Remember the blessings God has given you. Pope Francis urged faithful to do this during his daily morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta, drawing from today’s Gospel from St. Mark, in which Jesus addresses the Priests, Scribes and Pharisees with the parable of the murderous tenant-farmers.
In the reading, the tenants revolt against the landowner who planted a well-organized vineyard and entrusted them with its care. They insult, beat and kill, first, the servants that the master sent to reclaim the land and collect his due, and then, at the drama’s climax, murder the owner’s only son, believing– incorrectly–that such an act could earn them a right to inherit the owner’s substance. The Pope used this passage to reflected on the threefold theme of the dynamic unity in Christian life, the signs of which are memory, prophecy, and hope. Stressing that those who killed in today’s reading were without these three elements, the Pope lamented that the leaders of the people, in particular, were interested in erecting a wall of laws, a “closed juridical system,” and nothing else. “Memory is no concern…This is the system through which they legitimate: the lawyers, theologians who always go the way of casuistry and do not allow the freedom of the Holy Spirit; they do not recognize God’s gift, the gift of the Spirit; and they cage the Spirit, because they do not allow prophecy in hope.” The Pontiff pointed out how Jesus criticized this religious system, which was marked by corruption, worldliness and concupiscence. Jesus, Pope Francis acknowledged, “was Himself tempted to lose the memory of His own mission, to not give way to prophecy and to prefer security instead of hope,” i.e. the essence of the three temptations suffered in the desert. Given Jesus knew temptation Himself, He reproached these people, the Pope explained, telling them: ‘You traverse half the world to have one proselyte, and when you find him, you make him a slave.’ “These people thus organized, this Church so organized, makes slaves – and so it is understandable how Paul reacts when he speaks of slavery to the law and of the liberty that grace gives: people are free, a Church is free, when it has memory, when it makes room for prophets, when it does not lose hope,” the Pope said. The well-organized vineyard, the Pope explained, is in fact “the image of the People of God, the image of the Church and also the image of our soul,” for which the Father always cares “with much love and tenderness.” In rebelling, the people lose memory of the gift they’ve received from God, the Argentine Pope said. Urging faithful to remember their roots and blessings, the Pope asked, “Do I have the memory of the wonders that the Lord has wrought in my life? Can I remember the gifts of the Lord? “Am I able to open my heart to the prophets, i.e. to him, who says to me, ‘this isn’t working, you have to go beyond: go ahead, take a risk’?” He noted that this is what prophets do. am I open to that, or am I afraid, and do I prefer to close myself within the cage of the law? “Finally: do I have hope in God’s promises, such as had our father Abraham, who left his home without knowing where he was going, only because he hoped in God?” Pope Francis concluded, urging those present to repeatedly ask themselves these three questions.
Pope to Deacons: Don’t Be Stingy With Your Time Posted by Deborah Castellano Lubov on 29 May, 2016 To be faithful servants, you can’t be stingy with your time, but give it generously even at the most inconvenient moments. Pope Francis urged deacons to realize this during the concluding Mass of the Jubilee for Deacons in St. Peter’s Square this morning. This specific Jubilee is a celebration for deacons, along with their wives and children, in Rome, May 27-29. They were invited from all around the world to make this pilgrimage to the Eternal City on the occasion of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. In his homily, the Pontiff reflected on what makes one a faithful servant, noting three elements: availability, meekness, and having a ‘healthy heart.’ Availability “One who serves is not a slave to his own agenda, but ever ready to deal with the unexpected, ever available to his brothers and sisters and ever open to God’s constant surprises. One who serves is open to surprises, to God’s constant surprises,” the Pope stressed. Even if it means giving up well-deserved rest or what you enjoy doing, Francis underscored, “a servant knows how to open the doors of his time and inner space for those around him, even at odd hours.” “One who serves is not worried about the timetable,” Francis said off the cuff. “It deeply troubles me when I see a timetable in a parish: “From such a time to such a time”. And then? There is no open door, no priest, no deacon, no layperson to receive people… This is not good. “Don’t worry about the timetable: have the courage to look past the timetable.” A servant, the Pope highlighted, learns each day how to detach himself from doing everything his own way and living his life as he otherwise would. “One who serves cannot hoard his free time; he has to give up the idea of being the master of his day,” he said. He told the deacons that if they show they are available to others, their ministry “will not be self-serving, but evangelically fruitful.” Meekness Turning to meekness, Francis reminded Deacons to imitate the Lord himself, who is “meek and humble of heart” and Who lived to serve. Similarly, like Jesus, the Pope urged, be patient, kind and present. “These are the characteristics of Christian service; meek and humble, it imitates God by serving others: by welcoming them with patient love and unflagging sympathy, by making them feel welcome and at home in the ecclesial community, where the greatest are not those who command but those who serve (cf. Lk 22:26).” In meekness, the Pope stressed, is how deacons’ vocation as ministers of charity mature. Healthy Heart Being ready to serve, he also noted, requires a healthy heart: “a heart healed by God, one which knows forgiveness and is neither closed nor hardened.” The Pope encouraged them to pray daily to be healed by Jesus and to grow more like Him. “You can offer the Lord your work, your little inconveniences, your weariness and your hopes in an authentic prayer that brings your life to the Lord and the Lord to your life,” he said. Pope Francis concluded, reminded the deacons that by putting these three elements into practice, they will become and remain effective servants of Christ, able to encounter and help those most in need.
We are to pray always without becoming weary, for God always answers us. Pope Francis reminded the faithful of this reality during his weekly General Audience this morning in St. Peter’s Square, as he continued his catechesis for the Holy Year of Mercy, turning to Jesus’ parable of the unjust judge and the widow (Lk 18:1-8). The Holy Father recalled that Jesus tells us that even an unscrupulous judge will finally render justice to a poor woman because of her persistence. In the Lord recounting this, the Jesuit Pope explained, He encourages us to persevere in prayer to our heavenly Father, who is infinitely just and loving. “The Lord,” the Pope suggested, “also assures us that God will not only hear our prayers, but will not delay in answering them.” In giving us this parable, Francis explained that Jesus tells us to “pray always and not lose heart.” “All experience moments of fatigue and discouragement, especially when our prayers seem ineffective. But Jesus assures us: unlike the unjust judge, God answers His children promptly, although this does not mean necessarily doing it in the time and manner that we would like.” “Prayer is not a magic wand! It helps to keep faith in God, to trust in Him even when we do not understand His will” The Gospels tell us that Jesus himself prayed constantly. His own intense prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane is a model for our own: it teaches us to present our petitions with complete trust in Father’s gracious will. Concerned about his upcoming anguish, Jesus prayed to the Father to deliver Him from the Passion, but ultimately His prayer is overtaken by trust in the Father. Although Jesus’ wish was not the Father’s will, He trusted. “The object of prayer,” the Pontiff explained, “is of secondary importance; what matters above all is the relationship with the Father.” “This is what prayer does: it transforms the desire and model according to the will of God, whatever it is, because who prays, aspires, first of all, for union with the Father, Who is merciful love.” The Pope then reminded those present that the parable of the unjust judge and the widow ends with a pointed question: “When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth”? (v. 8). Stressing that perseverance in prayer keeps our faith alive and strong, the Holy Father noted how, in our prayer, we experience the compassion of God “who, like a Father filled with love and mercy, is ever ready to come to the aid of His children.” Pope Francis concluded, urging those gathered to ask the Lord for an unceasing, persevering faith, like that of the widow in the parable.
You might like to look at the webpage of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) on euthanasia and assisted suicide that has been revamped to be more accessible and facilitate research.
The new web page offers links to: CCCB statements, resources from the different Regional Episcopal Assemblies; five major campaigns against physician-assisted suicide; resources for parish communities; resources of the Catholic Organization for Life and Family; and a number of other articles and media reports.
We know the parable of the Good Samaritan is a lesson to teach us that we must love our neighbor, and that there’s no one in the category of non-neighbor, but beyond that, Pope Francis asked today, have we also learned the parable’s lesson that God treats us with the compassion of the Samaritan? “In the gestures and the actions of the Good Samaritan we recognize God’s merciful action in the whole history of salvation. It is the same compassion with which the Lord comes to meet each one of us: He does not ignore us, He knows our sorrows; He knows how much we need help and consolation. He comes close to us and never abandons us. Each one of us should ask himself the question and answer in his heart: ‘Do I believe this? Do I believe that the Lord has compassion for me, just as I am, a sinner, with so many problems and so many things?’ Think of this and the answer is: ‘Yes!’ But each one must look into his heart to see if he has faith in this compassion of God, of the good God who comes close, who heals us, who caresses us. And if we refuse Him, He waits: He is patient and is always at our side.” This was Pope Francis’ reflection as he continued the theme of mercy in the general audience held today in St. Peter’s Square. The parable gave the Pope the chance to reiterate one of his most frequent warnings: “It is not automatic,” he said, “that one who frequents God’s house and knows His mercy is able to love his neighbor. It is not automatic! One can know the whole Bible, one can know all the liturgical rubrics, one can know all the theology, but from knowing, loving is not automatic: loving has another way, intelligence is needed but also something more … The priest and the Levite saw, but ignored; looked but did not provide. Yet true worship does not exist if it is not translated into service to one’s neighbor.” The Pontiff added: “What does it mean to ignore man’s suffering? It means to ignore God! If I do not approach that man, or that woman, that child, that elderly man or elderly woman that is suffering, I do not come close to God.” CompassionCompassion is the center of the parable, the Pope suggested, centering on this word that means “to share with”: The Samaritan “‘had compassion,’” Francis said, “that is, his heart, was moved; he was moved within! See the difference. The other two ‘saw,’ but their hearts remained closed, cold. Instead, the Samaritan’s heart was attuned to God’s heart itself. In fact, ‘compassion’ is an essential characteristic of God’s mercy.” God “shares with” us, the Holy Father continued. “He suffers with us; He feels our sufferings.” The Samaritan’s concrete, personal actions teach us “that compassion, love, is not a vague feeling, but it means to take care of the other even to paying in person,” Francis said. “It means to commit oneself, taking all the necessary steps to ‘come close’ to the other, to the point of identifying oneself with him: ‘you shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Behold the Lord’s Commandment.” “This parable is a stupendous gift for all of us, and also a commitment,” the Holy Father concluded. “Jesus repeats to each one of us what He said to the Doctor of the Law: ‘Go and do likewise’ (v. 37). We are all called to follow the same path of the Good Samaritan, who is a figure of Christ: Jesus bent over us, made Himself our servant, and thus He saved us, so that we too are able to love as He loved us, in the same way.”
God is waiting to grace our hardened hearts. We just need to humbly open them up to Him. The Pope drew inspiration from today’s biblical passage which recounted the conversion of St. Paul, pointing out that zeal for holy things does not mean one’s heart is open to God. While Paul of Tarsus examplified a man extreme in his fidelity to the principles of his faith, his heart was totally deaf to Christ, the Pope said, noting Paul’s heart was so closed that he even agreed to persecute Jesus’ followers who lived in Damascus. Never too late to change On the road to Damascus, when Paul is knocked off his horse and loses his sight, everything changes, the Pope explained. Paul’s story, Francis underscored, becomes “the story of a man who allows God to change his heart.” “In that moment he lost his sight. ‘And he let himself be led.’ His heart, began to open itself. Thus, taking him by the hand, the men with him led him to Damascus and for three days he stayed there, blind, and took neither food nor drink.” While this man had ‘hit his low-point,’ the Argentine Pope said, he realized immediately that he must accept this humiliation. “And the true path towards opening one’s heart is humiliation. When the Lord sends us humiliations or allows them to visit us, it is exactly for this reason: that the heart be open, docile; that the heart convert itself to the Lord Jesus.” Holy Spirit Changes Hearts “Paul’s heart is opened,” the Pope said. “In those days of loneliness and blindness, his interior vision is changed. Then God sends him Ananias, who lays his hands on Saul and his eyes are opened. But there is an aspect to this dynamic which, Pope Francis said, must be taken into consideration: the action of the Holy Spirit.” “We must remember that the protagonist in these stories is neither the doctors of the law, nor Stephen, nor Phillip, nor the eunuch, not even Saul… The real protagonist is the Holy Spirit. The protagonist of the Church is the Holy Spirit who guides the people of God. Heartchanger Pope Francis reflected how beautiful it is to see how the Lord can change hearts, even turning hardened, stubborn ones into ones docile to the Holy Spirit. “All of us have a hardened heart. All of us. Let us ask the Lord that He make us see that hardness of heart leaves us on the ground.” The Holy Father concluded his reflection, saying, “Let us ask Him to give us the grace and – if necessary – the humiliations not to remain on the ground but to rise, with the dignity with which God created us, that is, the grace of a heart open and docile to the Holy Spirit.”
If you want joy, do not resist the Holy Spirit, but be docile to Him. The Pope drew inspiration from today’s first reading from the Acts of the Apostles in which Philip evangelized the Ethiopian, a senior official of Queen Candace, and pointed out how the protagonist of the meeting was not Philip nor the Ethiopian, but rather the Holy Spirit. “It is He who does things. It is the Spirit who gives birth to and grows the Church.” “In days past, the Church has shown us how there can be a drama of resisting the Spirit: closed, hard, foolish hearts resisting the Spirit. We’ve seen things – the healing of the lame man by Peter and John at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple; the words and the great things Stephen was doing … but they were closed off to these signs of the Spirit and resisted the Spirit. They were seeking to justify this resistance with a so-called fidelity to the law, that is, to the letter of the law.” The Holy Father warned against those who resist the Spirit with “so-called fidelity to the law,” and stressed this guise of loyalty to the law can never justify such resistance. “The Church,” Pope Francis stressed, “proposes the opposite: no resistance to the Spirit, but docility to the Spirit, which is precisely the attitude of the Christian.” “Being docile to the Spirit, this docility is the yes that the Spirit may act and move forward to build up the Church.” The Apostle Philip, Francis acknowldeged, was “busy as all bishops are, and this day surely he had his plan to work,” but the Spirit tells him to leave what he has planned and go to the Ethiopian – “and he obeyed.” The Spirit, “working in the heart of the Ethiopian,” not only offers him the gift of faith, but makes him feel “something new in his heart,” Francis said. Docility to the Spirit gives us joy “We have heard, these past days, about resistance to the Spirit; and today we have an example of two men who were docile to the voice of the Spirit. “And the sign of this is joy. Docility to the Spirit is a source of joy. “But I would like to do something, this … but I feel the Lord ask me to do something else. Joy I will find there, where there is the call of the Spirit!” ‘Recite this prayer whenever you doubt, have uncertainty’ A beautiful prayer that we can always pray, the Pope suggested, is that of Samuel: ‘Speak, Lord, because I am listening.’ This prayer asking for docility to the Holy Spirit, he underscored “carries forward the Church” and enables us “to be instruments of the Spirit so that the Church can move forward.” “‘Speak, Lord, because your servant is listening,’ Francis repeated. “We should pray this many times a day: when we have a doubt, when we do not know what to do, or when we want simply to pray. And with this prayer we ask for the grace of docility to the Holy Spirit.” Before concluding, the Pontiff invited those gathered to pray for the grace of being docile to the Spirit.
There is no change in doctrine, however, there is an evolution in the understanding of the Gospel and in the understanding of the doctrine itself. Commenting in the heat of the moment on the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, the Director of the Jesuit Magazine LaCivilta Cattolica, Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro, identified in Pope Francis’ document a distinctly Jesuit approach, which puts before everything the personal relation with God of every individual believer, with all the process of discernment that stems from it. Read this informative interview:
There are two types of persecution against Christians, says Pope Francis: that which makes martyrs and that which could be dubbed “polite persecution.” The Pope said this today during his homily at morning Mass in the Casa Santa Marta, reported Vatican Radio. His homily was drawn from the First Reading, which tells of the martyrdom of Stephen. “The tradition of the Church calls him the Protomartyr, the first martyr of the Christian community,” Francis noted. However, even “before him there had been little martyrs” who suffered persecution under Herod. “From that time until today there have been martyrs in the Church, there have been and there are.” There are “men and women persecuted only for confessing and for saying that Jesus Christ is Lord: this is prohibited!” Indeed, this confession “at certain times, in certain places, provokes persecution.” This is clearly manifest, the Pope stated, “in the passage of the Acts of the Apostles that we will read tomorrow: after the martyrdom of Stephen, a great persecution breaks out in Jerusalem.” Then, “all the Christians fled, only the Apostles remained.” Thus, persecution, Francis said, “is the daily bread of the Church: after all, Jesus said so.” When we are tourists in Rome, the Pope continued, “and we go to the Colosseum, we think that the martyrs were those who were killed with the lions.” However, martyrs are not limited to those killed in the Colosseum. In reality, martyrs “are men and women of every day: today, with Easter Sunday just three weeks ago.” The Pope said this in reference to the Christians who died at a park in Pakistan on Easter Sunday. They were “martyred just for celebrating the Risen Christ,” he said, and “thus the history of the Church continues with her martyrs.” Because “the Church is the community of believers, the community of confessors, of those who profess that Jesus is Christ: she is the community of martyrs.” Persecution, the Pope noted, “is one of the characteristics, one of the traits of Church, which pervades her entire history.” And “persecution is cruel, like that of Stephen, like that of our Pakistani brothers and sisters three weeks ago.” It is cruel “like what Saul did, who was present at the death of Stephen, the martyrdom of Stephen.” Saul “went into houses, seized Christians and took them away to be judged.” Culture, modernity and progressThere is, however, also “another kind of persecution that is not often spoken about,” Francis noted. The first form of persecution “is due to confessing the name of Christ” and it is thus “a clear, explicit type of persecution.” The other kind of persecution is “disguised as culture, disguised as modernity, disguised as progress: it is a kind of — I would say somewhat ironically — polite persecution.” You can recognize “when someone is persecuted not for confessing Christ’s name, but for wanting to demonstrate the values of the Son of God.” Thus, it is a kind of “persecution against God the Creator in the person of his children.” In this way “we see every day that the powerful make laws that force people to take this path, and a nation that does not follow this modern collection of laws, or at least that does not want to have them in its legislation, is accused, is politely persecuted.” This is a form of “persecution that takes away man’s freedom,” and even the right to “conscientious objection! God made us free, but this kind of persecution takes away freedom!” Thus, “if you don’t do this, you will be punished: you’ll lose your job and many things or you’ll be set aside.” “This is the persecution of the world,” the Pontiff continued. And “this persecution even has a leader.” In the persecution of Stephen, “the leaders were the scribes, doctors of the law, the high priests.” On the other hand, “Jesus named the leader of polite persecution: the prince of this world.” We see him “when the powerful want to impose attitudes, laws against the dignity of the children of God, persecute them and oppose God the Creator: it is the great apostasy.” ‘I am with you’Thus, “Christian life continues with these two kinds of persecution,” but also with the certainty that “the Lord promised not to distance himself from us: ‘Be careful, be careful! Don’t fall into the worldly spirit. Be careful! But go forward, I will be with you.” In his concluding prayer, Francis asked the Lord for “the grace to understand that a Christian’s path must always continue forward amid two kinds of persecution: a Christian is a martyr, that is, a witness, one who must bear witness to Christ who has saved us.” This means “on the journey of life, bearing witness to God the Father, who created us.” On this path a Christian “must suffer many times: this brings so much suffering.” But “such is our life: Jesus is always beside us, with the consolation of the Holy Spirit.” And “this is our strength.”
Pope Francis today warned against judging people according to false interpretations of God’s Word and God’s Law. The Holy Father offered a reflection on this topic during his Mass this morning at Casa Santa Marta,
He drew from today’s First Reading, in which Stephen is accused of “speaking blasphemous words against Moses and God.”
Those who protested Stephen, “closed to God’s truth, clutch only at the truth of the law, taking it by ‘the letter,’ and do not find outlets other than in lies, false witness and death,” he said. The Pope pointed out that Jesus had already reprimanded them for this attitude, because “their fathers had killed the prophets,” and they were now building monuments to those prophets. He said that the response of the “doctors of the letter” is more cynical than hypocritical when they say that had they been in the days of their fathers, they would not have done the same. Thus – the Pope said – they wash their hands of everything and judge themselves pure. But, he continued: “The heart is closed to God’s Word, it is closed to truth, and it is closed to God’s messenger who brings the prophecy so that God’s people may go forward.” Pope Francis said: “It hurts when I read that small passage from the Gospel of Matthew, when Judas, who has repented, goes to the priests and says: ‘I have sinned’ and wants to give … and gives them the coins. ‘Who cares!’ – they say to him: ‘it’s none of our business!’ They closed their hearts before this poor, repentant man, who did not know what to do. And he went and hanged himself. And what did they do when Judas hanged himself? They spoke amongst themselves and said: ‘Is he a poor man? No! These coins are the price of blood, they must not enter the temple’ … and they referred to this rule and to that… The doctors of the letter. ” The life of a person did not matter to them, the Pope observed, they did not care about Judas’ repentance. The Gospel, he continued, says that Judas came back repentant. But all that mattered to them “were the laws, so many words and things they had built.” This – he said – shows the hardness of their hearts. It’s the foolishness of their hearts that could not withstand the wisdom of Stephen’s truth so they go to look for false witnesses to judge him. Stephen – the Pope continued – ends up like all prophets, like Jesus. And this is repeated in the history of the Church: “History tells us of many people who were judged and killed, although they were innocent: judged according to the Word of God, against the Word of God. Let’s think of witch hunts or of St. Joan of Arc, and of many others who were burnt to death, condemned because according to the judges they were not in line with the Word of God” he said. Pope Francis pointed out that Jesus himself ended up on the cross for having trusted in God and obeyed His Word and he reminded the faithful of Jesus’ words of tenderness when he said to the disciples on the Road to Emmaus: “Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke.” He concluded saying: “Let us ask the Lord to look to the large and to the small follies of our hearts with the same tenderness, to caress us gently and to say to us: ‘Oh you foolish and slow of heart’ and begin to explain things to us.”
I came across this article by Dargen Thompson. She offers "Timeless Wisdom from a Giant of Christian Thinking": "Initially, Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s parents discouraged him from studying theology. The Bonhoeffers were an upper-middle class German family of doctors and scientists, so going into ministry was not thought to be a fitting profession for their sixth child. It’s a good thing for the modern Church that Bonhoeffer was determined in his course. There’s no doubt that Bonhoeffer is one of the most influential theologians of the 20th century. Bonhoeffer’s thoughts are powerful in and of themselves, but even more so in the context of his circumstances. As a pastor in Germany in the era between WWI and WWII, he saw firsthand the subtle shifts in the German church and the German consciousness. Many of Bonhoeffer’s actions seem nonsensical when viewed with an objective eye. He split from the German Church to form the Confessing Church, he got involved in an assassination plot (against Hitler), he returned to Germany from the safety of the U.S. right before the war reached its worst. But put all together, they reveal the story of a man of great conviction, who was willing to go against the norm and undergo suffering for his people and for the God he was committed to following. He was a man who, by the end of his life, really understood the cost of discipleship he famously wrote about. On April 9,1945, Bonhoeffer was killed at a concentration camp—just a few months after his 39th birthday. But his legacy continues. Even today, 71 years after his death, Bonhoeffer’s life is a challenge to us all to pursue justice even when it’s not popular, to care for and defend the persecuted and to relentlessly follow God’s leading. He had much wisdom to share—his numerous books are not the easiest reads, but are well worth reading in full—but for now, here are 12 of his quotes that are sure to give you some food for thought: On Silence “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” On Judging Others “Judging others makes us blind, whereas love is illuminating. By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.” ― The Cost of Discipleship On Gratitude “In normal life we hardly realize how much more we receive than we give, and life cannot be rich without such gratitude. It is so easy to overestimate the importance of our own achievements compared with what we owe to the help of others.” ―Letters and Papers from Prison On Injustice “We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice, we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself.” On 'Defending' the Bible "Do not try to make the Bible relevant. Its relevance is axiomatic. Do not defend God's word, but testify to it. Trust to the Word. It is a ship loaded to the very limits of its capacity." On Real Morality “The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world that it leaves to its children.” On Spirituality “When all is said and done, the life of faith is nothing if not an unending struggle of the spirit with every available weapon against the flesh.” On Fellowship "The first service that one owes to others in the fellowship consists of listening to them. Just as love of God begins with listening to his word, so the beginning of love for our brothers and sisters is learning to listen to them." --Life Together On Proof of God “A God who let us prove his existence would be an idol” “We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice, we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself.” On Peace “There is no way to peace along the way of safety. For peace must be dared, it is itself the great venture and can never be safe. Peace is the opposite of security. To demand guarantees is to want to protect oneself. Peace means giving oneself completely to God’s commandment, wanting no security, but in faith and obedience laying the destiny of the nations in the hand of Almighty God, not trying to direct it for selfish purposes. Battles are won, not with weapons, but with God. They are won when the way leads to the cross.” On God's Love "God does not love some ideal person, but rather human beings just as we are, not some ideal world, but rather the real world." — Meditations on the Cross"On God's Will “Being a Christian is less about cautiously avoiding sin than about courageously and actively doing God's will.”
“You can’t underestimate the impact those two people had on the popular conception of the Catholic Church,” he says. “A few years ago, people’s predominant perception of the Catholic Church was sex abuse. Now, when I walk down the street in the collar, people come up to me and say, ‘I love your pope.’ That is a big change.” Fr James Martin Who do think Fr James Martin is talking about? I found this article very interesting. Click on the button to read more.
This is a modest effort at a "blog" my attempt to offer some brief reflections each day that come from various sources that I find interesting - primarily the daily reflections of Pope Francis as found on Zenit and Rome Reports. Fr. John