which uses education to promote integration, cross-cultural and multi-ethnic understanding.

In prepared remarks, the Pope lauded Peace Factory for its work in building “a society without injustice and violence, in which every child and youth may be welcomed and grow in love.”

Saying there is need for more “peace factories,” the Pope lamented the number of “war factories” in existence.

“War is the fruit of hate, of selfishness, of the desire to possess more and more, and to dominate others.”

In contrast, members of the Peace Factory are committed to “defending the culture of inclusion, of reconciliation and of encounter.”

During the Q&A with the children, the Pope touched on a wide range of subjects, from personal and individual to global.

One little girl asked if the Pope argues with his family like she argues with her sister: He replied that we all argue, but said we should never conclude the day without making peace.

Another asked: “If a person does not want peace with you, what would you do?”

The Pope responded by saying he would respect that person’s freedom, never seeking revenge against him. In fostering peace, he said: “respect for persons is always, always first.”

Pope Francis also spoke about peace in more serious contexts, touching on themes such as greed in countries torn by war and conflict.

“Why do many powerful people not want peace?” the Pope asked, responding to a question posed by an Egyptian child as to why the powerful do not support schools. “Because they live on war!”

Such persons benefit from the sale of weapons – which he described as “the industry of death” – and decried the evil brought about by the greed for more and more money.

“And it is for this reason that many people do not want peace,” he said: “They benefit more from war!”

Pope Francis then touched on the theme of equality, having been asked if everyone is equal today.

“We are all equal – everyone!” he said, but there are those who do not recognize this equality, and that we all have the same rights. A society which does not see this, he said, “that society is unjust… and where there is no justice, there is no peace.”

Tags: Pope Francis

via On Monday, a little boy asked Pope Francis: ‘What is peace?’ :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

Saint of the Day for Monday, May 11th, 2015: St. Ignatius of Laconi


Most read Stories: Vatican archives shed light on tragedy of Armenian genocide :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)


Armenians being deported. Credit: Narek via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0).

By Andrea Gagliarducci

Vatican City, Mar 20, 2015 / 11:14 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Ahead of Pope Francis’ Mass commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide, newly released historic documents confirm the Holy See’s broad commitment to helping the Armenian people at a time when few others would.

The Italian Jesuit-run magazine La Civiltà Cattolica stressed that newly published documents “prove how the Holy See, always informed about events, had not remained passive, but was strongly committed to face the issue” of the Armenian Genocide. “Benedict XV was the only ruler or religious leader to voice out a protest against the ‘massive crime’.”

The Armenian Genocide is considered to have begun April 24, 1915 with a massacre of Armenians in Istanbul. Over the next eight years, 1.5 million Armenians would be killed and millions more displaced.

However, such killings were perpetrated before, when much of the region was still under Ottoman rule.

For instance, a March 27, 1896 letter by the Franciscan Father Domenico Werson, who was serving as a missionary in Aleppo, recounted the massacre of Christians in Marasc and vicinities.

Most of the documents in the newly published series are from the archive of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches. They have been published in a series of four books by the Jesuit priest Father Georges-Henry Ruyssen. In advance of the series’ March 21 release date, the latest edition of La Civiltà Cattolica has published a summary.

The documents on the “Armenian Question” date from the end of the 19th century to the first half of the 20th century.

The collection of documents includes letters from Popes and to Ottoman sultans; documents and dispatches by Vatican Secretaries of State and prefects or secretaries of other Vatican dicasteries; documents and reports by the Apostolic delegates; and letters by Armenian patriarchs and bishops with firsthand information.

There are also reports by eye witnesses that clearly describe what was going on.

The documents note the actions of Pope Benedict XV, who sent two personal letters to Sultan Muhammad V Reshad on Sep. 10, 1915 and March 12, 1918, respectively.

The Pope’s effort was the climax of several attempts at mediation carried forward by the Holy See to help Armenians. Pope Leo XIII tried a mediation beginning in 1859. The Holy See sought to be a mediator with Djemal Pashà, commander of the Turkish army in Syria, for the freedom of 60 Armenians sentenced to death in 1917. Cardinal Pietro Gasparri, the Vatican Secretary of State, mediated with Mustaphà Kemal Pashà in 1921 for the safeguard of the lives and the goods of surviving Christians in Turkey.

The Holy See did not only work in diplomacy, but also sought to assist surviving refugees.

The Holy See, La Civiltà Cattolica writes, “mobilized a continual flow of financial aid and supplies in an era when there were no other international humanitarian organizations beyond the Red Cross and the Near East relief.”

The Holy See especially assisted orphans, and founded “many orphanages” open to people of every religious confession. Young orphan Armenian girls were also hosted in the orphanage in the Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo, near Rome.

The documents record the reasons why countries did not take any stance on the genocide and did not defend the Armenian people when the first signs of genocide were visible.

La Civiltà Cattolica underscored that in the late 19th century, the question of the future of the Armenians “was forgotten step by step,” because the “gradual passivity of European diplomacy” worked to “preserve at every cost the integrity of the Ottoman empire.”

Archbishop Augusto Bonetti, the apostolic delegate to Constantinople from 1887-1904, summarized the international situation.

France and Russia both aimed to preserve “the integrity of Turkey.” France had made major capital investments in the region, while Russia wanted Turkish relations to be dormant so it could focus on the Far East.

In Archbishop Bonetti’s view, Germany had a material interest in the continuation of the war between the Greeks and the Turks, while England had “important political interests in Turkey.”

On the eve of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide, the publication of these documents may shed light on the reasons why this genocide was perpetrated in the midst of a general political indifference.

As for Pope Francis, he will celebrate a Mass marking the centenary of the genocide in St. Peter Basilica on April 24.

Tags: Violence, Genocide, Armenian genocide, Vatican archives

via Vatican archives shed light on tragedy of Armenian genocide :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

Saint of the Day for Sunday, May 10th, 2015: Saint of the Day for Sunday, May 10th, 2015


Image of St. Solange

St. Solange

St. Solange d. 880, Born of a poor family of vineyard workers near Bourges, France, she became a shepherdess whose beauty attracted the lustful attention of a noble in Poitiers. He kidnapped her, but … continue reading

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Itzhak Perlman – Sarasate, Spanish Dances op.22 no.1 Romanza Andaluza

Pope Francis sends a hug to moms worldwide for Mother’s Day :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)


 

Pope Francis greets pilgrims at St. Peter’s Square, Jan. 8, 2014. Credit: Kyle Burkhart/CNA.

Vatican City, May 10, 2015 / 09:28 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Sunday, Pope Francis extended a special greeting to all those around the world who are celebrating Mother’s Day, after offering advice on loving to the point of laying down one’s life.

“We remember all mothers with gratitude and affection,” the Pope said to the crowds gathered in Saint Peter’s Square under the hot sun for the recitation of the Regina Caeli prayer May 10.

Speaking to the mothers after granting the apostolic blessing to those present, he noted that the applause from the crowd embraced all mothers: “those who live with us physically, but also those who live with us spiritually.”

The Pope also greeted those who were beginning to gather around the Vatican to take part in the March for Life. “It is important to collaborate together in order to defend and promote life,” he said.

In his address before the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis recounted Christ‘s words during the Last Supper: “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

Christ says he loves us even though we have not merited this love, the Pope said. “In this way, Jesus shows us the path for following him, the path of love.”

Pope Francis explained that Christ’s command to love and to lay down one’s life for friends is new, insofar as it was he who first fulfilled it.

“The law of love is written once and for all in the heart of man” he said, “written with the fire of the Holy Spirit.”

“And with this same Spirit, which Jesus gives us, we too can walk along this path!”

Pope Francis’ reflection comes two weeks before Pentecost, on which the Church celebrates the Holy Spirit coming down upon the Apostles 50 days after Christ’s resurrection.

The path which leads us out of ourselves toward others is concrete, the Pope said.

“Jesus showed us that love for God puts into effect the love for others,” he added, explaining that these two loves go together.

There are many examples of this love throughout the Gospels: “adults and children, educated and ignorant, rich and poor, righteous and sinners, were welcomed in the heart of Christ.”

Pope Francis stressed this call to love one another, even when we don’t understand each other, or when we don’t get along: “It is here that one sees Christian love.”

This love is greater than differences of opinion or disposition, the Roman Pontiff said.

A love which has been “freed from selfishness,” it gives joy to our hearts.

Pope Francis spoke of the small gestures of closeness shown every day: given to an elderly person, a child, one who is sick, a person alone and in difficulty, without home or job, an immigrant, a refugee.

“The love which Christ has taught us is made manifest in these gestures,” he said.

Tags: Regina Caeli

via Pope Francis sends a hug to moms worldwide for Mother’s Day :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

Fr Gustavo Gutierrez: the poor are the starting point of liberation theology :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)


Fr. Gustavo Gutierrez Merino, O.P., who is regarded as the father of liberation theology. Photo courtesy of Notre Dame/Matt Cashore

Vatican City, May 8, 2015 / 01:41 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Attention to the poor was the point of departure for liberation theology claimed Fr. Gustavo Gutierrez Merino, widely acknowledged as the founder of the movement, in a May 8 article in the Vatican‘s newspaper.

Fr. Gutierrez underscored that this attention to the poor came from what liberation theologians experienced in their own lives and lands.

“We referred to the poor as non-persons, but not in philosophical sense, because it is obvious that each human being is a person, rather in a sociological sense; the poor, that is, are not accepted as persons in our society. They are invisible and have not rights, their dignity is not recognized,” the Peruvian theologian wrote.

The publication of the article may be considered a sort of response to the assertions of Ion Mihai Pacepa, a former general in communist Romania’s secret police during the Cold War who defected to the West in the 1970s. In an interview with Catholic News Agency, Pacepa said the KGB created liberation theology and helped to foster it in Latin America, a claim which garnered attention within the Vatican’s walls.

The article published in L’Osservatore Romano is in fact an excerpt from one of Fr. Gutierrez’ books. It begins by saying there are two schools of thought about poverty, and both come from the Gospel: the first is focused on Christ’s sensitivity toward the poor and their suffering, and the second, that Christ himself “had lived a life of poverty, and so Christians, from their origin, understood that in order to be his disciples they also had to live a life of poverty.”

“Both of these schools are true,” he said, but “we have to interpret these two points of view on the bases of our historical context and of our lives.”

Fr. Gutierrez said the first perspective may be found in Luke’s version of the beatitude of the poor (Blessed are you poor, for the kingdom of God is yours), while the second is reflected in Matthew’s (Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven).

“I think both lines of thought – poverty as scandal and poverty of spirit – can be useful, although their meaning must be actualized in our historical period,” reflected Fr. Gutierrez.

He explained that “a new notion of poverty” has emerged in the past century. “Poverty, in Bible and in our times, is not a merely economic issue. Poverty is very much more than this. The economic dimension is important, perhaps primary, but it is is not the only one.”

Noting that we have become more aware of the multiple dimensions of poverty, Fr. Gutierrez said, “poverty was clearly the starting point of liberation theology, though we had not fully understood its complexity or variety.”

The Dominican priest, who will speak at next week’s general assembly of Caritas Internationalis, stressed that liberation theologians referred to the poor in a sociological sense, as persons “who are invisible and and have no rights.”

“We also defined them as the “insignificant.” It is possible to be insignificant for several reasons: if you do not have money, in our society you are insignificant; the colour of your skin may be another reason to be deemed insignificant … what is common among the poor is insignificance, invisibility, and a lack of respect,” Fr. Gutierrez said.

He then added that “these mutual complexities are different from one another” and that “the sense of non-person can be caused by several prejudices,” whether based on race, sex, culture, or economic status.

Fr. Gutierrez provided the example of a black Protestant pastor, who began a 1969 speech with the words: “We must feel that we exist!” “That strong declaration is the shout of the poor,” Fr. Gutierrez said.

The Dominican also provided the example of Peru’s indigenous people, who “are invisible, irrelevant … this is the sad story of an Indian’s daily life: even when he goes to the hospital to be cured, he is ignored,” wrote Fr. Gutierrez.

He then added that “poverty today is a phenomenon of our globalized civilization. For centuries, the poor have been close to us, they lived more or less near us, in the city or in the countryside. However, today we have realized that poverty goes very much beyond our gaze, it is a global phenomenon, if not universal. The majority of human beings in the world live in the condition we call poverty.”

This is a turning point, according to Fr. Gutierrez. He emphasized that in spiritual, moral or liturgical books of the past, writers “merely spoke of how to directly help the poor, who were close to us.” But “today we should be aware that our neighbors are both near and far. We must understand that a relation of ‘neighborhood’ is the result of our commitment.”

via Fr Gustavo Gutierrez: the poor are the starting point of liberation theology :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

Rome prepares for Holy Year of Mercy – with ice cream :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)


 

By Marta Jimenez

Rome, Italy, May 7, 2015 / 06:05 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pilgrims and tourists strolling down the streets of Rome in the coming months may come across an unexpected treat – a special “Jubilee of Mercy Ice Cream,” created in honor of the upcoming Holy Year.

Pope Francis has proclaimed the special Holy Year of Mercy, which is to last from Dec. 8, 2015, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, to Nov. 20, 2016, the Solemnity of Christ the King.

The special Jubilee ice cream can be sampled at the Hedera ice cream shop, situated on the legendary Borgo Pio, one of the streets most traveled by Rome’s tourists.

Hedera stands out from among the other restaurants and souvenir shops because of the sprawling ivy vines that completely cover the building and the adjacent old drinking fountain with a papal crest that slakes the thirst of passersby.

The sweet treat created for the Jubilee features the colors of the Vatican flag – yellow and white. It is made of milk, cream and limoncello, a lemon liqueur popular in Italy.

“We have tradition and innovation in our DNA. The idea came to us thinking about a product inspired by the Jubilee, something very significant,” said business owner Francesco Ceravolo.

“We didn’t want to make a product just to advertise, but an excellent product. We used the best milk available in the area, the best cream and limoncello, he explained, adding, “We lowered the alcohol in it so everyone could have it: children, adults, the elderly.”

Ceravolo is a big admirer of Pope Francis and a descendant of master ice cream makers. He said that the idea was to create a unique flavor that would represent penance. The lemon liqueur was therefore chosen to symbolize purification.

Hedera prides itself on high-quality products, all sourced from Italy and without preservatives.

The “Jubilee ice cream” is just one example of how the people of Rome are preparing to welcome the thousands of pilgrims that will visit the city for the Jubilee of Mercy that the Pope has declared.

Mercy is a theme that is dear to Pope Francis, and is the central topic of his episcopal motto “miserando atque eligendo,” which he chose when ordained a bishop in 1992.

In speaking about the upcoming Holy Year of Mercy, the Pope has emphasized that mercy is inseparable from the life and mission of the Church, as well as the role of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Upon making the public proclamation of the Holy Year, Pope Francis explained that he had declared this Jubilee of mercy because we are living at a “time of great historical change” which calls the Church “to offer more evident signs of God’s presence and closeness.”

This period in history is a time where the faithful “need to be vigilant and to reawaken in ourselves the capacity to see what is essential,” he said.

“This is the time for mercy.”

The aim of Jubilee Year of Mercy is to encourage the faithful to “welcome the numerous signs of the tenderness which God offers to the whole world,” the Pope stressed.

Tags: Holy Year of Mercy

emblem of the Papacy: Triple tiara and keys Fr...

emblem of the Papacy: Triple tiara and keys Français : emblème pontifical Italiano: emblema del Papato Português: Emblema papal. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

via Rome prepares for Holy Year of Mercy – with ice cream :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

 

Saint of the Day for Friday, May 8th, 2015: Saint of the Day for Friday, May 8th, 2015


Image of St. Peter of Tarantaise

St. Peter of Tarantaise

Cistercian archbishop. Peter was born near Vienne, in Dauphine, France, and joined the Cistercian Order at Bonneveaux at the age of twenty with his two brothers and father. Known for his piety, at … continue reading

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today’s holiday/commemoration: White Lotus Day (Death of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky)


White Lotus Day (Death of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky)

The anniversary of the death of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (1831-1891) is commemorated by members of the Theosophical Society, which was founded in New York in 1875 by Blavatsky and Henry Olcott. Olcott and Blavatsky moved to India in 1878, and the international headquarters for the Theosophical movement remains in Adyar (near Madras) today. She completed her most important work, The Secret Doctrine (1888), an overview of Theosophical teachings, along with numerous other books, before her death in 1891. More… Discuss

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today’s word of wisdom: Dalai Lama


Saint of the Day for Thursday, May 7th, 2015: St. Rose Venerini


Image of St. Rose Venerini

St. Rose Venerini

Blessed Rose was born at Viterbo in 1656, the daughter of Godfrey Venerini, a physician. Upon the death of a young man who had been paying court to her, she entered a convent, but after a few months … continue reading

Rose of Viterbo

Rose of Viterbo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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today’s holiday: Festa di San Nicola


Festa di San Nicola

The Festa di San Nicola (Festival of St. Nicholas) is celebrated in Italy on the anniversary of the transfer of the saint’s relics by a group of 11th-century sailors from Bari. Thousands of pilgrims come to the Basilica of San Nicola in Bari, Puglia, to worship at the saint’s tomb and to ask for his help. There is a procession on this day in which a group of Barese sailors take the saint’s image down to the water, where it is placed on a flower-decked boat and taken out to sea. At night the statue is returned to its place of honor on the altar of San Nicola’s crypt. More… Discuss

Pope John Paul II Visits Mosque (2001)


Pope John Paul II Visits Mosque (2001)

When Pope John Paul II visited Syria’s Umayyad Mosque, where the head of John the Baptist—a holy figure in both Christianity and Islam—is said to be interred, he became the first Catholic Pope to enter and pray in an Islamic mosque. The address he delivered there, promoting peace between Muslims and Christians, reflected his ongoing ecumenical efforts, which included meeting with religious leaders from other faiths and denominations. While in Syria, the pope aroused controversy by kissing what? More… Discuss

California’s soon-to-be saint hailed as a man ahead of his time : Bl. Junipero Serra


 

Statue of Fr Junipero Serra, Mission San Juan Bautista California. Credit: Ramon Lomeli via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

  Statue of Fr Junipero Serra, Mission San Juan Bautista California. Credit: Ramon Lomeli via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

California’s soon-to-be saint hailed as a man ahead of his time

Rome, Italy, May 3, 2015 / 05:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Experts in California history, archeology and the life of Bl. Junipero Serra have praised him as a passionate missionary with a vision that extended far beyond his own generation.

“I think that’s a characteristic of great people. They’re not bound up by the restrictions of their generation, they see ahead,” Mons. Francis J. Weber told CNA April 30, in reference to the life of Bl. Junipero Serra.

He compared Serra to former president of the United States Abraham Lincoln, who despite being heavily criticized during his life for working to abolish slavery, “was one of the greatest presidents we’ve ever had. But he was generations ahead of his time.”

“I think you could say that most great people are ahead of their own generation. I would probably say that they see things the way they should be done, but not as they are,” the priest said.

Mons. Weber is the author of more than 100 books, many of which focus on California’s Catholic history, and the former archivist of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

A pupil of the well-known Catholic Church historian John Tracy Ellis, Mons. Weber also taught history at Queen of Angels Seminary in Los Angeles and served as president of the Association of Catholic Diocesan Archivists.

He was one of four panelists present in Rome for an April 30 discussion on the life and legacy of Bl. Junipero Serra, who will be canonized by Pope Francis during his visit to the U.S. in September.

Fr. Serra was born in 1713 on the Spanish island of Majorca in the Mediterranean. He left his position as a university professor to become a missionary to the New World, helping to convert many of the native community to Christianity and teaching them new technologies. The Franciscan priest founded several of the missions that would go on to become the centers of major California cities.

The priest’s mission work often took place despite a painful ulcerated leg which is said to have been caused either by cancer or a spider bite soon after his arrival in Mexico. He died in 1784 at Mission San Carlos Borroméo del Carmelo in what is now the state of California.

St. John Paul II beatified Fr. Serra in 1988. In January, Pope Francis praised the missionary as “the evangelizer of the West” when he announced his intention to canonize him.

In the panel discussion, specific attention was given to Serra’s zeal to be a missionary. Mons. Weber said this can be seen in the priest’s decision to leave his home in Spain despite the fact that he wasn’t young anymore, and knowing that he likely wouldn’t see his aged parents again.

While praising Serra’s visionary perspective and the good that came out of the missions, panelists also addressed criticisms surrounding Serra and the missions in a conversation with journalists after the panel.

Controversy over the canonization has stemmed from claims that Serra’s missions enacted forced labor and conversions as well as corporal punishment. Scholarship on the issue is divided, and Serra supporters contend that many of the accusations against Serra are rife with misinterpretations and factual errors.

Robert Senkewicz, a history professor at Santa Clara University in California and co-author of a newly released 500 page biography on Junipero Serra, was also present at Thursday’s press conference.

He said he’s not surprised that there is contention over Serra’s canonization, and noted that much of the dissatisfaction likely surrounds a history of poor policies the U.S. had toward native Americans in the past.

Inevitably native populations will interpret their past to be a “prison” of previous U.S. policies toward Indians, because “it wasn’t nice,” he said.

“It was a policy of removal and extermination…so I’m not surprised that there’s a lot of dissatisfaction against the canonization Fr. Serra, because Californian Indians are American Indians, and American Indians interpret their past through the most catastrophic parts of it, which were the U.S. policies.”

Ruben Mendoza, an archeology professor at California State University, Monterey Bay, also spoke on the panel from a cultural perspective, being of both Mexican and Indian descent.

With extensive experience in the field of archeology as well as working in the California missions of San Juan Bautista, San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo, Nuestra Senora de la Soledad and the Royal Presidio of Monterey, Mendoza was initially hostile to Serra, but changed his view after studying about the blessed and working in the missions himself.

Mendoza pointed out that despite Serra’s critics, “many of us carry currencies in our pockets that contain the images of individuals who we see as heroes, they were the founders of our country, and yet if we judge them from the perspective of our histories then they were human traffickers.”

These people, he said, “were a whole host of things that today we would not even begin to dream of if we consider ourselves as patriots.”

Mendoza also referred to how some have argued that Serra had sought to be a martyr at one point in his life, saying that if we look at this life, the reality is that “if he had sought martyrdom he would have been mortified.”

Serra, he said, “would have realized that the very people that he loved, that he devoted his life to, would now see him as the culprit in their disintegration.”

“I believe that in the end, by virtue of the very attacks that those descendants bring to the table, they have martyred Junipero Serra and turned him into a saint.”

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