Archive for the ‘Memory Book’ Category
From the beginning of a sermon On Pastors by Saint Augustine, bishop
I am a Christian as well as a leader
You have often learned that all our hope is in Christ and that he is our true glory and our salvation. You are members of the flock of the Good Shepherd, who watches over Israel and nourishes his people. Yet there are shepherds who want to have the title of shepherd without wanting to fulfill a pastor’s duties; let us then recall what God says to his shepherds through the prophet. You must listen attentively; I must listen with fear and trembling.
The word of the Lord came to me and said: Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel and speak to the shepherds of Israel. We just heard this reading a moment ago, my brothers, and I have decided to speak to you on this passage. The Lord will help me to speak the truth if I do not speak on my own authority. For if I speak on my own authority, I will be a shepherd nourishing myself and not the sheep. However, if my words are the Lord’s, then he is nourishing you no matter who speaks. Thus says the Lord God: Shepherds of Israel, who have been nourishing only themselves! Should not the shepherds nourish the sheep? In other words, true shepherds take care of their sheep, not themselves. This is the principal reason why God condemns those shepherds: they took care of themselves rather than their sheep. Who are they who nourish themselves? They are the shepherds the Apostle described when he said: They all seek what is theirs and not what is Christ’s.
I must distinguish carefully between two aspects of the role the lord has given me, a role that demands a rigorous accountability, a role based on the Lord’s greatness rather than on my own merit. The first aspect is that I am a Christian; the second, that I am a leader. I am a Christian for my own sake, whereas I am a leader for your sake; the fact that I am a Christian is to my own advantage, but I am a leader for your advantage.
Many persons come to God as Christians but not as leaders. Perhaps they travel by an easier road and are less hindered since they bear a lighter burden. In addition to the fact that I am a Christian and must give God an account of my life, I as a leader must give him an account of my stewardship as well.
A man made great for and by the love of our Lord indeed – Catholicjules
From a homily on Ezekiel by Saint Gregory the Great, pope
For Christ’s love I do not spare myself in speaking of him
Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. Note that a man whom the Lord sends forth as a preacher is called a watchman. A watchman always stands on a height so that he can see from afar what is coming. Anyone appointed to be a watchman for the people must stand on a height for all his life to help them by his foresight.
How hard it is for me to say this, for by these very words I denounce myself. I cannot preach with any competence, and yet insofar as I do succeed, still I myself do not live my life according to my own preaching.
I do not deny my responsibility; I recognize that I am slothful and negligent, but perhaps the acknowledgment of my fault will win me pardon from my just judge. Indeed when I was in the monastery I could curb my idle talk and usually be absorbed in my prayers. Since I assumed the burden of pastoral care, my mind can no longer be collected; it is concerned with so many matters.
I am forced to consider the affairs of the Church and of the monasteries. I must weigh the lives and acts of individuals. I am responsible for the concerns of our citizens. I must worry about the invasions of roving bands of barbarians, and beware of the wolves who lie in wait for my flock. I must become an administrator lest the religious go in want. I must put up with certain robbers without losing patience and at times I must deal with them in all charity.
With my mind divided and torn to pieces by so many problems, how can I meditate or preach wholeheartedly without neglecting the ministry of proclaiming the Gospel? Moreover, in my position I must often communicate with worldly men. At times I let my tongue run, for if I am always severe in my judgments, the worldly will avoid me, and I can never attack them as I would. As a result I often listen patiently to chatter. And because I too am weak, I find myself drawn little by little into idle conversation, and I begin to talk freely about matters which once I would have avoided. What once I found tedious I now enjoy.
So who am I to be a watchman, for I do not stand on the mountain of action but lie down in the valley of weakness? Truly the all-powerful Creator and Redeemer of mankind can give me in spite of my weaknesses a higher life and effective speech; because I love him, I do not spare myself in speaking of him.
From a homily on Matthew by Saint John Chrysostom, bishop
Do not adorn the church and ignore your afflicted brother
Do you want to honor Christ’s body? Then do not scorn him in his nakedness, nor honor him here in the church with silken garments while neglecting him outside where he is cold and naked. For he who said: This is my body, and made it so by his words, also said: You saw me hungry and did not feed me, and inasmuch as you did not do it for one of these, the least of my brothers, you did not do it for me. What we do here in the church requires a pure heart, not special garments; what we do outside requires great dedication.
Let us learn, therefore to be men of wisdom and to honor Christ as he desires. For a person being honored finds greatest pleasure in the honor he desires, not in the honor we think best. Peter thought he was honoring Christ when he refused to let him wash his feet; but what Peter wanted was not truly an honor, quite the opposite! Give him the honor prescribed in his law by giving your riches to the poor. For God does not want golden vessels but golden hearts.
Now, in saying this I am not forbidding you to make such gifts; I am only demanding that along with such gifts and before them you give alms. He accepts the former, but he is much more pleased with the latter. In the former, only the giver profits; in the latter, the recipient does too. A gift to the Church may be taken as a form of ostentation, but an alms is pure kindness.
Of what use is it to weigh down Christ’s table with golden cups, when he himself is dying of hunger? First, fill him when he is hungry; then use the means you have left to adorn his table. Will you have a golden cup made but not give a cup of water? What is the use of providing the table with cloths woven of gold thread, and not providing Christ himself with the clothes he needs? What profit is there in that? Tell me: If you were to see him lacking the necessary food but were to leave him in that state and merely surround his table with gold, would he be grateful to you or rather would he not be angry? What if you were to see him clad in worn-out rags and stiff from the cold, and were to forget about clothing him and instead were to set up golden columns for him, saying that you were doing it in his honor? Would he not think he was being mocked and greatly insulted?
Apply this also to Christ when he comes along the roads as a pilgrim, looking for shelter. You do not take him in as your guest, but you decorate floor and walls and the capitals of the pillars. You provide silver chains for the lamps, but you cannot bear even to look at him as he lies chained in prison. Once again, I am not forbidding you to supply these adornments; I am urging you to provide these other things as well, and indeed to provide them first. No one has ever been accused for not providing ornaments, but for those who neglect their neighbor a hell awaits with an inextinguishable fire and torment in the company of the demons. Do not, therefore, adorn the church and ignore your afflicted brother, for he is the most precious temple of all.
From the Confessions of Saint Augustine, bishop
Let us gain eternal wisdom
The day was now approaching when my mother Monica would depart from this life; you knew that day, Lord, though we did not. She and I happened to be standing by ourselves at a window that overlooked the garden in the courtyard of the house. At the time we were in Ostia on the Tiber. We had gone there after a long and wearisome journey to get away from the noisy crowd, and to rest and prepare for our sea voyage. I believe that you, Lord, caused all this to happen in your own mysterious ways. And so the two of us, all alone, were enjoying a very pleasant conversation, forgetting the past and pushing on to what is ahead. We were asking one another in the presence of the Truth–for you are the Truth–what it would be like to share the eternal life enjoyed by the saints, which eye has not seen, nor ear heard, which has not even entered into the heart of man. We desired with all our hearts to drink from the streams of your heavenly fountain, the fountain of life.
That was the substance of our talk, though not the exact words. But you know, O Lord, that in the course of our conversation that day, the world and its pleasures lost all their attraction for us. My mother said: “Son, as far as I am concerned, nothing in this life now gives me any pleasure. I do not know why I am still here, since I have no further hopes in this world. I did have one reason for wanting to live a little longer: to see you become a Catholic Christian before I died. God has lavished his gifts on me in that respect, for I know that you have even renounced earthly happiness to be his servant. So what am I doing here?”
I do not really remember how I answered her. Shortly, within five days or thereabouts, she fell sick with a fever. Then one day during the course of her illness she became unconscious and for a while she was unaware of her surroundings. My brother and I rushed to her side but she regained consciousness quickly. She looked at us as we stood there and asked in a puzzled voice: “Where was I?”
We were overwhelmed with grief, but she held her gaze steadily upon us and spoke further: “Here you shall bury your mother.” I remained silent as I held back my tears. However, my brother haltingly expressed his hope that she might not die in a strange country but in her own land, since her end would be happier there. When she heard this, her face was filled with anxiety, and she reproached him with a glance because he had entertained such earthly thoughts. Then she looked at me and spoke: “Look what he is saying.” Thereupon she said to both of us: “Bury my body wherever you will; let not care of it cause you any concern. One thing only I ask you, that you remember me at the altar of the Lord wherever you may be.” Once our mother had expressed this desire as best she could, she fell silent as the pain of her illness increased.
Let us pray….
Dear St Monica we seek your powerful intercession, kindly pray for all our family members who are obstinate with hardness of heart. May the love of Christ penetrate their hearts so that they might be redeemed in His love and be granted peace and joy in their lives. Through Christ our Lord… Amen
Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI writes that.”precisely because Mary is with God and in God, she is very close to each one of us. While she lived on this earth she could only be close to a few people. Being in God, who is actually ‘within’ all of us, Mary shares in this closeness of God.” Our Lady “knows our hearts, can hear our prayers, can help us, with her motherly kindness. She always listens to us, and being Mother of the Son participates in the power of the Son and in His goodness. We can always entrust the whole of our lives to this Mother.” The Blessed Mother’s birth into heaven generates in us “an ever new capacity to await God’s future” (Blessed John Paul II). “Mary lifted herself up to such lofty heights of heaven that the Word reached down from the highest pinnacle of heaven and took her in ” (Ambrose Audpert +784)
Let us pray…
Blessed are you, O God, in the Virgin Mary. Through her, your Son came into the world. Through Him, she entered into the new world of Your glory. Come and sow in our bodies the gift of eternal life so that one day we may enter with her into your Kingdom through Christ, Your Son and Son of Mary, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen
(Solemnity of The Assumption of The Blessed Virgin Mary)
Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”
And Mary said:
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me and holy is his Name. He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation. He has shown the strength of his arm, and has scattered the proud in their conceit. He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has come to the help of his servant Israel for he has remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children for ever.”
Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.
This is a little booklet I did for my second son as he was preparing for First Holy Communion in 2012.
Hope you’ll find the booklet useful for your children.
Love In Christ,
Click on the link below to download the file.
From a dialogue On Divine Providence by Saint Catherine of Siena, virgin
The bonds of love
My sweet Lord, look with mercy upon your people and especially upon the mystical body of your Church. Greater glory is given to your name for pardoning a multitude of your creatures than if I alone were pardoned for my great sins against your majesty. It would be no consolation for me to enjoy your life if your holy people stood in death. For I see that sin darkens the life of your bride the Church—my sin and the sins of others.
It is a special grace I ask for, this pardon for the creatures you have made in your image and likeness. When you created man, you were moved by love to make him in your own image. Surely only love could so dignify your creatures. But I know very well that man lost the dignity you gave him; he deserved to lose it, since he had committed sin. Moved by love and wishing to reconcile the human race to yourself, you gave us your only-begotten Son. He became our mediator and our justice by taking on all our injustice and sin out of obedience to your will, eternal Father, just as you willed that he take on our human nature. What an immeasurably profound love! Your Son went down from the heights of his divinity to the depths of our humanity. Can anyone’s heart remain closed and hardened after this?
We image your divinity, but you image our humanity in that union of the two which you have worked in a man. You have veiled the Godhead in a cloud, in the clay of our humanity. Only your love could so dignify the flesh of Adam. And so by reason of this immeasurable love I beg, with all the strength of my soul, that you freely extend your mercy to all your lowly creatures.
I love this so much that I’m calling this The Catholic Christian Code of Conduct!
From a letter attributed to Barnabas
The way of light
Consider now the way of light; any man who is bent on reaching his appointed goal must be very careful in all he does. Now these are the directions that have been given to us for this journey: love your Creator; reverence your Maker; give glory to him who redeemed you when you were dead; be single-minded but rich in spiritual treasure; avoid those who travel down death’s highway; hate whatever is displeasing to God; detest all hypocritical pretense; do not abandon God’s commandments. Do not put on airs, but be modest in whatever you do; claim no credit for yourself. Plot no evil against your neighbor, and do not give pride an entrance into your heart.
Love your neighbor more than your own life. Do not kill an unborn child through abortion, nor destroy it after birth. Do not refrain from chastising son or daughter, but bring them up from childhood in the fear of the Lord. Do not set your heart on what belongs to your neighbor and do not give in to greed. Do not associate with the arrogant but cultivate those who are humble and virtuous.
Accept as a blessing whatever comes your way in the knowledge that nothing ever happens without God’s concurrence. Avoid duplicity in thought or in word, for such deception is a deadly snare.
Share with your neighbor whatever you have, and do not say of anything, this is mine. If you both share an imperishable treasure, how much more must you share what is perishable. Do not be hasty in speech; the mouth is a deadly snare. For your soul’s good, make every effort to live chastely. Do not hold out your hand for what you can get, only to withdraw it when it comes to giving. Cherish as the apple of your eye anyone who speaks to you of the word of the Lord.
Night and day you will bear in mind the hour of judgment; every day you will seek out the company of God’s faithful, either by preaching the word, earnestly exhorting them, ever considering how you can save souls by your eloquence, or else by working with your hands to make reparation for your past sins.
Never hesitate to give, and when you do give, never grumble; then you will know the one who will repay you. Preserve the traditions you have received, adding nothing and taking nothing away. The evildoer will ever be hateful to you. Be fair in your judgments.
Never stir up dissension, but act as peacemaker and reconcile the quarrelsome. Confess your sins, and do not begin to pray with a guilty conscience.Such then is the way of light.
This is the full sequence that is usually said during the Solemnity of Corpus Christi. Unfortunately due to time constrains the shorter form is usually said beginning at ”Behold the bread of angels, sent….” I encourage everyone however to read the whole sequence slowly and allow the glorious words of our faith embody you. This I believe is an ancient piece which was magnificently composed and meticulous in every way! Praise the Lord!
Sing forth, O Zion, sweetly sing
The praises of thy Shepherd-King,
In hymns and canticles divine;
Dare all thou canst, thou hast no song
Worthy his praise to prolong,
So far surpassing power like thine.
Today no theme of common praise
Forms the sweet burden of thy lays –
The living, life-dispensing food –
That food which at the sacred board
Unto the brethren twelve our Lord
His parting legacy bestowed.
Then be the anthem clear and strong,
Thy fullest note, thy sweetest song,
The very music of the breast:
For now shines forth the day sublime
That brings remembrance of the time
When Jesus first his table blessed.
Within our new King’s banquet-hall
They meet to keep the festival
That closed the ancient paschal rite:
The old is by the new replaced;
The substance hath the shadow chased;
And rising day dispels the night.
Christ willed what he himself had done
Should be renewed while time should run,
In memory of his parting hour:
Thus, tutored in his school divine,
We consecrate the bread and wine;
And lo – a Host of saving power.
This faith to Christian men is given –
Bread is made flesh by words from heaven:
Into his blood the wine is turned:
What though it baffles nature’s powers
Of sense and sight? This faith of ours
Proves more than nature e’er discerned.
Concealed beneath the two-fold sign,
Meet symbols of the gifts divine,
There lie the mysteries adored:
The living body is our food;
Our drink the ever-precious blood;
In each, one undivided Lord.
Not he that eateth it divides
The sacred food, which whole abides
Unbroken still, nor knows decay;
Be one, or be a thousand fed,
They eat alike that living bread
Which, still received, ne’er wastes away.
The good, the guilty share therein,
With sure increase of grace or sin;
The ghostly life, or ghostly death:
Death to the guilty: to the good
Immortal life. See how one food
Man’s joy or woe accomplisheth.
We break the Sacrament; but bold
And firm thy faith shall keep its hold;
Deem not the whole doth more enfold
Than in the fractured part resides:
Deem but that Christ doth broken lie;
‘Tis but the sign that meets the eye;
The hidden deep reality
In all its fullness still abides.
Behold the bread of angels, sent
For pilgrims in their banishment,
The bread for God’s true children meant,
That may not unto dogs be given:
Oft in the olden types foreshadowed;
In Isaac on the altar bowed,
And in the ancient paschal food
And in the manna sent from heaven.
Come then, good shepherd, bread divine,
Still show to us thy mercy sign;
Oh, feed us still, still keep us thine;
So may we see thy glories shine
In fields of immortality.
O thou, the wisest, mightiest, best,
Our present food, our future rest,
Come, make us each thy chosen guest,
Co-heirs of thine, and comrades blest
With saints whose dwelling is with thee.
Towards the end of Triduum of the Holy Spirit, which I decided to attend on the last day. We were to choose from strips of scripture text printed on paper placed on an altar, ONE which spoke to our heart and we will try to live it out for the rest of the year. We would then take a tea light candle light it and place it on the altar and say a prayer. As we stood nearby and prayed, another sister or brother in Christ was encouraged to place their hand on our shoulder and pray over us.
I thought to myself what a truly inspired idea! The only difficulty I had with it was in the choosing! How do you choose between your children? Can one ever be better than another? So I decided to participate in a way that would allow the Holy Spirit full control, I reached for a stack of strips, wiggled my finger in between and pulled out one. Without looking at it, I lighted the tea light placed it on the altar and then prayed for the Holy Spirit to allow me to live out the Scripture Text He had chosen for me.
Praise the Lord! Truly a message appropriate for me and for lots of you, and since you didn’t get a chance to pull your very own I’m sharing mine with you so that you can journey together with me.
I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all. But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift. EPH 4:1-11
It’s been awhile since I’ve taken the time to write up on a personal testimony to the workings of the Holy Spirit and it’s easy to do so when you have Him touch you in such a deep way.
First a little background….you see I was invited to attend two separate Triduums to the Holy Spirit events, one in my own parish and the other in the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes where my ‘spiritual father’ of sorts was flying in to lead the event. I was torn a little, however was leaning towards attending it at the latter as I missed Bro. Lalith and his team. Moreover he is truly an anointed and gifted speaker.
As I was praying and discerning which one to choose, I was prompted instead to conduct a neighbourhood LTW session (LTW=Living The Word) to prepare and bring the group to closer to understanding and even perhaps experiencing the gifts of the Holy Spirit as we drew closer to Pentecost Sunday. The message to me, was use the gifts you already received instead of seeking to further understand and experience what you already know to be true. So I send out invites to the whole group to come on Friday evening. One of my neighbourhood members and his mate from the Warden Ministry were supposed to be involved in the triduum but they were prompted to attend our session instead.
Friday morning, I had just finished my night shift and so sat down to have some breakfast and to do my reflections for the daily Gospel. I then received a call from my wife telling me that she had received a call from my second son’s school. Our son had apparently fallen from the top of the staircase and landed directly on his head. Apart from two of his fingers which were badly hurt, he was also complaining of stomach pains and so had to be rushed to the hospital. My wife informed me that she was on her way and would meet me there. Needless to say it was very upsetting news, yet I felt a calm come over me and a feeling that everything would be okay and that I should continue with the reflections before heading over. After completing and uploading the reflections, I then hailed a taxi and rushed over to the hospital and managed to get there ahead of the ambulance.
When my son arrived he was transferred from the stretcher to the wheelchair and apart from the swell on his fingers he looked generally okay. Eyewitnesses to the accident in school confirmed that he had missed a step and actually fell from five steps down approximately 1.4 metres and landed directly on the right side of his head. However there was no swelling whatsoever on his head except for a slight discolouration which looked to be the beginnings of a slight bruise. His stomach pain had subsided and so his only real complaint were his fingers. Praise the Lord!
When my wife arrived, she thought it best that we postpone the LTW session, however I told her that everything would be fine and that we should proceed. My son was discharged with a cast on his left hand to allow the two affected fingers to heal properly and we are to return a week later for a follow up and that was all there was to it. Praise the Lord!
In the evening during one of the sharing sessions, I asked the young son of a member if there was anything he would like to share on one of the passages we were covering. You see I had asked him on numerous occasions in the past, if he had anything to share and he would always politely turn me down. He would however from time to time ask questions on what the passages meant. That evening, filled with the holy spirit he not only highlighted two sentences which moved him deeply, he proceeded to share why and what it meant. Praise the Lord!
Throughout the session the Holy Spirit moved through almost all the members and we could feel the very strong presence of our Lord among us. The sharings were wonderful and heartfelt.
Then at the end of the session we decided to have a closing hymn which we do not normally do, this was done after the closing prayer. One of the members had prepared the hymn a week before for our session not knowing which Gospel passage we were going to. We decided to do John 14:15–16, 23b–26. And verse 23 of the Gospel reading is ‘Jesus answered him, “If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.’ She had chosen the hymn ’God is dwelling in my heart’ Praise the Lord!
I thank and praise God for keeping my son safe and sound and for allowing me to participate in His plan, which provided for a powerful testimony to the movement of the Holy Spirit and thereby a witness to His Great Glory! Amen
Reflection on the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ +
The agony in the garden was really the agony in His mind. He suffered the passion in His mind before He suffered it in His body—to the point of actually affecting the latter by sweating blood. But from then on, it was His bodily suffering that affected His mental suffering.
At the base of all His suffering was the one thing that human beings dread the most: rejection. He was betrayed by Judas, denied by Peter and abandoned by all the rest of His Apostles; those He had hand picked as His closest intimates. He was most rejected by those who put Him to death. They not only wanted Him dead, they wanted Him to suffer. They not only considered Him to be worth nothing, they considered Him to be worth minus nothing! This significance was not lost on Him. He felt fully the rejection as each physical agony reminded Him.
So we thank Him for I us on our human journey and actually choosing to experience what we fear the most.
We thank Him for enduring the arrest and the cruelty of the guards and the Sanhedrin. We thank Him for enduring the cruelty of Pilate who allowed Him to be executed rather than risk his own political ruin—and for the cruelty of Herod who wanted to be entertained by having Him work a miracle. We thank Him for all the time He spent satisfying their preoccupation with themselves, just delaying His ultimate death. We thank Him for the anxiety of that night in a cell.
The next morning He was brutally scourged with such intensity and violence that He became as an aged man in a matter of minutes. His multiple wounds bloodied His entire body. The loss of so much blood not only severely weakened Him; it also caused a severe, throbbing headache that remained with Him for the duration.
We thank Him for this and for the mockery He received when they put a purple cloth on His shoulders and pushed a crown of thorns down into His head which intensified His headache. They blindfolded Him and slapped Him, insisting that He ‘prophesy’ who had hit Him. They spat on Him and beat Him. But it was they who were blind. He knew who they were. This is what we do when we sin. We blot him out of our consciousness as if He can’t see us. But it is we who choose to not see.
He stood at the praetorium in utter disgrace according to the attitude of the crowd—while in reality, He stood in utter glory: almighty God, being present to every person who has ever suffered rejection, joining them in their
moment of pain. It was there that He was sentenced to death by crucifixion. As a further humiliation, He was forced to carry His instrument of execution. He revealed to St. Bernard that carrying the cross was His most painful agony. He was so weak, He could hardly walk. So the weight of the cross on His shoulder was unbearable. It most likely dislocated His shoulder. It is not surprising that He fell down on the stone streets that were filthy with animal dung—with the cross on top of Him. And He got up each time.
It was only with the help of Simon of Cyrene that He made it to the top of Calvary. There they drove the nails into the carpal tunnels of His hands, causing pain throughout His upper body. The nail in His feet registered great pain through all the sensitive nerves there. When the cross was righted, His up-stretched arms squeezed His lungs and He began to pant for lack of oxygen. So He had to push down on His crucified feet to push His body up in order to fill His lungs with air. This took great effort because He was so weak. Yet He managed to maintain such effort for three hours of agony which increased gradually as He became weaker moment by moment.
By the end of the third hour, His agony was at its peak and His self-gift was exquisite. He had come to the point where His strength simply gave out and He suffocated. In this eternal moment as He died, He gave us His life. Transcending time, this moment of divine love is present to us in the tabernacles of the world.
Thank you, Lord. We adore you O Christ and we praise you. By your holy cross, you have redeemed the world!
If this still matters to you, then it must matter more than anyone and anything. One day you will see Him face to face. If you go through with this marriage, what will you tell Him? If you read this reflection every day, He will give you the strength to be faithful to Him. You are in our prayers.
Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.
Here is the link to a 3mb PDF File
“How fortunate we are…to have a God as a model. Are we poor? We have a God who is born in a stable, who lies in a manger. Are we despised? We have a God who led the way, who was crowned with thorns, dressed in a filthy red cloak and treated as a madman. Are we tormented by pain and suffering? Before our eyes we have a God covered with wounds, dying in unimaginable pain. Are we being persecuted? How can we dare complain when have a God who is being put to death by executioners? Finally, we are being tempted by the demon? We have our lovable redeemer:He was also tempted by the demon and was twice taken up by that hellish spirit :therefore, no matter what sufferings, pains, or temptations we are experiencing, we always have, everywhere, our God leading the way for us and assuring us of victory as long as we genuinely desire it.” – St John Vianney
All you who thirst for love,
All you who thirst to fill an empty void,
All you who thirst for peace of mind,
All you who thirst for more than what the world can offer,
Come to me for I am the living water, I alone can grant you eternal life.
Why do you come busy about your affairs? Come sit with me and experience my love for you, worship and adoration will come naturally for you in time…
Thank you Jesus, Praise You Jesus!
Let us pray….
O God of all the living, you brought to birth the day of salvation wrought through the One who is our ever lasting life and peace. Through the intercession of Mary, Mother of God and the world’s Mother, bring to perfection that which you have begun in Him who lives and reigns with You and The Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever Amen.
The Blessed Virgin Mary is born to be Mother. The supreme consolation that Our Lady receives at the cross of her Son is the assurance that her vocation as Mother does not end with Christ’s death. The Lord commands the world, “Behold your Mother.” The Church begins for Mary – and for us – with these words. The Blessed Virgin’s womb remains for ever fruitful. Mary leads us to Christ, but Christ leads us back to his Mother, for without Mary’s maternity, Jesus would become a mere abstraction to us. The Lord wills to let His face shine upon us through the face of the Mother of God. We “serve a Mother who seems to grow more beautiful as new generations rise up and call her blessed” ( G.K. Chesterton ).
Because of you, Mary the light of the only begotten Son of God has shone upon those who sat in darkness and in the shadow of death; prophets pronounced the Word of God;the Apostles preached salvation to the Gentiles;the dead are raised to life, and kings rule by power of the holy Trinity.
Who can put Mary’s high honour into words? She is both Mother and Virgin. I am overwhelmed the wonder of this miracle. Of course no one could be prevented from living in the house he had built for himself, yet who would invite mockery by asking his own servant to become his mother?
Behold then the joy of the whole universe. let the union of God and man in the Son of the Virgin Mary fill us with awe and adoration. Let us fear and worship the undivided Trinity as we sing the praise of the ever-Virgin Mary, the holy temple of God, and of God himself, her Son and spotless Bridegroom. To Him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Saint Cyril of Alexandria +444
Seeking hard to hear our Lord speak, a peaceful calm rested upon me and I heard His voice speaking to me as He spoke to Mother Mary and St John… “Woman, here is your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” Jn 19:26-27
From the rising of the sun, you will bathe in my Glory,for as you hold me close to your heart. So will I embrace you in mine.
From a letter to Proba by Saint Augustine, bishop
(Ep. 130, 11,21-12,22; CSEL 44, 63-64)
We need to use words so that we may remind ourselves to consider carefully what we are asking, not so that we may think we can instruct the Lord or prevail upon him.
Thus, when we say: Hallowed be your name, we are reminding ourselves to desire that his name, which in fact is always holy, should also be considered holy among men. I mean that it should not be held in contempt. But this is a help for men, not for God.
And as for our saying: Your kingdom come, it will surely come whether we will it or not. But we are stirring up our desires for the kingdom so that it can come to us and we can deserve to reign there.
When we say: Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven, we are asking him to make us obedient so that his will may be done in us as it is done in heaven by his angels.
When we say: Give us this day our daily bread, in saying this day we mean “in this world.” Here we ask for a sufficiency by specifying the most important part of it; that is, we use the word “bread” to stand for everything. Or else we are asking for the sacrament of the faithful, which is necessary in this world, not to gain temporal happiness but to gain the happiness that is everlasting.
When we say: Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, we are reminding ourselves of what we must ask and what we must do in order to be worthy in turn to receive.
When we say: Lead us not into temptation, we are reminding ourselves to ask that his help may not depart from us; otherwise we could be seduced and consent to some temptation, or despair and yield to it.
When we say: Deliver us from evil, we are reminding ourselves to reflect on the fact that we do not yet enjoy the state of blessedness in which we shall suffer no evil. This is the final petition contained in the Lord’s Prayer, and it has a wide application. In this petition the Christian can utter his cries of sorrow, in it he can shed his tears, and through it he can begin, continue and conclude his prayer, whatever the distress in which he finds himself. Yes, it was very appropriate that all these truths should be entrusted to us to remember in these very words.
Whatever be the other words we may prefer to say (words which the one praying chooses so that his disposition may become clearer to himself or which he simply adopts so that his disposition may be intensified), we say nothing that is not contained in the Lord’s Prayer, provided of course we are praying in a correct and proper way. But if anyone says something which is incompatible with this prayer of the Gospel, he is praying in the flesh, even if he is not praying sinfully. And yet I do not know how this could be termed anything but sinful, since those who are born again through the Spirit ought to pray only in the Spirit.
Gentle reminder if you had forgotten…..
While In Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament….
Cling to me and I will keep you safe. Put your head on my bosom and experience my deep love for you.
During a Praise and Worship session…..
To be a child of God is to do my Father’s Will.
“From infancy to death human life is surrounded by their (the angels) watchful care and intercession. Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life. Already here on earth the Christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and men united to God.”
- from the Catechism of the Catholic Church; 336.
From a sermon On Pastors by St. Augustine, bishop
They were scattered on every mountain and on every hill and over the entire face of the earth. What is the meaning of the phrase: They were scattered over the entire face of the earth? Some men continually strive for all the goods of the world, the goods that are so evident on the face of the earth; yes, they love and prize them. They do not want to die, to have their lives buried in Christ. Over the entire face of the earth: such men love earthly things; moreover such straying sheep are to be found over the entire face of the earth. They dwell in different places, but one mother, pride, has given birth to them all, just as one mother, our Catholic Church, has given birth to all faithful Christians scattered over the whole world.
Small wonder that pride gives birth to division, and love to unity. But our catholic mother is herself a shepherd; she seeks the straying sheep everywhere, strengthens the weak, heals the sick, and binds up the injured. They may not know one another, but she knows all of them because she reaches out to all her sheep.
Thus she is like a vine that is spread out everywhere in its growth. The straying sheep are like useless branches which because of their sterility are deservedly cut off, not to destroy the vine but to prune it. When these branches were cut down, they were left lying there. But the vine grew and flourished, and it knew both the branches that remained upon it and those that had been cut off and left lying beside it.
She calls the stray sheep back, however, because the Apostle said in reference to the broken branches: God has the power to graft them on again. Call them sheep straying from the flock or branches cut off from the vine, God is equally capable of calling back the sheep or of grafting the branches on again, for he is equally the chief shepherd and the true farmer. And they were scattered over the entire face of the earth, and there was no one to search for them, no one to call them back, that is to say, no one among those wicked shepherds. There was no one to search for them, that is, no one among men.
Therefore, shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: I live, says the Lord God. Notice the beginning of this passage; it is as if God were taking an oath, giving testimony to his own life. I live, says the Lord. The shepherds are dead, but the sheep are safe, for the Lord lives. I live, says the Lord God. Which shepherds are dead? Those who seek what is theirs and not what is Christ’s. But will there be shepherds who seek what is Christ’s and not what is theirs, and will they be found? There will indeed be such shepherds, and they will indeed be found; they are not lacking, nor will they be lacking in the future.
A Prayer Of Blessed John Henry Newman
Man… Is ever changing. Not a day passes but I am nearer the grave. Whatever my age, whatever the number of my years, I am ever narrowing the interval between time and eternity…. O my God I am crumbling away, as I go on! I am already dissolving into my first elements. My soul indeed cannot die, for you have made it immortal; but my bodily frame is continually resolving into that dust out of which it was taken.
Everything below heaven changes : spring, summer, autumn, each has its turn. The fortunes of the world change. What was high lies low; what was low rises high. Riches take wings and flee away; bereavements happen. Friends become enemies, and enemies friends. Our wishes, aims and plans change. There is nothing stable but you, O my God! And you are the center and life of all who change, who trust you as their Father, who look to you, and who are content to put themselves into your hands.
I know, O my God, I must change, if I am to see your face! I must undergo the change of death. Body and soul must die to this world. My real self, my soul must change by a true regeneration. Only the Holy can see you… Oh support me as I proceed in this great awful, happy change, with the grace of your unchangeableness…. Let me day by day be molded upon you, and be changed from glory to glory, by ever looking toward you, and ever leaning on your arm.
I know, O Lord, I must go through trial, temptation, and much conflict, if I am to come to you. I do not know what lies before me, but I know this. I know, too, that If you are not with me, my change will be for the worse, not for the better. Whatever fortune I have, rich or poor, healthy or sick, with friends or without, all will turn to evil if I am not sustained by the Unchangeable. All will turn to good if I have Jesus with me, yesterday and today, the same, and for ever.
“God has not created me for naught. I shall do good, I shall do his work, I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place while not intending it if I just keep His commandments. Therefore I will trust Him. Whatever I am, I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him; in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him. If I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him. He does nothing in vain… He knows what He is about.”
Blessed John Henry Newman
An act of love is remaining silent even though our egos desires to speak.
An act of love is a decision to love even before seeing, hearing or touching.
An act of love is to always welcome the stranger in our midst.
A Christian may never think of belief as a private act. Faith is choosing to stand with the Lord so as to live with him. This “standing with him” points towards an understanding of the reasons for believing. Faith, precisely because it is a free act, also demands social responsibility for what one believes.
Pope Benedict XVI
Some have tried to argue that Jesus did not mean that his Church would be built on Peter but on something else.
Some argue that in this passage there is a minor difference between the Greek term for Peter (Petros) and the term for rock (petra), yet they ignore the obvious explanation: petra, a feminine noun, has simply been modifed to have a masculine ending, since one would not refer to a man (Peter) as feminine. The change in the gender is purely for stylistic reasons.
These critics also neglect the fact that Jesus spoke Aramaic, and, as John 1:42 tells us, in everyday life he actually referred to Peter as Kepha or Cephas (depending on how it is transliterated). It is that term which is then translated into Greek as petros. Thus, what Jesus actually said to Peter in Aramaic was: “You are Kepha and on this very kepha I will build my Church.”
The Church Fathers, those Christians closest to the apostles in time, culture, and theological background, clearly understood that Jesus promised to build the Church on Peter, as the following passages show.
Tatian the Syrian
”Simon Cephas answered and said, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.’ Jesus answered and said unto him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon, son of Jonah: flesh and blood has not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say unto thee also, that you are Cephas, and on this rock will I build my Church; and the gates of hades shall not prevail against it” (The Diatesseron 23 [A.D. 170]).
”Was anything withheld from the knowledge of Peter, who is called ‘the rock on which the Church would be built’ [Matt. 16:18] with the power of ‘loosing and binding in heaven and on earth’ [Matt. 16:19]?” (Demurrer Against the Heretics 22 [A.D. 200]).
“[T]he Lord said to Peter, ‘On this rock I will build my Church, I have given you the keys of the kingdom of heaven [and] whatever you shall have bound or loosed on earth will be bound or loosed in heaven’ [Matt. 16:18–19]. . . . What kind of man are you, subverting and changing what was the manifest intent of the Lord when he conferred this personally upon Peter? Upon you, he says, I will build my Church; and I will give to you the keys” (Modesty 21:9–10 [A.D. 220]).
The Letter of Clement to James
“Be it known to you, my lord, that Simon [Peter], who, for the sake of the true faith, and the most sure foundation of his doctrine, was set apart to be the foundation of the Church, and for this end was by Jesus himself, with his truthful mouth, named Peter” (Letter of Clement to James 2 [A.D. 221]).
The Clementine Homilies
“[Simon Peter said to Simon Magus in Rome:] ‘For you now stand in direct opposition to me, who am a firm rock, the foundation of the Church’ [Matt. 16:18]” (Clementine Homilies 17:19 [A.D. 221]).
“Look at [Peter], the great foundation of the Church, that most solid of rocks, upon whom Christ built the Church [Matt. 16:18]. And what does our Lord say to him? ‘Oh you of little faith,’ he says, ‘why do you doubt?’ [Matt. 14:31]” (Homilies on Exodus 5:4 [A.D. 248]).
Cyprian of Carthage
“The Lord says to Peter: ‘I say to you,’ he says, ‘that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not overcome it. And to you I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven . . . ’ [Matt. 16:18–19]. On him [Peter] he builds the Church, and to him he gives the command to feed the sheep [John 21:17], and although he assigns a like power to all the apostles, yet he founded a single chair [cathedra], and he established by his own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity. Indeed, the others were that also which Peter was [i.e., apostles], but a primacy is given to Peter, whereby it is made clear that there is but one Church and one chair. . . . If someone does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he [should] desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church?” (The Unity of the Catholic Church 4; 1st edition [A.D. 251]).
“There is one God and one Christ, and one Church, and one chair founded on Peter by the word of the Lord. It is not possible to set up another altar or for there to be another priesthood besides that one altar and that one priesthood. Whoever has gathered elsewhere is scattering” (Letters 43:5 [A.D. 253]).
“There [John 6:68–69] speaks Peter, upon whom the Church would be built, teaching in the name of the Church and showing that even if a stubborn and proud multitude withdraws because it does not wish to obey, yet the Church does not withdraw from Christ. The people joined to the priest and the flock clinging to their shepherd are the Church. You ought to know, then, that the bishop is in the Church and the Church in the bishop, and if someone is not with the bishop, he is not in the Church. They vainly flatter themselves who creep up, not having peace with the priests of God, believing that they are
secretly [i.e., invisibly] in communion with certain individuals. For the Church, which is one and Catholic, is not split nor divided, but it is indeed united and joined by the cement of priests who adhere one to another” (ibid., 66:8).
“But what is his error . . . who does not remain on the foundation of the one Church which was founded upon the rock by Christ [Matt. 16:18], can be learned from this, which Christ said to Peter alone: ‘Whatever things you shall bind on earth shall be bound also in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth, they shall be loosed in heaven’ [Matt. 16:19]” (collected in Cyprian’s Letters74:16 [A.D. 253]).
“[Pope] Stephen [I] . . . boasts of the place of his episcopate, and contends that he holds the succession from Peter, on whom the foundations of the Church were laid [Matt. 16:18]. . . . [Pope] Stephen . . . announces that he holds by succession the throne of Peter” (ibid., 74:17).
Ephraim the Syrian
“[Jesus said:] ‘Simon, my follower, I have made you the foundation of the holy Church. I betimes called you Peter, because you will support all its buildings. You are the inspector of those who will build on earth a Church for me. If they should wish to build what is false, you, the foundation, will condemn them. You are the head of the fountain from which my teaching flows; you are the chief of my disciples’” (Homilies 4:1 [A.D. 351]).
“You cannot deny that you are aware that in the city of Rome the episcopal chair was given first to Peter; the chair in which Peter sat, the same who was head—that is why he is also called Cephas [‘Rock’]—of all the apostles; the one chair in which unity is maintained by all” (The Schism of the Donatists 2:2 [A.D. 367]).
Ambrose of Milan
“[Christ] made answer: ‘You are Peter, and upon this rock will I build my Church. . . . ’ Could he not, then, strengthen the faith of the man to whom, acting on his own authority, he gave the kingdom, whom he called the rock, thereby declaring him to be the foundation of the Church [Matt. 16:18]?” (The Faith 4:5 [A.D. 379]).
“It is to Peter that he says: ‘You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church’ [Matt. 16:18]. Where Peter is, there is the Church. And where the Church is, no death is there, but life eternal” (Commentary on Twelve Psalms of David 40:30 [A.D. 389]).
Pope Damasus I
“Likewise it is decreed . . . that it ought to be announced that . . . the holy Roman Church has not been placed at the forefront [of the churches] by the conciliar decisions of other churches, but has received the primacy by the evangelic voice of our Lord and Savior, who says: ‘You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it; and I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. . . . ’ [Matt. 16:18–19]. The first see, therefore, is that of Peter the apostle, that of the Roman Church, which has neither stain nor blemish nor anything like it” (Decree of Damasus 3 [A.D. 382]).
“‘But,’ you [Jovinian] will say, ‘it was on Peter that the Church was founded’ [Matt. 16:18]. Well . . . one among the twelve is chosen to be their head in order to remove any occasion for division” (Against Jovinian 1:26 [A.D. 393]).
“I follow no leader but Christ and join in communion with none but your blessedness [Pope Damasus I], that is, with the chair of Peter. I know that this is the rock on which the Church has been built. Whoever eats the Lamb outside this house is profane. Anyone who is not in the ark of Noah will perish when the flood prevails” (Letters 15:2 [A.D. 396]).
“If the very order of episcopal succession is to be considered, how much more surely, truly, and safely do we number them [the bishops of Rome] from Peter himself, to whom, as to one representing the whole Church, the Lord said, ‘Upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not conquer it.’ Peter was succeeded by Linus, Linus by Clement. … In this order of succession a Donatist bishop is not to be found” (Letters 53:1:2 [A.D. 412]).
Council of Ephesus
“Philip, the presbyter and legate of the Apostolic See [Rome], said: ‘There is no doubt, and in fact it has been known in all ages, that the holy and most blessed Peter, prince and head of the apostles, pillar of the faith, and foundation of the Catholic Church, received the keys of the kingdom from our Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of the human race, and that to him was given the power of loosing and binding sins: who down even to today and forever both lives and judges in his successors’” (Acts of the Council, session 3 [A.D. 431]).
Sechnall of Ireland
“Steadfast in the fear of God, and in faith immovable, upon [Patrick] as upon Peter the [Irish] church is built; and he has been allotted his apostleship by God; against him the gates of hell prevail not” (Hymn in Praise of St. Patrick 3 [A.D. 444]).
Pope Leo I
“Our Lord Jesus Christ . . . has placed the principal charge on the blessed Peter, chief of all the apostles. . . . He wished him who had been received into partnership in his undivided unity to be named what he himself was, when he said: ‘You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church’ [Matt. 16:18], that the building of the eternal temple might rest on Peter’s solid rock, strengthening his Church so surely that neither could human rashness assail it nor the gates of hell prevail against it” (Letters 10:1 [A.D. 445]).
Council of Chalcedon
“Wherefore the most holy and blessed Leo, archbishop of the great and elder Rome, through us, and through this present most holy synod, together with the thrice blessed and all-glorious Peter the apostle, who is the rock and foundation of the Catholic Church, and the foundation of the orthodox faith, has stripped him [Dioscorus] of the episcopate” (Acts of the Council, session 3 [A.D. 451]).
NIHIL OBSTAT: I have concluded that the materials
presented in this work are free of doctrinal or moral errors.
Bernadeane Carr, STL, Censor Librorum, August 10, 2004
IMPRIMATUR: In accord with 1983 CIC 827
permission to publish this work is hereby granted.
+Robert H. Brom, Bishop of San Diego, August 10, 2004
But some one may say,”It is so very difficult to serve God, it is so much against my own mind, such an effort, such a strain upon my , strength to bear Christ’s yoke, I must give it over, or I must delay it at least. Can nothing be taken instead? I acknowledge his law to be most holy and true and the accounts I read about good men are most delightful. I wish I were like them with all my heart; and for a little while I feel in a mind to set about imitating them. I must have begun several times, I have had seasons of repentance, and set rules to myself; but for some reason or other, I fell back after a while, and was even worse than before. I know, but I cannot do. “O wretched man that I am!”
Now to such a one I say, You are in a much more promising state than if you were contented with yourself, and thought that knowledge was every thing, which is the grievous blindness which I have hitherto been speaking of; you are in a better state, if you do not feel too much comfort or confidence in your confession. For this is the fault of many men; they make such an acknowledgement as I have described a substitute for real repentance; or allow themselves, after making it, to put off repentance, as if they could be suffered to give a word of promise which did not become due (so to say) for many days. You are, I admit, in a better state than if you were satisfied with yourself.
Blessed John Henry Newman
By virtue of our baptism we are all commissioned to go and spread the good news though each of us have been given different gifts to do so…..
- Evangelisation needs to come naturally. You must want to talk about Jesus.
- Evangelisation is about conversion, it is about planting a seed.
- You can start at home then the Church, community and then outside the community.
- Evangelisation reminds us all that God reigns overall, it is our responsibility to God to share His love with all.
- Let us not be paralysed by fear….
- Most think that the Devil uses the ultimate weapon ‘Hatred’ but over the years we can see that it is actually ‘Fear’ which causes inacti0n. “And in what we have failed to do…..”
- William Shakespeare once said,”A coward dies a thousand deaths, a brave one dies but one.
Here are four simple steps we can take to begin :-
- Prayer – We all can do at least one thing together and that is pray. We can pray for the conversion of others, healing, mercy, and most importantly for our enemies or those that most have given up on.
- Listen first then speak second. Listening is key, we have two ears and one mouth that should already be telling us that we should be listening twice as hard. But it is essential that we speak up too. We may not have all the answers but we can certainly speak about God’s love and mercy. And again most importantly we should speak in the name of Jesus.
- Do something. – We should all be doing something! Move our feet into action and walk…..We have been reminded over and over again that the kingdom of God is at hand. And He will come like a thief in the night…..so let us be prepared…let us start today…whatever we have been called to do…we start now!
- Inner Conversion – Our Transfiguration. We have to be a different people. We must change, we must want to change. We must strive to be a people of mercy and compassion. To be Holy and perfect as our Heavenly Father is Holy and perfect.
In my personal experience, I use to cringe at the thought of Evagelisation, because I had always thought that I had to be knowledgeable about my faith before I could even attempt to talk about Jesus. I also knew that if I didn’t at least try to start somewhere I would likely never ever do so. So with a prayer to the Holy Spirit, I began to try and talk about Jesus. I found it was easy to start with simply what Jesus has done for me in my life. How I have grown in faith and turned my life around and of how, I now experience inner joy and peace which I have not known before. Most people like to listen to stories, so why not tell my personal story? ( True living experience )
In my journey, I have found that family members and some closest friends are usually the toughest audience and more often than naught you will get grieve from them. But do not despair, you are not called to convert them but simply plant the seed of love. God will do the rest over time. I have witnessed this myself in my own family life.
Join me now as we participate with Jesus Christ to save the human race….
Do not let the cares of the world overwhelm you, sit by my side and I will give you living water to drink.
(SACCRE Ablaze Rally at Church Of The Holy Cross And A Talk by Jim Murphy ICCRS – Theme “The Royal Commission”)
Listen to this great interview with Country Singer by Marcus Grodi from the Journey Home. Click on the link below and enjoy..
“When you turn off the light of your heart to my love, you invite sin to manifest in you. Do not allow your shame to dishearten you or shy away from me, know that when you open your heart to me, I will bring forth my burning light of Love to illuminate your heart and set you free. Sin cannot prevail in the light of my love for you my son, my daughter. Remain in my love always…..”
VATICAN CITY, May 6 (CNA/EWTN News) .- Pope Benedict XVI told pilgrims May 6 that their lives will be fruitful and have meaning if they live in union with Jesus Christ.
“Dear friends, every one of us is like a vine, which lives only if it is growing every day in prayer, participation in the sacraments, in charity, in its union with the Lord,” said the Pope in his midday Regina Coeli address marking the fifth Sunday of Easter.
“And he who loves Jesus, the true vine, produces fruits of faith for an abundant spiritual harvest.”
The Pope spoke to large crowds in an overcast and drizzly St. Peter’s Square, reflecting upon the words of Jesus, as recorded in today’s Gospel of St. John; “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.”
In this passage, the Pope explained to pilgrims, Jesus reveals himself as “the true vine of God, the true life” who “with his sacrifice of love gives us salvation” and “opens the way to be part of this vine.”
And just as Christ is in God the Father, so his followers “carefully pruned by the words of the Master, are united in a profound way to him, becoming fruitful branches, which produce an abundant harvest.”
The Pope then quoted the 16-17th century Swiss bishop St Frances de Sales who, in his Treatise on the Love of God, observed how in nature “the branches united and joined to the trunk bears fruit not by its own virtue.”
Similarly a Christian who is “joined by love to our Redeemer” will produce “good works, taking their value from him, merit life eternal.”
Pope Benedict explained that this union occurs in baptism when “the Church grafts us as branches into the paschal mystery of Christ, into his own person.”
>From there on, he said, “it is essential to remain united to Jesus, to depend upon him” because “without him we can do nothing.”
This proposition, however, does not contradict a belief in the freedom of man, said Pope Benedict. He highlighted the 5th century writing of St. John the Prophet from Gaza who told an enquirer that “if a man inclines his heart to the good and asks God’s help, he receives the necessary strength to accomplish his work.”
Therefore “the freedom of man and power of God go together” as the good act is “possible because the Lord is good” but “it is fulfilled, thanks to his faithful.”
Before going onto pray the Regina Coeli, Pope Benedict concluded his comments by commending those present to Mary, the mother of God.
“Let us beseech the Mother of God that we might remain firmly grafted in Jesus and that all our actions may have their beginning, and their fulfillment, in Him.”
Sometimes Christ comes with such great majesty that no one could doubt but that it is the Lord himself. Especially after receiving Communion – for we know that he is present, since our faith tells us this – he reveals himself as so much the lord of this dwelling that it seems the soul is completely dissolved; and it sees itself consumed in Christ. O my Jesus! Who could make known the majesty with which you reveal yourself! And, Lord of all the world and of the heavens, of a thousand other worlds and of numberless worlds, and of the heavens that you might create, how the soul understands by the majesty with which you reveal yourself that it is nothing for you to be Lord of the world!
In this vision the powerlessness of all the devils in comparison with your power is clearly seen, my Jesus; and it is seen how whoever is pleasing to you can trample all hell under foot. In this vision the reason is seen why the devils feared when you descended into limbo and why they would have preferred to be in another thousand lower hells in order to flee from such great majesty. I see that you want the soul to know how tremendous this majesty is and the power that his most sacred humanity joined with the divinity has.
Saint Teresa Of Avilla +1582
From the dogmatic constitution on the Church of the Second Vatican Council
See, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah… I will plant my law within them and inscribe it in their hearts. I will be their God and they shall be my people… All shall know me, from the least to the greatest, says the Lord.
It was Christ who established this new covenant, the new testament in his blood, calling into being, from Jews and Gentiles, a people that was to form a unity, not in human fashion but in the Spirit, as the new people of God. Those who believe in Christ, reborn not of corruptible but of incorruptible seed through the word of the living God, not from the flesh but from water and the Holy Spirit, are constituted in the fullness of time as a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people God has made his own…, once no people but now the people of God.
This messianic people has Christ as its head: Christ who was given up for our sins and rose again for our justification; bearing now the name that is above every name, he reigns in glory in heaven. His people enjoy the dignity and freedom of the children of God, in whose hearts the Holy Spirit dwells as in a temple. They have as their law the new commandment of loving as Christ himself has loved us. They have as their goal the kingdom of God, begun on earth by God himself and destined to grow until it is also brought to perfection by him at the end of time, when Christ, our life, will appear, and creation itself will be freed from slavery to corruption and take on the freedom of the glory of God’s children.
This messianic people, then, though it does not in fact embrace all mankind and often seems to be a tiny flock, is yet the enduring source of unity, hope and salvation for the whole human race. It is established by Christ as a communion of life, of love and of truth; it is also used by him as an instrument for the redemption of all, and is sent out into the whole world as the light of the world and the salt of the earth.
The Israel of old was already called the Church of God while it was on pilgrimage through the desert. So the new Israel, as it makes its way in this present age, seeking a city that is to come, a city that will remain, is also known as the Church of Christ, for he acquired it by his own blood, filled it with his Spirit, and equipped it with appropriate means to be a visible and social unity. God has called together the assembly of those who in faith look on Jesus, the author of salvation and the principle of unity and peace, and so has established the Church to be for each and all the visible sacrament of this unity which brings with it salvation.
(This is a really beautiful take on Christ’s love for us, I’ve highligted a few really striking passages….Catholicjules )
Look at this cross, so much bigger than the man whose body will be stretched to fit it. So much higher than the height of the man who will be lifted up above the earth on it and who, being lifted up, will draw all peoples to himself. Christ receives it with joy because he knows that this is the dead weight that must have crushed humankind had he not lifted it from their backs. This is the dead wood which at his touch is transformed to a living tree. At his touch, the hewn tree takes root again, and the roots thrust down into the earth, and the tree breaks into flowers….
Because Christ is to be stretched to the size of the cross, those who love him will grow to the size of it, not only to the size of man’s suffering, which is bigger than man, but to the size of Christ’s love that is bigger than all suffering. Because Christ is to be lifted up on the cross, all those who love him will be lifted up above the world by the world’s sorrow. He, being lifted up, will draw all men to himself.
Because Christ has changed death to life, and suffering to redemption, the suffering of those who love him will be a communion between them. All that hidden daily suffering that seems insignificant will be redeeming the world, it will be healing the wounds of the world. The acceptance of pain, old age, of the fear of death, and of death will be our gift of Christ’s love to one another; our gift of Christ’s life to one another.
No man’s cross is laid upon him for himself alone, but for the healing of the whole world, for the mutual comforting and sweetening of sorrow, for the giving of joy and supernatural life to one another. For Christ receives our cross that we may receive his. Receiving this cross, the cross of the whole world made his, we receive him. He gives us his hands to take hold of, his power to make it a redeeming thing, a blessed thing, his life to cause it to flower, his heart to enable us rejoice in accepting our own and one another’s burdens.
Caryll Houselander + 1954
From a sermon by Saint Leo the Great, pope
(Sermo 15, De passione Domini, 3-4: PL 54, 366-367)
True reverence for the Lord’s passion means fixing the eyes of our heart on Jesus crucified and recognizing in him our own humanity.
The earth—our earthly nature—should tremble at the suffering of its Redeemer. The rocks—the hearts of unbelievers—should burst asunder. The dead, imprisoned in the tombs of their mortality, should come forth, the massive stones now ripped apart. Foreshadowings of the future resurrection should appear in the holy city, the Church of God: what is to happen to our bodies should now take place in our hearts.
No one, however weak, is denied a share in the victory of the cross. No one is beyond the help of the prayer of Christ. His prayer brought benefit to the multitude that raged against him. How much more does it bring to those who turn to him in repentance.
Ignorance has been destroyed, obstinacy has been overcome. The sacred blood of Christ has quenched the flaming sword that barred access to the tree of life. The age-old night of sin has given place to the true light.
The Christian people are invited to share the riches of paradise. All who have been reborn have the way open before them to return to their native land, from which they had been exiled. Unless indeed they close off for themselves the path that could be opened before the faith of a thief.
The business of this life should not preoccupy us with its anxiety and pride, so that we no longer strive with all the love of our heart to be like our Redeemer, and to follow his example. Everything that he did or suffered was for our salvation: he wanted his body to share the goodness of its head.
First of all, in taking our human nature while remaining God, so that the Word became man, he left no member of the human race, the unbeliever excepted, without a share in his mercy. Who does not share a common nature with Christ if he has welcomed Christ, who took our nature, and is reborn in the Spirit through whom Christ was conceived?
Again, who cannot recognize in Christ his own infirmities? Who would not recognize that Christ’s eating and sleeping, his sadness and his shedding of tears of love are marks of the nature of a slave?
It was this nature of a slave that had to be healed of its ancient wounds and cleansed of the defilement of sin. For that reason the only-begotten Son of God became also the son of man. He was to have both the reality of a human nature and the fullness of the godhead.
The body that lay lifeless in the tomb is ours. The body that rose again on the third day is ours. The body that ascended above all the heights of heaven to the right hand of the Father’s glory is ours. If then we walk in the way of his commandments, and are not ashamed to acknowledge the price he paid for our salvation in a lowly body, we too are to rise to share his glory. The promise he made will be fulfilled in the sight of all: Whoever acknowledges me before men, I too will acknowledge him before my Father who is in heaven.
From a sermon by Saint Bernadine of Siena, priest
There is a general rule concerning all special graces granted to any human being. Whenever the divine favor chooses someone to receive a special grace, or to accept a lofty vocation, God adorns the person chosen with all the gifts of the Spirit needed to fulfill the task at hand.
This general rule is especially verified in the case of Saint Joseph, the foster-father of our Lord and the husband of the Queen of our world, enthroned above the angels. He was chosen by the eternal Father as the trustworthy guardian and protector of his greatest treasures, namely, his divine Son and Mary, Joseph’s wife. He carried out this vocation with complete fidelity until at last God called him, saying: Good and faithful servant enter into the joy of your Lord.
What then is Joseph’s position in the whole Church of Christ? Is he not a man chosen and set apart? Through him and, yes, under him, Christ was fittingly and honorably introduced into the world. Holy Church in its entirety is indebted to the Virgin Mother because through her it was judged worthy to receive Christ. But after her we undoubtedly owe special gratitude and reverence to Saint Joseph.
In him the Old Testament finds its fitting close. He brought the noble line of patriarchs and prophets to its promised fulfillment. What the divine goodness had offered as a promise to them, he held in his arms.
Obviously, Christ does not now deny to Joseph that intimacy, reverence and very high honor which he gave him on earth, as a son to his father. Rather we must say that in heaven Christ completes and perfects all that he gave at Nazareth.
Now we can see how the last summoning words of the Lord appropriately apply to Saint Joseph: Enter into the joy of your Lord. In fact, although the joy of eternal happiness enters into the soul of a man, the Lord preferred to say to Joseph: Enter into joy. His intention was that the words should have a hidden spiritual meaning for us. They convey not only that this holy man possesses an inward joy, but also that it surrounds him and engulfs him like an infinite abyss.
Remember us, Saint Joseph, and plead for us to your foster-child. Ask your most holy bride, the Virgin Mary, to look kindly upon us, since she is the mother of him who with the Father and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns eternally. Amen.
Bring me the sign of true humility by being not overly ambitious in your position, but lowly. Don’t be impatient over any pain or abuse you might suffer, but endure within the body of holy Church by the firm power of patience, even to the point of death. When you speak and proclaim the truth, whether in giving counsel or in any other role, do it fearlessly, looking only to God’s honour, the salvation of souls, and the advancement of holy Church, as her true son, nurtured by so tender a Mother. In this way you will demonstrate gentle divine charity and patience as well. Be generous in your charity – spiritually, as I’ve already said, but materially too. Reflect that the hands of the poor are helping you to offer and receive divine grace. I want you begin a new life, a new way of living: slumber no more in the sleep of foolish indifference. Be a real champion for me, please.
I told you that I want you to be lamb, a follower of the true lamb. Now I’m telling you that I want you to be a lion, roaring loudly in holy Church, your virtue and your voice so strong that you help bring back to life the children lying dead with her. Perhaps you are asking: “Where can I get such a strong roaring voice?” From the lamb, who in his humility remains meek and does not cry out, but whose divinity lends power to the Son’s cry with the voice of it’s immeasurable charity. And so, by the strength and power of divine being and of the love that joined God with humanity, the lamb becomes a lion. From the chair of the cross he roared so loudly over the dead child, the human race, that he freed us from death and gave us life. It is from him, then, that we will receive strength, for the love we will drink from the gentle Jesus will give us a share in the Father’s power.
Saint Catherine Of Siena +1380
From a sermon by Saint Leo the Great, pope
The Lord reveals his glory in the presence of chosen witnesses. His body is like that of the rest of mankind, but he makes it shine with such splendor that his face becomes like the sun in glory, and his garments as white as snow.
The great reason for this transfiguration was to remove the scandal of the cross from the hearts of his disciples, and to prevent the humiliation of his voluntary suffering from disturbing the faith of those who had witnessed the surpassing glory that lay concealed.
With no less forethought he was also providing a firm foundation for the hope of holy Church. The whole body of Christ was to understand the kind of transformation that it would receive as his gift. The members of that body were to look forward to a share in that glory which first blazed out in Christ their head.
The Lord had himself spoken of this when he foretold the splendor of his coming: Then the just will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Saint Paul the apostle bore witness to this same truth when he said: I consider that the sufferings of the present time are not to be compared with the future glory that is to be revealed in us. In another place he says: You are dead, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, your life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.
This marvel of the transfiguration contains another lesson for the apostles, to strengthen them and lead them into the fullness of knowledge. Moses and Elijah, the law and the prophets, appeared with the Lord in conversation with him. This was in order to fulfill exactly, through the presence of these five men, the text which says: Before two or three witnesses every word is ratified. What word could be more firmly established, more securely based, than the word which is proclaimed by the trumpets of both old and new testaments, sounding in harmony, and by the utterances of ancient prophecy and the teaching of the Gospel, in full agreement with each other?
The writings of the two testaments support each other. The radiance of the transfiguration reveals clearly and unmistakably the one who had been promised by signs foretelling him under the veils of mystery. As Saint John says: The law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. In him the promise made through the shadows of prophecy stands revealed, along with the full meaning of the precepts of the law. He is the one who teaches the truth of prophecy through his presence, and makes obedience to the commandments possible through grace.
In the preaching of the holy Gospel all should receive a strengthening of their faith. No one should be ashamed of the cross of Christ, through which the world has been redeemed.
No one should fear to suffer for the sake of justice; no one should lose confidence in the reward that has been promised. The way to rest is through toil, the way to life is through death. Christ has taken on himself the whole weakness of our lowly human nature. If then we are steadfast in our faith in him and in our love for him, we win the victory that he has won, we receive what he has promised.
When it comes to obeying the commandments or enduring adversity, the words uttered by the Father should always echo in our ears: This is my Son, the beloved, in whom I am well pleased; listen to him.
From the pastoral constitution on the Church in the modern world of the Second Vatican Council
The world of today reveals itself as at once powerful and weak, capable of achieving the best or the worst. There lies open before it the way to freedom or slavery, progress or regression, brotherhood or hatred. In addition, man is becoming aware that it is for himself to give the right direction to forces that he himself has awakened, forces that can be his master or his servant. He therefore puts questions to himself.
The tensions disturbing the world of today are in fact related to a more fundamental tension rooted in the human heart. In man himself many elements are in conflict with each other. On one side, he has experience of his many limitations as a creature. On the other, he knows that there is no limit to his aspirations, and that he is called to a higher kind of life.
Many things compete for his attention, but he is always compelled to make a choice among them. and to renounce some. What is more, in his weakness and sinfulness he often does what he does not want to do, and fails to do what he would like to do. In consequence, he suffers from a conflict within himself, and this in turn gives rise to so many great tensions in society.
Very many people, infected as they are with a materialistic way of life, cannot see this dramatic state of affairs in all its clarity, or at least are prevented from giving thought to it because of the unhappiness that they themselves experience.
Many think that they can find peace in the different philosophies that are proposed.
Some look for complete and genuine liberation for man from man’s efforts alone. They are convinced that the coming kingdom of man on earth will satisfy all the desires of his heart.
There are those who despair of finding any meaning in life: they commend the boldness of those who deny all significance to human existence in itself, and seek to impose a total meaning on it only from within themselves.
But in the face of the way the world is developing today, there is an ever increasing number of people who are asking the most fundamental questions or are seeing them with a keener awareness: What is man? What is the meaning of pain, of evil, of death, which still persist in spite of such great progress? What is the use of those successes, achieved at such a cost? What can man contribute to society, what can he expect from society? What will come after this life on earth?
The Church believes that Christ died and rose for all, and can give man light and strength through his Spirit to fulfill his highest calling; his is the only name under heaven in which men can be saved. So too the Church believes that the centre and goal of all human history is found in her Lord and Master.
The Church also affirms that underlying all changes there are many things that do not change; they have their ultimate foundation in Christ, who is the same yesterday, today and for ever.
From a treatise on the Lord’s Prayer by Saint Cyprian, bishop and martyr
Dear brothers, the commands of the Gospel are nothing else than God’s lessons, the foundations on which to build up hope, the supports for strengthening faith, the food that nourishes the heart. They are the rudder for keeping us on the right course, the protection that keeps our salvation secure. As they instruct the receptive minds of believers on earth, they lead safely to the kingdom of heaven.
God willed that many things should be said by the prophets, his servants, and listened to by his people. How much greater are the things spoken by the Son. These are now witnessed to by the very Word of God who spoke through the prophets. The Word of God does not now command us to prepare the way for his coming: he comes in person and opens up the way for us and directs us toward it. Before, we wandered in the darkness of death, aimlessly and blindly. Now we are enlightened by the light of grace, and are to keep to the highway of life, with the Lord to precede and direct us.
The Lord has given us many counsels and commandments to help us toward salvation. He has even given us a pattern of prayer, instructing us on how we are to pray. He has given us life, and with his accustomed generosity, he has also taught us how to pray. He has made it easy for us to be heard as we pray to the Father in the words taught us by the Son.
He had already foretold that the hour was coming when true worshipers would worship the Father in spirit and in truth. He fulfilled what he had promised before, so that we who have received the spirit and the truth through the holiness he has given us may worship in truth and in the spirit through the prayer he has taught.
What prayer could be more a prayer in the spirit than the one given us by Christ, by whom the Holy Spirit was sent upon us? What prayer could be more a prayer in the truth than the one spoken by the lips of the Son, who is truth himself? It follows that to pray in any other way than the Son has taught us is not only the result of ignorance but of sin. He himself has commanded it, and has said: You reject the command of God, to set up your own tradition.
So, my brothers, let us pray as God our master has taught us. To ask the Father in words his Son has given us, to let him hear the prayer of Christ ringing in his ears, is to make our prayer one of friendship, a family prayer. Let the Father recognize the words of his Son. Let the Son who lives in our hearts be also on our lips. We have him as an advocate for sinners before the Father; when we ask forgiveness for our sins, let us use the words given by our advocate. He tells us: Whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give you. What more effective prayer could we then make in the name of Christ than in the words of his own prayer?
I seek the fruit which increases to your credit. The gain is yours, not mine, except that because it is yours, it is ours, too, the benefit glancing from you to us just like the reflected rays of the sun. Did you feed the poor? Did you show hospitality? Did you wash the feet of the saints?…
To preach the Gospel is a matter of necessity: the honour lies in doing so free of charge but so that you may learn to serve Christ by serving even one of the least. For just as, for my sake, he became everything that I am, except for sin, in the same way he accepts as his own even my smallest acts of kindness, whether you give of your shelter; whether of your clothing; whether you visit the prisons; whether you tend the sick; whether you just perform the most ordinary gesture of refreshing with a cup of cool water the tongue of a man parched with thirst, just as the rich man tormented in the flame asked of the beggar Lazarus but, in a measure of return for a life of indulgence on this earth and his neglect of Lazarus, who was hungry and full of sores, asked of Lazarus in the other and did not receive.
This, then, is what we require of you; and I know that you are not discomfited at the prospect of having an account asked of you either by us, or on the last day when all our affairs are gathered up. As Scripture says, And I am coming to gather your intentions and your actions; and Behold man, and his work, and his reward with him.
Saint Gregory Nazianzen +390
Because of its rebellion against God, here are the devils, holding this sheep as their own possession. Then along comes God’s infinite goodness and sees the sheep’s sorry state its ruin and damnation. He knows he cannot use wrath or war to entice it away from them. Supreme eternal Wisdom doesn’t want to do it that way, even though the sheep has wronged him (for humankind, by its rebellion in disobedience, was deserving of infinite punishment). No, he finds a delightful way – the most sweet and loving way possible; for he sees that the human heart is drawn by love as by nothing else, since it is made of love. This seems to be why human beings love so much, because they are made of nothing but love, body and soul. In love God created them in his own image and likeness, and in love father and mother conceive and bring forth their children, giving them a share in their own substance. So God, seeing that humankind is so quick to love, throws out to us right away the hook of love, giving us the Word, his only-begotten Son. He takes on our humanity to make a great peace….
This Word played life against death and death against life in tournament on the wood of the most holy cross, so that by his death he destroyed our death, and to give us life he spent his own bodily life. With love, then, he has so drawn us and with his kindness so conquered our malice that every heart should be won over. For a person can show no greater love (he said so himself) than to give his or her life for a friend. And if he praises the love that gives one’s life for a friend, what shall we say of the consummate blazing love that gave his life for his enemy? For through sin we had become God’s enemies. Oh, gentle loving Word, with love you recovered your little sheep, and with love gave them life. You brought them back to the fold by restoring to them the grace they had lost.
Saint Catherine of Siena +1380
In a world warped by materialism and declining respect for human life, the Catholic Church proclaims that human life is sacred and that the dignity of the person is the foundation of a moral vision for society. Our belief in the sanctity of human life and the inherent dignity of the human person is the foundation of all the principles of our social teaching.
Community and the Common Good
In a global culture driven by excessive individualism, our tradition proclaims that the person is not only sacred but also social. How we organize our society — in economics and politics, in law and policy — directly affects human dignity and the capacity of individuals to grow in community. Our Church teaches that the role of the government and other institutions is to protect human life and promote the common good.
Rights and Responsibilities
Catholic tradition teaches that human dignity can be protected and a healthy community can be achieved only if human rights are protected and responsibilities are met. Therefore, every person has a fundamental right to life and a right to those things required for human decency. Corresponding to these rights are duties and responsibilities — to one another, to our families and to the larger society.
Option for the Poor And Vulnerable
Catholic teaching proclaims that a basic moral test is how our most vulnerable members are faring. In a society marred by deepening divisions between rich and poor, our tradition recalls the story of the Last Judgement (Mt.25) and instructs us to put the needs of the poor and vulnerable first.
All people have a right to participate in the economic, political and cultural life of society. It is a fundamental demand of justice and a requirement for human dignity that all people be assured a minimum level of participation in the community. Conversely, it is wrong for a person or a group to be excluded unfairly or to be unable to participate in society. In the words of the U.S. bishops, “The ultimate injustice is for a person or group to be treated actively or abandoned passively as if they were non-members of the human race. To treat people this way is effectively to say they simply do not count as human beings.”
Dignity of Work and Rights of Workers
In a marketplace where too often the quarterly bottom line takes precedence over the rights of workers, we believe that the economy must serve people, not the other way around. If the dignity of work is to be protected, then the basic rights of workers must be respected — the right to productive work, to decent and fair wages, to organize and join unions, to private property and to economic initiative.
Stewardship of Creation
Catholic tradition insists that we show our respect for the Creator by our stewardship of creation. We are called to protect people and the planet, living our faith in relationship with all of God’s creation. This environmental challenge has fundamental moral and ethical dimensions which cannot be ignored.
Catholic social teaching proclaims that we are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers, wherever they live. We are one human family, whatever our national, racial, ethnic, economic, and ideological differences. Solidarity means that “loving our neighbour” has global dimensions in an interdependent world.
Role of Government
Because we are social beings, the state is natural to the person. Therefore, the state has a positive moral function. It is an instrument to promote human dignity, protect human rights, and build the common good. It’s purpose is to assist citizens in fulfilling their responsibility to others in society. Since, in a large and complex society these responsibilities cannot adequately be carried out on a one-to-one basis, citizens need the help of government in fulfilling these responsibilities and promoting the common good. According to the principle of subsidiarity, the functions of government should be performed at the lowest level possible, as long as they can be performed adequately. If they cannot, then a higher level of government should intervene to provide help.
Promotion of Peace
Catholic teaching promotes peace as a positive, action-oriented concept. In the words of Pope John Paul II, “Peace is not just the absence of war. It involves collaboration and binding agreements.” There is a close relationship in Catholic teaching between peace and justice. Peace is the fruit of justice and is dependent upon right order among human beings.