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Just reminding erryone of my current location #rio #papafrancis #skyline #beautiful

Posted by on 7-22-13

El Jueves salgo para Puerto Rico y estare participando del JMJ en PR. Un Evento unido al JMJ de Brasil. Seran dias de mucha gracia, poder y misericordia. Contamos con sus oraciones! Para mas info porfavor visiten www.jmj2013pr.com #jmj #jmj2013pr #brasil #puertorico #unasolaiglesia #jovenes #catholic #catolico #papafrancis

Posted by on 7-22-13

“Não tenho ouro nem prata.. Vim aqui transmitir o maior presente que recebi nessa vida: Jesus Cristo” – Papa Francisco, no Palácio Guanabara, na sua chegada no Rio de Janeiro

Posted by on 7-22-13

Nada mejor que coger cosas de los hoteles y encontrartelas un tiempo mas tarde #recuerdoson #abril2013 #antequera #campeonatoespañaporescuelas #catalunya #buenequipo #genialrelevo #granada #bocadecaballo #dientesdeleon #mojopicon #bananas #pasajeros #titofrancis #papafrancis #yayofrancis #quierovolver

Posted by on 7-22-13

El papa Francisco acaba de recitar: “Necesitamos santos sin velo, sin sotana. Necesitamos santos de jeans y zapatillas. Necesitamos santos que vayan al cine, escuchen musica y paseen con sus amigos. Necesitamos santos que coloquen a Dios en primer lugar y que sobresalgan en la Universidad. Necesitamos santos que busquen tiempo cada dia para rezar y que sepan enamorar en la pureza y castidad, o que consagren su castidad. Necesitamos santos modernos, santos del siglo XXI con una espiritualidad insertada en nuestro tiempo. Necesitamos santos comprometidos con los pobres y los necesarios cambios sociales. Necesitamos santos que vivan en el mundo, se santifiquen en el mundo y que no tengan miedo de vivir en el mundo. Necesitamos santos que tomen Coca Cola y coman hot-dogs, que sean internautas, que escuchen iPod. Necesitamos santos que amen la Eucaristia y que no tengan vergüenza de tomar una cerveza o comer pizza el fin de semana con los amigos. Necesitamos santos a los que les guste el cine, el teatro, la musica, la danza, el deporte. Necesitamos santos sociables, abiertos, normales, amigos, alegres, compañeros. Necesitamos santos que esten en el mundo y que sepan saborear las cosas puras y buenas del mundo, pero sin ser mundanos”. Amen!!!!!!! (Esta parte la dije yo) :) #santidadenjeans #santidad #PapaFrancis #Iglesia #yes #holiness

Posted by on 7-21-13

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Canonist Ed Peters on the changes to law for marri...

Posted on Sep 9, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

You will want to have at least a glance at largifical canonist Ed Peters take on the changes to Canon Law for the Latin and the Eastern Churches concerning the procedure for handling marriage cases which were announced yesterday.

A first look at Mitis Iudex

He points out the changes, major and minor.

And

A second look at Mitis, especially at the new fast-track annulment process

Toward the end of that post he writes:

Looking ahead

At the pope’s request, a tiny group of experts, most from just one country, developed these new canons and explanations in a very short time. I find, however, the implications of some of these norms for marriage law in general, and for diocesan bishops in particular, stunning, and I join Dr. Kurt Martens of CUA in wondering how bishops must feel at having such significant burdens thrust on them just in time for Christmas with, as far as one can see, virtually no prior consultation. I expressly cautioned against this approach last year and sound that claxon again. Assuming, in any event, that I have read the new norms correctly, and assuming that there are no easy resolutions to my concerns, what might one suggest?

First, and most importantly, the vacatio legis (a delay period before new laws go into effect per Canon 8) indicated for Mitis should be extended from this December until well into next year at the very least. If, as some assert, Francis’ annulment reforms are the most significant in the last three hundred years, a considerably longer period than three months is needed to prepare for them. If necessary, a request for an extension could be proposed by the upcoming Synod of Bishops.

Second, a much wider consultation about annulment reform should be conducted, a consultation that would involve, at a minimum, manyidentified diocesan bishops (identified precisely so observers could forward remarks to them) and canonists from several countries, especially from countries with extensive tribunal operational experience.

I repeat, some aspects of Mitis are sound. The elimination of mandatory appeal, for example, can be put into effect with minimal delay. But other aspects of Mitis, especially the fast-track annulment option, need, I suggest, considerably more study. I only hope sufficient time is accorded the wider Church to make such studies feasible.

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Who Is Pope Francis?...

Posted on Sep 9, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Jorge Mario Bergoglio was born in Buenos Aires on December 17, 1936, to Italian immigrants. Studious throughout his young life, he studied at the University of Buenos Aires, receiving a master’s degree in chemistry. He began his religious training at the Jesuit seminary of Villa Devoto, entering the Society of Jesus in 1958. He attended the Philosophical and Theological Faculty of San Miguel, earning a degree in philosophy and a doctorate in theology in Freiburg, Germany.

Bergoglio’s climb in the Catholic world was relatively swift. He was ordained in 1969 and served as Jesuit provincial from 1973 through 1979. In 1992, he was ordained auxiliary bishop of Buenos Aires. After becoming archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998, he was named a cardinal three years later.

Four years later, Bergoglio became the president of the bishops’ conference of Argentina—a position he held until 2011. But an even loftier position awaited him.

Introducing Pope Francis

On April 19, 2005, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger secured the required votes to be elected our 265th pope—a job many believe he didn’t want. Bergoglio, the quiet Jesuit, came in second. He still had the confidence of many cardinals in the days that followed Benedict’s resignation in 2013.

On the second day and the fifth ballot, Bergoglio won the two-thirds majority and was elected, taking the name Francis and, with it, the reins of the Catholic Church. He is the first Jesuit pope and the first one from Latin America—home to 40 percent of the world’s Catholics.

From the beginning, Francis avoided papal formalities. He greeted the crowd in a simple cassock, not the ornate, red mozzetta worn by his predecessors. Rather than being elevated on a platform above the cardinals, Francis positioned himself standing with his brothers when he was introduced.

The pope “stands as the figure of unity for all Catholics,” Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, the president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, told Catholic News Service that day.

It’s that gift for unifying that likely got him elected. While conservative on matters of contraception and same sex marriage, Pope Francis, known to have washed the feet of persons with AIDS, leans progressive on issues of poverty and economic progress. The breadth of his principles, many believe, will help him in reaching Catholics—both devoted and disenfranchised.

Pope Francis in America, commemorative

Love Is Our Mission: Pope Francis in America releases October 30. Pre-order today by clicking here: Pope Francis in America

 
*****
Feature Photo by giulio napolitano / Shutterstock.com

The post Who Is Pope Francis? appeared first on American Catholic Blog.

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The Red Wheelbarrow: An Image to Contemplate...

Posted on Sep 8, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

A brief and simple poem by William Carlos Williams (1883-1963), gives us an unusual image to delight in. I offer here, for your heart’s enjoyment and contemplation, “The Red Wheelbarrow.”

The Red Wheelbarrow

so much depends
upon

a red wheel
barrow

glazed with rain
water

beside the white
chickens

Williams’ poem provides a fresh, simple “word picture,” which the reader can simply enjoy for its own sake without needing to analyze further. Imagine standing in awe before a “red wheelbarrow glazed with rainwater beside the white chickens” and marvel about that wondrous image. I read somewhere that Williams wrote “The Red Wheelbarrow” rather quickly while looking out the window at the precious scene described in his poem.

In this poem, Williams Carlos Williams seems to be telling us that “so much depends upon” our having a sense of wonder as we observe the simple beauties of life and nature, as well as the beauties discovered in art and literature. Some years ago, my Franciscan confreres and I had a Franciscan literature teacher whom we deeply admired. During our seminary college years, this teacher often said, “Great literature does not save the soul; it makes the soul worth saving.”

Williams may have also wanted to say “so much depends upon” our being able to sit down before truth like a child and see the value in something, not because it can be used or manipulated for our selfish gain, but because of what it is in itself—because it has an intrinsic, God-given beauty or value.

What Are Your Thoughts

I first became acquainted with this poem in a literature class at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, in the early 1960s. For some reason, my memory still holds on to this rare gem. Maybe some of you reading this have thoughts of your own to share regarding the poem. I welcome your comments and insights!

*****

Illustration: Idea go

The post The Red Wheelbarrow: An Image to Contemplate appeared first on American Catholic Blog.

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The Red Wheelbarrow: An Image to Contemplate...

Posted on Sep 8, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

A brief and simple poem by William Carlos Williams (1883-1963), gives us an unusual image to delight in. I offer here, for your heart’s enjoyment and contemplation, “The Red Wheelbarrow.”

The Red Wheelbarrow

so much depends
upon

a red wheel
barrow

glazed with rain
water

beside the white
chickens

Williams’ poem provides a fresh, simple “word picture,” which the reader can simply enjoy for its own sake without needing to analyze further. Imagine standing in awe before a “red wheelbarrow glazed with rainwater beside the white chickens” and marvel about that wondrous image. I read somewhere that Williams wrote “The Red Wheelbarrow” rather quickly while looking out the window at the precious scene described in his poem.

In this poem, Williams Carlos Williams seems to be telling us that “so much depends upon” our having a sense of wonder as we observe the simple beauties of life and nature, as well as the beauties discovered in art and literature. Some years ago, my Franciscan confreres and I had a Franciscan literature teacher whom we deeply admired. During our seminary college years, this teacher often said, “Great literature does not save the soul; it makes the soul worth saving.”

Williams may have also wanted to say “so much depends upon” our being able to sit down before truth like a child and see the value in something, not because it can be used or manipulated for our selfish gain, but because of what it is in itself—because it has an intrinsic, God-given beauty or value.

What Are Your Thoughts

I first became acquainted with this poem in a literature class at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, in the early 1960s. For some reason, my memory still holds on to this rare gem. Maybe some of you reading this have thoughts of your own to share regarding the poem. I welcome your comments and insights!

*****

Illustration: Idea go

The post The Red Wheelbarrow: An Image to Contemplate appeared first on American Catholic Blog.

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Pope Francis on Motherhood...

Posted on Sep 7, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Our guest blogger today is Sister Joanne Schatzlein, OSF, a frequent contributor to St. Anthony Messenger.

On my way to board a plane in Milwaukee’s airport, I recently noticed a “Lactation Station.” Although this enclosed “container” had a happy face painted on the outside, it seemed a most uninviting place to nurse a baby.

I was reminded that when Pope Francis baptized 33 infants in the Sistine Chapel last January, he departed from his homily to speak directly to the mothers of crying babies: “You mothers give your children milk and even now, if they cry because they are hungry, breastfeed them; don’t worry.” He asked them to remember poor mothers around the world who can’t give food to their children.

In a later homily, given on the feast of Sts. Titus and Timothy, he reflected on how mothers and grandmothers nurtured the faith in these saints. Today, women remain the primary nurturers of faith in us all. Why women? As did Sts. Francis and Clare, Pope Francis acknowledged the extraordinary role of Mary, an ordinary woman who said yes to an angel, gave birth to Jesus, and nurtured this infant at her breast in the lowliest of places where farm animals feed—in a manger.

I recalled the unease some people experience when viewing a 14-thcentury fresco in Greccio of Mary nursing baby Jesus. It is one of the earliest depictions of God’s humanity, an infant dependent on his mother’s milk. Anatomically incorrect, the breast is located on the side of Mary’s neck, allowing her to remain fully dressed. Looking at the “Lactation Station” in Milwaukee’s airport, I wondered how far we have progressed in the 21st century.

Are we not all called to be “mothers” in passing on the faith? Indeed, we are called to nurture faith in each other, especially the poor, not in uninviting “containers,” but openly and without shame.

This blog was taken from St. Anthony Messenger‘s monthly column “The Spirit of Francis.”

*****
Photo: Ruslan Iefremov/Shutterstock

The post Pope Francis on Motherhood appeared first on American Catholic Blog.

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Canonical process for marriage cases to be changed...

Posted on Sep 7, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

The Bolletino is … packed today with news that I don’t consider all that good.

There will be a presser tomorrow at the Sala Stampa.

Two Motu Proprio Letters will be rolled out on the reform of the canonical process for declarations of nullity of marriage in the Code of the Latin Church and of the Eastern Churches.

Avviso di Conferenza Stampa, 07.09.2015

Si avvisano i giornalisti accreditati che domani, martedì 8 settembre 2015, alle ore 12.00, nell’Aula “Giovanni Paolo II” della Sala Stampa della Santa Sede, avrà luogo la Conferenza stampa di presentazione delle due Lettere motu proprio datae di Papa Francesco Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus e Mitis et misericors Iesus, sulla riforma del processo canonico per le cause di dichiarazione di nullità del matrimonio, rispettivamente nel Codice di Diritto Canonico e nel Codice dei Canoni delle Chiese Orientali.

Parteciperanno e interverranno nell’ordine:

– S.E. Rev.ma Mons. Pio Vito Pinto, Decano della Rota Romana e Presidente della Commissione speciale per la Riforma del processo matrimoniale canonico; [Why is the Cardinal (next down) not the President of this Commission?]
– Em.mo Card. Francesco Coccopalmerio, Presidente del Pontificio Consiglio per i Testi Legislativi e Membro della Commissione speciale;
– S.E. Rev.ma Mons. Dimitrios Salachas, Esarca Apostolico di Atene per i cattolici greci di rito bizantino e Membro della Commissione speciale;
– S.E. Rev.ma Mons. Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, S.I., Segretario della Congregazione per la Dottrina della Fede e Membro della Commissione speciale;
– Mons. Alejandro W. Bunge, Prelato Uditore della Rota Romana e Segretario della Commissione speciale;
– Rev. P. Nikolaus Schöch, O.F.M., Promotore di Giustizia Sostituto del Supremo Tribunale della Segnatura Apostolica e Segretario della Commissione speciale.

I testi dei documenti in forma cartacea (in latino e nella traduzione in lingua italiana) saranno a disposizione dei giornalisti accreditati a partire dalle ore 10.30 di domani martedì 8 settembre con Embargo fino alle ore 12.30. [Paper copies of the Latin with Italian translation will be given to the journalists ahead of time.]

La conferenza stampa potrà essere seguita in diretta streaming audio-video tramite: [live streaming…]

il VaticanPlayer via web digitando http://player.rv.va

il Canale TheVatican su YouTube digitando http://youtube.com/vatican

le App RadioVaticana per Android – iPhone – Windowsphone. Le app si possono scaricare direttamente dal sito della Radio Vaticana: www.radiovaticana.va

What could be in this?

It could streamline the process by eliminating second instance (which won’t save a lot of time provided the first court does its job well).  It could reduce the number of judges (which would be disastrous).

We shall see!

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Canonical process for marriage cases to be changed...

Posted on Sep 7, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

The Bolletino is … packed today with news that I don’t consider all that good.

There will be a presser tomorrow at the Sala Stampa.

Two Motu Proprio Letters will be rolled out on the reform of the canonical process for declarations of nullity of marriage in the Code of the Latin Church and of the Eastern Churches.

Avviso di Conferenza Stampa, 07.09.2015

Si avvisano i giornalisti accreditati che domani, martedì 8 settembre 2015, alle ore 12.00, nell’Aula “Giovanni Paolo II” della Sala Stampa della Santa Sede, avrà luogo la Conferenza stampa di presentazione delle due Lettere motu proprio datae di Papa Francesco Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus e Mitis et misericors Iesus, sulla riforma del processo canonico per le cause di dichiarazione di nullità del matrimonio, rispettivamente nel Codice di Diritto Canonico e nel Codice dei Canoni delle Chiese Orientali.

Parteciperanno e interverranno nell’ordine:

– S.E. Rev.ma Mons. Pio Vito Pinto, Decano della Rota Romana e Presidente della Commissione speciale per la Riforma del processo matrimoniale canonico; [Why is the Cardinal (next down) not the President of this Commission?]
– Em.mo Card. Francesco Coccopalmerio, Presidente del Pontificio Consiglio per i Testi Legislativi e Membro della Commissione speciale;
– S.E. Rev.ma Mons. Dimitrios Salachas, Esarca Apostolico di Atene per i cattolici greci di rito bizantino e Membro della Commissione speciale;
– S.E. Rev.ma Mons. Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, S.I., Segretario della Congregazione per la Dottrina della Fede e Membro della Commissione speciale;
– Mons. Alejandro W. Bunge, Prelato Uditore della Rota Romana e Segretario della Commissione speciale;
– Rev. P. Nikolaus Schöch, O.F.M., Promotore di Giustizia Sostituto del Supremo Tribunale della Segnatura Apostolica e Segretario della Commissione speciale.

I testi dei documenti in forma cartacea (in latino e nella traduzione in lingua italiana) saranno a disposizione dei giornalisti accreditati a partire dalle ore 10.30 di domani martedì 8 settembre con Embargo fino alle ore 12.30. [Paper copies of the Latin with Italian translation will be given to the journalists ahead of time.]

La conferenza stampa potrà essere seguita in diretta streaming audio-video tramite: [live streaming…]

il VaticanPlayer via web digitando http://player.rv.va

il Canale TheVatican su YouTube digitando http://youtube.com/vatican

le App RadioVaticana per Android – iPhone – Windowsphone. Le app si possono scaricare direttamente dal sito della Radio Vaticana: www.radiovaticana.va

What could be in this?

It could streamline the process by eliminating second instance (which won’t save a lot of time provided the first court does its job well).  It could reduce the number of judges (which would be disastrous).

We shall see!

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Pope Francis in a “town hall” TV broadcast on ...

Posted on Sep 5, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

While I am confused about why ABC (and not other networks or all networks) was given a special privilege by the Pope’s handlers for a special TV “town hall” event, there was a good moment.

It was packaged by the network with teasers as if it were reality TV.  I haven’t watched regular network TV (with its commercials) for quite a while, but wow … just… wow.  I feel a little dumber now.

Anyway, in this “town hall” we saw the human condition on display as it might be anywhere.  This was supposed to be a lead up to Pope Francis visit to these USA. Most of what happened was not especially important for expressing something about these USA, even the illegal immigrant part…. sorry… ABC called them undocumented. 

However… there was a golden moment.

He congratulated a young single mother who made the choice for life for her unborn daughters.  He said that she could have killed them but she respected the life in her womb and he thanks and congratulated her for making that choice… in sincere and strong words and emotion.

Emotion ruled the day, it had a liberal agenda, and it was not a little manipulative, but that’s all we can expect in the MSM now.  They took the usual tack that this is the first Pope who has ever smiled… ever said a kind word… ever kissed a baby.. that he’s the most wonderfullest fluffiest Pope ehvur!  Gosh, he’s so humble.  And thing with the nun.. meh.  God bless her for her work.  The timing… meh.

But that one moment… was gold.

I can endure a lot of for a moment like that which ABC was pretty much forced to broadcast.

On another network last night, Fox, there was, simultaneously their expose about Planned Parenthood.

It was a good day for babies on American TV.

Full video HERE  for the golden moment, tune in at about 19:00 following, if nothing else.

I’m interested in your reactions to the ABC thing.  I haven’t seen the Planned Parenthood thing on Fox yet.

 

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Blessed Are You: Spiritual Poverty...

Posted on Sep 5, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Our guest blogger today is Melanie Rigney, author of Blessed Are You: Finding Inspiration from Our Sisters in Faith.


Blessed are the poor in spirit,

for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
—Matthew 5:3

Interesting, isn’t it, that Jesus begins this beautiful sermon by talking about the poor? It was certainly the earthly life he knew: birth in a lowly stable; growing up as a carpenter’s son. During his public ministry we learn that he had nowhere to rest his head, that he had no money to render unto Caesar, that those in his hometown thought him to be nothing remarkable. Perhaps that’s why he starts the Beatitudes in this way, for he knows the poor are children of the Lord and will see him in heaven.

As followers of Christ, we attempt to recognize him in the least of our brothers and sisters: the poor, the homeless, those discriminated against, the victims, those in prison. They don’t always smell good, and they’re not always grateful for our love and service. It can be hard to see Jesus in the mentally ill man who spits on us because rather than give him the five dollars he’s asked for, we offer to take him around the corner and buy him a meal.

But then, maybe it’s hard for that man to see Christ in us when we put conditions on assisting him. In blessing the poor, we get a tiny view of the kingdom of heaven in the way we are touched by that interaction.

But Jesus wasn’t just talking about physical or economic poverty. He was also talking about spiritual poverty, the only kind many of us in developed countries will ever know firsthand. Jesus knew that kind of poverty too. He showed it to us when he was on the cross. Jesus had let go of everything: his mother, his friends, his public ministry, his garments, his health, his dignity. He asked in that split second why God had forsaken him, and then he turned it over, saying it was finished and giving up the spirit.

We find our own spiritual poverty in many different ways: in humbling ourselves and working and living simply; in stripping ourselves of all the titles and possessions that give us pride; in finding the faith to set aside all the fears and paranoia that give us anxiety. For God to fill us up, we must first empty ourselves of all the stuff that stands between him and us. If we are strong enough to do that—to accept spiritual poverty, to understand that all we need is God and when we have God we have all we need—we begin to see the kingdom of heaven.

For more on Blessed Are You: Finding Inspiration from Our Sisters in Faith. click here.

*****
Image: LoloStock/Shutterstock

The post Blessed Are You: Spiritual Poverty appeared first on American Catholic Blog.

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Blessed Are You: The Peacemakers...

Posted on Sep 4, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Our guest blogger today is Melanie Rigney, author of Blessed Are You: Finding Inspiration from Our Sisters in Faith.


“Blessed are the peacemakers,

for they will be called children of God.”
—Matthew 5:9

We love peacemakers, in theory anyway. Think of all the poems and songs that have been written about the concept of peace over the millennia. In City of God, St. Augustine waxed poetically about peace in and between the body and soul; peace with God; and among people. “The peace of the whole universe is the tranquility of order,” he concluded.
“And order is the arrangement of like and unlike things in their proper place.”

That’s the hard part, the finding in our hearts and souls while not compromising our faith, the proper places for those like and unlike things, whether they be people or views on politics or religion or how to fold the towels or make the bed. Order doesn’t have to mean an authoritarian society. It does imply a sense of harmony and respect. Without it, we will never find peace.

In The Violence of Love, a collection of the writings of slain Archbishop Oscar Romero, tranquility again is used as part of peace’s definition: “Peace is the generous, tranquil, contribution of all to the good of all. Peace is dynamism. Peace is generosity. It is right and it is duty.”

What did being a peacemaker look like in Jesus? We think of his last few days in earthly form. We think of his quiet surrender to the guards. We think of his admonishment to Peter for cutting off a guard’s ear, and his healing of it. We think of his calm responses to the jesting Pilate’s questions about who he is. We think of him on the cross, ignoring those who taunt him with questions about why he doesn’t save himself.

As Jesus showed us, peacemakers aren’t always loved or admired. We view their pacifism and equanimity and, yes, spiritual indifference to what happens in this world with suspicion and perhaps a little fear. How can they not raise their voices and denigrate those who oppose them? How can they not take advantage of every physical, mental, and emotional tool at their disposal to short-circuit the endless yammering and just get on with it? How can they not go along with the popular position because it’s easy, and live to fight the good fight another day?

The answers are easy, though putting them into practice is so difficult. Because while those tactics may work in the short term, they’re never successful in the long term. They don’t change people’s minds and hearts. That’s why peacemakers respect the human dignity of those who do them harm. They know what they don’t say or do can be as powerful as any words or actions. They are patient. They are confident in the Lord and the mission he has given them, whether it involves disharmony in their families, their country, their Church, and yes, even in themselves. They know God, not they nor those who are at odds with them, will define success.

To learn more about Melanie’s book, click here.

*****
Photo: CHOATphotographer/Shutterstock

The post Blessed Are You: The Peacemakers appeared first on American Catholic Blog.

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Blessed Are You: The Peacemakers...

Posted on Sep 4, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Our guest blogger today is Melanie Rigney, author of Blessed Are You: Finding Inspiration from Our Sisters in Faith.


“Blessed are the peacemakers,

for they will be called children of God.”
—Matthew 5:9

We love peacemakers, in theory anyway. Think of all the poems and songs that have been written about the concept of peace over the millennia. In City of God, St. Augustine waxed poetically about peace in and between the body and soul; peace with God; and among people. “The peace of the whole universe is the tranquility of order,” he concluded.
“And order is the arrangement of like and unlike things in their proper place.”

That’s the hard part, the finding in our hearts and souls while not compromising our faith, the proper places for those like and unlike things, whether they be people or views on politics or religion or how to fold the towels or make the bed. Order doesn’t have to mean an authoritarian society. It does imply a sense of harmony and respect. Without it, we will never find peace.

In The Violence of Love, a collection of the writings of slain Archbishop Oscar Romero, tranquility again is used as part of peace’s definition: “Peace is the generous, tranquil, contribution of all to the good of all. Peace is dynamism. Peace is generosity. It is right and it is duty.”

What did being a peacemaker look like in Jesus? We think of his last few days in earthly form. We think of his quiet surrender to the guards. We think of his admonishment to Peter for cutting off a guard’s ear, and his healing of it. We think of his calm responses to the jesting Pilate’s questions about who he is. We think of him on the cross, ignoring those who taunt him with questions about why he doesn’t save himself.

As Jesus showed us, peacemakers aren’t always loved or admired. We view their pacifism and equanimity and, yes, spiritual indifference to what happens in this world with suspicion and perhaps a little fear. How can they not raise their voices and denigrate those who oppose them? How can they not take advantage of every physical, mental, and emotional tool at their disposal to short-circuit the endless yammering and just get on with it? How can they not go along with the popular position because it’s easy, and live to fight the good fight another day?

The answers are easy, though putting them into practice is so difficult. Because while those tactics may work in the short term, they’re never successful in the long term. They don’t change people’s minds and hearts. That’s why peacemakers respect the human dignity of those who do them harm. They know what they don’t say or do can be as powerful as any words or actions. They are patient. They are confident in the Lord and the mission he has given them, whether it involves disharmony in their families, their country, their Church, and yes, even in themselves. They know God, not they nor those who are at odds with them, will define success.

To learn more about Melanie’s book, click here.

*****
Photo: CHOATphotographer/Shutterstock

The post Blessed Are You: The Peacemakers appeared first on American Catholic Blog.

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Knowing Forgiveness...

Posted on Sep 4, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Today’s guest blogger is Nick Luken, a fourth-year student at The Ohio State University, majoring in English and minoring in professional writing. Nick graduated from Roger Bacon, a Franciscan high school in Cincinnati, in 2012.

When I found out about Pope Francis’ recent announcement that priests would be able to grant absolution to women who had gotten abortions, I was shocked.  It wasn’t because the news itself was shocking, though; I was shocked that the mere notion of the Church forgiving people’s sins came as a surprise to people. The Church has been forgiving sins of all kinds for 2,000 years.

I think that many people outside the Church (and possibly some people within the Church) have a warped understanding of the nature of sin and forgiveness.  Lots of people, especially young adults, seem to think that the Church’s acknowledgement of something as a sin serves as a personal condemnation of anyone who commits that sin.  People who think this way appear to believe that since the Church teaches abortion is wrong, the Church must teach that anyone who has an abortion will be doomed to spend an eternity in hell. That’s quite a jump.

The truth is, of course, that the word “sin” simply refers to any deed that leads a person away from God, whether that deed involves speech, thought, or action. That’s where forgiveness comes into play.

No matter what we may deserve, if we simply ask the Lord to forgive us for any sins for which we are truly sorry, we will be forgiven.  This is especially true if we seek out the sacrament of Reconciliation, which gives us total assurance that we receive forgiveness from God and our fellow human beings.  It’s been that way since Jesus said to his disciples in John 20:23: “Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”

It saddens me that people have a hard time seeing how willing God is to forgive us all for our sins. I can only hope that through the Year of Mercy that Pope Francis has declared for the upcoming liturgical year, people of all walks of life may come to see that God’s mercy is endless, and that sin has no power over his eternal love.

Photo: ChristianChan

The post Knowing Forgiveness appeared first on American Catholic Blog.

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Knowing Forgiveness...

Posted on Sep 4, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Today’s guest blogger is Nick Luken, a fourth-year student at The Ohio State University, majoring in English and minoring in professional writing. Nick graduated from Roger Bacon, a Franciscan high school in Cincinnati, in 2012.

When I found out about Pope Francis’ recent announcement that priests would be able to grant absolution to women who had gotten abortions, I was shocked.  It wasn’t because the news itself was shocking, though; I was shocked that the mere notion of the Church forgiving people’s sins came as a surprise to people. The Church has been forgiving sins of all kinds for 2,000 years.

I think that many people outside the Church (and possibly some people within the Church) have a warped understanding of the nature of sin and forgiveness.  Lots of people, especially young adults, seem to think that the Church’s acknowledgement of something as a sin serves as a personal condemnation of anyone who commits that sin.  People who think this way appear to believe that since the Church teaches abortion is wrong, the Church must teach that anyone who has an abortion will be doomed to spend an eternity in hell. That’s quite a jump.

The truth is, of course, that the word “sin” simply refers to any deed that leads a person away from God, whether that deed involves speech, thought, or action. That’s where forgiveness comes into play.

No matter what we may deserve, if we simply ask the Lord to forgive us for any sins for which we are truly sorry, we will be forgiven.  This is especially true if we seek out the sacrament of Reconciliation, which gives us total assurance that we receive forgiveness from God and our fellow human beings.  It’s been that way since Jesus said to his disciples in John 20:23: “Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”

It saddens me that people have a hard time seeing how willing God is to forgive us all for our sins. I can only hope that through the Year of Mercy that Pope Francis has declared for the upcoming liturgical year, people of all walks of life may come to see that God’s mercy is endless, and that sin has no power over his eternal love.

Photo: ChristianChan

The post Knowing Forgiveness appeared first on American Catholic Blog.

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In Family...

Posted on Sep 3, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Recently my brother Tommy’s illness, death and funeral led me to reflect on my family. We are bonded and stick together like glue in times of crisis and in times of joy. Families are always amazing, albeit imperfect, in forming the future of our society and world.

We were a big family, five girls and five boys. So, with Mom and Dad we made a household of twelve. Being the youngest of the bunch, I learned a lot from my siblings. They say I was spoiled, but they taught me lots, from how to wash dishes and how to clean up and make my bed. We were an organized family. Everyone had a part to play and we learned to accept each other’s different personalities and gifts to keep the family together.

As I reflected, I realized the things I learned from my parents and from my brothers and sisters. From little things to more important responsibilities, we progressed in family life. We had our rules and parts to play in the house. Praying at mealtime, sharing the food and waiting for Mom before we began to eat. Prayer at bedtime, Sunday Mass together, homework before play and so forth. As a family we were all different and yet we pulled together in every way possible. That is why there is such a bond of love that still holds us together now that we are all on Medicare.

My brother Tommy, who just passed away, was six years older than me. He taught me about radios and repairing lamps and important stuff like that. I learned how to solder, test vacuum tubes—remember those?—and use tools properly. He helped the neighborhood kids in the construction of a log cabin in Mt. Airy Forest near our backyard. He taught me how to tune up the engine on his old Studebaker before he taught me to drive.

I believe that the greatest blessing I have received in my life is the gift of family. In retrospect, my family was a great training ground for life in a religious community, or for being the father of a big family of my own if God led me that way.

Since Pope Francis is coming for Philadelphia’s World Meeting of Families I guess everyone will have some time to thank God for the gift of family. After all, the family is really the fundamental unit, the building block of society. Give some thought to your family and how God is present within our families.

Photo Credit:  Shutterstock

The post In Family appeared first on American Catholic Blog.

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In Family...

Posted on Sep 3, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Recently my brother Tommy’s illness, death and funeral led me to reflect on my family. We are bonded and stick together like glue in times of crisis and in times of joy. Families are always amazing, albeit imperfect, in forming the future of our society and world.

We were a big family, five girls and five boys. So, with Mom and Dad we made a household of twelve. Being the youngest of the bunch, I learned a lot from my siblings. They say I was spoiled, but they taught me lots, from how to wash dishes and how to clean up and make my bed. We were an organized family. Everyone had a part to play and we learned to accept each other’s different personalities and gifts to keep the family together.

As I reflected, I realized the things I learned from my parents and from my brothers and sisters. From little things to more important responsibilities, we progressed in family life. We had our rules and parts to play in the house. Praying at mealtime, sharing the food and waiting for Mom before we began to eat. Prayer at bedtime, Sunday Mass together, homework before play and so forth. As a family we were all different and yet we pulled together in every way possible. That is why there is such a bond of love that still holds us together now that we are all on Medicare.

My brother Tommy, who just passed away, was six years older than me. He taught me about radios and repairing lamps and important stuff like that. I learned how to solder, test vacuum tubes—remember those?—and use tools properly. He helped the neighborhood kids in the construction of a log cabin in Mt. Airy Forest near our backyard. He taught me how to tune up the engine on his old Studebaker before he taught me to drive.

I believe that the greatest blessing I have received in my life is the gift of family. In retrospect, my family was a great training ground for life in a religious community, or for being the father of a big family of my own if God led me that way.

Since Pope Francis is coming for Philadelphia’s World Meeting of Families I guess everyone will have some time to thank God for the gift of family. After all, the family is really the fundamental unit, the building block of society. Give some thought to your family and how God is present within our families.

Photo Credit:  Shutterstock

The post In Family appeared first on American Catholic Blog.

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"And now let us begin this journey, the Bishop and people, this journey of the Church of Rome, which presides in charity over all the Churches, a journey of brotherhood in love, of mutual trust. Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the whole world that there might be a great sense of brotherhood.

I will now give my blessing to you and to the whole world, to all men and women of good will."

-Papa Francis quote

He does not know you, yet he prays for you.
He will most likely never meet you, yet he loves you.

This is your chance to show your love, for as the Bible teaches, "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven."