Jesuit1_0

“We never imagined that a Jesuit could become pope. It was an impossible thing,” said Fr. Antonio Spadaro, a Jesuit who conducted a book-length interview with the pope and knows him well. “It sent me into a crisis, in a sense, when he was elected. We Jesuits are supposed to be at the service of the pope, not to be a pope.”

“He may act like a Franciscan, but he thinks like a Jesuit,” quipped Fr. Thomas Reese, a fellow Jesuit who is a columnist for National Catholic Reporter.

In fact, it would be easy to mistake this new pope for a Franciscan, given his emphasis on helping society’s outcasts and his decision to become the first pope to take the name of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of the poor. Yet he’s the first pope from the Society of Jesus, the religious community whose worldly, wise intellectuals are as famous as its missionaries and martyrs.

What is a Jesuit? What kind of a Jesuit is Francis? What will a Jesuit pope mean for the church? Read more on ncronline.org

Posted on Ave Maria

 

In the final homily of his trip to South America Pope Francis said that a key aspect of Christian spirituality and evangelization is to have a welcoming attitude toward others, especially those most in need.

“How many times do we see evangelization as involving any number of strategies, tactics, maneuvers, techniques, as if we could convert people on the basis of our own arguments?” the Pope asked at his July 12 Mass in Asuncion, Paraguay.

In the day’s Gospel, taken from Matthew, “the Lord says to us quite clearly: in the mentality of the Gospel, you do not convince people with arguments, strategies or tactics. You convince them by learning how to welcome them.”

“Jesus as the good master, the good teacher, sends them out to be welcomed, to experience hospitality,” Francis said. Rather than going out as men with influence, dominance or officials with rules, the disciples are being shown by Jesus that “the Christian journey is about changing hearts.”

“It is about learning to live differently, under a different law, with different rules. It is about turning from the path of selfishness, conflict, division and superiority, and taking instead the path of life, generosity and love.”

“The Church is the home of hospitality,” he said, explaining that she is a mother who knows how to welcome and accept with an open heart, particularly those who are in greatest need.

“How much good we can do, if only we try to speak the language of hospitality, of welcome! How much pain can be soothed, how much despair can be allayed in a place where we feel at home! Welcoming the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick, the prisoner, the leper and the paralytic.”

Pope Francis also stressed the importance of welcoming those who don’t think the same as us, who do not have faith or who have lost it, as well as the persecuted, the unemployed and those in different cultures.

He also emphasized the need to welcome sinners, saying that often it’s easy to forget that evil lies at the root of out sin.

“There is a bitter root which causes damage, great damage, and silently destroys so many lives. There is an evil which, bit by bit, finds a place in our hearts and eats away at our life: it is isolation.”

Isolation can have many different roots, the Pope observed, explaining that it does a lot of harm and “makes us turn our back on others, God, the community. It makes us closed in on ourselves.”

This, he said, is why the true work of the Church, as a mother, is not mainly to managing various projects, “but to learn how to live in fraternity with others.”

By living this way Jesus teaches us a have a new mentality, and opens up new horizons filled with truth, beauty, life and fulfillment.

“God never closes off horizons; he is never unconcerned about the lives and sufferings of his children. God never allows himself to be outdone in generosity.”

 

from catholicnewsagency.com

Posted on Pope Francis Support

 

Recalling the day’s Gospel reading in which the people marvel at Jesus’s authoritative teaching, Pope Francis said that people today know “when a priest, a bishop, a catechist, a Christian, has the consistency that gives him authority.” Jesus, he said, “admonishes his disciples” to beware of “false prophets.”

But how to discern the true preachers of the Gospel from the false ones?

Pope Francis said there are three things to look for:  how do they speak, what do they do and, do they listen?

“They talk, they do, but another attitude is lacking: that is the basis, which is the very foundation of speaking, of doing.  They lack the ability to listen.”

from news.va

Posted on Pope Francis Support

 

“In the end this wealth doesn’t give us lasting security. Instead, it tends to reduce your dignity. And this happens in families – so many divided families.  And this ambition that destroys and corrupts is also at the root of wars. There are so many wars in our world nowadays because of greed for power and wealth. We can think of the war in our own hearts. As the Lord said, ‘Be on your guard against avarice of any kind.’ Because greed moves forward, moves forward, moves forward…   it’s like a flight of steps, the door opens and then vanity comes in — believing ourselves to be important, believing ourselves to be powerful… and then in the end pride (comes). And all the vices come from that, all of them. They are steps but the first step is avarice, that desire to accumulate wealth.”

from news.va

Posted on Pope Francis Support

 

Today our Lord Jesus Christ ascended into heaven; let our hearts ascend with him. Listen to the words of the Apostle: If you have risen with Christ, set your hearts on the things that are above where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God; seek the things that are above, not the things that are on earth. For just as he remained with us even after his ascension, so we too are already in heaven with him, even though what is promised us has not yet been fulfilled in our bodies.

Jesus ascends into heaven

Christ is now exalted above the heavens, but he still suffers on earth all the pain that we, the members of his body, have to bear. He showed this when he cried out from above: Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? and when he said: I was hungry and you gave me food.

Why do we on earth not strive to find rest with him in heaven even now, through the faith, hope and love that unites us to him? While in heaven he is also with us; and we while on earth are with him. He is here with us by his divinity, his power and his love. We cannot be in heaven, as he is on earth, by divinity, but in him, we can be there by love.

He did not leave heaven when he came down to us; nor did he withdraw from us when he went up again into heaven. The fact that he was in heaven even while he was on earth is borne out by his own statement: No one has ever ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man, who is in heaven.

These words are explained by our oneness with Christ, for he is our head and we are his body. No one ascended into heaven except Christ because we also are Christ: he is the Son of Man by his union with us, and we by our union with him are the sons of God. So the Apostle says: Just as the human body, which has many members, is a unity, because all the different members make one body, so is it also with Christ. He too has many members, but one body.

Out of compassion for us he descended from heaven, and although he ascended alone, we also ascend, because we are in him by grace. Thus, no one but Christ descended and no one but Christ ascended; not because there is no distinction between the head and the body, but because the body as a unity cannot be separated from the head.

- Saint Augustine, bishop of Hyppo

Posted on Ave Maria

 

More importantly does God have a purpose in mind for us as we spend sometimes 40 – 60 hours plus a week at the workplace?

For Christians, especially Catholics, Labour Day is an opportunity to pray and celebrate with workers around the world. This is because 1 May, in the Catholic Church, is celebrated as the day dedicated to St. Joseph, the worker and foster father of Jesus.

In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus is referred simply as “the carpenter’s son” (Matt 13 verse 55). And yet in the Gospel of Mark, Jesus is referred to as “the carpenter” or the worker (Mark 6 verse 3).

There can be no doubt that Jesus was a man of work and we know he valued work. Certainly as a carpenter, he must have sweated, got dirty and even experienced the tedious nature of work.

Shipbuilding on the Clyde: Burners by Stanley Spencer

Pope Saint John Paul II had some very interesting thoughts on work. In his encyclical (letter), entitled “On Human Work” (Laborem Exercens) Pope Saint John Paul II outlines three important requirements that are needed for any type of work to be considered suitable for the human person.

Work, he says,must remunerate. In other words, it must allow for the workers’ livelihood. When we employ anyone to do work for us, the employee should be able to draw from that work the means of providing for his life and that of his family.

Work must also be fulfilling. It should be normal to like what we do and see our work as contributing something to our society.

Above all, work must help build God’s Kingdom here on Earth. This means because of our work we will be building a world of unity; one where freedom reigns supreme and one where the dignity of the human person is valued.

Any decent work agenda will take care of the three fundamentals that Pope Saint John Paul II proposes. Workers will be happy to provide for their families and hopefully they too will do their best to enhance the productivity of their employers.

If our attitude towards work is positive we will create an environment in which we work harder; treat each other as employer and employee with respect; promote better understanding amongst colleagues at work and improve on customer care.

from radiovaticana.va

Posted on Legacy of Pope John Paul II

 

deep-sea

“O eternal Trinity, You are a deep sea in which the more I seek the more I find, and the more I find, the more I seek to know You. You fill us insatiably, because the soul, before the abyss which You are, is always famished; and hungering for You, O eternal Trinity, it desires to behold truth in Your light. As the thirsty heart pants after the fount of living water, so does my soul long to leave this gloomy body and see You as You are, in truth.

“O unfathomable depth! O Deity eternal! O deep ocean! What more could You give me than to give me Yourself? You are an ever-burning Fire; You consume and are not consumed. By Your fire, You consume every trace of self-love in the soul. You are a Fire which drives away all coldness and illumines minds with its light, and with this light You have made me know Your truth. Truly this light is a sea which feeds the soul until it is all immersed in You, O peaceful Sea, eternal Trinity! The water of this sea is never turbid; it never causes fear, but gives knowledge of the truth. This water is transparent and discloses hidden things; and a living faith gives such abundance of light that the soul almost attains to certitude in what it believes.

“You are the supreme and infinite Good, good above all good; good which is joyful, incomprehensible, inestimable; beauty exceeding all other beauty; wisdom surpassing all wisdom, because You are Wisdom itself. Food of angels, giving Yourself with fire of love to men! You are the garment which covers our nakedness; You feed us, hungry as we are, with Your sweetness, because You are all sweetness with no bitterness. Clothe me, O eternal Trinity, clothe me with Yourself, so that I may pass this mortal life in true obedience and in the light of the most holy faith with which You have inebriated my soul.”

St. Catherine of Siena

Posted on Ave Maria

 

We need constantly to contemplate the mystery of mercy. It is a wellspring of joy, serenity, and peace. Our salvation depends on it. Mercy: the word reveals the very mystery of the Most Holy Trinity. Mercy: the ultimate and supreme act by which God comes to meet us. Mercy: the fundamental law that dwells in the heart of every person who looks sincerely into the eyes of his brothers and sisters on the path of life. Mercy: the bridge that connects God and man, opening our hearts to the hope of being loved forever despite our sinfulness.

At times we are called to gaze even more attentively on mercy so that we may become a more effective sign of the Father’s action in our lives. For this reason I have proclaimed an Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy as a special time for the Church, a time when the witness of believers might grow stronger and more effective.

The Holy Year will open on 8 December 2015, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. This liturgical feast day recalls God’s action from the very beginning of the history of mankind. After the sin of Adam and Eve, God did not wish to leave humanity alone in the throes of evil. And so he turned his gaze to Mary, holy and immaculate in love (cf. Eph 1:4), choosing her to be the Mother of man’s Redeemer. When faced with the gravity of sin, God responds with the fullness of mercy. Mercy will always be greater than any sin, and no one can place limits on the love of God who is ever ready to forgive. I will have the joy of opening the Holy Door on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. On that day, the Holy Door will become a Door of Mercy through which anyone who enters will experience the love of God who consoles, pardons, and instills hope.

from MISERICORDIAE VULTUS, Bull of Indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, by Pope Francis

Posted on Ave Maria, Pope Francis Support

 

Out of love for us, Jesus Christ stripped himself of his divine glory, emptied himself, took on the form of a slave and humbled himself even to death, death on a cross. For this reason God exalted him and made him Lord of the universe. Jesus is Lord!

St. Peter and St. John Run to the Tomb by James TissotBy his death and resurrection, Jesus shows everyone the way to life and happiness: this way is humility, which involves humiliation. This is the path which leads to glory. Only those who humble themselves can go towards the “things that are above”, towards God(cf. Col 3:1-4). The proud look “down from above”; the humble look “up from below”.

On Easter morning, alerted by the women, Peter and John ran to the tomb. They found it open and empty. Then they drew near and “bent down” in order to enter it. To enter into the mystery, we need to “bend down”, to abase ourselves. Only those who abase themselves understand the glorification of Jesus and are able to follow him on his way.

from Pope Francis’ Urbi et Orbi Easter Message 2015

Posted on Pope Francis Support

 

MEDITATIONS by H.E. Msgr. Renato Corti, Emeritus Bishop of Novara 

INTRODUCTION

It was 19 March 2013. Pope Francis had been elected just a few days before. He preached on Saint Joseph, the “protector” of Mary and Jesus, as a model of discretion, humility, silence, abiding presence and complete fidelity.

The present Way of the Cross will make constant reference to the gift of our being “protected” by God’s love, particularly by Jesus crucified, and to the task which we in turn have received, to be loving protectors of all creation, of every person, especially the poor, of ourselves and our families. In this way we will make the star of hope shine forth in our world.

We want to take part in this Way of the Cross in profound union with Jesus. Attentive to the words of the Gospel, we will soberly meditate on some of the thoughts and feelings present in the mind and heart of Jesus at that time of trial.

We will also consider some of those challenging situations which – for better or worse – are typical of our own time. By allowing them to resonate within us, we will show our desire to imitate our Lord Jesus Christ in his Passion.

Prayer

O Father, who willed to save mankind by the death of your Son on the cross,
grant that we who have known on earth the mystery of his love,
may be his witnesses, in our words and actions, in our daily lives,
before all those whom you place on our path.
Through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

 

Christ Leaving The Praetorium by Gustave DoréFIRST STATION
Jesus is condemned to death

Intimacy, betrayal, condemnation

Adoramus…

From the Gospel according to Luke

“This is my body, which is given for you… This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood”.

From the Gospel according to Mark

“Pilate spoke to them again, ‘Then what do you wish me to do with the man you call the King of the Jews’. They shouted back, ‘Crucify him!’. Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified”.

JESUS’ THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS

I just celebrated Passover with my disciples. I had eagerly desired this: my last Passover, before the passion, before my return to you! But then something went wrong. The devil put it in the heart of one of my disciples to betray me. In the garden of Gethsemane he came up to me. With a sign of love he said, “Greetings, Rabbi!”. And he kissed me. How bitter was that moment!

During the meal, I asked you, Father, to protect my disciples in your name, that they may be one, as we are one.

OUR RESONANCE

Jesus, even more than your first disciples, we are weak in faith. We too risk betraying you, while your love should make us love you all the more.

We need prayer, watchfulness, sincerity and truth. That is how our faith can grow. A faith which is strong and full of joy.

LET US PRAY

Protected by the Eucharist

“May your body and blood, Lord Jesus, protect us for eternal life”.

May this miracle take place for our priests who celebrate the Eucharist and for all of us, the faithful who approach the altar to receive you, the living bread come down from heaven.

All: Pater noster… Stabat Mater

 

Jesus takes up His crossSECOND STATION
Jesus takes up his cross

“Numbered with the transgressors”

Adoramus…

From the Gospel according to Mark

“After mocking him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him”.

JESUS’ THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS

The soldiers of the governor surround me. For them, I am no longer a person but a thing. They want to toy with me, to mock me. So they dress me up as a king. There is even a crown, a crown of thorns. They strike my head with a reed. They spit on me. They lead me off.

I keep thinking of the striking passage of the prophet Isaiah about the Servant of the Lord. It says that he had no appearance of beauty; he was despised; he was a man of sorrows; he was like a lamb led to the slaughter; he was cut off from the land of the living; he was beaten to death. I am that Servant, sent to reveal the greatness of God’s love for man.

OUR RESONANCE

You, Jesus, were “numbered with the transgressors”. Among the first generation of Christians, simply because they spoke openly of you, Peter and John, Paul and Silas were cast into prison. This has happened repeatedly throughout history.

In our day too, men and women are imprisoned, condemned and even slaughtered for the simple reason that they are believers or engaged in promoting justice and peace. They are not ashamed of your cross. For us they are wonderful examples to imitate.

LET US PRAY IN THE WORDS OF A MARTYR, SHAHBAZ BHATTI

On the morning of 2 March 2011, Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistan’s Minister for Minorities, was killed by a group of armed men. In his spiritual testament he had written:
“I remember a Good Friday when I was only thirteen years old. I heard a sermon on the sacrifice of Jesus for our redemption and for the salvation of the world. And I thought of responding to that love by showing love for our brothers and sisters, placing myself at the service of Christians, especially the poor, the needy and the persecuted who live in this Islamic country.
“I want my life, my character and my actions to speak for me, and to say that I am a follower of Jesus Christ. This is so strong a desire in me that I would consider it a privilege if Jesus should wish to accept the sacrifice of my life”.

In the light of this testimony, let us pray: Lord Jesus, you strengthen inwardly all who suffer persecution. May the fundamental right of religious freedom spread throughout the world. We thank you for all those who, like “angels”, give marvellous signs of your coming Kingdom.

All: Pater noster… Stabat Mater

continue on with the rest of The Stations

Posted on Ave Maria

 

Locutions to the World

The beginning locutions are very special; focusing on the Fatima Vision (released by the Vatican (June 2000).

Concerning Private Revelations: These are private revelations and there is no need to believe them. If these revelations help your faith, then receive them. If not, you can set them aside. We are called to believe only public revelations.

The locutions are posted twice a week. Visit their site at www.locutions.org.

Ave Maria Online Magazine
Extravagant displays of devotion to Mary gets curtailed as world culture emphasizes the rational, scientific and technological aspects of life. There seems to be no more time for the more affective expressions of religion.

  Then, after a while, people get fed up with the absolutely rational and logical culture, and rediscover religion and the affective part of the human soul and its needs.

  And Mary is one of those.

Pledge to pray the rosary
For Our Lady of Fatima
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Love and support for Pope Francis
The Church is certainly a human and historical institution with all that entails, yet her nature is not essentially political but spiritual: the Church is the People of God, Holy People of God making its way to encounter Jesus Christ. Only from this perspective can a satisfactory account be given of the Church's life and activity.

  Christ is the Church's Pastor, but his presence in history passes through the freedom of human beings; from their midst one is chosen to serve as his Vicar, the successor of the Apostle Peter.

  Yet Christ remains the center, not the Sucessor of Peter: Christ, Christ is the centre.

Pledge 3 Hail Marys for Pope Francis
3 Hail Marys for Pope Francis
Offer up 3 Hail Marys for Pope Francis today

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A Million Roses for the World
A gift of love, faith and goodwill from the people of the Philippines. Pope Pius IX once said: “Give me an army praying a million rosaries a day and we will conquer the world.” We are not out to conquer the world…but to save it for God to whom it rightly belongs.

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