- Sunday, 08 January 2012 18:07
Have we finished the Christmas season in good order? Have we exceeded our expectation to live the season of Christmas differently from what secular culture has given us? Or, have we given up and just given ourselves over to the mediocrity of the the world around us with regard to Christian Faith? What follows is a very interesting commentary on our Christian observance of the Birth of Jesus, the Nativity of God-Man by Father Julián Carrón. While the today brings to a close the Church’s yearly observance of Christmastide, we have work to do before we put to rest the nagging questions: what difference does this Child make in my life? AND Do we really believe that God is in our midst?
In order to describe our humanity and to see ourselves properly at this moment in the world’s history, it is hard for us to find more appropriate words than those contained in this passage by the Prophet Zephaniah. “Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel!”. Why? What reason is there to rejoice, with all that is happening in the world? Because “the Lord has taken away the judgments against you”.
The first repercussion that these words produced in me was surprise at how the Lord looks at us: with a gaze that succeeds in seeing things that we shall not be able to recognize unless we participate in his same gaze at reality. “The Lord has taken away the judgments against you”: in other words, your evil does not have the last word over your life; the usual way you look at yourself is not the right one; the look with which you constantly reproach yourself is not true. The one true look is the Lord’s look. And it is precisely by this look that you will be able to understand that he is with you: if he has taken away the judgment against you, what can you fear? “You shall fear evil no more”. An inexorable positiveness prevails over life. For this reason, the biblical passage continues, “do not fear, O Zion, do not let your hands grow weak” Why? Because “The Lord your God is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory”. There is no other source of joy than this: “he will rejoice over you with gladness. He will renew you with his love, he will exult over you with loud singing” (3:14-17).
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- Monday, 05 December 2011 15:15
This blog is dedicated to communion theology. What brings us a Christians–Catholics– in communion of the Trinity, the Church and one another. The trusted witness of another gives me certitude that Faith in Jesus Christ and His the Sacrament, the Church, is real and worthy of belonging, not just following. The head of the Communion and Liberation in the USA, Chris Bacich, wrote the following letter to us today. I offer it for your reflection in these days of Advent. Emphasis given is mine.
I’ve been wanting to write to you for some time (since
mid-November, really) about the opportunity I had to be with Fr. Carrón and a
few other friends from around the world in Italy.
He invited us to a
“mini-vacation” over a weekend and we spent a good amount of time
speaking about the Movement and the radical nature of its proposal. In
particular, Fr. Carrón wanted to hear from us what change the work on the
school of community on chapters 10 and 11 of the Religious Sense and the flyer produced in Italy on
the crisis had wrought in us. He pointed, in particular, to the very
recent death (it had happened less than a week before we were with him) of a
young man from the CLU [Communion & Liberation University Students] in
Italy who had died in a motorcycle accident. He held an assembly with the
university students, regarding this event, where he boldly insisted that
reality is always positive. (This assembly will be featured in the next
issue of Traces.)
Indeed, the theme of the CLU Spiritual Exercises in Italy will be “The
Inexorable Positivity of Reality.” His boldness in front of such a
tragic event, as well as the insistence of our charism at this time that the
crisis in which the world has fallen at this moment is something positive
encapsulates for me the clash of mentality that exists between us and the
mentality generated by the popular culture that so often rules our hearts and
minds, as well.
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- Friday, 11 November 2011 15:29
Today, Pope Benedict spoke to the volunteers who work with the Cor Unum group led by Cardinal Robert Sarah. He defines very clearly charitable work. Pay attention Communion and Liberation people!!!
I am grateful for the opportunity to greet you as you meet under the auspices of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum” in this European Year of Volunteering.
Let me begin by thanking Cardinal Robert Sarah for the kind words he has addressed to me on your behalf. I would also like to express my deep gratitude to you and, by extension, to the millions of Catholic volunteers who contribute, regularly and generously, to the Church’s charitable mission throughout the world. At the present time, marked as it is by crisis and uncertainty, your commitment is a reason for confidence, since it shows that goodness exists and that it is growing in our midst. The faith of all Catholics is surely strengthened when they see the good that is being done in the name of Christ (cf. Philem 6).
For Christians, volunteer work is not merely an expression of good will. It is based on a personal experience of Christ. He was the first to serve humanity, he freely gave his life for the good of all. That gift was not based on our merits. From this we learn that God gives us himself. More than that: Deus Caritas est – God is love, to quote a phrase from the First Letter of Saint John (4:8) which I employed as the title of my first Encyclical Letter. The experience of God’s generous love challenges us and liberates us to adopt the same attitude towards our brothers and sisters: “You received with paying, give without pay” (Mt 10:8). We experience this especially in the Eucharist when the Son of God, in the breaking of bread, brings together the vertical dimension of his divine gift with the horizontal dimension of our service to our brothers and sisters.
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- Thursday, 27 October 2011 19:34
Father Aldo Trento, 64, hails from Belluno, Italy. Father Aldo is a priest of the Missionary Fraternity of Saint Charles Borromeo and has been living in Paraguay since 1989; currently he is the pastor of San Rafaél Church, Asunción. The life of this parish generated the Clinic “Divine Providence Saint Richard Pampuri Home” for the terminally ill and for the poor. Moreover, Father Aldo has established an elementary school, a shelter for pregnant women who suffered sexual abuse, four homes for orphans affected by HIV/AIDS, a shelter for chronically-ill children, and two residences for poor and abandoned elderly people. At the present time they are building new facilities for the Clinic as well as a vocational school with several subject concentrations to facilitate the introduction of the youths who complete their primary education at Pai Alberto School into the job market. In June 2008, Father Aldo has been named a “Knight of the Star of Solidarity”, by the president of Italy, Giorgio Napolitano. In September 2008 he was also designated an illustrious citizen of the city of Asunción by the City Council.
Father Aldo’s amazing witness can be heard here on an audio file. It was recorded October 20, 2011, at the NY CL Offices.