Archive for June, 2015

Mighty To Save

Faith-Mountains

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Everyone needs compassion
A love that’s never failing, let mercy fall on me
Everyone needs forgiveness
The kindness of a Savior, the Hope of nations.

Savior, He can move the mountains
My God is mighty to save.
He is mighty to save.
Forever, author of Salvation
He rose and conquered the grave.
Jesus conquered the grave.

So take me as You find me–all my fears and failures.
Fill my life again.
I give my life to follow everything I believe in.
I surrender. (I surrender.)

Savior, He can move the mountains
My God is mighty to save.
He is mighty to save.
Forever, author of Salvation
He rose and conquered the grave.
Jesus conquered the grave.

Savior, He can move the mountains
My God is mighty to save.
He is mighty to save.
Forever, author of Salvation
He rose and conquered the grave.
Jesus conquered the grave.

Shine Your light and let the whole world see
We’re singing for the glory of the risen King, Jesus
Shine Your light and let the whole world see
We’re singing for the glory of the risen King.

Savior, He can move the mountains
My God is mighty to save.
He is mighty to save.
Forever, author of Salvation
He rose and conquered the grave.
Jesus conquered the grave.

Savior, He can move the mountains
My God is mighty to save.
He is mighty to save.
Forever, author of Salvation
He rose and conquered the grave.
Jesus conquered the grave.

Shine Your light and let the whole world see
We’re singing for the glory of the risen King, Jesus
Shine Your light and let the whole world see
We’re singing for the glory of the risen King.

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#ShortNews : Buddhist-Catholic dialogue focuses on suffering, liberation, and fraternity

Forty-six Buddhists and Catholics from the United States have traveled to Rome for six days of dialogue devoted to suffering, liberation, and fraternity.

“Catholic-Buddhist interreligious dialogue in the USA, which in the past focused largely on developing mutual understanding, seeks with this new form of dialogue to build upon the traditional form by fostering interreligious collaboration to address the social problems faced by people in our communities,” Anthony Cirelli, associate director of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, explained in a blog post.

Addressing the participants, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, the president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, called the meeting “a sign of our openness towards one another and our commitment to human fraternity,” as well as part of “our ongoing quest to grasp the mystery of our lives and the ultimate Truth.”

The participants met with Pope Francis on June 24. “In this historical moment so wounded by war and hatred, these small gestures are seeds of peace and fraternity,” the Pope said. “Thank you so much, may the Lord bless you.”

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2015/06/23/us_buddhists,_catholics_begin_new_interreligious_dialogue_/1153525

#ShortNews : 400-year-old Jesuit college in London will close

Heythorp College, a 400-year-old Jesuit institution in London, will close in 2018, administrators have announced.

Heythorp College specialized in philosophy and theology, and provided advanced training for generations of Jesuits. But in the face of a financial crisis, administrators announced last year that they would not admit new students and were exploring a merger with St. Mary’s University. When the merger talks stalled, the decision to close Heythorp College was finalized.

http://www.thetablet.co.uk/news/2179/0/400-year-old-jesuit-run-heythrop-college-announces-closure-after-merger-talks-end-in-failure

#ShortNews : Catholic & Orthodox patriarchs urges Christians in campaign against extremists

The Catholic and Orthodox Patriarchs of Antioch have called upon Christians to work with moderate Muslims against the rise of religious extremism.

Noting that many Muslims are “working with their leaders to confront and completely eradicate” jihadist ideology, the prelates argue in a joint pastoral message that Christians should support that effort. “It is high time to confront Takfiri ideology, to dry out its well-springs,” they write.

(Takfari thought is a militant branch of Sunni Islam that calls for violence jihad and condemns any moderating trends.)

The pastoral message was signed by Melkite Catholic Patriarch Gregory III, Syrian Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius Efrem II, Greek Orthodox Patriarch John X, Maronite Catholic Patriarch Beshara al Rai, and Syriac Catholic Patriarch Joseph III Younan.

http://www.churchinneed.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=8477&news_iv_ctrl=146

Love Never Fails

Believing in God and loving Him without also loving all whom He loves is an insufficient faith.

Love never fails

To be a Christian is to, as St. Paul says, “strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts.” And the greatest, he says, is excellence in love. Whatever we do without love is pointless.

Faith without love is not real faith. Why? Because God is love, and whatever we do without him is pointless. Believing in him and loving him without also loving all whom he loves (which is everybody, no matter how bad of a jerk they are) is an insufficient faith.

How well we love is measured by how much we care about the people who make us unhappy – those who reject us, hurt our feelings, or give us reasons to fear them, or those who put obstacles in our spiritual walk or oppose us in other ways. (Hey! There’s no one who is easy to love all the time!) And yet we care about them. Right?

To be a mature Christian, we have to put aside the childish ways that Paul speaks of. How do children handle bullies? They run away in fear. Or they withdraw into a depression and hide in fantasy worlds. Or they complain about how cruelly they were treated, bad-mouthing the bully every chance they get. Or they find ways to retaliate and inflict revenge.

How do mature Christians handle bullies? We run to God for the healing of our wounds and the soothing of our aches. We learn from his Word how to righteously protect our hearts without isolating ourselves. And we find ways to love others in the very moments when they are behaving as enemies, even uniting ourselves to Jesus on the cross when it’s time for that. (Remember, sometimes Jesus walked away.)

To refuse to love bullies until they treat us nicely is to break away from our union with God. Paul lists some of the ways that we do this: impatience, unkind behaviors, jealousy, pride and pomposity, making ourselves seem better than others, rudeness, insisting on our own way, being quick-tempered, brooding over how we’ve been hurt, rejoicing when something bad happens to those who were bad to us, refusing to bear all things including unjust treatment, rejecting what the Bible and Church teachings say about unconditional love, forgetting to hope for Christ’s victory, and quitting when our love for others does not produce the results we want.

Wow! What a list! It resonates with our lives all too much. Looks like it’s time to go back to the Sacrament of Reconciliation or to Mass where the Rite of Penance restores us to union with God and to each other.

Love never fails to continue loving. When we walk with Jesus all the way through the valley of sorrow and hurt, we walk with love, bringing Jesus with us. Even when others fail to be converted by Christ’s presence in us, his love never fails to heal us and increase in us his own holiness.

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god-never-fails

Blessed Caius of Korea

caius of KoreaBlessed Caius of Korea (1571 in Korea – 15 November 1624 in Nagasaki, Japan) is the 128th of the 205 Roman Catholic Martyrs of Japan beatified by Pope Pius IX on 7 July 1867, after he had canonized the Twenty-six Martyrs of Japan five years before on 8 June 1862.

Caius was born in Korea and was given to a Buddhist monastery by his parents. He left the monastery because he could not find the peace that he wanted there and went to a mountain to live as a hermit. According to Dallet, “He withdrew into solitude to meditate with more ease on this happiness which he sought. He had as a dwelling only a cave, which he shared with a tiger, which occupied it before him. This wild animal respected its guest; it even yielded the cave to him some time after, and withdrew elsewhere.”

Caius only ate what was necessary to preserve his life, abstaining from anything that was not absolutely necessary to live. One night, while in meditation, a man of ‘majestic aspect’ appeared to him, and said to him,

“Take courage; within one year you will traverse the sea, and, after much work and fatigue, you will obtain the object of your desire.”

In 1592, Japan invaded Korea, and Caius was taken prisoner. On the journey to Japan, they were shipwrecked at Tsushima Island, and Caius, near death, was taken to Kyoto. A Christian named Caius Foyn, the father of his mistress, nursed him back to health.

Allured by the life of the Buddhist monks, he felt that he had found what he had been seeking for many years, and went to live in one of the most famous pagodas in Kyoto. Again he felt that he could not find the peace that he wanted there, and he became ill. During his illness, he had a dream in which he saw the pagoda ablaze. Then a ‘child of a charming beauty’ appeared to him in his dream, comforting him, saying,

“Fear no more, you are close to obtaining the happiness you desire.”

He found himself cured after the dream. In The Victories of the Martyrs by Saint Alphonsus de Ligouri, it is said that: “One day during sleep it seemed to him that the house was on fire: a little while afterwards a young child of ravishing beauty appeared to him, and announced to him that he would soon meet what he desired; at the same time he felt himself quite well, though he had been sick. Despairing of seeing among the bonzes the light for which he was longing, he resolved to leave them.”

Caius then left the temple and went back to his master, who introduced him to a Christian, who in turn introduced him to some Jesuit priests. He converted to Catholicism and was baptised immediately. While he was instructed, one of the priests showed him a tableau representing Jesus Christ, at which Caius is said to have exclaimed,

“Oh! Voila! Here is who appeared to me in my cave, and who foretold all that happened to me.”

Caius served the sick, especially lepers. In 1614, he went to Spanish Philippines in order to work as a servant to the Dom Justo Takayama, a samurai who had been exiled for his Catholic faith. After Takayama died in 1615, Caius returned to Japan, and resumed his duties as a catechist. He helped the missionaries by preaching in his native language to the Koreans who had been taken to Japan after the Japanese invasion of Korea, as well as to the Japanese.

On 15 November 1624, Caius was burnt alive at the stake with James Coici (Koichi), a Japanese Catholic after he was arrested for harbouring missionaries.

“Jesus, help me to simplify my life by learning what you want me to be – and becoming that person.”

“Jesus, help me to simplify my life by learning what you want me to be – and becoming that person.” ~ St. Thérèse of Lisieux