(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Saturday evening told future nuns and
priests and consecrated laypeople to keep “freshness” and “joy” in their
lives, as he said: “There is no sadness in holiness”. Speaking to
participants in a four-day international event for Seminarians, Novices
and those on a vocational journey, Francis gave an off-the-cuff lecture
to seminarians and novices from across the globe, gathered in the Paul
VI Hall. In his remarks, the Pope urged those present not to be
tempted by a culture that exalts provisional values, and he told them to
avoid trappings like the latest smartphones and expensive cars so they
can devote more resources to help the poor. “It is not you that I
reproach” said the Pope, and he specified that it is today’s culture of
the provisional of which we are all victims that does not help us:
“because in this day and age it is very difficult to make a definitive
choice”. He pointed out that when he was young it was easier because the
culture of the time favoured definitive choices, be it in conjugal
life, in consecrated life or in priestly life. But today – he said “it
is not easy to make a definitive choice. We are victims of this culture
of the provisional”. And then Pope Francis took seminarians and
novices to task for being “too serious, too sad”. ``Something's not
right here,'' Francis told them pointing out that `'There is no sadness
in holiness,'' and adding that such clergy lack `'the joy of the Lord.'' “To become a priest or a religious is not primarily our choice; it is our answer to a calling, a calling of love”.
you find a seminarian, priest, nun, with a long, sad face, if it seems
as if in their life someone threw a wet blanket over them,'' then one
should conclude `'it's a psychiatric problem, they can leave - `buenos
dias’”. And he highlighted the fact that he wasn't talking about
superficial joy - `'the thrill of a moment doesn't really make us
happy,'' warning against the temptation to seek `'the joy of the world
in the latest smartphone, the fastest car.''
“It hurts my heart
when I see a priest or a nun with the latest model of car” he said. And
Francis continued saying “cars are necessary. But take a more humble
one. Think of how many children die of hunger' and dedicate the savings
to them”. Urging all those with vocations to be authentic and true,
the Pope also reminded them never to be afraid to recognise their own
sins. And speaking of their formation, Francis said there are four
fundamental pillars: spiritual formation; intellectual formation;
apostolic life – during which one must go forth and announce the Gospel;
and community living. “On these four pillars” – Pope Francis said “you
must build your vocations”. During his remarks, Pope Francis also
praised the late Mother Teresa, who cared for the most impoverished sick
of Calcutta, India, and held her up as a courageous example. “I would
like a more missionary church,”' the pope told the young people “'Not so
much a tranquil church, but a beautiful church that goes forward.”
(Vatican Radio) Here are eight significant quotes from the first Encyclical of Pope Francis: Lumen Fidei (The Light of Faith)
From Paragraph 4: “The light of faith is unique, since it is capable of
illuminating every aspect of human existence. A light this powerful
cannot come from ourselves but from a more primordial source: in a word,
it must come from God. Faith is born of an encounter with the living
God who calls us and reveals his love, a love which precedes us and upon
which we can lean for security and for building our lives. Transformed
by this love, we gain fresh vision, new eyes to see; we realize that it
contains a great promise of fulfilment, and that a vision of the future
opens up before us.”
2. From Paragraph 16: “If laying down one’s
life for one’s friends is the greatest proof of love (cf. Jn 15:13),
Jesus offered his own life for all, even for his enemies, to transform
their hearts. This explains why the evangelists could see the hour of
Christ’s crucifixion as the culmination of the gaze of faith; in that
hour the depth and breadth of God’s love shone forth.”
Paragraph 18: “In many areas in our lives we trust others who know more
than we do. We trust the architect who builds our home, the pharmacist
who gives us medicine for healing, the lawyer who defends us in court.
We also need someone trustworthy and knowledgeable where God is
concerned. Jesus, the Son of God, is the one who makes God known to us
(cf. Jn 1:18). Christ’s life, his way of knowing the Father and living
in complete and constant relationship with him, opens up new and
inviting vistas for human experience.”
4. From Paragraph 25: “In
contemporary culture, we often tend to consider the only real truth to
be that of technology: truth is what we succeed in building and
measuring by our scientific know-how, truth is what works and what makes
life easier and more comfortable. Nowadays this appears as the only
truth that is certain, the only truth that can be shared, the only truth
that can serve as a basis for discussion or for common undertakings.
Yet at the other end of the scale we are willing to allow for subjective
truths of the individual, which consist in fidelity to his or her
deepest convictions, yet these are truths valid only for that individual
and not capable of being proposed to others in an effort to serve the
common good. But Truth itself, the truth which would comprehensively
explain our life as individuals and in society, is regarded with
5. From Paragraph 26: “Faith transforms the whole person
precisely to the extent that he or she becomes open to love. Through
this blending of faith and love we come to see the kind of knowledge
which faith entails, its power to convince and its ability to illumine
our steps. Faith knows because it is tied to love, because love itself
brings enlightenment. Faith’s understanding is born when we receive the
immense love of God which transforms us inwardly and enables us to see
reality with new eyes.”
6. From Paragraph 46: “The Decalogue is not a
set of negative commands, but concrete directions for emerging from the
desert of the selfish and self-enclosed ego in order to enter into
dialogue with God, to be embraced by his mercy and then to bring that
mercy to others. Faith thus professes the love of God, origin and
upholder of all things, and lets itself be guided by this love in order
to journey towards the fullness of communion with God. The Decalogue
appears as the path of gratitude, the response of love, made possible
because in faith we are receptive to the experience of God’s
transforming love for us.”
7. From Paragraph 52: “The first
setting in which faith enlightens the human city is the family. I think
first and foremost of the stable union of man and woman in marriage.
This union is born of their love, as a sign and presence of God’s own
love, and of the acknowledgment and acceptance of the goodness of sexual
differentiation, whereby spouses can become one flesh (cf. Gen 2:24)
and are enabled to give birth to a new life, a manifestation of the
Creator’s goodness, wisdom and loving plan.”
8. From Paragraph 57:
“Faith is not a light which scatters all our darkness, but a lamp which
guides our steps in the night and suffices for the journey. To those who
suffer, God does not provide arguments which explain everything;
rather, his response is that of an accompanying presence, a history of
goodness which touches every story of suffering and opens up a ray of
light. In Christ, God himself wishes to share this path with us and to
offer us his gaze so that we might see the light within it. Christ is
the one who, having endured suffering, is “the pioneer and perfecter of
our faith” (Heb 12:2).”
Nietzsche, the pioneer of non-faith for our era. Humanity renounced the search for a great light. This light is as a "spark, which then becomes a burning flame and like a heavenly star within me glimmers."
The light of Faith transforms those who love.
Unless you believe in this light, you will not understand.
With light, we associate "love" with "truth."
Faith and Reason always work together under the light.
Faith implies a journey and a discovery. Faith itself is not the completion or the arrival. It's a journey under the light.
Faith is always communal. This means that faith always requires the Church in the light.
Since we live in time, the faith is handed down in community.
The sacraments are the chief means by which the light of faith is transmitted to others and through time.
Francis’ first encyclical entitled "Lumen fidei" or “The Light of
Faith” was released Friday at a press conference in the Vatican. The
document completes the trilogy of papal teachings on the three
theological virtues, begun by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI who issued his
encyclicals "Deus Caritas Est" on Charity in 2005 and "Spe Salvi" on
Hope in 2007.
Bringing the Word of God in the context in which we live, speaking of
Christ and what he represents for us with our families and with those
who are part of our daily lives. For Msgr. Percival Fernandez, former
auxiliary bishop of Mumbai, these are the teachings of Saint Josemaría
Escrivá on which we must build on the Year of Faith. In honor of the
founder of Opus Dei, whose liturgical feast falls on June 26, the bishop
celebrated a Mass in the church of St. Andrew in Bandra (Mumbai) on
Canonized by John Paul II on October 6, 2002, St. Josemaria Escriva
de Balaguer founded the Personal Prelature of Opus Dei in 1928. The
Spanish priest preached the universal call to holiness, affirming the
importance of work as a means of personal holiness and apostolate, when
lived in union with Christ.
According to Msgr. Fernandez the most significant lesson that the
founder of Opus Dei has left us is his being "a saint of ordinary life."
In times "afflicted with a secularization of society, by a crisis of
faith, by a religious indifference and relativism, St. Josemaría Escrivá
teaches all of us to seek and find God in our lives, in our work, in
our families and in our friendships, to live the Gospel in a simple way.
"Because we are in the middle Year of Faith - said the bishop to
the faithful - we pray through the intercession of St. Josemaría, to
help us not only to hear the Word of God, but to live it in a genuine
way in our communities".
Des personnes qui tentent désespérément d'atteindre un autre
pays, fuyant les persécutions, les violations des droits humains, une
guerre civile, ou qui sont simplement à la recherche de meilleures
opportunités économiques pour faire vivre leur famille. Lampedusa est
une île italienne à 110 kilomètres de la Tunisie, où la migration
irrégulière et les migrations forcées sont une réalité. Ce
phénomène concerne des êtres humains qui ont un visage, qui sont à la
recherche d'un nouveau départ, et qui se tournent vers nous et
attendent une réponse de notre part.
Lampedusa n'est que l'un des nombreux carrefours sur la planète où
confluent des mondes divers. En effet, l'itinéraire vaste et complexe
des réfugiés s'étend à ceux qui se dirigent en bateau vers l'Australie,
le Yémen, l'Italie ou Malte; qui traversent en camion le désert du
Sahara du Nord; qui parcourent à pied le désert du Mexique vers les
Etats-Unis; qui franchissent les fleuves pour entrer en Afrique du Sud
par le Zimbabwe ou qui quittent l'Afghanistan à travers la Turquie, vers
la Grèce. Ces formes de flux migratoires sont un phénomène mondial.
La présence du Pape François à Lampedusa sera un signe puissant pour
rappeler l'attention de tous et certainement pour communiquer que la
bonne nouvelle de Jésus s'adresse à chaque vie et à chaque situation.
Précisément comme le Pape lui-même l'avait dit: « N’oubliez pas la chair
du Christ qui est dans la chair des réfugiés: leur chair est la chair
du Christ » (Discours aux participants à l'assemblée plénière du
Conseil pontifical pour la pastorale des migrants et des personnes en
déplacement, 24 mai 2013). Le Christ est présent sur l'île dans
ceux qui sont arrivés, mais également dans la population locale qui les
accueille. A Lampedusa, comme partout dans le monde, les défis sont
affrontés par la population locale, qui en est parfois submergée et qui
doit accueillir de grands nombres de nouveaux venus inattendus. « Au fil
des ans, innombrables sont les exemples d’altruisme et d’actions
héroïques de la part de membres des Eglises locales qui ont reçu des
personnes déracinées de force, parfois même aux prix de leurs vies et de
leurs propriétés. Offrir l’hospitalité signifie repenser et revoir sans
cesse les priorités » (Conseil pontifical pour la pastorale des
migrants et des personnes en déplacement, document Accueillir Jésus Christ dans les réfugiés et les personnes déracinées de force, orientations pastorales,
n. 84; année 2013). Ce phénomène rappelle également l'attention sur
ceux qui se prodiguent pour leur venir en aide. Le secours en mer est un
événement habituel. Souvent, ce sont les pécheurs et les marins qui les
premiers, mettent leur vie en péril et vont au secours de ceux qui
sont en danger sur des embarcations surchargées et en très mauvais état.
Il y a plusieurs années, le prix Nansen pour les réfugiés a été remis à
l'armateur, au capitaine et à l'équipage du porte-container norvégien
MV Tampa, qui avait sauvé 438 demandeurs d'asile dans l'Océan indien.
Les pécheurs italiens sentent l'obligation morale d'aider les personnes à
la merci des flots, quoi qu'en disent les autorités. Voilà pourquoi il
est significatif qu'à Lampedusa, les pécheurs et leurs barques
accompagneront le Saint-Père au port. Cette solidarité en mer peut être
un encouragement en vue d'améliorer le bien-être des demandeurs d'asile
et des personnes déplacées, en dépit des coûts élevés pour les personnes
Toutefois, il faut s'interroger sur les comportements des
gouvernements, en particulier en ce qui concerne les conditions et les
lieux à l'intérieur du pays réservés à ces personnes déplacées. Il
s'agit des confins extrêmes d'une nation, de camps de réfugiés dans le
désert ou sur une île perdue loin de la terre ferme. On se demande s'il
ne serait pas plus adapté de les accueillir dans d'autres zones. Ces
questions ne peuvent certainement pas être évitées par les gouvernements
Les réfugiés et les demandeurs d'asiles devraient voir leurs droits
respectifs garantis. S'ils ont le droit de fuir pour sauver leur vie, on
devrait également leur donner le droit d'avoir accès à l'asile dans le
pays d'arrivée. En outre, tous les autres droits de protection devraient
être appliqués. Le droit de libre circulation et le droit au travail
doivent être appliqués et ultérieurement étendus. Les gouvernements
devraient protéger ceux qui fuient les violences, les persécutions et
les discriminations. Au cours des années, les Etats ont élargi le
concept de réfugié afin de répondre au défi actuel, et la législation
internationale a elle aussi changé, en assurant une plus grande
protection aux personnes contraintes de fuir. Malheureusement,
l'attitude actuelle de nombreux gouvernements apparaît contraire à ces
décisions, même si les Etats ont quoi qu'il en soit l'obligation
d'assurer une protection aux personnes en fuite.
Sauver des vies humaines, en restituant la dignité, en offrant une
espérance et en apportant des réponses sociales et communautaires, est
étroitement lié aux valeurs morales et à la vision chrétienne. Cette
interaction avec la présence des réfugiés, des demandeurs d'asile et des
personnes déracinées de force pourrait conduire à un renouveau
ultérieur de l'Eglise, qui nous poussera hors de notre univers familier,
vers l'inconnu, en mission, pour rendre témoignage du Seigneur. « Nous
devons tous avoir le courage de ne pas détourner notre regard des
réfugiés et des personnes déplacées de force, afin de permettre à leurs
visages de pénétrer dans nos cœurs et les accueillir dans notre monde.
Si nous savons écouter leurs espoirs et leur désespoir, nous
comprendrons les sentiments qui les habitent » (op. cit., n. 120). La visite du Saint-Père pourrait être un nouveau début pour nous tous.
"In the history of the Church there have been some mistakes made on
the path towards God. Some have believed that the Living God, the God
of Christians can be found on the path of meditation, indeed that we can
reach higher through meditation. That's dangerous! How many are lost on
that path, never to return. Yes perhaps they arrive at knowledge of
God, but not of Jesus Christ, Son of God, the second Person of the
Trinity. They do not arrive at that. It is the path of the Gnostics, no?
They are good, they work, but it is not the right path. It’s very
complicated and does not lead to a safe harbor. "
"Others - the
Pope said - thought that to arrive at God we must mortify ourselves, we
have to be austere and have chosen the path of penance: only penance and
fasting. Not even these arrive at the Living God, Jesus Christ. They
are the pelagians, who believe that they can arrive by their own
efforts. " But Jesus tells us that the path to encountering Him is to
find His wounds: "We find Jesus’ wounds in carrying out works of
mercy, giving to our body – the body – the soul too, but – I stress -
the body of your wounded brother, because he is hungry, because he is
thirsty, because he is naked because it is humiliated, because he is a
slave, because he's in jail because he is in the hospital. Those are the
wounds of Jesus today. And Jesus asks us to take a leap of faith,
towards Him, but through these His wounds. 'Oh, great! Let's set up a
foundation to help everyone and do so many good things to help '. That's
important, but if we remain on this level, we will only be
philanthropic. We need to touch the wounds of Jesus, we must caress the
wounds of Jesus, we need to bind the wounds of Jesus with tenderness, we
have to kiss the wounds of Jesus, and this literally. Just think of
what happened to St. Francis, when he embraced the leper? The same thing
that happened to Thomas: his life changed. "
Pope Francis sits in the back of
the Chapel of Domus Sanctae Marthae before celebrating Mass with the
Vatican gardeners and janitors March 22, 2013. Credit: L'Osservatore
Vatican City, Jun 28, 2013 / 12:13 pm (CNA/EWTN News).-
action in our life is according to his own plan rather than ours, Pope
Francis taught in his daily homily June 28, and this requires patience
on both his part and ours.
“The Lord takes his time. But even he, in this relationship with us, has
a lot of patience,” preached the Bishop of Rome at the chapel of the
Vatican's Saint Martha House. “Not only do we have to have patience: He
has. He waits for us.”
“And he waits for us until the end of life. Think of the good thief – right at the end, at the very end, he acknowledged God.”
Pope Francis gave Abraham as an example of God's sometimes lengthy
timetable: when he was 99, and his wife 90, God promised him a son.
On the other hand, God immediately acts in the life of the leper who in the day's Gospel asked for healing.
“When the Lord intervenes, he does not always do so in the same way,” explained the Roman Pontiff.
“There is no 'set protocol' of action of God in our life; it does not exist.”
God acted one way with Abraham, and “in a different way” with the leper, but he always acts in our lives.
There is “always this meeting between us and the Lord,” yet he “always chooses his way to enter into our lives.”
“He always enters, he is involved with us, but he does so in his own way and when he thinks it's best.”
We are often “in danger of losing our patience a little,” because of this, as we pray, “But Lord, when?”
On the other hand, “when we think of what the Lord has promised us, that
it is such a huge thing, we don’t believe it; we are a little
sceptical” as Abraham was when promised a son by his 90 year old wife.
“How often, when the Lord does not intervene, does not perform a miracle
– does not do what we want him to do – do we become impatient or
sceptical,” Pope Francis reflected.
In the face of temptations to disbelief and impatience, we must remember
that “the Lord walks with us, but often does not reveal himself, as in
the case of the disciples of Emmaus.”
“The Lord is involved in our lives … but often we do not see. This
demands our patience. But the Lord who walks with us, he also has a lot
of patience with us.”
The “mystery of God's patience,” said the Bishop of Rome, is that “in walking, (he) walks at our pace.”
We are called to imitate his patience, because when life is at its
darkest, when we “are in trouble,” “we want … to come down from the
“And when we come down from the cross,, we always do so just five
minutes before our release comes, at the very moment when our impatience
Christ too “heard them challenging him” while he was on cross to “come down,” but chose not to.
“Patience until the end,” Pope Francis urged, “because he has patience with us.”
“He tells us exactly what he told Abraham: Walk in my presence and be blameless.'”
The Roman Pontiff concluded, saying, “This is the journey with the Lord
and he intervenes, but we have to wait for the moment” he chooses.
“We ask this grace from the Lord, to always walk in his presence, trying to be blameless.”
More than physical demons that
may possess us, we may be possessed by psychological demons. These can be
feelings of fear, anger, revenge, jealousy, envy and a pessimistic attitude. If
we continue in these feelings we are not living fully the life that God wants
us to live. We need to decide that with the help of Jesus we are going to get
rid of them today.
St Josemaria understood that suffering has a place in the plan of the
Redemption. At the same time, he often said, “If it’s possible to get
rid of physical pain, it should be got rid of. There’s enough suffering
in life already! And when it can’t be got rid of, we offer it up.” This
is the inspiration behind the “Hospital Centro de Cuidados Laguna”
(Laguna Palliative Care Hospital) in Madrid, Spain. It is dedicated to
caring for patients at an advanced stage of sickness, and elderly
patients in need of help. The organization behind the hospital is the
Every year over 250,000 people in Spain require palliative care for pain
relief and the control of symptoms related to terminal illness. The
purpose of palliative care is to eliminate pain or reduce it as much as
possible, and to improve the sick person’s quality of life to the
St Josemaria and the sick in Madrid
View of the Laguna building
Laguna is now a fully-functioning concern, but it was set up fairly
recently. On January 8 2003, just one day before the centenary of St
Josemaria’s birth, a group of about 100 people met on the site of the
future hospital, under the auspices of the Vianorte Foundation, for the
ceremony of blessing and laying the first stone.
The date was no coincidence. Throughout his life St Josemaria stimulated
the setting up of all sorts of social, educational and charitable
projects as an expression of people’s desire to help solve social needs,
and he awakened this desire in the hearts of many.
Vianorte Foundation draws its inspiration from St Josemaria’s priestly
ministry among the sick and abandoned in the 1930s, especially in
Madrid’s General Hospital and the King’s Hospital ,
which specialized in serious contagious diseases for which, in those
days, no cure was available. As he said himself, his apostolate in these
hospitals and his contact with suffering were the roots from which he
drew the spiritual strength he needed at the beginnings of Opus Dei.
“Helping patients enjoy the life that remains to them”
Volunteers are essential in the Laguna approach
Laguna Hospital cares for the sick through palliative care, a day-centre
for the elderly, a respite care centre, and a rehabilitation service
for Alzheimer’s sufferers, as well as a training and research centre.
“A widespread but false idea of palliative care,” says Antonio Noguera,
Laguna’s medical sub-director, “is that the patients are extremely old,
unconscious, and remain under sedation until the end of their lives. In
reality, a patient may experience intense pain, breathing difficulties,
fear, anguish, and have an anxious family. My work consists of treating
all those symptoms and enabling them to enjoy the life that remains to
them as much as possible, with their family close at hand. With the
right medical and practical care, the sick can be perfectly conscious,
calm, free from pain or with minimal suffering, and leading a fairly
normal cognitive life.”
Maria Clavel, psycho-social team coordinator, adds: “The patients are
not just lying there waiting to die. They are alive, and they will die
when the time comes, but right now is the time for living, enjoying
being with their families, and with the volunteers who come and see
them, enjoying all sorts of things. Here we help them live to the very
last day of their lives.”
Volunteers, part of a “little family”
“It’s an enormously enriching job which offers lessons you don’t get at
school or at college,” explains a Laguna volunteer. “Things like the
value of families in people’s lives, the importance of a loving smile,
the deep treasure of love, the meaning of suffering, the meaning of
inspires young people to cross continents for a celebration of faith
with Pope Francis? Lilian Chan, on line editor for Caritas Australia,
tells us about the energy, diversity and unity to be found at World
One of the phrases I’ve most heard during my preparations for WYD is “to expect the unexpected”!
definitely looking forward to seeing Pope Francis. I’ve read a few of
his addresses, and they have been so amazing and inspiring – he is
simple to understand, but has such insight into the world and how we as
Catholics fit in. He also shows such love and understanding of humanity
when he speaks, which is so different to what we often hear in our world
to see a pope from Latin America in Latin America will be really
amazing. Most importantly, I’ve decided to go to WYD this year because I
want to grow in my faith and have a stronger relationship with Christ.
friends who have attended WYD overseas, and they’ve all come back with a
renewed passion for their faith, so attending an overseas WYD has
always been something I’ve thought about doing. I think one of the
things which particularly attracted me to WYD in Brazil is that it’s
such a predominately Catholic country, so I’m keen to experience the
passion and dedication that people have for our faith.
going with my diocese group, I’ve been attending the formation sessions
that they’ve run over the past few months. I’ve also been trying to do
practical things to prepare, like finding out more about places, and
trying to learn a tiny bit of Portuguese. In terms of preparing
spiritually, we’ve had catecheses at the formation sessions, and I’ve
also been trying to read the Bible a bit more often over the past few
We will be
spending 4 days in Peru before WYD. The first day will be a pilgrimage
to visit significant sites of St Rose of Lima and St Martin de Porres.
Then we will be spending 3 days with the Houses of Hope – one of the
Caritas programmes in Lima. For me, this was definitely one of the
things which swayed me to sign up to WYD this year. Being relatively new
at Caritas, I’m keen to see a Caritas programme in action. But even
more so, I think the few days spending time with the poor will be a
really important part of the pilgrimage experience.
I went to
WYD in Sydney in 2008. It was a great experience – the thing that struck
me most was the energy and passion of young people for our faith – it’s
not something you see every day, especially in Sydney! I was also
struck by the diversity of our faith – the different cultures, and
different ways of expressing our faith; but yet also the universality –
the one united faith which was really demonstrated in the final mass.
been told that attending a WYD in your home city is nothing like
attending one overseas, so I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what
WYD in Rio will be like!