Pope Francis

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Só a partir do interior

«O homem está chamado a viver no seu interior
e a ser tão dono de si mesmo
como apenas o pode ser a partir do interior;
só a partir do interior
é possível um trato autenticamente humano
mesmo com o mundo;
só a partir do interior
o homem pode encontrar no mundo
o lugar que lhe corresponde.»

Santa Teresa Benedita da Cruz | 1891 – 1942
Ciência da Cruz


Senhor,
sinto-me mais pessoa quanto mais vivo
na Tua presença;
sou mais eu quanto mais faço do despojamento
o impulso que me lança para Ti;
sou mais livre quanto mais me entrego
ao teu amor.
Vivo mais plenamente quando volto o meu olhar
para Ti e Te descubro oculto no interior do meu ser.

Vejo que voltado para fora
o meu ser derrama-se nas coisas
que se apoderam de mim
marcando o ritmo e o tempo da vida,
deixando-me vazio e atordoado
pela sucessão das exigências.

Voltado para Ti
que habitas no interior de mim mesmo
descubro a serenidade de estar sustentado
pela Tua vontade que estabelece os ritmos e os tempos
em perfeita harmonia e paz.

Voltado para Ti
descubro o lugar que me destinaste no mundo
e a missão de cooperar conTigo na criação.
voltado para Ti
experimento a liberdade de estar em Ti
que me faz sentir mais eu mesmo.

Senhor
Ajuda-me a viver no interior de mim mesmo!


(http://orar.carmelitas.pt/)

EVANGELII GAUDIUM (11) - The immense love in the crucified and risen Christ

A renewal of preaching can offer believers, as well as the lukewarm and the non-practising, new joy in the faith and fruitfulness in the work of evangelization. The heart of its message will always be the same: the God who revealed his immense love in the crucified and risen Christ. God constantly renews his faithful ones, whatever their age: “They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not be faint” (Is 40:31). Christ is the “eternal Gospel” (Rev 14:6); he “is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Heb 13:8), yet his riches and beauty are inexhaustible. He is forever young and a constant source of newness. The Church never fails to be amazed at “the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God” (Rom 11:33). Saint John of the Cross says that “the thicket of God’s wisdom and knowledge is so deep and so broad that the soul, however much it has come to know of it, can always penetrate deeper within it”. Or as Saint Irenaeus writes: “By his coming, Christ brought with him all newness”. With this newness he is always able to renew our lives and our communities, and even if the Christian message has known periods of darkness and ecclesial weakness, it will never grow old. Jesus can also break through the dull categories with which we would enclose him and he constantly amazes us by his divine creativity. Whenever we make the effort to return to the source and to recover the original freshness of the Gospel, new avenues arise, new paths of creativity open up, with different forms of expression, more eloquent signs and words with new meaning for today’s world. Every form of authentic evangelization is always “new”.

(http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20131124_evangelii-gaudium_en.html)


Tuesday, 28 January 2014

All I need is Jesus

My handmade mug// DIY sharpie mug// all I need today is a little bit of coffee and whole lot of Jesus//

Serve Our Lord and your fellow men

Every activity - be it of great human importance or not - must become for you a means to serve Our Lord and your fellow men. That is the true measure of its importance. (The Forge, 684)

I am not at all stretching the truth when I tell you that Jesus is still looking for a resting‑place in our heart. We have to ask him to forgive our personal blindness and ingratitude. We must ask him to give us the grace never to close the door of our soul on him again.

Our Lord does not disguise the fact that his wholehearted obedience to God’s will calls for renunciation and self‑sacrifice. Love does not claim rights, it seeks to serve. Jesus has led the way. How did he obey? “Unto death, death on a cross.” You have to get out of yourself; you have to complicate your life, losing it for love of God and souls. “So you wanted to live a quiet life. But God wanted otherwise. Two wills exist: your will should be corrected to become identified with God’s will: you must not bend God’s will to suit yours.”

It has made me very happy to see so many souls spend their lives — like you, Lord, “even unto death” — fulfilling what God was asking of them. They have dedicated all their yearnings and their professional work to the service of the Church, for the good of all men.

Let us learn to obey, let us learn to serve. There is no better leadership than wanting to give yourself freely, to be useful to others. When we feel pride swell up within us, making us think we are supermen, the time has come to say “no”. Our only triumph will be the triumph of humility. In this way we will identify ourselves with Christ on the cross — not unwillingly or restlessly or sullenly, but joyfully. For the joy which comes from forgetting ourselves is the best proof of love. (Christ is passing by, 19)

(http://www.opusdei.org.in/sec.php?s=310)

Monday, 27 January 2014

The Rosary

St. Padre Pio

Pope Francis

Pape François - Pope Francis - Papa Francesco - Papa Francisco -

The Holy Spirit, Love Guiding Us to Love

When a person, moved by the Holy Spirit, makes his entire life a response to the demands of love, the things God may ask of him are no longer seen as renunciations and sacrifices, but as opportunities to find God and unite himself more closely to him. Christian maturity is attained precisely through the victory of love, which overcomes fear and selfishness.

Bishops Javier Echevarría, Prelate of Opus Dei, "Paths to God"

(http://www.opusdei.org.in/)

Sunday, 26 January 2014

EVANGELII GAUDIUM (10) - Life grows by being given away

The Gospel offers us the chance to live life on a higher plane, but with no less intensity: “Life grows by being given away, and it weakens in isolation and comfort. Indeed, those who enjoy life most are those who leave security on the shore and become excited by the mission of communicating life to others”. When the Church summons Christians to take up the task of evangelization, she is simply pointing to the source of authentic personal fulfilment. For “here we discover a profound law of reality: that life is attained and matures in the measure that it is offered up in order to give life to others. This is certainly what mission means”. Consequently, an evangelizer must never look like someone who has just come back from a funeral! Let us recover and deepen our enthusiasm, that “delightful and comforting joy of evangelizing, even when it is in tears that we must sow… And may the world of our time, which is searching, sometimes with anguish, sometimes with hope, be enabled to receive the good news not from evangelizers who are dejected, discouraged, impatient or anxious, but from ministers of the Gospel whose lives glow with fervour, who have first received the joy of Christ”

(http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20131124_evangelii-gaudium_en.html)

EVANGELII GAUDIUM (9) - Goodness always tends to spread

Goodness always tends to spread. Every authentic experience of truth and goodness seeks by its very nature to grow within us, and any person who has experienced a profound liberation becomes more sensitive to the needs of others. As it expands, goodness takes root and develops. If we wish to lead a dignified and fulfilling life, we have to reach out to others and seek their good.


(http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20131124_evangelii-gaudium_en.html)

A personal meeting with God

When you receive him, tell him: Lord, I hope in you: I adore you, I love you, increase my faith. Be the support of my weakness: You, who have remained defenseless in the Eucharist so as to be the remedy for the weakness of your creatures. (The Forge, 832)

(http://www.opusdei.org.in/sec.php?s=310)

Saturday, 25 January 2014

25/1/2014 Pope Francis (@Pontifex): to learn to give Him thanks

It is easy to ask God for things; we all do it. When will we also learn to give him thanks and to adore him?

Pope Francis ()

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Be cheerful, always cheerful

Nobody is happy on earth until he decides not to be. This is the way the path goes: suffering -- in Christian terms -- the Cross; God's Will, Love; happiness here and, afterwards, eternally. (Furrow, 52)

Servite Domino in laetitia! -- I will serve God cheerfully. With a cheerfulness that is a consequence of my Faith, of my Hope and of my Love -- and that will last for ever. For, as the Apostle assures us, Dominus prope est! -- the Lord follows me closely. I shall walk with Him, therefore, quite confidently, for the Lord is my Father, and with his help I shall fulfill his most lovable Will, even if I find it hard. (Furrow, 53)

A piece of advice on which I have insisted repeatedly: be cheerful, always cheerful. It is for those to be sad who do not consider themselves to be sons of God. (Furrow, 54) 

(http://www.opusdei.org.in/sec.php?s=310)

Que eu possa ser um instrumento do Teu amor no mundo

«Somos feitos somente para Deus;
devemos pois deixarmo-nos a nós mesmos
para nos ocuparmos d’Ele somente.
E n’Ele veremos muito melhor o que nos faz falta
do que o veríamos em nós,
por meio de todas as reflexões,
e só pode ser um resto de amor próprio
o que, sob a aparência da nossa perfeição,
nos prende ainda a nós mesmos
e nos impede de nos elevarmos até Deus.»

Frei Lourenço da Ressurreição | 1614 – 1691
A prática da presença de Deus IV, 2

Senhor,
eu sei que ages em mim,
apesar e tantas vezes me esquecer.
Desejas que eu possa ser
um instrumento do Teu amor no mundo,
que possa ser como que um “embaixador” do Teu amor,
da Tua generosidade e bondade e misericórdia.
Desejas que seja outro “Tu mesmo”.
Como estou longe, Senhor,
mas quanto o desejo,
por Teu amor e por amor aos meus irmãos!
Senhor, ajuda-me a conhecer-me sempre mais,
à luz da Tua misericórdia sobre mim,
do amor infinito com que me amas.
Então poderei derramar o Teu amor
ajudando a fazer o Céu sobre a terra.
Esse Céu é muito mais belo do que posso imaginar,
mas Tu me guiarás.
Ajuda-me, Senhor!


(http://orar.carmelitas.pt/)

Faith makes things possible

Faith does not make things easy, it makes them possible.

God is always there

I love this verse! Bible Verses / Quotes

21/1/2014 Pope Francis (@Pontifex): faith in our daily life

If we live the faith in our daily life, then our work too becomes a chance to spread the joy of being a Christian. 

Pope Francis ()

Monday, 20 January 2014

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Senhor, que posso esperar da Tua acção sobre mim?

Senhor,
que posso esperar da Tua acção sobre mim?
Não me retiras o sofrimento que me causam os problemas,
não me tornas imune ao mal,
não me concedes nada sem o meu esforço,
não me fazes “sentir-Te”,
nem me dás habitualmente um conforto de maneira palpável.
Que me concedes então, Senhor?
Concedes-me, sim, a força
para que, em todos os momentos,
mesmo sentindo a fraqueza, o temor,
a tentação, o orgulho, as dificuldades…
eu tenha força e vontade para ir adiante,
contra mim inclusivamente,
para fazer o bem, a Tua vontade.
Concede-me esta graça Senhor,
um dia de cada vez.

(http://orar.carmelitas.pt/)

16/1/2014 Pope Francis (@Pontifex): Let us pray for peace

Let us pray for peace, and let us bring it about, starting in our own homes!

Pope Francis ()

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Olhos que vêem sem ver - Pe. Gonçalo Portocarrero

Na quarta-feira passada, de manhã cedo, fui interpelado por uma mensagem informática de um jovem universitário (NN), que conheço apenas do «chat» de uma rede social. O NN felicitava-me por um artigo nesse mesmo dia publicado. Agradeci-lhe a amabilidade e estranhei que já o conhecesse. Disse-me então que o texto lhe tinha sido reenviado por uns amigos cegos. Estranhei o facto, mas o NN confirmou-me que são mesmo cegos e que, graças a uma aplicação, conseguem converter à oralidade o texto escrito. Com bom humor, acrescentou depois que, embora não desse muito nas vistas, também ele é cego.

De imediato lhe pedi perdão pela minha eventual indelicadeza, mas a sua resposta, recusando as minhas desculpas, não se fez esperar: «Sabe que, para mim, a cegueira não é sinónimo de dificuldade ou de tristeza. É óbvio que gostava de voltar a ver, mas … aprendi a ver melhor as coisas. Por isso, todos os dias agradeço a Deus por me ter proporcionado esta experiência. Foi graças a isso que o conheci a Ele. Acho que só isso já justifica o não poder ver com os olhos …».

Desculpem-me a pieguice, mas estas palavras tiveram o condão de me comover, como há tempo não me acontecia. Também agora, sinto-me profundamente tocado pela grandeza daquela alma à qual foi pedido tamanho sacrifício e onde não há nenhum ressentimento ou revolta, mas apenas gratidão e, até, bom humor. O meu amigo NN, não vendo, vê muito mais do que eu e do que muitos outros, porque vê com o coração iluminado pelo dom da fé.

Não foi a única bênção desse dia, porque Deus me deu também a imensa alegria de, apesar da minha cegueira, entrevê-Lo nas celebrações eucarísticas e do sacramento do seu amor e perdão. Obrigado, Senhor! in ionline
 

You will never love enough

No matter how much you may love, you will never love enough. The human heart is endowed with an enormous coefficient of expansion. When it loves, it opens out in a crescendo of affection that overcomes all barriers. If you love Our Lord, there will not be a single creature that does not find a place in your heart. (Way of the Cross, 8th Station, 5)

(http://www.opusdei.org.in/sec.php?s=310)

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Senhor, aumenta a minha Fé!

Senhor,
peço o milagre de Te manifestares vivo,
actuante e cheio de amor na minha vida.
Aumenta a minha Fé.
Sei que estás presente a mim,
Te comunicas continuamente comigo e eu…
a maior parte das vezes sou ignorante da Tua presença.

(http://orar.carmelitas.pt/)
   

Que o Teu infinito amor por mim, Senhor, me lance ao encontro dos meus irmãos!

Que o Teu infinito amor por mim, Senhor,
me lance ao encontro dos meus irmãos
e que os possa amar generosamente!
Ajuda-me, Senhor!

(http://orar.carmelitas.pt/)

Dai-me a fé e confiança, Senhor

Senhor,
quantas vezes desconfio da força da Tua graça,
do poder do Teu amor sobre mim,
sobre os outros,
sobre os meus problemas.
Acredito só com a minha mente,
mas a minha fé não tem força
para irromper na minha vida.
Sim, se confiasse de verdade
poderia experimentar
o que Nossa Senhora e S. José experimentaram
ao longo das suas vidas
tão cheias de problemas:
experimentaram a Tua paz,
a assistência da Tua providência amorosa!
Dai-me a fé e confiança, Senhor e,
como fruto,
encontrarei a paz.
Ajuda-me, Senhor!

(http://orar.carmelitas.pt/)

May the Lord bless you

may the Lord....

EVANGELII GAUDIUM (8) - We are liberated from our narrowness and self-absorption

Thanks solely to this encounter – or renewed encounter – with God’s love, which blossoms into an enriching friendship, we are liberated from our narrowness and self-absorption. We become fully human when we become more than human, when we let God bring us beyond ourselves in order to attain the fullest truth of our being. Here we find the source and inspiration of all our efforts at evangelization. For if we have received the love which restores meaning to our lives, how can we fail to share that love with others?

(http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20131124_evangelii-gaudium_en.html)

A Christian can’t be caught up in personal problems

A Christian can’t be caught up in personal problems; he must be concerned about the universal Church and the salvation of all souls.

(http://www.opusdei.org.in/sec.php?s=310)

11/1/2014 Pope Francis (@Pontifex): The elderly are a treasure for our society

No elderly person should be like an “exile” in our families. The elderly are a treasure for our society.

Pope Francis ()

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Lamb of God

<p>Picture: Huffington Post/Associated Press</p>



Pope Francis melted hearts when he snuggled up with a baby lamb at a living nativity scene on January 6, 2014, during the holiday of Epiphany. The adorable scene was staged at St. Alfonso Maria de' Liguori parish church, in the outskirts of Rome.

(http://www.ucanews.com/news/pope-francis-plays-the-good-shepherds-role-to-perfection/70036)

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Opus Dei - Letter from the Prelate (January 2014)

My dear children: may Jesus watch over my daughters and sons for me!

There still resound in our souls and in our world the angels’ words to the shepherds at Bethlehem, which we meditated on at Christmas: Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased. The glorification of God through the incarnation and birth of his only begotten Son is indissolubly linked to peace and fraternity among human beings. If we can and should call ourselves brothers and sisters, this is due specifically to the reality that we are all children of the same Father, God, who created us in his image and likeness. The divine Word, in becoming incarnate as the Head of all mankind, has rescued us from sin, granting us the gift of adoptive divine filiation. This is the great news that the angel announced in Bethlehem not only to the children of Israel, but to all men and women: behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people.

Contemplation of Jesus in the arms of Mary, under the attentive watch of Joseph, has completely filled our thoughts during these holy feast days. On looking attentively at that helpless child, the Creator of heaven and earth, the eternal Word of God who has made himself equal to us in everything except sin, we have made many acts of adoration and thanksgiving, realizing that we can never pay him back for how much he loves us. Let us continue doing so in the new year and always, welcoming St. Josemaría’s insistent invitation: ut in gratiarum semper actione maneamus. Let us constantly give thanks, for all the gifts that God has granted and will grant us: those that we know about and those that we don’t know, the great and the small, the spiritual and the material, those that have caused us joy and those that perhaps have left behind a trace of sadness. With our Father I insist, and I tell myself as well: let us give thanks “for everything, because everything is good.

We are beginning the second part of Christmas time with the solemnity of Mary’s Divine Motherhood. Our eyes are now turned more attentively to that matchless creature who with such great simplicity—ecce ancilla Domini—opened the way to the incarnation of the Word and made us children of God in Jesus Christ, brothers and sisters with a fraternity stronger than that of our common origin in Adam and Eve. “O Mother, Mother! With that word of yours—fiat—you have made us brothers of God and heirs to his glory. Blessed art thou.” Thus was made a reality one of the deepest aspirations of the human heart: “that irrepressible longing for fraternity which draws us to fellowship with others and enables us to see them not as enemies or rivals, but as brothers and sisters to be accepted and embraced.”

Loving our fellow men and women with true fraternal love is one of the essential characteristics of the Christian message. Jesus himself emphasized this to his apostles: A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. And as our Father insisted: “We must rekindle the sense of brotherliness which was so deeply felt by the early Christians.” You and I, are we truly doing so? How intently are we praying for all men and women? How interested are we in their lives?

Our Lord’s new commandment helps us to understand that Christian fraternity cannot be reduced to merely solidarity; it is not simply a question of similarities of character, of common interests, of a merely human liking. It spurs us to find Christ in others; even more, it leads us to become more and more like him, until we can say that we are alter Christus, other Christs; ipse Christus, Christ himself. This aspiration is shown in loving and serving our fellow men and women as our Lord serves and loves them.

These two aspects—seeing Christ in others and letting Christ be seen in us—complement one another. Thus we avoid any risk of loving those around us principally for their human worth, for their good qualities, for the benefits we might obtain, and of setting them aside when we discover their defects and limitations, the less agreeable aspects of their personality. If that temptation should ever arise, we need to look intently at Jesus, meek and humble, who gives his life at every moment and on any occasion for us, who rejects no one, who goes out in search of sinners in order to bring them back to God.

This fraternity stems from faith and from the exercise of our personal freedom. “Christian freedom comes from within, from the heart, from faith. But it is not something merely personal; it expresses itself externally. One of the clearest marks of the life of the first Christians was fraternity. Faith, which brings with it the immense gift of God’s love, has reduced and overcome all differences, all barriers: There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus (Gal 3:28). Knowing that we are truly brothers, and loving one another as such, over and above any differences of race, social condition, culture or ideology, belongs to the essence of Christianity.”

In the first evangelization carried out after our Lord’s ascension into heaven, fraternal charity (in a special way with the most needy, physically or spiritually, and even with the persecutors) was one of the key elements in the rapid expansion of Christianity. “See how they love one another,” Tertullian places on the lips of those pagans, amazed at Christ’s message. And he added: “See how Christians are ready to die for one another, while they, in contrast, are ready to kill one another.”

Never has communication among people been as easy and rapid as in our day and age. This reality should also foster a sense of unity among all mankind. Nevertheless, as Pope Benedict XVI wrote: “As society becomes ever more globalized, it makes us neighbors but does not make us brothers. Reason, by itself, is capable of grasping the equality among men and of giving stability to their civic coexistence, but it cannot establish fraternity. This originates in a transcendent vocation from God the Father, who loved us first, teaching us through the Son what fraternal charity is.”

St. Josemaría preached tirelessly, as I already remarked, on the great importance of the mandatum novum, which he had engraved on a plaque in the first apostolic work of Opus Dei, the DYA Academy, eighty years ago. But already in his family’s home, he had learned to serve others while forgetting about himself. The deeply Christian example of his parents helped engrave in his heart—first as a child and later as an adolescent and young man—a fraternal spirit towards all men and women, shown in specific deeds: giving alms to the needy, helping his companions in their studies, making himself available for the spiritual needs of others.…

These and many other lessons from his life can help us to prepare better for the feast on January 9, the anniversary of his birth. That date reminds us that our Lord chose St. Josemaría to be the father and patriarch of this spiritual family of Opus Dei (a family without boundaries of race, language or nationality) that was to be born in the bosom of the Church. Through his fatherhood, imbued with affection and self-giving, our Father showed us a ray of God’s fatherhood towards all mankind, while also teaching us to be good children of God by living a refined fraternity within the Work and with all men and women.

Pope Francis dedicated his message for the World Day of Peace precisely to this topic. Its opening statement is very important, as I pointed out to you when recalling the life of our Founder. “Fraternity,” says the Pope, “is generally first learned in the family, thanks above all to the responsible and complementary roles of each of its members, particularly the father and the mother. The family is the wellspring of all fraternity, and as such it is the foundation and the first pathway to peace.”

Everything done in favor of the family—defending its nature founded on the divine plan, its unity and openness to life, its core vocation to service—has a positive repercussion on the configuration of society and on the laws that regulate it. Let us pray every day for the families of the world and for legislators, at the same time that each and every one of us strives, within our possibilities, to defend and safeguard this natural institution that is so necessary for the well-being of society. And let us pray especially during the coming months for the Extraordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops that the Pope has convoked for October to study how to best undertake the new evangelization in the field of family life.

During the past few days, meditating once again on our Father’s homilies (I recommended that you go back again and again to these texts, which will enrich your interior life), my attention has been drawn to some words that express with great clarity the reason for Christ’s birth. “Our Lord has come to bring peace, good news, and life to all men. Not only to the rich, nor only to the poor. Not only to the wise nor only to the simple. To everyone, to our brothers, for brothers we are, children of the same Father, God.”

To sense we are brothers and sisters of one another, and to behave as such, is a divine gift. “The basis of fraternity is found in God’s fatherhood. We are not speaking of a generic fatherhood, indistinct and historically ineffectual, but rather of the specific and extraordinarily concrete personal love of God for each man and woman (cf. Mt 6:25-30). It is a fatherhood, then, which effectively generates fraternity, because the love of God, once welcomed, becomes the most formidable means of transforming our lives and relationships with others, opening us to solidarity and to genuine sharing.

“In a particular way,” the Pope continues, “human fraternity is regenerated in and by Jesus Christ through his death and resurrection. The Cross is the definitive foundational locus of that fraternity which human beings are not capable of generating themselves. Jesus Christ, who assumed human nature in order to redeem it, loving the Father unto death on the Cross (cf. Phil 2:8), has through his resurrection made of us a ‘new humanity,’ in full communion with the will of God, with his plan, which includes the full realization of our vocation to fraternity.”

Because it is God’s gift, fostering fraternity also brings with it a task that our Lord is entrusting to each of us, and which we cannot shirk. With a healthy realism, far removed from any pessimism, our Founder wrote that “life is not like a romantic novel. Christian fraternity is not something that comes down from heaven once and for all for everyone, but rather a reality that has to be built up each day, amid all the hardships life presents, with its conflicts of interest, tensions and struggles, in daily contact with people who seem narrow-minded to us, and with our own narrow-mindedness.”

I cannot fail to mention here our beloved Don Alvaro. In a certain sense we can consider the year 2014 as the year of Don Alvaro, since in March we will commemorate the centennial of his birth and later we hope to be present, filled with joy, at his beatification. Here we are offered, my daughters and sons, a new reason to give thanks to God and an invitation to prepare ourselves as well as possible for these great events. Let us live more deeply a spirit of filiation and fraternity.

You know that the Pope received me in audience on December 23. In addition to imparting the apostolic blessing to all the faithful of the Prelature—laity and priests, and especially the sick—he encouraged us to continue our apostolic work in all the countries where faithful of the Prelature are living. In a special way he encouraged us to carry out a fruitful apostolate of Confession, which is the sacrament of God’s mercy.

Right after Christmas, I made a brief trip to the country where Jesus, Mary and Joseph lived. Besides encouraging your sisters and brothers who are working there, I visited the site of Saxum, the future conference center for retreats and other activities that is being built in memory of Don Alvaro, as the elective General Congress in 1994 agreed upon. Let us pray with eagerness and perseverance that this project may go ahead at a good rhythm, and let us try to help out, in accord with our personal circumstances, in seeking the necessary funds. How eagerly I look forward to the spiritual good that will be brought about by this apostolic instrument!

As always, I would have liked (ever more so!) to have spent these feast days by your side. I have spent them bringing each and every one of you to the Tabernacle and to the nativity scene in these centers. Don’t fail to present all my intentions to the Child God. I have left all of yours at his feet.

With all my affection, I send you my blessing for the new year,

Your Father,

+ Javier

Rome, January 1, 2014


7/1/2014 Pope Francis (@Pontifex): Let us leave a place for those who lack the basics, who are alone

Let us leave a spare place at our table: a place for those who lack the basics, who are alone.

Pope Francis ()

The way of Jesus is always one of humility

Pope Francis greets pilgrims in St. Peter's Square during the Wednesday general audience on Dec. 4, 2013. Credit: Kyle Burkhart/CNA.

.- In his daily Mass homily Pope Francis touched on the importance of discerning what comes from God and what is false, emphasizing that the way of Jesus is always one of “humility.”

That is the path of Jesus Christ: abasement, humility, humiliation as well,” the Pope said Jan. 7, “if a thought, if a desire takes you along the road of humility and abasement, of service to others, is from Jesus.”

If a thought, if a desire takes you along the road of humility and abasement, of service to others, is from Jesus,” noted the Pontiff, “but if it brings you to the road of sufficiency, of vanity, of pride, along the path of an abstract thought, it is not from Jesus.”

Recalling the three temptations of Jesus in the wilderness, the Pope explained that “all three proposals the demon makes to Jesus are proposals that intended to take Him away from this path, the path of service, of humility, of humiliation, of charity.”

“But the charity accomplished with His life, no? To the three temptations Jesus says no: ‘No, this is not my path!’”

Inviting those present to question themselves about what is in their own hearts, the Pontiff asked “Do I test what I think, what I want, what I desire, or do I accept it all” without discerning?

“So many times, our heart is a road, everything passes there,” he affirmed, “Put it to the test! Do I always choose the things that come from God? Do I know which are the things that come from God? Do I know the true criterion by which to discern my thoughts, my desires?”

Concluding his reflections, Pope Francis encouraged the congregation to think about these questions, and not to forget “that the criterion is the Incarnation of the Word.”

“The Word is come in the flesh: this is Jesus Christ! Jesus Christ who was made man, God made man, who lowered Himself, humbled Himself for love, in order to serve all of us.”

“May the Apostle John” he prayed, “grant us this grace to know what is happening in our hearts, and to have the wisdom to discern what is of God and what is not of God.”

In the boat of your life

When you are rowing against the wind, do you give in to easily to negative emotions?

Will you realize today that Jesus continues to be present in the boat of your life?

(http://errolsj.blogspot.pt/2014/01/wednesday-january-8-2014-when-you-are.html)

The Light


The Magi, who followed "a light" to find "the Light", told us "not settle for an ordinary life, one of 'coasting'." Instead, they called on us to experience "the joy of evangelising" and "of being drawn by what is good, true, and beautiful . . . by God, who is all this ever more".
Speaking today during the Mass in St Peter's Basilica and the Angelus before more than 100,000 people in St Peter's Square, Pope Francis, in his reflections, said that Epiphany means not being fooled by appearances or following the path of power, but having instead the "holy cunning" that allows one to keep the faith.

Pope Francis, 6th January 2014

(http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Pope:-the-Magi-teach-us-to-follow-the-Light-and-use-holy-cunning-to-keep-the-faith-29961.html)

The richness of our faith

Don't be a pessimist. Don’t you realize that all that happens or can happen is for the best?—Your optimism will be a necessary consequence of your faith. (The Way, 378)

In the midst of the limitations that accompany our present life, in which sin is still present in us to some extent at least, we Christians perceive with a particular clearness all the wealth of our divine filiation, when we realize that we are fully free because we are doing our Father’s work, when our joy becomes constant because no one can take our hope away.

It is then that we can admire at the same time all the great and beautiful things of this earth, can appreciate the richness and goodness of creation, and can love with all the strength and purity for which the human heart was made. It is then that sorrow for sin does not degenerate into a bitter gesture of despair or pride, because sorrow and knowledge of human weakness lead us to identify ourselves again with Christ’s work of redemption and feel more deeply our solidarity with other men.

It is then, finally, that we Christians experience in our own life the sure strength of the Holy Spirit, in such a way that our own failures do not drag us down. Rather they are an invitation to begin again, and to continue being faithful witnesses of Christ in all the moments of our life — in spite of our own personal weaknesses, which, in such a case, are normally no more than small failings that hardly perturb the soul. And even if they were grave sins, the sacrament of penance, received with true sorrow, enables us to recover our peace with God and to become again a good witness of his mercy.

Such is the brief summary, which can barely be expressed in human language, of the richness of our faith and of our christian life, if we let ourselves be guided by the Holy Spirit. (Christ is passing by, 138)

(http://www.opusdei.org.in/sec.php?s=310)

Monday, 6 January 2014

EVANGELII GAUDIUM (7) - We become fully human when we become more than human, when we let God bring us beyond ourselves

We become fully human when we become more than human, when we let God bring us beyond ourselves in order to attain the fullest truth of our being. Here we find the source and inspiration of all our efforts at evangelization. For if we have received the love which restores meaning to our lives, how can we fail to share that love with others?

(http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20131124_evangelii-gaudium_en.html)

Jesus, deitado numa manjedoura, num lugar que só é próprio para os animais

No dia da Epifania, prostrados aos pés de Jesus Menino, diante de um Rei que não ostenta sinais externos de realeza, podeis dizer-lhe: Senhor, expulsa a soberba da minha vida, subjuga o meu amor-próprio, esta minha vontade de afirmação pessoal e de imposição da minha vontade aos outros. Faz com que o fundamento da minha personalidade seja a identificação contigo. (Cristo que passa, 31)

humildade

A humildade é outro bom caminho para chegar à paz interior. – Foi Ele que o disse: "Aprendei de mim, que sou manso e humilde de coração... e encontrareis paz para as vossas almas". (Caminho, 607)

(http://www.opusdei.pt/)

A esperança do perdão

Pensar o perdão é fazer uma navegação às profundezas da falta e descobrir a marca do absurdo com que ela sela a vida humana. E, desde esse fundo tenebroso, reinventar uma vida. Se ele é possível, o perdão será dom transbordante no seio de uma dívida dolorosa. Mas não se chega da dívida ao dom sem passar pela reinvenção do sentido. Porque o passado é irreversível. O que resta é a leitura com que ele é olhado, que pode ser recriada. E recriadora. Face ao irreversível e ao imperdoável, o perdão representará uma reconfiguração na história de uma vida. Dom desproporcional, excessivo, transcendente, o perdão mostra-se como renarração, luto, promessa, reconhecimento e hospitalidade. Dá-se como caminho de acolhimento do outro, do outro inimigo, do outro culpado, na recriação de uma vida e do viver juntos.

(http://www.snpcultura.org/a_esperanca_do_perdao.html)

EVANGELII GAUDIUM (6) - Being a Christian is the result of the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction

Sometimes we are tempted to find excuses and complain, acting as if we could only be happy if a thousand conditions were met. To some extent this is because our “technological society has succeeded in multiplying occasions of pleasure, yet has found it very difficult to engender joy”. I can say that the most beautiful and natural expressions of joy which I have seen in my life were in poor people who had little to hold on to. I also think of the real joy shown by others who, even amid pressing professional obligations, were able to preserve, in detachment and simplicity, a heart full of faith. In their own way, all these instances of joy flow from the infinite love of God, who has revealed himself to us in Jesus Christ. I never tire of repeating those words of Benedict XVI which take us to the very heart of the Gospel: “Being a Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction”.

(http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20131124_evangelii-gaudium_en.html)

Sunday, 5 January 2014

EVANGELII GAUDIUM (5) - We all have to let the joy of faith slowly revive as a quiet yet firm trust, even amid the greatest distress

There are Christians whose lives seem like Lent without Easter. I realize of course that joy is not expressed the same way at all times in life, especially at moments of great difficulty. Joy adapts and changes, but it always endures, even as a flicker of light born of our personal certainty that, when everything is said and done, we are infinitely loved. I understand the grief of people who have to endure great suffering, yet slowly but surely we all have to let the joy of faith slowly revive as a quiet yet firm trust, even amid the greatest distress: “My soul is bereft of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is… But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness… It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord” (Lam 3:17, 21-23, 26).

(http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20131124_evangelii-gaudium_en.html)

It is only when we give ourselves that we can offer other gifts to our Lord

In the economy of salvation our Father looks after each soul with loving care: Each has his own special gift from God, one of one kind and one of another. It would, therefore, seem useless to be concerned about presenting to the Lord something that he has no need of. As debtors who have nothing with which to pay, our gifts would be like those of the old law that are no longer acceptable to God: Sacrifices and oblations and holocausts for sin you have not desired: neither are they pleasing to you.

But the Lord knows full well that giving is a vital need for those in love, and he himself points out what he desires from us. He does not care for riches, nor for the fruits or the beasts of the earth, nor for the sea or the air, because they all belong to him. He wants something intimate, which we have to give him freely: My son, give me your heart. Do you see? God is not satisfied with sharing. He wants it all. It’s not our things he wants. It is ourselves. It is only when we give ourselves that we can offer other gifts to our Lord. (Christ is passing by, 35)

Saturday, 4 January 2014

I came for you

Beautiful.

O Lord my God, I called to You for help

Psalm 30:2

Dizer «obrigado»

«Se a tua única oração na vida for "obrigado", isso bastará (Mestre Eckhart)». A gratidão não é apenas uma atitude de louvor, é também o elemento básico de uma verdadeira crença em Deus.
Quando inclinamos as nossas cabeças em sinal de gratidão, reconhecemos que as obras de Deus são boas. Reconhecemos que não podemos salvar-nos por nós próprios. Proclamamos que a nossa existência e todas as coisas boas que ela tem, não vêm do nosso expediente, fazem parte da obra de Deus. A gratidão é o aleluia à existência, o louvor que ressoa através do Universo, como um tributo à presença de Deus, constante entre nós, incluindo neste momento.
Obrigado por este novo dia.
Obrigado por este trabalho.
Obrigado por esta família.
Obrigado pelo nosso pão de cada dia.
Obrigado por esta tempestade e pela humidade que ela traz à terra seca.
Obrigado pelas correções que me fazem crescer.
Obrigado pelas flores silvestres que dão cor à ladeira.
Obrigado pelos animais de estimação que nos unem à natureza.
Obrigado pela necessidade que me mantêm vigilante em relação à tua generosidade na minha vida.
Sem dúvida, a gratidão ilimitada salva-nos do sentimento de autossuficiência, que nos leva a esquecermo-nos de Deus.
O louvor não é uma virtude ociosa na vida. Diz-nos: «Lembra-te de Quem és devedor. Se nunca tiveres conhecido a necessidade, nunca virás a conhecer Quem é Deus nem quem és tu.»
A necessidade testa a nossa confiança. Dá-nos a oportunidade de permitir que os outros nos apoiem nas nossas fraquezas, dando-nos conta que, no fim, só Deus é a medida da nossa plenitude.
Quando conhecemos a necessidade, somos melhores seres humanos. Pela primeira vez, conhecemos a solidariedade para com os mais pobres dos pobres. Fazemos nossa a dor do mundo e devotamo-nos a trabalhar em favor daqueles que sofrem.
Finalmente, é a necessidade que nos mostra que é preciso muito pouco para se ser feliz.
Mal percebemos todas estas coisas, encontramo-nos face a face, tanto com a Criação, como com o Criador. É um momento de aleluia em que descobrimos Deus e a sua bondade para connosco.
Aprendamos a vir à oração com um coração de aleluia, para que ela possa ser sincera.

Joan Chittister
In O sopro da vida interior, ed. Paulinas

A fé

A fé realiza na nossa vida uma revolução que podíamos chamar copernicana, porque nos tira do centro e o restitui a Deus; a fé nos imerge no seu amor que nos dá segurança, força, esperança. Aparentemente não muda nada, mas, no mais íntimo de nós mesmos, tudo muda. No nosso coração, habita a paz, a mansidão, a ternura, a coragem, a serenidade e a alegria, que são os frutos do Espírito Santo.

Papa Francisco

(http://multimedia.opusdei.org/pdf/pt/dez_propostas.pdf)

Devemos santificar todas as realidades

Com a graça do Senhor, podemos e devemos santificar todas as realidades sãs da nossa vida. Não há situação terrena, por mais pequena e vulgar que pareça, que não possa ser a ocasião de um encontro com Cristo e uma etapa da nossa caminhada para o Reino dos Céus.

(http://www.opusdei.pt/)

humildade

A eficácia redentora das nossas vidas só se pode dar com humildade, deixando de pensar em nós mesmos e sentindo a responsabilidade de ajudar os outros.

É corrente, às vezes até entre almas boas, criar conflitos íntimos, que chegam a produzir sérias preocupações, mas que carecem de qualquer base objectiva. A sua origem está na falta de conhecimento próprio, que conduz à soberba: o desejo de se tornarem o centro da atenção e da estima de todos, a preocupação de não ficarem mal, de não se resignarem a fazer o bem e desaparecerem, a ânsia da segurança pessoal... E assim, muitas almas que poderiam gozar de uma paz extraordinária, que poderiam saborear um imenso júbilo, por orgulho e presunção tornam-se desgraçadas e infecundas!

Cristo foi humilde de coração. Ao longo da sua vida, não quis para Si nenhuma coisa especial, nenhum privilégio. (Cristo que passa, 18)

(http://www.opusdei.pt/)

Friday, 3 January 2014

3/1/2014 Pope Francis (@Pontifex): the tenderness of God’s immense love surrounding each one of us

The Child Jesus reveals the tenderness of God’s immense love surrounding each one of us.

Pope Francis ()

Como filhos de Deus

Temos de comportar-nos como filhos de Deus: o nosso amor há-de ser abnegado, diário, tecido de mil e um pormenores de compreensão, de sacrifício calado, de entrega silenciosa. Este é o bonus odor Christi que arrancava uma exclamação aos que conviviam com os primeiros cristãos: Vede como se amam! (Cristo que passa, 36)

Thursday, 2 January 2014

2/1/2014 Pope Francis (@Pontifex): weakness and fragility

God does not reveal himself in strength or power, but in the weakness and fragility of a newborn babe.

Pope Francis ()

Wednesday, 1 January 2014