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Love and Responsibility Series: Introduction

  First published in 1960, Love and Responsibility by Karol Wojtyla (St. John Paul II) has never ceased to be relevant as an analysis of the metaphysical and ethical dimensions of love. Wojtyla presented the themes of this work in his university lectures in Lublin. They are the fruit, he tells us, of conversations with […]

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Interracial Marriage Comparison

Continuing to debunk the erroneous comparison of marriage redefinition to interracial marriage, Ryan Anderson and Gloria Purvis talk about what marriage is. This is the question that has been continuously ignored or set aside in the “marriage debate,” even before the Supreme Court. The state’s version of marriage is necessarily a weak one, and open […]

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Call to Prayer: August 11, 2017

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General Audience of 9 August 2017

POPE FRANCIS

GENERAL AUDIENCE

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

[Multimedia]


  

Speaker:

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

In our continuing catechesis, we now consider God’s mercy as the driving force of Christian hope.  When Jesus forgives the sinful woman, his action causes scandal, because it overturns the dominant attitude of the time.  Instead of rejecting sinners, Jesus embraces them, those who are outcast, “untouchable”.  With a compassion that literally causes him to tremble in his depths, he reveals the merciful heart of God.  This astonishing attitude to those in desperate situations, even those who have made many mistakes in life, marks our Christian identity with the stamp of mercy, and gives a sure foundation to our hope.  We who have experienced God’s forgiveness should avoid the danger of forgetting that this mercy was purchased at a great price: Christ’s death on the Cross.  Our Lord died not because he healed the sick, but because he did what only God can do: forgive sins.  This divine mercy both transforms us and renews our hope.  Our Lord, who rejects no one, graciously bestows upon us the mission to proclaim his mercy to the world.

Holy Father:

Saluto i pellegrini di lingua inglese presenti all’odierna Udienza, specialmente quelli provenienti da Malta, Nigeria, Guam, Canada, e Stati Uniti d’America.  Su tutti voi e sulle vostre famiglie invoco la grazia del Signore Gesù affinché possiate essere un segno della misericordia e speranza cristiana nelle vostre case e nelle vostre comunità.  Dio vi benedica!

Speaker:

I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, particularly those from Malta, Nigeria, Guam, Canada and the United States of America. Upon all of you, I invoke the grace of the Lord Jesus, that you may be a sign of mercy and Christian hope in your homes and communities.  May God bless you!

 

The Civil Rights Comparison

In this clip, Gloria Purvis discusses the common comparison of the “Equality” movement to the Civil Rights Movement, pointing out that the ethos is of a completely different character. The Civil Rights Movement was based on the knowledge that racial segregation was not part of the divine law, and thus was unjust. How did they […]

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Call to Prayer: August 4, 2017

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General Audience of 2 August 2017

POPE FRANCIS

GENERAL AUDIENCE

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

[Multimedia]


 

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Good morning!

There was a time when churches were oriented toward the East. You entered the sacred building from a door at the west end and, walking along the nave, you moved eastward. It was an important symbol for old-world man, an allegory which, in the course of history, has gradually died out. We men and women of the modern epoch, much less accustomed to grasping the great signs of the cosmos, hardly ever notice details of this sort. The West is the cardinal point of the setting sun, where the light dies out. The East, however, is the place where the shadows are overcome by the first light of dawn and it reminds us of Christ, the Sun risen on high, at the world’s horizon (cf. Lk 1:78).

The ancient Rites of Baptism called for the catechumens to pronounce the first part of their profession of faith keeping their gaze turned to the West. And in that stance they were asked: “Do you renounce Satan, his service and his works?” — And the future Christians repeated in chorus: “I do!”. Then they turned toward the apse, in the direction of the East, where the light is born, and the candidates for Baptism were again questioned: “Do you believe in God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit?”. And this time they responded: “I do!”.

In modern times the appeal of this Rite has been partially lost: we have lost sensitivity to the language of the cosmos. Naturally there remains the profession of faith made according to the Baptismal interrogation, which is proper to the celebration of several sacraments. However its significance remains intact. What does it mean to be Christians? It means looking to the light, continuing to make the profession of faith in the light, even when the world is enveloped in darkness and shadows.

Christians are not exempt from external and even internal shadows. They do not live outside of the world, however; by the grace of Christ received in Baptism they are “oriented” men and women: they do not believe in darkness, but in the dim light of day; they do not succumb to the night, but hope in the dawn; they are not defeated by death, but yearn to rise again; they are not cowered by evil, because they always trust in the infinite possibilities of good. And this is our Christian hope: the light of Jesus, the salvation that Jesus brings to us with his light that saves us from the darkness.

We are those who believe that God is Father: this is the light! We are not orphans; we have a Father and our Father is God. We believe that Jesus descended among us; he shared our life, making himself companion above all to the poorest and most frail: this is the light! We believe that the Holy Spirit works unceasingly for the good of humanity and of the world, and that even the worst suffering of history will be overcome: this is the hope that awakens us each morning! We believe that every affection, every friendship, every good yearning, every love, even the most minute and neglected, one day will find fulfilment in God: this is the power that spurs us to embrace our daily life with enthusiasm! And this is our hope: to live in hope and live in light, in the light of God the Father, in the light of Jesus the Saviour, in the light of the Holy Spirit who urges us to go forth in life.

There is then another very beautiful sign of the baptismal liturgy that reminds us of the importance of light. At the end of the Rite, the parents — if it is a child — or the baptized themselves — if they are adults — are consigned a candle, whose flame is lit from the Paschal Candle. It is a large candle that on Easter night enters the completely dark church, to demonstrate the mystery of Jesus’ Resurrection; from that candle everyone lights their own candle and passes the flame on to those nearby: in that sign is the slow propagation of the Resurrection of Jesus in the lives of all Christians. The life of the Church — I will say a rather strong word — is contagious light. The more light of Jesus we Christians have, the more light of Jesus there is in the life of the Church, the more alive she is. The life of the Church is the contagion of light.

The most beautiful exhortation that we can address to each other is to always remember our Baptism. I would like to ask you: how many of you remember the date of your Baptism? Do not answer because some may feel embarrassed! Think, and if you do not remember it, today you have homework to do: go to your mom, to your dad, to your aunt, to your uncle, to your grandma, grandpa, and ask them: “What is the date of my Baptism?”. And never forget it again! Is that clear? Will you do it? Today’s task is to learn or remember the date of Baptism, which is the date of rebirth; it is the date of light; it is the date in which — allow me to say — in which we were infected by the light of Christ. We are born twice over: the first time into natural life; the second, thanks to the encounter with Christ, at the Baptismal font. There we died unto death, in order to live as children of God in this world. There we became human as we never could have imagined. This is why we all must spread the fragrance of the Chrism, with which we were anointed on the day of our Baptism. In us lives and operates the Spirit of Jesus, first born of many brothers and sisters, of all those who oppose the inevitability of darkness and death.

What a grace it is when a Christian truly becomes a “cristo-foro”, which means “bearer of Jesus” in the world! Above all for those who are experiencing situations of grief, of despair, of darkness and of hate. This can be understood from many fine details: from the light that a Christian conserves in his eyes, from the foundation of peace which is not undermined even on the most complicated of days, from the wish to begin to love again even when we have experienced many disappointments. In the future, when the story of our days is written, what will it say about us? That we were capable of hope, or that we put our light under a bushel? If we are true to our Baptism, we will spread the light of the hope — Baptism is the beginning of hope, that hope — of God, and we will be able to pass on to future generations the meaning of life.


Special greetings:

I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, particularly those from Japan, Nigeria, Iraq and the United States of America. I am especially pleased to welcome the pilgrims from the Chaldean Patriarchate, accompanied by Bishop Shlemon Warduni. Upon all of you, I invoke the grace of the Lord Jesus, that you may be a sign of Christian hope in your homes and communities. May God bless you!

I address a special thought to young people, to the sick and to newlyweds. May the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord, which we will celebrate next Sunday, help everyone to never lose hope, but rather abandon ourselves trustingly into the hands of Christ our Saviour.

 

Statement from Archbishop Broglio

WASHINGTON, D.C. – His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services, USA, issued the following statement today on President Trump’s decision to disqualify transgender individuals from military service: “Saint Pope John Paul the Second wrote that, ‘Every individual, precisely by reason of the mystery of the Word of God who […]

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Angelus, 30 July 2017

POPE FRANCIS

ANGELUS

Saint Peter's Square
Sunday, 30 July 2017

[Multimedia]


 

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Good Morning!

Jesus’ parabolic discourse groups together seven parables in the 13th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, and concludes with today’s three parallel stories: the hidden treasure (v. 44), the fine pearl (vv. 45-46) and the fishing net (vv. 47-48). I will pause on the first two which highlight the protagonists’ decision to sell everything in order to acquire what they have found. The first case has to do with a farmer who casually happens upon a hidden treasure in the field he is working. As the field is not his property, he must purchase it in order to take possession of the treasure: he therefore decides to risk all his possessions so as not to lose that truly exceptional opportunity. In the second case, there is a merchant of precious pearls; as an expert, he has spied a pearl of great value. He too decides to wager everything on that pearl, to the point of selling all the others.

These parallel stories highlight two characteristics regarding possession of the Kingdom of God: searching and sacrifice. It is true that the Kingdom of God is offered to all — it is a gift, it is a present, it is a grace — but it does not come on a silver platter: it requires dynamism; it is about searching, journeying, working hard. The attitude of searching is the essential condition for finding. The heart must burn with the desire to reach the valuable good, that is, the Kingdom of God which is made present in the person of Jesus. He is the hidden treasure; he is the pearl of great value. He is the fundamental discovery who can make a decisive change in our lives, filling it with meaning.

Faced with the unexpected discovery, both the farmer and the merchant realize that they are facing a unique opportunity which should not be missed; hence, they sell all that they own. Assessing the inestimable value of the treasure leads to a decision that also implies sacrifice, detachment and renunciation. When the treasure and the pearl are discovered, that is, when we have found the Lord, we must not let this discovery become barren, but rather sacrifice everything else in order to acquire it. It is not a question of disdaining the rest but of subordinating them to Jesus, putting him in first place; grace in first place. The disciple of Christ is not one who has deprived himself of something essential; he is one who has found much more: he has found the complete joy that only the Lord can give. It is the evangelical joy of the sick who have been healed; of the pardoned sinners, of the thief for whom the doors of heaven open.

The joy of the Gospel fills the heart and the entire life of those who encounter Jesus. Those who allow themselves to be saved by him are freed from sin, sadness, inner emptiness and isolation. With Jesus Christ, joy is always born and reborn (cf. Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, n. 1). Today we are called to contemplate the joy of the farmer and the merchant in the parables. It is the joy of each of us when we discover the closeness and the comforting presence of Jesus in our lives. A presence which transforms the heart and opens us to the needs and the welcoming of our brothers, especially the weakest.

Let us pray for the intercession of the Virgin Mary so that each of us may know how to bear witness, in daily words and gestures, to the joy of having found the treasure of the Kingdom of God, that is, the love that the Father has given us through Jesus.

 

After the Angelus:

Dear brothers and sisters, today is the World Day against Trafficking in Persons, promoted by the United Nations. Each year thousands of innocent men, women and children are victims of exploitative labour and sexual abuse, and of organ trafficking, and it seems that we have become so accustomed to this, as to consider it a normal thing. This is deplorable; it is cruel; it is criminal! I wish to remind everyone of the duty to combat this abhorrent plague, a form of modern slavery. Let us pray together to the Virgin Mary so that she may sustain the victims of trafficking. Let us pray together to Our Lady: Hail Mary....

I now extend a greeting to all the pilgrims from Italy and from various countries, in particular the Murialdine Sisters of Saint Joseph, the Novices of Mary Help of Christians, the altar servers from various Italian parishes and the Italian women’s hockey club of Buenos Aires.

I wish you all a Happy Sunday and please do not forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch. Arrivederci!

 

Third Party Reproduction

Today’s video is about the phenomenon of third-party reproduction and its effects on children. This technological “advance” has made it possible for men or women to become parents without knowing the other person (or persons!) whose gamete or uterus is involved in the process. The gamete or body comes from a “third party.” This topic […]

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