Pope Francis has sent a message to participants of Cuba’s Second National Youth Day which is celebrated, this year, on August 1. In his letter Pope encouraged Youth Day participants to be, like Mary: “witnesses of His Resurrection” and willing to let themselves be transformed into missionary disciples, “so that many other young people may discover the presence of the Lord Jesus, listen to His call, grow in His friendship, and, in this way, live an existence founded on faith and mercy.”
“With these sentiments”, the message concludes, “the Holy Father prays to God our Lord, through the intercession of the Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre, to protect all young Cubans with His infinite love, accompanying them in all moments of their lives.”
Cuba’s Second National Youth Day is celebrated throughout the island in all of its Catholic dioceses.
Following China’s opening in the 1980s, the Church went through the pontificates of Saint John Paul II, Benedict XVI and the current pontiff, Pope Francis, each cordially showing a desire to engage Chinese authorities in dialogue. Through humility and patience, China and the Vatican finally met in Beijing on 22 September 2018 to sign the Provisional Agreement on the appointment of bishops.
Answering questions from journalists, Pope Francis said that the Agreement was not just an impulse, but “a true journey”, and the negotiation “process went like this: two steps forward, one back, two forward, one back”. The Holy See spokesman Greg Burke said that the Agreement does not represent the end of a process but is its beginning.
The “independent Church” separated from the Pope is therefore not the Catholic Church; the bishops without the Pope’s appointment are not even pastors of the Church; what is false cannot be disguised as truth, even if it has been in place for 60 years thanks to government help, looking more and more like Catholicism but unable to mask its true face.
“…So, one day, they wait for Jesus to conclude His prayer in a secluded place, and then they ask, “Lord, teach us to pray” (v. 1). In response to the explicit question of the disciples, Jesus does not give an abstract definition of prayer, nor does He teach an effective technique for praying and “obtaining” something. Instead He invites His disciples to experience prayer, placing them directly in communication with the Father, inspiring in them a nostalgia for a personal relationship with God, with the Father. Here lies the novelty of Christian prayer! It is a dialogue between people who love each other, a dialogue based on trust, supported by listening and open to solidarity. It is a dialogue of the Son with the Father, a dialogue between children and their Father. This is Christian prayer.
When Jesus teaches us, the Lord’s prayer makes us enter into God’s paternity and shows us the way to enter into a prayerful and direct dialogue with Him, via the path of filial confidence. And it is a dialogue between the father and his son, of the son with his father. What we ask in the Lord’s prayer is already all realized for us in the Only-begotten Son: the sanctification of the Name, the advent of the Kingdom, the gift of bread, forgiveness and liberation from evil. As we ask, we open our hand to receive. To receive the gifts that the Father showed us in the Son. The prayer that the Lord has taught us is the synthesis of every prayer, and we always address it to the Father in communion with our brothers. Sometimes it happens that in prayer there are distractions but many times we feel the desire to stop at the first word – “Father” – and feel that paternity in the heart.”
To read full version of Holy Father Francis words at the Angelus prayer, click here; http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2019/07/28/190728a.html