Saturday, 30 May 2015

Pope: abortion, euthanasia, abandonment of migrants are 'attacks against humanity'

.- A civilization whose technological advancements do not seek to protect the most vulnerable, from conception until natural death, fails to live up to its responsibility, Pope Francis said.
In remarks made during an audience at the Vatican with members of the Italian Associazione Scienza & Vita (Science and Life Association), the pontiff decried victims of abortion and euthanasia, migrants left to die on the sea, and other travesties.
Progress in civilization is not measured by its advancements in technology, but “its capacity to protect life, especially during the most fragile stages,” he said.
“The scourge of abortion is an attack against life. Leaving our brothers on boats to die in the Sicilian channel is an attack against life. Death in the workplace, because the minimum safety conditions are not followed, is an attack against life. Death from malnutrition is an attack against life. Terrorism, war, violence; but also euthanasia are attacks against life.”
Read more here

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Think you're important because you have money? Think again, Pope says

.- In his homily Tuesday Pope Francis cautioned against the “counter-witness” of those who seek to follow both Jesus and worldly temptations, saying that to follow Christ means denying oneself and serving others.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Converted by love, not ideology: An archbishop's reflection on Dorothy Day

.- Last week, Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles told scholars at the Dorothy Day Conference at St. Francis University that the social activist was not converted by ideology, but by love.

“It was not the teachings of the Church that convinced her to leave the past behind and change her life. She was changed by Love, changed by the over-powering awareness of the reality of God’s love and mercy,” the archbishop said during his May 14 keynote address at the Dorothy Day Conference in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Archbishop Gomez said he admires the social activist for the example of holiness that she has left for today’s Catholics. Read more here

Sunday, 17 May 2015

COMUNICATO di Padre Fidenzio Volpi, Commissario Apostolico ad nutum Sanctae Sedis (15 maggio 2015)

“Ho la gioia di partecipare a tutti i Confratelli, ai fedeli ed agli amici dell’Istituto che, dopo essere stato colpito da malore il 29 aprile scorso, ho già lasciato l’Ospedale in cui ero ricoverato ed ho iniziato la mia convalescenza.
Ho già riassunto il pieno esercizio delle funzioni di governo e sono in procinto di riprendere la normale attività lavorativa.
Desidero ringraziare i Medici e il personale sanitario ospedaliero per le cure prestate e per la loro affettuosa assistenza.
La mia riconoscenza si estende a tutti coloro che mi sono stati vicini con le loro preghiere, con i loro auguri e con le loro espressioni di amicizia.
Rivolgo una riconoscente preghiera al Signore e alla Vergine Maria, Patrona dell’Istituto, per la grande grazia ricevuta”.
Link here

I like this here

Marriage Referendum

My Dear People,
In a few days we will be asked to vote in a referendum to change the meaning of marriage in the section of the Constitution of Ireland dealing with ‘The Family’.  I am aware that this referendum is a very sensitive issue.  I hope that my words will not give offence to anybody and that is certainly not my wish or my intention.  I respect the views of people who think differently than I do, and I trust that the views that I express, which are grounded in my faith as a Catholic, will also be heard and respected.  My hope is that you will give this very important decision the attention it deserves and that you will think carefully about the issues involved:
• I ask you to think about the issue of equality which has been put forward as the reason for the referendum.  Pope Francis faced a similar referendum in Argentina when he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires.  This was his advice on the matter: “A marriage (made up of man and woman) is not the same as the union of two people of the same sex.  To distinguish is not to discriminate but to respect differences ... At a time when we place emphasis on the richness of pluralism and social and cultural diversity, it is a contradiction to minimize human differences.  A father is not the same as a mother.”
• I ask you to think about children.  We have recently passed a referendum on children’s rights.  The first paragraph of the new text says: “The State recognises and affirms the natural and imprescriptible rights of all children and shall, as far as practicable, by its laws protect and vindicate those rights.”
Now every child has a natural mother and father.  It is surely a fundamental right of a child that he or she should have the right to know and enjoy the companionship of its natural mother and father, where that is possible. Sometimes, through death or for other reasons this is not possible, and that is always painful and regrettable.  This referendum, if passed, taken together with the provisions of the Children and Family Relationships Act, will deny the fundamental right of some children to a mother and a father - in plain contradiction of the recent children's referendum. 
The referendum on same-sex marriage would put the wishes of adults ahead of the rights of children. As Pope Francis, then Archbishop of Buenos Aires, put it: “Let us also be aware that, in seeking to advance a supposed claim on behalf of the rights of adults, we may be setting aside the far greater right of children (who are the only ones who should be privileged in this situation) to  rely on models of father and mother, mum and dad.”
•   I ask you to think of the wider consequences of this referendum passing.  I have serious concerns about the blunt refusal to give any real guarantees regarding freedom of religion in relation to the referendum.  To give but a few examples:
-          Will teachers be obliged, against their conscience, to teach the new understanding of marriage in schools?
-          Will marriage counsellors and others who offer couples Catholic marriage care be required to provide services to those who are manifestly at variance with our ethos?
-          Will priests, who are now generally registered as official solemnisers of marriage on behalf of the State, be obliged to marry same-sex couples who request it?  If a baker can be brought before the courts in Northern Ireland on such a trivial matter as refusing a request from a same-sex couple to supply a cake with a gay slogan, we can be sure that a priest will soon find himself in the same position here.
I ask everyone to pray to the Holy Spirit for a renewal of those gifts of wisdom, understanding, courage and right judgement that we received at Confirmation as we think about these issues in preparation for voting on May 22nd.  May is a month of special devotion to Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and I ask you to pray also to her for all our families and for the renewal and strengthening of family life as we prepare for the Synod on the Family in October.

+Leo O’Reilly
Bishop of Kilmore
8th May 2015  Link here

The Protohomosexual - Crisis Magazine

The Protohomosexual - Crisis Magazine

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Pope: Fearful and joyless communities are not Christian

Link here 
“Fear” and “joy” – those are the two words of the liturgy of the day. Fear, the Pope said, “is an attitude that harms us. It weakens us, it diminishes us. It even paralyzes us.” A person who is afraid “does nothing, doesn’t know what to do.” He is focused on himself, so that nothing bad will happen.” Fear “brings you to a self-centred selfishness and paralyzes you.” He continued, “A fearful Christian is a person who has not understood the message of Jesus”:
“This is why Jesus says to Paul: ‘Do not be afraid. Continue to speak.’ Fear is not a Christian attitude. It is an attitude, we could say, of a caged animal, without freedom, who does not have the freedom to look ahead, to create something, to do good… no, always: ‘No, but this is dangerous, there is something else, something else…’ And this is a vice. Fear damages.
“Do not be afraid, and ask for the grace of courage, the courage of the Holy Spirit that He sends us”:
“There are fearful communities, that always go on the safe side: ‘No, no, we aren’t doing this… No, no, this can’t be done, this can’t be done.’ It seems they have written on the gateway: ‘Forbidden.’ Everything is forbidden because of fear. And you enter into this community and the air is stale, because it is a sick community. Fear makes a community sick. The lack of courage makes a community sick.”
Fear, the Pope explained, must be distinguished from the “fear of the Lord,” which is holy. The fear or awe of adoration before the Lord, the fear of God is a virtue. But the fear of God does not diminish, does not weaken, does paralyze: it carries us forward, to the mission the Lord gives us.
The other word of the liturgy is “joy.” “No one can take away your joy” Jesus tells us. And, the Pope said, “in the saddest moments, in moments of sorrow” joy “brings peace.” Instead “a happy event, in a moment of sorrow becomes obscure, becomes dark. A Christian without joy is not Christian. A Christian who continually lives in sadness is not Christian. And a Christian who, in the moment of trial, of illness, of so many difficulties, loses peace – something is lacking in him.”
“Christian joy is not simply enjoyment, is not a fleeting cheerfulness. Christian joy is a gift, it is a gift of the Holy Spirit. And having a heart that is always joyful because the Lord has triumphed, the Lord reigns, the Lord is at the right hand of the Father, the Lord has looked upon me and called me and has given me His grace, and has made me a Son of the Father… That is Christian joy. A Christian lives in joy.”
And, too, a “community without joy” is a community that is sick. Perhaps it would be a “fun-loving community” but “it has grown sick with worldliness, because it does not have the joy of Jesus Christ. And thus, “when the Church is fearful and when the Church does not receive the joy of the Holy Spirit, the Church is sick, the communities are sick, the faithful are sick.” Pope Francis concluded with this prayer: “Lift us up, O Lord, to Christ seated at the right hand of the Father… raise our spirit. Take away our every fear, and grant us joy and peace.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Post-crash Ireland desperately needs the faith

"The economic crisis, corruption and political dysfunction have left the Irish longing for a vision of society that has more to it than property prices. Is the Church up to the challenge?"

Excellent article here

Monday, 4 May 2015

To Keep Bearing Fruit

To Keep Bearing Fruit

How, once we are committed to community life, can we ensure that we never stop growing and living? How can we ensure that we keep walking towards an ever greater human insecurity? Once we have taken root in the ground we have to continue to grow and this means being pruned, cut back, and sometimes even broken so that we can go on bearing fruit.
Jean Vanier, Community and Growth, p.138

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Losing Weight healthily

After Before Tips to come!