Archive for February, 2017

The Love Of God

the-cross

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The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell
It goes beyond the highest star
And reaches to the lowest hell
The guilty pair, bowed down with care
God gave His Son to win
His erring child He reconciled
And pardoned from his sin

Could we with ink the ocean fill
And were the skies of parchment made
Were every stalk on earth a quill
And every man a scribe by trade

To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry
Nor could the scroll contain the whole
Though stretched from sky to sky

Hallelujah [3x]

O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints’ and angels’ song

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#ShortNews: No, Pope Francis Did NOT Say It’s Better to Be an Atheist Than a Bad Catholic

Don’t believe the headlines!

Have you heard the news that Pope Francis preached it was better to be an atheist than a hypocritical Catholic? It’s in the headlines from Reuters, CNN, The Guardian, and many others.

There’s only one problem: that is not what he said. They’re all wrong.

From Vatican Radio itself, here is what Pope Francis actually said, in context:

“But what is scandal? Scandal is saying one thing and doing another; it is a double life, a double life. A totally double life: ‘I am very Catholic, I always go to Mass, I belong to this association and that one; but my life is not Christian, I don’t pay my workers a just wage, I exploit people, I am dirty in my business, I launder money…’ A double life. And so many Christians are like this, and these people scandalize others.

“How many times have we heard – all of us, around the neighborhood and elsewhere – ‘but to be a Catholic like that, it’s better to be an atheist.’ It is that, scandal. You destroy. You beat down. And this happens every day, it’s enough to see the news on TV, or to read the papers. In the papers there are so many scandals, and there is also the great publicity of the scandals. And with the scandals there is destruction.”

You see that he is not saying that it’s better to be an atheist than a hypocritical Catholic. Rather, he is saying that this is something other people say when confronted with hypocritical Catholics.

In Catholic theology, “scandal” is any sin that hurts another person spiritually. The pontiff is saying that when Catholics are hypocrites, it causes scandal, and makes people think they shouldn’t be Catholic (which is bad for them spiritually).

This is of course true and is a completely uncontroversial thing to point out.

Now that you know what the Holy Father really said: Don’t be a hypocrite! Live your faith!

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2017/02/23/pope_dont_put_off_conversion,_give_up_a_double_life/1294470

#ShortNews: Over 200 parishes have closed in German diocese

The Diocese of Essen, Germany, celebrated its sixtieth anniversary on February 23.

Since 1957, the number of Catholics has declined from 1.4 million to 791,000, in part because of a decline in the steel industry, according to the Italian news agency SIR. Over 200 parishes have closed, with the number of parishes falling from 259 to 43.

http://agensir.it/quotidiano/2017/2/23/germany-60th-anniversary-of-essen-diocese-ministry-and-interreligious-dialogue-but-number-of-catholics-down/

#ShortNews: Pope Francis: praying for evildoers is ‘Christian path to holiness’

Pope Francis visited Castelverde di Lunghezza, a suburb a dozen miles from the center of Rome, and made a pastoral visit to the Church of St. María Josefa of the Heart of Jesus, named after the Spanish foundress of the Servants of Jesus of Charity.

The Pope arrived at 3:30 on February 19 and met with various groups, including children, parents of the newly baptized, and the sick and elderly. He also heard four confessions.

During Mass, which began at 5:15, the Pope preached that the “Christian path to holiness” consists in praying for those who do evil.

The Pope asked those in the congregation not to cultivate resentments, but to “forgive from the heart.”

If God “is merciful, holy and perfect, we must be merciful, holy and perfect like him,” the Pope continued. He described prayer as “an antidote against hatred, against wars.”

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2017/02/20/pope_no_revenge,_pray_for_those_who_wrong_you/1293641

Cleansing Our Own Temple

Faith, when actualised, leads us to fear God, which leads us to make some attempt to introduce order into our lives. And it is this attempt which shows us what is wrong with us. And it is here that we need to be attentive. The demons will, for instance, try to get us into a frame of mind in which we think that we are entitled to be annoyed at somebody. If we succumb to this, then we shall devote our attention to the thought of the person with whom we are annoyed. What the ascetic needs to do is to focus his attention instead on the fact that he is annoyed. Instead of seeing some other human being angrily, he tries to see his own anger. He can then begin to fight against it. And at first he has to use any device for restraining anger that he can think of. But gradually we should become more adept at wielding our own powers, even if at first this only means “using a nail to drive out a nail”, that is to say, playing off one passion against another. For instance, pride and unchastity are reckoned to be incompatible, so we can play off the thought of one against the thought of the other.

But more essentially we need to reclaim anger for its proper purpose. It is always a waste of good anger to get annoyed with other human beings. Instead we should turn our anger precisely against our thoughts and against the demons who deploy them. Evagrius suggests that we should address an angry word to any thought which is troubling us, even before praying for help against it, since it is the nature of anger to disperse thoughts.

In this way we shall be using anger in accordance with its true nature, to clear a way through the thoughts which swarm all around us, so that we can gradually come to a clearer perception of what it is all about. Thus we move from a fairly blind lashing out against whatever seems to be getting in our way to a position where we are fighting in the daylight.

The desired goal of this whole exercise is a state in which we are no longer at the mercy of inappropriate reactions. And this is a profound state of balance and harmony.

FATHER SIMON TUGWELL, O.P.
Father Tugwell is a Dominican priest, the author of several books on theology and spirituality, and a member of the Dominican Historical Institute.

Saint Charitina of Amisus

saint-charitinaOrphaned young, she was the servant of an eminent Christian man called Claudius the pious, who brought her up as his own daughter. The young woman was very pretty, sensible, and kind. She imparted her love for Christ to others, and she converted many to the way of salvation. Charitina was meek, humble, obedient and silent. Although not as yet baptized, she was a Christian at heart. She studied the law of God day and night and vowed to live in perpetual virginity as a true bride of Christ.

Having brought others to the Christian faith, the Emperor Diocletian’s governor, Dometius, heard of her and sent soldiers to take her from her foster-father for trial. The judge asked her: “Is it true, little girl, that you are a Christian, and that you delude others by bringing them to this dishonourable faith?” Charitina courageously replied: “It is true that I am a Christian, and a lie that I delude others. I lead those in error to the way of truth, bringing them to my Christ.”

The judge ordered that her hair be cut off and live coals put on her head, but the maiden was preserved by God’s power. They threw her into the sea, but she clambered out saying, “This is my baptism.” God delivered her from it. She was bound to a wheel which began to turn, but an angel of God stopped the wheel and Charitina remained unharmed. Then the wicked judge sent some dissolute youths to rape her. Fearing this dishonour, St Charitina prayed to God to receive her soul before these dissolute men could foul her virginal body and so, while she was kneeling in prayer, her soul went out from her body to the immortal Kingdom of Christ St. Charitina died a martyr’s death in the year 304.

Beauty – Tips

FOR LOVELY EYES- Always look at the good side of other people.

FOR TENDER LIPS- Speak only kind words towards others.

FOR A CHARMING FACE- Always smile with a happy heart.

FOR GRACEFUL ARMS- Reach out with compassion to those in need.

FOR BEAUTIFUL FEET- Always walk with GOD!

Be a good looking person inside and out.