Pope Francis

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Friends of God (85) - Prudence

We would have a mistaken idea of prudence if we thought it faint hearted or lacking in daring. Prudence expresses itself as a habit which inclines us to act well, by shedding light on the end and by helping us to seek the most suitable means of achieving it.

But prudence does not stand highest in the scale of values. We should ask ourselves always: prudence, for what? For there is a false kind of prudence (cunning would be a better name for it) which is at the service of selfishness and is expert in using the best means to achieve warped ends. In such circumstances, cleverness and perspicacity only serve to worsen one's dispositions and to bring upon oneself the reproach St Augustine made in one of his sermons: 'Are you trying to bend the heart of God, which is always upright, so that it may fall in with the perversity of yours?' This is the false prudence of the person who thinks his own efforts are quite sufficient to save him. 'Do not seek to consider yourselves prudent,' says St Paul, 'for it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and the prudence of the prudent.'

Monday, 29 April 2013

Friends of God (84) - Temperance is self-mastery

"I never did like talking about impurity. I would rather consider the rich rewards that temperance brings. I want to see men who are really men, and not slaves to cheap glitter, as worthless as the trinkets that magpies gather. A manly person knows how to do without those things that may harm his soul and he also comes to realise that his sacrifice is more apparent than real; for living this way, with a spirit of sacrifice, means freeing oneself from many kinds of slavery and savouring instead, in the depths of one's heart, the fullness of God's love.

Life then takes on again shades and tones which intemperance had tended to blur. We find ourselves able to care for the needs of others, to share what is ours with everyone, to devote our energies to great causes. Temperance makes the soul sober, modest, understanding. It fosters a natural sense of reserve which everyone finds attractive because it denotes intelligent self control. Temperance does not imply narrowness, but greatness of soul. There is much more deprivation in the intemperate heart which abdicates from self-dominion only to become enslaved to the first caller who comes along ringing some pathetic, tinny cow bell."

Sunday, 28 April 2013


"La crisis económico-social y el consiguiente aumento de la pobreza tiene sus causas en políticas inspiradas en formas de neoliberalismo que consideran las ganancias y las leyes de mercado como parámetros absolutos en detrimento de la dignidad de las personas y de los pueblos."

Papa Francisco

True education for peace

"Cultural institutions, schools and universities have a special mission of peace. They are called to make a notable contribution not only to the formation of new generations of leaders, but also to the renewal of public institutions, both national and international. They can also contribute to a scientific reflection which will ground economic and financial activities on a solid anthropological and ethical basis. Today’s world, especially the world of politics, needs to be sustained by fresh thinking and a new cultural synthesis so as to overcome purely technical approaches and to harmonize the various political currents with a view to the common good. The latter, seen as an ensemble of positive interpersonal and institutional relationships at the service of the integral growth of individuals and groups, is at the basis of all true education for peace."

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Something great and new: Love

"Let me stress this point: it is in the simplicity of your ordinary work, in the monotonous details of each day, that you have to find the secret, which is hidden from so many, of something great and new: Love." (Furrow, 489) 

All of us are called to share the kingdom of heaven — each with his own vocation: in his home, his work, his civic duties and the exercise of his rights. (Christ is Passing By, 44, 1)

Have you seen how that imposing building was built? One brick upon another. Thousands. But, one by one. And bags of cement, one by one. And blocks of stone, each of them insignificant compared with the massive whole. And beams of steel. And men working, the same hours, day after day...

Have you seen how that imposing building was built?... By dint of little things! (The Way, 823)

It is in the greatness of ordinary things that He awaits us! (Furrow, 486)

Friday, 26 April 2013

Oscar Romero and St. Josemaria

We must not seek the child Jesus in the pretty figures of our Christmas cribs. We must seek him among the undernourished children who have gone to bed at night with nothing to eat, among the poor newsboys who will sleep covered with newspapers in doorways.   --Archbishop Oscar Romero, December 24, 1979

Pope Francis has recently expressed interest in expediting Archbishop Oscar Romero's canonization. We offer some facts about Romero's dealings with St. Josemaria and Opus Dei.

Opus Dei -
Recently a number of news stories have spoken of Pope Francis' interest in moving forward the cause of canonization of Oscar Romero, who was assassinated on March 24, 1980 while saying Mass.

Oscar Romero was Archibishop of San Salvador from 1977-1980. He met the founder of Opus Dei in 1970 in Rome. In 1975, after the death of St. Josemaría, he wrote a letter to Pope Paul VI asking for the beatification and canonization of Msgr. Escrivá.

In this letter he said that he was grateful for having known Msgr. Escrivá personally “and for having received from him encouragement and strength to be faithful to the unchangeable doctrine of Christ and to serve the Holy Roman Church with apostolic zeal.

"Msgr. Escrivá’s life was marked by a continuous dialogue with God and a deep humility. One could see that he was a man of God and that he dealt with people with great refinement, affection and good humor. For many years I have been acquainted with the activity of the Work here in El Salvador and can give witness to the supernatural spirit that animates it and the faithfulness to the Magisterium that characterizes it.

"Personally, I owe deep gratitude to the priests involved with the Work, to whom I have entrusted with much satisfaction the spiritual direction of my own life and that of other priests.

"People from all social classes find in Opus Dei a secure orientation for living as children of God in the midst of their daily family and social obligations. And this is doubtless due to the life and teaching of its founder."

Archbishop Romero’s cordial relations with Opus Dei continued right up to the day of his death. Fernando Sáenz, who eventually succeeded him as Archbishop of San Salvador, says that after writing this letter, Archbishop Romero took advantage of being in Rome to pray before the founder’s tomb, and became visibly moved. “His spirituality, in some sense, was nourished by the spirituality of Josemaría Escrivá. He read The Way frequently.”

In his September 6, 1979 Diary entry, Archbishop Romero says that Opus Dei “carries out a silent work of deep spirituality among professional people, university students and laborers…I think this is a mine of wealth for our Church—the holiness of the laity in their own profession.”  

The day he was assassinated, Archbishop Romero spent the morning with Fernando Sáenz at a recollection for priests organized by Opus Dei. Afterwards the Spanish priest accompanied Romero to the church where he was to celebrate Mass. Sáenz recalls: “They killed him during the offering of the bread and wine. It was, as it were, a marvelous external sign of his having offered his life for his people, for the poor, for justice, for peace.”


Curing anger, life is a song

Curing Anger
We all live in the same world, but we meet the different pictures of life. Grumpy man see injustice everywhere. Then express protest to many other people. The protests then invite the anger of others. As a result, everything is on fire. Envious people find that other people are wealthier and having more power. Because of such findings, then they radiate hostility to all direction. This hostility then invite hostility of others. People who are full of compassion find there are many beings that need our help. The poor suffer in poverty, the rich suffer for fear of losing, sick people endure pain, potential suffering happen to the healthy for forgetting to exercise. As a result, compassionate people received hugs of friendship everywhere. Life is like  water meet water. Everything appear to be fountains of coolness.
The difference between these two pictures of life (the one which is hot like fire, the other is like cool water) is simple, how successful one heals anger. In the mind that has not recovered from anger, every movement leads to misery. On the contrary, when the mind is fully recovered from anger, then life is an opportunity to practice the touching compassion. Consequently, all the way is peace, all voice is the song of joy.
And meditation is a tool that can heal the anger. Whenever anger comes, learn to whisper like this: “Breathing in, I recognize there is anger here. Breath out, I’m bigger than anger “. Guiding breath like this is important, because a lot of person who are angry and then dangerous because it does not realize they are angry. In addition, anger is frightening because its energy is greater than the energy of awareness. And the result of meditation, energy of awareness can be much greater than the energy of anger, and finally anger can be like a thief entering an empty house. When there is no time for sitting meditation, one may choose walking meditation. Walk slowly, then realize with footsteps that everything is impermanent, appear and disappear. Anger happens because life is flowing while mind is frozen. Stepping slowly, feel every step passes like water flowing in the river.
Visualization also helps healing the anger. Visualize anger as  a crying baby. And awareness in none other than the mother with a single son. Some people love goddess Kwan Iem. Whenever anger comes, imagine anger is the suffering beings, and awareness is the goddess Kwan Iem gently embracing all suffering. Happiness is charming, but one does not get any lessons from it. Sadness is scary, but grief often guides people to the gates of connectedness. And connectedness is one of the important characteristics of people who are healed already.
Life As Song
Once anger is healed, life has a totally different picture. Joy is a motivational song that makes waking up well-energized. Grief is the song of the universe that calling: “go home”. Since everything sound as song, life becomes a dancing cosmic of connection. Look at the message of St. Catharine of Siena: “Every step of the way to heaven is heaven”. Every step to Nirvana is Nirvana. This coincides with the meditation approach that emphasizes being one with the journey. In a journey like this, every step is peace.
Borrowing the wisdom of the eastern elder, from the beginning, on the way, until the end of it all is joy. Let’s contemplate deeply one of the beautiful lyric of children song: “See my garden full of flowers. Some are white and some are red. All watered daily. Roses and jasmine are all beautiful”. Life is similar to gardening. Not only outside, life is also colorful inside. Sometimes happy sometimes sad. However, do not ever get tired of watering it. Meditation, prayer, puja are sorts of watering the inner garden.  As a result, everything is a cosmic song. Especially when life is seen in the eyes of compassion


To be open and attentive towards others

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Peacemakers are called to cultivate a passion for the common good of the family and for social justice

"I wish to reaffirm forcefully that the various peacemakers are called to cultivate a passion for the common good of the family and for social justice, and a commitment to effective social education.
No one should ignore or underestimate the decisive role of the family, which is the basic cell of society from the demographic, ethical, pedagogical, economic and political standpoints. The family has a natural vocation to promote life: it accompanies individuals as they mature and it encourages mutual growth and enrichment through caring and sharing. The Christian family in particular serves as a seedbed for personal maturation according to the standards of divine love. The family is one of the indispensable social subjects for the achievement of a culture of peace. The rights of parents and their primary role in the education of their children in the area of morality and religion must be safeguarded. It is in the family that peacemakers, tomorrow’s promoters of a culture of life and love, are born and nurtured."

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

We will serve everyone

When a person really lives charity, there is no time left for self seeking. There is no room left for pride. We will not find occasion for anything but service! (The Forge, 683)

If we let Christ reign in our soul, we will not become authoritarian. Rather we will serve everyone. How I like that word: service! To serve my king and, through him, all those who have been redeemed by his blood. (Christ is passing by, 181-182)

Friends of God (83) - We cannot love too much

"The best way of living charity lies in generously outstripping the demands made on us by justice. Such charity will generally go unnoticed, but it is very fruitful in heaven and indeed also on earth. It would be a mistake to think that when expressions such as 'the happy mean' or 'a just mean' are used regarding the moral virtues, they imply mediocrity, or somehow aiming at doing half of what we could do. The mean we are asked to aim at lies midway between excess and defect, and is in fact a summit, a peak: the best course of action, as indicated to us by prudence. Though when it comes to the theological virtues, there is no middle course. We cannot believe, or hope, or love too much. We are called to love God without limit, with a love that overflows to those around us in an abundance of generosity, understanding and charity."

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Peacemakers are called to work together in a spirit of solidarity, from the local to the international level

"In the economic sector, states in particular need to articulate policies of industrial and agricultural development concerned with social progress and the growth everywhere of constitutional and democratic states. The creation of ethical structures for currency, financial and commercial markets is also fundamental and indispensable; these must be stabilized and better coordinated and controlled so as not to prove harmful to the very poor. With greater resolve than has hitherto been the case, the concern of peacemakers must also focus upon the food crisis, which is graver than the financial crisis. The issue of food security is once more central to the international political agenda, as a result of interrelated crises, including sudden shifts in the price of basic foodstuffs, irresponsible behaviour by some economic actors and insufficient control on the part of governments and the international community. To face this crisis, peacemakers are called to work together in a spirit of solidarity, from the local to the international level, with the aim of enabling farmers, especially in small rural holdings, to carry out their activity in a dignified and sustainable way from the social, environmental and economic points of view."

Monday, 22 April 2013

Friends of God (83) - Each single soul is a masterpiece of God's making

"If we are truthful we will practice justice. I could go on talking about justice and never tire, but here we can only outline a few of its characteristics, bearing in mind that the purpose of the considerations I have been making is to build a real and genuine interior life upon the deep foundations of the human virtues. Justice means giving to each his due. I would however go further and say that this is not enough. However much a particular person is due, we must be ready to give him more, because each single soul is a masterpiece of God's making."

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Vatican holds major conference on faith in Asia. Inhuman and scandalous forms of poverty and exclusion exist, says cardinal.


Vatican City: 
Asia’s rapid growth and increasing inequality as a result are weakening spiritual life and posing a challenge which Asia’s many faiths could and should face together, Cardinal Fernando Filoni said at the end of a major Vatican conference this week.

Held at the Pontifical Urbaniana University which trains priests from mission areas, the conference on the Asian Church and its future ended on Wednesday with a call for all religions to face these challenges together with a common sense of “authenticity” and “purpose.”

Cardinal Filoni said while economic growth had “increased the material means available” to Asians, this progress has not been followed with an equal distribution of goods.

“Inhuman and scandalous forms of poverty and exclusion [still exist],” he said.

Affluence has also meant problems for spirituality including immorality, lack of attention to human life and suicides, added the cardinal.

In a strong statement on interfaith collaboration, Cardinal Filoni said that dialogue between different religions in Asia had a “social and political color since it is aimed to develop policies and strategies for the common good… promoting a culture of empathy and compassion.”

The conference was aimed at drawing up a blueprint for Catholic missionary action in Asia and included representatives of faiths including Hinduism, Islam and Buddhism as well as experts from Italy, the Vatican and 10 different countries in the Asian region.


Saturday, 20 April 2013

Love one another, help one another

How very insistent the Apostle Saint John was in preaching the mandatum novum, the new commandment that we should love one another. I would fall on my knees, without putting on any act but this is what my heart dictates and ask you, for the love of God, to love one another, to help one another, to lend one another a hand, to know how to forgive one another. And so, reject all pride, be compassionate, show charity; help each other with prayer and sincere friendship. (The Forge, 454)


The religions of the vast continent face the challenges of globalization

2013-04-19 L’Osservatore Romano

"The globalization of the world and the rapid processes of social, economic and cultural transformation put fundamental questions to the historical beliefs that have developed in Asia. The basic question can be expressed in these words: how can we pass on our patrimony of beliefs, values, and expressions of worship in today's specific contexts, in which age-old traditions coexist de facto with new cultural forms, determined by the dissemination of technology at all levels, by spreading urbanization, by the imbalance in the processes of economic development in various nations, and by the economic and political interconnection between States and socio-cultural blocs? In the past the way led most frequently from the West to the East; today I would say a new trend is crystallizing. It moves from East to West, and this is not only because of migratory flows, tourism or business. Societies have opened up and many barriers have been surmounted, whether or not political and religious corporate elites like it. Actually, I must say that the Great Wall of China was never really effective as a means of political and military defence but was certainly far more so in terms of symbolism and identity. Cultural tradition is of course the mother of all knowledge and often of identity, but today it is harshly tried by contemporaneity. What synthesis will result from it? It should be said that this synthesis is acquiring a form, even if we do not always succeed in perceiving it outright. Therefore, what society will we have? How will religions be able to respond? There is no doubt that from now on we will not only be listening to Asia, which implies the attitude to Asia of the non-Asian (one way), but to an Asia that hears and will make itself heard (two way), and will also tell us what paths lead to faith."

The love

"We have to dare like Jesus and the first Christian community to first open our hearts to receive the unconditional forgiveness and love that God keeps pouring and to share that love with all. In this we too make no distinction between nation, race, tribe and language. In this we do not discriminate between them and we, for all are invited to partake of this gracious love of God made manifest and revealed in Jesus."


Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health

Basilica view, facing the eastern side, Bay of Bengal
The Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health is located at the small town of Velankanni in the state of Tamil Nadu in southern India. The Roman CatholicLatin RiteBasilica is devoted to Our Lady of Good Health. Devotion to Our Lady of Good Health of Velankanni can be traced to the mid-16th century and is attributed to three miracles at sites around where the Basilica stands: the apparition of Mary and the Christ Child to a slumbering shepherd boy, the curing of a lame buttermilk vendor, and the rescue of Portuguese sailors from a violent sea storm.[1]
Although all three apparitions ultimately resulted in the erection of a shrine to Mary, it was the promise of the Portuguese sailors that was the proximate cause of a permanent edifice being built at Velankanni. The chapel was dedicated on the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (September 8), the day of their safe landing. More than 500 years later, the nine-day festival and celebration is still observed and draws nearly 2 million pilgrims each year. The Shrine of Our Lady of Vailankanni, also known as the "Lourdes of the East,"[2] is one of the most-frequented religious sites in India.


Friday, 19 April 2013

True and lasting success is attained through the gift of ourselves

"In order to emerge from the present financial and economic crisis – which has engendered ever greater inequalities – we need people, groups and institutions which will promote life by fostering human creativity, in order to draw from the crisis itself an opportunity for discernment and for a new economic model. The predominant model of recent decades called for seeking maximum profit and consumption, on the basis of an individualistic and selfish mindset, aimed at considering individuals solely in terms of their ability to meet the demands of competitiveness. Yet, from another standpoint, true and lasting success is attained through the gift of ourselves, our intellectual abilities and our entrepreneurial skills, since a “liveable” or truly human economic development requires the principle of gratuitousness as an expression of fraternity and the logic of gift. 
Concretely, in economic activity, peacemakers are those who establish bonds of fairness and reciprocity with their colleagues, workers, clients and consumers. They engage in economic activity for the sake of the common good and they experience this commitment as something transcending their self-interest, for the benefit of present and future generations. Thus they work not only for themselves, but also to ensure for others a future and a dignified employment."

Friends of God (82) - The Truth

"There are many people, Christians or not, who are ready to sacrifice honour and reputation for the sake of the truth, people who aren't always feverishly turning this way and that in search of 'the warmest place in the sun'. These are the very people who, because they love the truth, are happy to put things right when they discover they have made a mistake; whereas those who begin by lying, those for whom the truth has become merely a high-sounding word to cover up their baseness, such people refuse to make amends."

St. Josemaría Escrivá

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Graha Maria Annai Velangkanni

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Medan's new Catholic temple Graha Maria
Since 2005, a catholic temple, in Indo-Mogul style, devoted to Graha Maria Annai Velangkanni (Our Lady of Good Health), is built in Medan, Indonesia. This particular Saint knows its origin with an apparition in the 17th century in India. The temple is an imposing building, of two storeys and a small tower of seven storeys in Indonesian style, that already attracts attention from the main road (it is situated in the small road Jl. Sakura III besides Jl. Simatupang). It is important pilgrimage site in Asia.


Friends of God (82) - Truthfulness

"In order to practice the human virtues, we need to make a sustained effort, since it is not easy to maintain a spirit of honesty and integrity for any length of time when faced with situations that seem to put our own safety at risk. Take truthfulness, a virtue so clean and pure. Can it be true that it has fallen into disuse? Has the practice of compromise, of 'gilding the pill' and 'putting on a show' finally triumphed? People are afraid of the truth and to justify their attitude they make the shabby excuse that no one practices or tells the truth any more, that everyone has to resort to pretend and lies."

St. Josemaría Escrivá

Friends of God (81) - Our ordinary activities are not an insignificant matter

"Our Lord, perfect man in every way, chose a manual trade and carried it out attentively and lovingly for almost the entirety of the years he spent on this earth. He worked as a craftsman among the other people in his village. This human and divine activity of his shows us clearly that our ordinary activities are not an insignificant matter. Rather they are the very hinge on which our sanctity turns, and they offer us constant opportunities of meeting God, and of praising him and glorifying him through our intellectual or manual work."

St. Josemaría Escrivá

Sunday, 14 April 2013

The laity is a core part of the church and it should fulfill its responsibility to bear the witness of Christ to the world

Archbishop Francis Kallarackal of Verapoly has urged the laity to fulfill its responsibility toward the Church.

“The laity is a core part of the church and it should fulfill its responsibility to bear the witness of Christ to the world,” he said Friday during the inauguration of the three-day Kerala Catholic Laity Assembly 2013 in Kochi.

He asked the laity to use the powers of sacrifice and love to spread the message and words of Christ to ward off evil in the world.

“The laity’s voice will be heard,” the prelate said, adding that people should be careful to follow what they preach.

“If your deeds follow your words, your voice will come across strongly to the public. This will also help in strengthening the progress of the Church,” he said. He also referred to the experience of the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah and the strong prophetic messages of Christ during the inauguration.

The assembly discussed the roles conferred on the laity at the Second Vatican Council and the issues plaguing the Dalit Christians in India. There were also discussions on the Christians’ role in social development, history. Justice Cyriac Joseph, parliamentarian Charles Dias, Bishop Varghese Chakkalackal (Laity Commission, Chairman), Bishop Mathew Anikuzhikattil ( Laity Commission, Vice-Chairman) were also present at the assembly.


Saturday, 13 April 2013

A new model of development is needed

"In many quarters it is now recognized that a new model of development is needed, as well as a new approach to the economy. Both integral, sustainable development in solidarity and the common good require a correct scale of goods and values which can be structured with God as the ultimate point of reference. It is not enough to have many different means and choices at one’s disposal, however good these may be. Both the wide variety of goods fostering development and the presence of a wide range of choices must be employed against the horizon of a good life, an upright conduct that acknowledges the primacy of the spiritual and the call to work for the common good. Otherwise they lose their real value, and end up becoming new idols."

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

The right to work

"One of the social rights and duties most under threat today is the right to work. The reason for this is that labour and the rightful recognition of workers’ juridical status are increasingly undervalued, since economic development is thought to depend principally on completely free markets. Labour is thus regarded as a variable dependent on economic and financial mechanisms. In this regard, I would reaffirm that human dignity and economic, social and political factors, demand that we continue to prioritize the goal of access to steady employment for everyone. If this ambitious goal is to be realized, one prior condition is a fresh outlook on work, based on ethical principles and spiritual values that reinforce the notion of work as a fundamental good for the individual, for the family and for society. Corresponding to this good are a duty and a right that demand courageous new policies of universal employment."

Monday, 8 April 2013

Social rights and duties are fundamental for the full realization of other rights and duties

Peacemakers must also bear in mind that, in growing sectors of public opinion, the ideologies of radical liberalism and technocracy are spreading the conviction that economic growth should be pursued even to the detriment of the state’s social responsibilities and civil society’s networks of solidarity, together with social rights and duties. It should be remembered that these rights and duties are fundamental for the full realization of other rights and duties, starting with those which are civil and political.

Friends of God (81) - The diligent man does not rush into things

A hardworking person makes good use of time, for time is not only money, it is glory, God's glory! He does as he ought and concentrates on what he is doing, not out of routine nor to while away the passing hours, but as the result of attentive and pondered reflection. This is what makes a man diligent. Our everyday usage of this word 'diligent' already gives us some idea of its Latin origin. 'Diligent' comes from the verb diligo, which means to love, to appreciate, to choose something after careful consideration and attention. The diligent man does not rush into things. He does his work thoughtfully and lovingly.

St. Josemaría Escrivá

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Catholics and public back dockers' strike

Catholics and public back dockers' strike

Hong Kong sees rare display of worker unrest
ucanews.com reporter, Hong Kong
Hong Kong
2013-04-05 15:56:18
Catholic Church News Image of
Dock workers' representatives outside the terminal
Two diocesan commissions today called for Catholic support for dockworkers who have been on strike since March 28.
Hundreds of stevedores have remained outside the terminal even in pouring rain this week to demand a pay rise, which would be only their second in 10 years. 
In the diocesan weekly published today, the Justice and Peace and the Labor Affairs commissions gave their support to the workers, citing concern over conditions, including 12-hour days and low wages. 
The Hong Kong Labor Department arranged a meeting yesterday between the strikers and the labor subcontractors for a terminal owned by Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing, but no resolution was reached.
“Our 10 representatives waited for two and a half hours, and only one of the four contractors came for the negotiation,” said dockworker Ah Fai, adding he expects the strike will go on for at least one more week.
The workers are reportedly demanding a 20 percent pay raise, making up for cuts over the past few years. 
Labor strikes are rare in Hong Kong. The last was a strike by structural steel workers in 2007 that lasted 36 days.
So far, more than HK$2 million (US$258,000) has been donated by a public sympathetic to the dockworkers, who say current salaries are effectively lower than in 1997. 
Hong Kong is the third busiest port in the world, moving 17 million containers in 2012.


Eu amei e amo o homem Joseph Ratzinger, que a delicadeza da sua alma tornou tão hesitante, reservado, indeciso, mais pronto a ir embora do que a mandar embora!

Jesuíta, biblista, profundo conhecedor de Israel, amigo do cardeal Carlo Maria Martini nos anos de Jerusalém, hoje professor emérito da Gregoriana de Roma: são muitos os motivos que fazem de Francesco Rossi De Gasperis um observador renomado dos assuntos eclesiais. Com o consenso do autor, publicamos esta carta em que ele comenta os dois eventos extraordinários das duas últimas semanas: a renúncia de Bento XVI e a eleição de Francisco, primeiro papa jesuíta da história da Igreja.

A carta foi publicada na revista Popoli, dos jesuítas italianos, 05-04-2013. A tradução é de Moisés Sbardelotto.

Eis o texto.

Há apenas poucos minutos, o helicóptero do Papa Bento XVI se elevou do Vaticano, justamente aqui perto da nossa casa, direto a Castel Gandolfo.

Eu amei e amo o homem Joseph Ratzinger, que a delicadeza da sua alma tornou tão hesitante, reservado, indeciso, mais pronto a ir embora do que a mandar embora! Ele nutria sentimentos lucidamente claros, como se lê neste seu livro de 1969:
"Da crise de hoje emergirá uma Igreja que terá perdido muito. Tornar-se-á pequena e terá que recomeçar mais ou menos desde o início. Não será mais capaz de habitar nos edifícios que construiu em tempos de prosperidade. Com a diminuição dos seus fiéis, ela também perder[a grande parte dos privilégios sociais. Recomeçará a partir de pequenos grupos, de movimentos e de uma minoria que colocará novamente a Fé no centro da experiência. Será uma Igreja mais espiritual, que não se arrogará um mandato político flertando ora com a Esquerda e ora com a Direita. Será pobre e se tornará a Igreja dos indigentes. Então as pessoas verão aquele pequeno rebanho de fiéis como algo completamente novo: descobri-lo-ão como uma esperança para si mesmos, a resposta que buscaram em segredo" (Joseph Ratzinger, 24 de dezembro de 1969: conclusão do ciclo de lições radiofônicas na Hessian Rundfunk, republicadas no livro Faith and the Future, publicada pela Ignatius Press).
Para um homem que alimenta essa esperança, a vida no Vaticano tinha que ser uma penitência dilacerante. Quer a sua profecia fosse iluminada ou não, ele ofereceu à Igreja uma contribuição decisiva para torná-la universalmente visível e sensível – como o barulho das hélices do seu helicóptero –, apresentando a sua renúncia como bispo de Roma, ou seja, como papa. O seu sucessor parece se mover em sintonia perfeita com a discrição com que utiliza o vocabulário "papal", confiando-se com mais gosto ao neotestamentário "episcopal", de bispo de Roma, ou seja, "bispo da Igreja de Deus peregrina em Roma", como se lê na Primeira Carta de Clemente à Igreja de Deus peregrina em Corinto.

O "papa" não é, de fato, "o chefe supremo de uma Igreja universal", além de ser o bispo da Igreja de Roma, mas a natureza universalmente primazial do ministério petrino deriva-lhe justamente do fato de ele ser o bispo da Igreja em que brilharam as testemunhas do martírio de Pedro e de Paulo, a Igreja "que preside no lugar da região dos romanos, digna de Deus, digna de honra, digna de bem-aventurança, digno de louvor, bem ordenada, casta e que preside na caridade, tendo a lei de Cristo e o nome do Pai ", como diz Inácio de Antioquia.

Essa, segundo Irineu de Lyon, "é a Igreja maior e mais antiga, conhecida por todos e estabelecida em Roma pelos dois gloriosos apóstolos Pedro e Paulo". Portanto, a ela cabe um papel proeminente (uma potentior principalitas), porque nela desde sempre foi conservada a tradição que vem dos Apóstolos.

O "papado", como se fala hoje, é um dado sociológico e cultural, com o qual a Igreja Romana parece sobrecarregada no seu segundo milênio, e especialmente desde 1870, quando, após o Concílio Ecumênico Vaticano I, Pedro apareceu isolado da colegialidade episcopal, como se fosse o pároco de todas as Igrejas da terra, substituto de todos os seus bispos, sacralizado como um monarca absolutamente autorreferencial, como um sultão ou um poderoso imperador, muito distante do Pedro dos Evangelhos e do Novo Testamento, que sempre aparece no meio dos seus irmãos, os Doze e os outros que estão com eles (cf. Lc 24, 33; At 1, 15).

Joseph Ratzinger reconduziu retamente o ministério de Pedro ao seu significado sacramental, de "sinal sensível, destinado a passar e não sacral", do único "Pastor supremo das ovelhas" (Hb 13, 20), o Senhor Jesus Cristo ressuscitado, o Arcipreste (1Pd 5, 4) e o único "Sacerdos magnus" (Hb 4, 14) à frente do comum "sacerdócio real" de todos nós, "nação santa, povo adquirido por Deus, para proclamar as obras maravilhosas daquele que nos chamou das trevas para a sua luz maravilhosa." (1Pd 2, 5.9; cf. Ap 1, 6; 5, 10; 20,6).

Sem nenhum acordo prévio, mas apenas obedecendo ao Espírito, o Papa Francisco começa a falar com os seus gestos e as suas palavras a língua neotestamentária e plana do "ministério petrino", que tanto intriga os jornalistas e outros nostálgicos de cortes medievais e de senhorios renascentistas.

O Senhor nos dê a graça de retomar sem hesitação o ritmo do Concílio Vaticano II, livres das sutilezas das disputas sobre a continuidade ou a descontinuidade com o único Evangelho de Jesus, interpretado a partir do nobre palácio da Porciúncula do Poverello.


Sadness is the end product of selfishness

Being children of God, how can we be sad? Sadness is the end product of selfishness. If we truly want to live for God, we will never lack cheerfulness, even when we discover our errors and wretchedness. Cheerfulness finds its way into our life of prayer, so much so that we cannot help singing for joy. For we are in love, and singing is a thing that lovers do.


Saturday, 6 April 2013

Go Out Into The Whole World

April 6, Saturday  Mark 16: 9-15
“Go Out Into The Whole World”

In all likelihood this conclusion to Mark’s Gospel was not written by Mark himself, but later added as a ‘rounding off’ and summary of all the Easter appearances of Jesus.

Thus in this passage we have in abbreviated form the appearance to Mary Magdalene and to the two disciples at Emmaus; the appearance to the Eleven, and the mission to proclaim the Good News; and finally, a quick statement about the Ascension of the Lord.

Today we tend to see the Resurrection and the Ascension as two distinct events, separated in time. This is not so. Both Resurrection and Ascension, although celebrated in two different liturgical feasts, are in fact a single expression of the glory and exaltation of the Lord Jesus after his passion and death. Some Gospel writers see the moment of Jesus’s death as his moment of exaltation.

Others present it as “being taken up into heaven” physically. Still others use the term “seated at the right hand of God”, an allusion to a king’s coronation. In every instance writers are grappling to express a spiritual reality in terms which make sense to us on earth. The descriptions they use are diverse; the meaning they express is the same.

And what is that ? The Risen Lord Jesus is now Spirit and sends his spirit of empowerment upon all his disciples, giving them the same mission that he had – to proclaim the Good News to all creation, inviting all mankind to a new life in Jesus through baptism in his name.

To sanctify

"You and I must therefore seek to make use of even the most trifling opportunities that come our way, to sanctify them, to sanctify ourselves and to sanctify those who share with us the same daily cares, sensing in our lives the sweet and inspiring burden of the work of co‑redemption. (Friends of God, 8-9)"


Thursday, 4 April 2013

The faith is professed with the lips and with the heart, through words and through love

A fé se professa com a boca e com o coração, com a palavra e com o amor

La fe se profesa con la boca y con el corazón, con la palabra y con el amor

La foi se professe par la bouche et par le cœur, par la parole et par l’amour

La fede si professa con la bocca e con il cuore, con la parola e con l’amore

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Friends of God (81) - To make good use of the talents we have each received from God

"There are two human virtues, industriousness and diligence, which merge into one, for they both help us in our efforts to make good use of the talents we have each received from God. They are virtues because they lead us to finish things properly. As I have been preaching since 1928, work is not a curse; nor is it a punishment for sin. Genesis had already spoken about the fact of work before ever Adam rebelled against God. According to Our Lord's plans work was to be a permanent feature of man who, through work, would cooperate in the immense task of creation."

St. Josemaría Escrivá

The path to the attainment of the common good and to peace

"The path to the attainment of the common good and to peace is above all that of respect for human life in all its many aspects, beginning with its conception, through its development and up to its natural end. True peacemakers, then, are those who love, defend and promote human life in all its dimensions, personal, communitarian and transcendent. Life in its fullness is the height of peace. Anyone who loves peace cannot tolerate attacks and crimes against life.
Those who insufficiently value human life and, in consequence, support among other things the liberalization of abortion, perhaps do not realize that in this way they are proposing the pursuit of a false peace. The flight from responsibility, which degrades human persons, and even more so the killing of a defenceless and innocent being, will never be able to produce happiness or peace. Indeed how could one claim to bring about peace, the integral development of peoples or even the protection of the environment without defending the life of those who are weakest, beginning with the unborn. Every offence against life, especially at its beginning, inevitably causes irreparable damage to development, peace and the environment. Neither is it just to introduce surreptitiously into legislation false rights or freedoms which, on the basis of a reductive and relativistic view of human beings and the clever use of ambiguous expressions aimed at promoting a supposed right to abortion and euthanasia, pose a threat to the fundamental right to life."


A little leaven is enough to leaven all the dough

"Compared with the total population of the world, even though there are millions of us, we are few in number. We must therefore see ourselves as a tiny measure of yeast, prepared and ready to do good to the whole of mankind, remembering the words of the Apostle: ‘a little leaven is enough to leaven all the dough’,  transforming it completely. We have to learn to become that yeast, that leaven, and so modify and transform the multitude."


Monday, 1 April 2013

There is nothing further from the christian faith than fanaticism

"There is nothing further from the christian faith than fanaticism — that unholy alliance of the sacred and the profane, whatever guise it takes. That danger just does not exist if we understand our struggle as Christ has taught us to: as a war each of us makes on himself. It is a constantly renewed effort to love God better, to root out selfishness, to serve all men. Turning your back on this conflict, no matter what the excuse, means surrendering before you have begun to fight. Anyone who does so is brought low, without faith, depressed in his heart, blown this way and that by miserable pleasures."


Accept the risen Jesus into your life

Aceita Jesus Ressuscitado na tua vida

Acoge a Jesús resucitado en tu vida

Accepte Jésus Ressuscité dans ta vie

Accetta Gesù Risorto nella tua vita

In the pursuit of peace

"Peace is principally the attainment of the common good in society at its different levels, primary and intermediary, national, international and global. Precisely for this reason it can be said that the paths which lead to the attainment of the common good are also the paths that must be followed in the pursuit of peace."