- Monday, 18 May 2009 18:00
We’re observing the anniversary of death of the famed Jesuit, Matteo Ricci. Benedict XVI wrote to Bishop Claudio Giuliodori of Macerata-Tolentino-Recanati-Cingoli-Treia, Italy on the occasion of a Jubilee Year commemorating the fourth centenary of the death of the Jesuit Father Matteo Ricci, who died in Beijing, China on 11 May 1610. In part the Pope said:
In considering his intense academic and spiritual activity, we cannot but remain favourably impressed by the innovative and unusual skill with which he, with full respect, approached Chinese cultural and spiritual traditions. It was, in fact, this approach that characterised his mission, which aimed to seek possible harmony between the noble and millennial Chinese civilisation and the novelty of Christianity, which is for all societies a ferment of liberation and of true renewal from within, because the Gospel, universal message of salvation, is destined for all men and women whatever the cultural and religious context to which they belong.
A biography of Father Ricci can be read here.
More about Father Ricci can be found here and here.
For those with a deeper curiosity I could recommend Jonathan D. Spence’s The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci.
- Monday, 06 April 2009 11:15
Following the progression of saint-making is interesting, though it can be tedious. If you are interested, there is an article in the March 2009 issue of The American Benedictine Review (60:1) by Dom Oliver Raquez, OSB: “Memoirs of the Postulator for the Cause of Blessed Columba Marmion.” The author takes you through Marmion’s canonization process from beginning to the present including the miracles and future work that would make Blessed Columba more known.
- Thursday, 02 April 2009 07:00
Today marks the fourth anniversary of the death of our beloved Pope John Paul II. His physical absence is felt but I believe that he’s interceding before the throne of grace for those who ask.
I consider myself in the John Paul generation and I look forward to the day that the Church beatifies and canonizes him. Even though I love Pope Benedict, I still love Pope John Paul. May his memory be eternal.
God, Who, in Thine ineffable providence, didst will that Thy servant John Paul II should be numbered among the high priests, grant, we beseech Thee, that he, who on earth held the place of Thine only-begotten Son, may be joined forevermore to the fellowship of Thy holy pontiffs. Through Christ our Lord.
Some newsworthy items:
Sophia Loren speaks about John Paul moving toward sainthood.
A Rabbi speaks about John Paul.
A video clip on the 6pm Mass offered by Pope Benedict for Pope John Paul II.
A video clip on the documentation of Pope John Paul’s move toward being called saint.
Carl Anderson reflects on his relationship with the Servant of God Pope John Paul II on this 4th anniversary of the Pope’s death.
- Friday, 06 March 2009 06:00
Last year the Society of Jesus in Slovakia has put a considerable effort in drawing the attention to a novice, Tomas Munk, who converted to Catholicism from Judaism in the late 1930s.
In the spring of 2008 a book of Ivan Petransky about his life was published Zivot pod hviezdou (“A life under a star”). People from around the Jesuit community in Ruzomberok have organized a concert to remember this young brave man who in his early life had written: Amor Christi usque ad oblivionem sui – Love for Christ until self-oblivion. The local TV station has produced a documentary DVD on his life and people are very much interested in the witness this young man has got to offer. Parts of the published book were broadcasted on the Catholic radio station in the country.
Tomas Munk was born in Budapest on January 29, 1924 as the first son of a Jewish couple. After conversion in 1939 he was received in the Catholic Church. Tomas studied in Bratislava and partly in Ruzomberok. He decided to become priest in the Society of Jesus where he entered on July 30, 1943. In the autumn of 1944, Nazi soldiers came in Ruzomberok. After several months the whole family was arrested and the Nazi eventually came to the Novitiate and took him away as a Jewish convert. According to a fellow novice, now a respected Jesuit, Tomas confided to him having prayed all night in the Novitiate chapel: “I have sacrificed my life for my nation, for its conversion and for the Church.” Tomas was killed on the way to the concentration camp.
A point of connection for me with Tomas Munk is that we share the same birth date but 45 years apart from each other, and that we had a love of the Society. May he interceded for all of us.
- Sunday, 08 February 2009 08:00
We draw near to God and He enters into our being. He dwells in us. He takes us into union with Himself. As the tree strikes roots down into the soil and that which yesterday was but a bit of dirt, today is part of the tree, so Christ reaches down through the mystery of the Incarnation and takes into union with Himself those that are willing to be lost and merged in Him. He lives in them and they can cry out with Saint Paul, “It is no longer I that live, but Christ who lives in me.” [Gal.2:20] It is that indwelling presence of Christ that satisfies the soul, which, if it seeks satiety elsewhere will never find it, and He leads the soul step by step, and if the person has his or her trials and sufferings —and we all do— in the midst of this wicked and naughty world we are to make atonement in union with Christ crucified on the Cross, for in His mystical body He is constantly reproducing His own crucifixion. (Fr. Paul’s sermon, December 25, 1925)