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2377Volume 13, Issue 163

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  • jlupia2
    Oct 11, 2013
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      ROMAN CATHOLIC NEWS

      Volume 13, Issue 163


      MONDAY 14 OCTOBER 2013


      THE YEAR OF FAITH



      Nothing will be hidden from you
      if you have perfect faith and love for Jesus Christ,
      since these are the beginning and end of life.
      Faith, indeed, is the beginning and love is the end.

      Clothe yourself with gentleness,
      and be renewed in faith,
      which is the flesh of the Lord,
      and in love, which is the blood of Jesus Christ.
      Faith, indeed, is the beginning and love is the end.



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      IN THIS ISSUE :
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      WE NEED MOTIVATED CHRISTIANS WHO SHARE HOPE
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      MARY HELP US TO BE SURPRISED BY GOD
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      POPE'S VIDEO MESSAGE FOR BEATIFICATION OF 522 TWENTIETH-CENTURY SPANISH MARTYRS
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      MARIAN DAY: MARY'S FAITH GIVES FLESH TO JESUS
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      VIGIL AND ROSARY AT THE SANCTUARY OF OUR LADY OF DIVINE LOVE
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      THE CHURCH MUST ADDRESS THE ROLE OF WOMEN
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      FREEDOM WITH OR WITHOUT GOD, 24 YEARS AFTER THE FALL OF THE BERLIN WALL
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      ENTRY TO AUDIENCES OR CELEBRATIONS PRESIDED BY THE HOLY FATHER IS ALWAYS FREE
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      AUDIENCES
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      OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
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      PRAYER FOR POPE FRANCIS
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      . PRAYER FOR BENEDICT XVI
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      . FOLLOW THE EDITOR ON TWITTER
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      CATALOGUE OF LINKS
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      EUCHARISTIC PRAYER IN HONOR OF THE SORROWFUL HEART OF MARY
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      . DAILY REMINDER
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      . ROMAN CATHOLIC NEWS ARCHIVES
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      . COPYRIGHT NOTICES
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      . WE NEED MOTIVATED CHRISTIANS WHO SHARE HOPE
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      Vatican City, 14 October 2013 (VIS) – This morning in the Vatican Apostolic Palace the Holy Father received in audience the participants in the Plenary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation. “In our time we often encounter an attitude of indifference towards faith, which is no longer considered relevant to human life”, he said. “It is important that we Christians demonstrate that we live faith in a concrete way, through love, harmony, joy, suffering, because this gives rise to questions, as at the beginning of the Church's path: why live like this? What is the impetus for our actions? These are questions which lead us to the heart of evangelisation, which is the witness of faith and charity”.

      Pope Francis remarked that many people have drifted away from the Church, and in this situation “there is a need for Christians who help show God's mercy and tenderness towards every creature”. He went on to emphasise the importance of encounter, of seeking out and going towards “those who have lost their faith and the deeper meaning of life. … The Church”, he emphasised, “is sent to reawaken everywhere this hope, especially where it is suffocated by difficult and at times inhuman existential conditions, where hope cannot breathe. … We need the oxygen of the Gospel, the breath of the Spirit of the Risen Christ, to reignite [hope] in our hearts. The Church is the house where the doors are always open not only to welcome everyone in to breathe love and hope, but also so we can take this love and hope outside”.

      The Pope, in this way, explained that “in the Church, this is not left to chance or improvisation”. Commitment is necessary in the diocese and in the parish to catechesis as a moment of evangelisation. He recalled that many times, for instance, he has encountered children who do not know how to make the sign of the Cross, and remarked that the work of catechists is a valuable service to new evangelisation, while emphasising that parents should be “the first catechists, the first educators in faith in their own families, by their witness and by their words”.


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      . MARY HELP US TO BE SURPRISED BY GOD
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      Vatican City, 13 October 2013 (VIS) – More than one hundred thousand people attended the Holy Mass in St. Peter's Square this morning, celebrated by the Holy Father Francis before the statue of the Virgin of Fatima, on the occasion of the Marian Day. The Pope's homily focused on three points: God surprises us, He asks our fidelity, and He is our strength. It is Mary who helps us to say “yes” to God every day.

      We offer here below a broad synthesis of the homily.

      “In the Psalm we recite, 'Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvellous things'. Today we consider one of the marvellous things which the Lord has done: Mary! A lowly and weak creature like ourselves, she was chosen to be the Mother of God, the Mother of her Creator. Considering Mary in the light of the readings we have just heard, I would like to reflect with you on three things: God surprises us, God asks us to be faithful, and God is our strength.

      “First: God surprises us. The story of Naaman, the commander of the army of the king of Aram, is striking. In order to be healed of leprosy, he turns to the prophet of God, Elisha, who does not … demand anything unusual of him, but asks him simply to trust in God and to wash in the water of the river … in the little stream of the Jordan. Naaman is left surprised and perplexed. What kind of God is this who asks for something so simple? He wants to turn back, but then he goes ahead, he immerses himself in the Jordan and is immediately healed. ... God surprises us. It is precisely in poverty, in weakness and in humility that he reveals himself and grants us his love, which saves us, heals us and gives us strength. He asks us only to obey his word and to trust in him.

      “This was also the experience of the Virgin Mary. At the message of the angel, she does not hide her surprise. It is the astonishment of realising that God, to become man, had chosen her, a simple maid of Nazareth: not someone who lived in a palace amid power and riches, or who had done extraordinary things, but simply someone who was open to God and put her trust in him, even without understanding everything: … God always surprises us, he overturns our categories, he wreaks havoc with our plans. And he tells us: Trust me, do not be afraid, let yourself be surprised, leave yourself behind and follow me!

      “Today let us all ask ourselves: Do I fear what God might ask of me, or what he does ask of me? Do I let myself be surprised by God, as Mary was, or do I remain caught up in my own security, in my plans? Do I truly let God into my life? How do I respond to him?

      “In the passage from Saint Paul which we have heard, the Apostle tells his disciple Timothy: Remember Jesus Christ: if we persevere with him, we will also reign with him. This is the second thing: to remember Christ always and to persevere in faith. God surprises us with his love, but he asks us to be faithful in following him. Think of all the times we were excited about something or other, some initiative, some task, but then, at the first sign of difficulty, we threw in the towel. Sadly, this also happens in the case of fundamental decisions, such as marriage. It is the difficulty of remaining steadfast, faithful to decisions we have made and to commitments we have taken on. Often it is easy enough to say 'yes', but then we fail to repeat this 'yes' each and every day.

      “Mary said her 'yes' to God: a 'yes' which upset her simple life in Nazareth, and not only once. Any number of times she had to utter a heartfelt 'yes' at moments of both joy and sorrow, culminating in the 'yes' she spoke at the foot of the Cross. Here today there are many mothers present; think of the full extent of Mary’s faithfulness to God: seeing her only Son on the cross.

      “Am I a Christian by fits and starts, or am I a Christian full-time? The culture of the ephemeral, the relative, also takes it toll on the way we live our faith. God asks us to be faithful to him, daily, in our everyday actions. He goes on to say that, even if we are sometimes unfaithful to him, he remains faithful. In his mercy, he never tires of stretching out his hand to lift us up, to encourage us to continue our journey, to come back and tell him of our weakness, so that he can grant us his strength.

      “The last thing: God is our strength. I think of the ten lepers in the Gospel who were healed by Jesus. … They are sick, they need love and strength, and they are looking for someone to heal them. Jesus responds by freeing them from their disease. Strikingly, however, only one of them comes back, praising God and thanking him in a loud voice. Jesus notes this: ten asked to be healed and only one returned to praise God in a loud voice and to acknowledge that he is our strength. To know how to give thanks, to give praise for everything that the Lord has done for us.

      “Let us look to Mary. After the Annunciation, her first act is one of charity towards her elderly kinswoman Elizabeth. Her first words are: 'My soul magnifies the Lord' – the Magnificat, a canticle of praise and thanksgiving to God not only for what he did for her, but for what he has done throughout the history of salvation. Everything is his gift; if we were able to understand that everything is a gift from God, how much happiness there would be in our hearts! He is our strength. Saying 'thank you' is so easy, and yet so hard! How often do we say 'thank you' to one another in our families? It is one of the key words of co-existence. How often do we say 'please', 'I'm sorry', 'thank you', to those who help us, those close to us, those at our side throughout life? Often we take everything for granted! This happens with God too. It is easy to go to the Lord to ask for help, but to give thanks to Him … 'Ah, it didn't occur to me...'.

      “As we continue our celebration of the Eucharist, let us invoke Mary’s intercession. May she help us to be open to God’s surprises, to be faithful to him each and every day, and to praise and thank him, for he is our strength”.

      At the culmination of the ceremony the Pope consecrated the world to the Virgin of Fatima. “Teach us your love, especially for the minor and the poor, the marginalised and the suffering, for sinners and for those who have gone astray”.


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      ---------------------------------------------------------------
      . POPE'S VIDEO MESSAGE FOR BEATIFICATION OF 522 TWENTIETH-CENTURY SPANISH MARTYRS
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      Vatican City, 13 October 2013 (VIS) - We publish below the full text of Pope Francis' video message, broadcast at the beginning of the beatification ceremony for 522 twentieth-century Spanish martyrs, which took place in Tarragona, Spain.

      “I would like to express my heartfelt participation in the celebration taking place in Tarragona in which a great number of pastors, consecrated persons and lay faithful are being proclaimed Blessed martyrs.

      “Who are the martyrs? They are Christians won over by Christ, disciples who have understood fully the path to that “love to the extreme limit” that led Jesus to the Cross. There is no such thing as love in consignments or in portions. Total love: and when one loves truly, one loves to the very end. On the Cross, Jesus felt the weight of death, the weight of sin, but He entrusted Himself entirely to the Father, and He forgave. He barely uttered a word, but He gave His life. Christ precedes and awaits us in love; the martyrs imitated Him in loving to the very end.

      “The Holy Fathers say, 'Imitate the martyrs!' It is always necessary to die a little in order to come out of ourselves, to leave behind our selfishness, our comfort, our laziness, our sadness, and to open ourselves to God, and to others, especially those most in need.

      “We implore the intercession of the martyrs in order to be true Christians, Christians not only in words but in deeds; so as not to be mediocre Christians, Christians painted with a superficial gloss of Christianity but without substance; the martyrs were not glossed and painted Christians, they were were Christians to the very end. Let us ask their help to stay firm in faith, in spite of difficulties, and let us too nurture hope and be architects of brotherhood and solidarity.