Today, Pope Francis delivered this homily for the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows:
“Jesus came into the world to learn how to be a man, and by being a man, walk with men. He came into the world to obey, and He obeyed. But he learned this obedience from suffering. Adam left Paradise with a promise, a promise that lasted for so many centuries. Today, through this obedience, this self-abnegation, this humiliation, through Jesus, that promise becomes hope. And the people of God walk with sure hope. Even the Mother, ‘the New Eve,’ as Paul himself calls her, in order to participate in her Son’s journey, learned, suffered and obeyed. And thus she becomes Mother.”
The Gospel shows us Mary at the foot of the Cross. Jesus says to John, “Behold your mother.” Mary – the Pope said – “is anointed Mother”
“And this is our hope. We are not orphans, we have Mothers: Mother Mary. But the Church is Mother and the Mother Church is anointed when it takes the same path of Jesus and Mary: the path of obedience, the path of suffering, and when she has that attitude of continually learning the path of the Lord. These two women – Mary and the Church – carry on the hope that is Christ, they give us Christ, they bring forth Christ in us. Without Mary, there would be no Jesus Christ; without the Church, we cannot go forward.”
“Two women and two mothers” – continued the Pope Francis – and next to them our soul, which in the words of Isaac, the abbot of Stella, is “feminine” and is like “Mary and the Church.”
“Today, looking at this woman by the Cross, steadfast in following her Son in His suffering to learn obedience, looking at her we see the Church and look at our Mother. And also, we look at our little soul that will never be lost, if it continues to be a woman close to these two great women who accompany us in life: Mary and the Church. And just as our fathers left Paradise with a promise, today we can go forward with a hope: the hope that our Mother Mary, steadfast at the Cross, and our Holy Mother, the hierarchical Church, give us.”
Transcription from Vatican Radio
The chairman of the Committee of International Justice and Peace of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, asked us to pray for peace in Iraq on Sunday, August 17.
The prayer noted below was written by the Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Iraq, His Beatitude Louis Rafael Sako.
On arriving in Korea today, Pope Francis continued his call for peace in the Middle East, he prayed for a soul of a journalist killed in Gaza and for peace among Asian nations. Not long ago he said: “violence generates more violence; dialogue is the only path to peace.” Prayer is the key to good public order.
Join us in prayer.
The plight of our country
is deep and the suffering of Christians
is severe and frightening.
Therefore, we ask you Lord
to spare our lives, and to grant us patience,
and courage to continue our witness of Christian values
with trust and hope.
Lord, peace is the foundation of life;
Grant us the peace and stability that will enable us
to live with each other without fear and anxiety,
and with dignity and joy.
Glory be to you forever
Today, His Holiness Pope Francis began his Apostolic Journey to the Republic of Korea for the 6th Asian Youth Day (13-18 August 2014). We keep the Pope in our prayers and friendship as he visits our sisters and brothers in Korea.
The preparations for the papal visit is called “simply impeccable” and an event to remember. Listen to a Vatican Radio report on the prep. I am sure our friends their are welcoming their father in Faith in grand style and with blessed affection for they know Christ and virtue of friendship.
The Catholic Church in Korea is one sustained and developed by the laity. The Church in a very real way is a country of martyrs, 124 of them will be beatified by the Pope on Saturday. Listen to a bishop’s review of his Church in a Vatican Radio interview.
Vatican Radio has looked into Catholic life of the Church on this peninsula. Listen to the interview.
Let us ask in prayer that the Korean Martyrs to assist the Pope, the bishops and laity in the witness to Jesus Christ.
The Holy Father sent the following message to His Excellency, Mr Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General United Nations Organization, regarding the tragic situation of Christians in Iraq at the hands of Muslim extremists. No doubt we are seeing the systematic rejection of the Gospel and the lives of Christians in the Middle East. The aim of the reign of terror is the establishment of the caliphate. And yet, Muslim scholars deny the move. A Dominican friar working Iraq said this:
It is a humanitarian disaster. I have witnessed a hard time and a bitter history of my country and especially my beloved Church. The monster of our time (ISIS) maims all without mercy. When I see Christians persecuted in my country, humiliated and driven from their homes, it really hurt my heart. In addition, before the genocide of Christians in Iraq, there is a total silence from the international community. The fate of Christians rests between humiliation and departure, what misery! At this time of disruption, sometimes, I receive words or an email to give me a little courage, that’s nice. But now, I would like at this time to offer a practical approach from someone who is in a chaotic situation and who really needs support.
Pope Francis’ letter to Mr Ban Ki-moon:
It is with a heavy and anguished heart that I have been following the dramatic events of these past few days in Northern Iraq where Christians and other religious minorities have been forced to flee from their homes and witness the destruction of their places of worship and religious patrimony. Moved by their plight, I have asked His Eminence Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, who served as the Representative of my predecessors, Pope St John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, to the people in Iraq, to manifest my spiritual closeness and to express my concern, and that of the entire Catholic Church, for the intolerable suffering of those who only wish to live in peace, harmony and freedom in the land of their forefathers.
In the same spirit, I write to you, Mr Secretary-General, and place before you the tears, the suffering and the heartfelt cries of despair of Christians and other religious minorities of the beloved land of Iraq. In renewing my urgent appeal to the international community to take action to end the humanitarian tragedy now underway, I encourage all the competent organs of the United Nations, in particular those responsible for security, peace, humanitarian law and assistance to refugees, to continue their efforts in accordance with the Preamble and relevant Articles of the United Nations Charter.
The violent attacks that are sweeping across Northern Iraq cannot but awaken the consciences of all men and women of goodwill to concrete acts of solidarity by protecting those affected or threatened by violence and assuring the necessary and urgent assistance for the many displaced people as well as their safe return to their cities and their homes. The tragic experiences of the Twentieth Century, and the most basic understanding of human dignity, compels the international community, particularly through the norms and mechanisms of international law, to do all that it can to stop and to prevent further systematic violence against ethnic and religious minorities.
Confident that my appeal, which I unite with those of the Oriental Patriarchs and other religious leaders, will meet with a positive reply, I take this opportunity to renew to your Excellency the assurances of my highest consideration.