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Reaching out to Catholic/Christians Individuals/Families

The Church Alive – New Evangelisation!

THE YEAR OF FAITH!

My Dear Friends/Readers,

We do not have to worry about anything else that people tell us.  It is the Year of  Faith declared by our dear Pope Benedict XVI.  Take up your bibles – Everyday, read the Daily Readings – Meditate on the Readings and the Gospel.  Look up for Catholic Sites that give authentic Catholic Teachings and do not worry about anything else that confuses you.

Let us give Glory to Our Lord Jesus Christ.  Let our first priority be to know our religion so that we can go forth and be able to defend our faith, to stand our ground and more importantly to PROCLAIM OUR FAITH/JESUS CHRIST TO ALL THOSE WHOM WE MEET.


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January 24, 2013 Posted by | Catholicism, Charismatic Renewal, Faithful, Family, Meditation, Pope Benedict XVI, Singles, Women, Year of Faith, Youth | Leave a comment

Good and Faithful Servant!

I was viewing this video and it really touched my heart. You will note that the bond between Msgr Georg Ganswein and
His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI is really strong – It is the Holy Spirit that binds the two together in Holiness and yet again you will see the three of them together knit together with the power of the Holy Spirit – The three are Msgr Georg Ganswein, Cardinal Bertone and His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI! Wow to Friendship, Faithfulness and Loyalty!


January 7, 2013 Posted by | Cardinals, Catholicism, Charismatic Renewal, Faithful, Friendship, Pope Benedict XVI, Vatican | Leave a comment

“The Pope’s birthday will be a family celebration” 14th April, 2012 – Vatican Insider

The Pope’s Secretary, Mgr. Gaenswein, has revealed that there will be no solemn celebration on the occasion of the Pope’s 85th birthday on Monday. Instead it will be a “very Bavarian” day
vatican insider staff
rome
“There will be no solemn celebrations in the Vatican for the Pope’s birthday. Instead, it will be a family celebration. “I do not want any big celebrations please,” the Pope himself said to us collaborators.” This was revealed exclusively to Italian weekly magazine Gente on sale 16 April, by Mgr. Georg Gaenswein, Benedict XVI’s private secretary. On 16 April the Pope will celebrate his 85th birthday and three days later, on 19 April, he will begin his eighth year as Peter’s successor.

“16 April is a Monday, a normal working day and he never interrupts his daily routine. It will however be a very Bavarian day,” Mgr. Gaenswein added. The Pope dedicated his book Benedict XVI – Famous figures write about the Pope – in which twenty VIP’s give personal descriptions of the Pope – to Mgr. Gaenswein.

Fr. Georg also revealed a few little secrets about life with the Pope, a fellow countryman: “He is a Pope who reflects on the meaning of his words. His simplicity, sincerity and courage have often been misunderstood. Perhaps because he is not afraid to call a mistake by its name. But he has always shown sensitivity and respect in his day-to-day relations with others. Including me. He has never said to me: “That’s not right: you are wrong.” Instead he says: “This could be done like this or like that.” Though the essence of these criticisms is serious, they are expressed in a delicate and seraphic manner.”

According to his secretary, Benedict XVI does not appear to be concerned by the image the media paint of him, a picture of a cold and conservative question: “This image is mostly a distorted one. But he learnt to deal with criticism. He knows how to place and accept them. He is able to distinguish news pieces and their contexts. Public opinion, the press and television are important and must be taken into consideration. But they often have no influence on the Vatican.”


April 16, 2012 Posted by | Catholicism, Christianity, Family, Politics, Pope Benedict XVI, Vatican | Leave a comment

April 10, 2012 – Benedict XVI: “Role of women is fundamental to the Christian community” – Vatican Insider

The Pope praised the female intellect in his Easter Monday message, pronounced from the Apostolic retreat in Castel Gandolfo
giacomo galeazzi
vatican city
Benedict XVI praises the female intellect. The role of women is fundamental in the Christian community. The Pope received an affectionate welcome from the numerous faithful gathered in the papal retreat at Castle Gandolfo, where Benedict XVI has been since the conclusion of the Easter celebrations on Sunday. He will remain in Castle Gandolfo until Friday afternoon, returning to the Vatican only on Wednesday morning for the General Audience in St. Peter’s.

On Easter Monday the Pope reflected on the figure of women. In the Gospels, women are described as witnesses of the resurrection, an even which remains “mysterious”, the Pope stated, “not as something unreal, but as something beyond the reach of our knowledge – as a light so bright the eyes cannot bear it.” This event “transformed history and gave meaning to human existence.” “In those days, in Israel, women’s testimony could have no official legal value,” Ratzinger explained. But the angels entrust this task to women, because “women have experienced a special bond with the Lord, which is crucial for the practical life of the Christian community, and this always, in every age, not only at the beginning of the Church’s pilgrim journey.”

Over 100 thousand people filled St. Peter’s Square and part of Rome’s Via della Conciliation for the Ester service and to receive the Urbi et Orbi blessing. In his traditional Easter Sunday message to Rome and to the World, Benedict XVI sent a strong appeal for peace in the Middle East and Christian communities in Africa. He especially called for an end to the “bloodshed” in Syria, where clashes continue and where the path of dialogue invoked by the Holy See is still obstructed. But Benedict XVI spoke about the whole Middle Eastern region, Iraq and the Holy Land, expressing the hope that peace between Palestinians and Israelis would be restored. His focus then turned to Africa, saying he hoped the Horn of Africa, Sudan, South Sudan and Mali would find “peace and stability”. His thoughts also went to Nigeria, where two bombings took place on Easter Sunday: one near a church in Kaduna, in the north of the Country, caused 20 deaths. In his appeal, the Pope wished for an end to these “bloody terrorist attacks” and that that the Country would find “the strength needed to take up anew the building of a society which is peaceful and respectful of the religious freedom of its citizens.”

Echoing John Paul II’s Apostolic Letter Mulieris Dignitarem, Benedict XVI expressed his appeal for women to have a more visible role, also within the Church. The letter also referred back to some informal discussions held with a champion of feminism. Wojtyla’s prophetic address is a mixture of two things: the then cardinal Ratzinger’s theological sensibility and a little-known series of encounters between 1987 and 1988 with feminist figures, particularly with Maria Antonietta Macciocchi, a former MP for the Italian Communist Party (PCI), radical MEP and intellectual who adhered to the Marxist-Leninist philosophy.

In an interview with German television channels in August 2006, Benedict XVI called for the recognition of women’s contribution to church and political life, pointing to models of great independence and charisma, such as the scientist Hildegard of Bingen “who fiercely protested against bishops and the Pope”, Catherine of Siena and Bridget of Switzerland. A significant opening towards the role of women, which echoes the way Karol Wojtyla began his talks with Macciocchi in the Apostolic Palace: “I believe in the intellect of women.”

The Curia’s unusual convocation of a lay intellectual woman who had met important figures such as Mao, de Gaulle, Ho Chi Minh and Khomeini, blossomed into a common passion for Althusser’s philosophy. “We must promote the real emancipation of women,” John Paul II said, remembering a key figure of post-1968 leftist feminism. “Some sciences use women to drive their uncontrolled and unscrupulous commercialism. It is business women that specialist banks in the United states count on.”

This attitude was also taken in the Letter to all women of the world, which was sent by the Polish priest to the World Conference on Women in Beijing. this same concern for women is now being expressed by Pope Benedict XVI. From the memory of the encounters which contributed to the writing of the historic Apostolic Letter Mulieris Dignitarem, comes a declaration which accompanies Benedict XVI’s last “feminist” appeal: “The female intellect can be found even in the darkest periods of history and is the springboard of human and historic progress.”

The Gospel says that Jesus did all that he could so that women could find their own “subjectivity and dignity” in his teachings and actions. Ratzinger’s opening up to women rests not only on Wojtyla’s exhortation (“May every woman fully express the richness of her own personality, in service of life, peace and real human development”), but also on the final Second Vatican Council message addressed forty years ago, which stated: “The time has come when women have an unprecedented influence, reach and power. This is why, at a moment in which humanity is undergoing such a profound transformation, women who are enlightened by the evangelical spirit can do so much to prevent humanity from decaying.”


April 10, 2012 Posted by | Catholicism, Christianity, Pope Benedict XVI, Women | Leave a comment

Pope: “Man’s biggest temptation is to remove God” – Vatican insider 27th February, 2012

St. Peter’s Square
During his recital of the Sunday Angelus, Benedict XVI reminded how Christians need to practice penitence and prayer and how the Father reveals himself in unexpected ways. The week of the Curia’s spiritual exercises begins
Vatican Insider Staff
Rome

“I also commend to your prayers the week of Spiritual Exercises that I begin this evening with my collaborators of the Roman Curia.”

This was Benedict XVI’s address to faithful,before the Angelus, announcing the beginning of the Lent retreat he will take part in together with the Curia’s clerics starting from 6pm today until next Saturday in the Redemptoris Mater chapel in the Apostolic Palace. This year the, for the very first time, Pope has chosen n African cardinal from the Congo, Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, Archbishop of Kinshasa, to give a sermon on the subject of “The Communion of a Christian with God.”

During the Angelus, the Pope commented on this Sunday’s Gospel passage, about Jesus being tempted by Satan in the desert “The temptation to remove God, to order our lives and the world on our own, relying solely on our own abilities.”

Addressing the crowd in St Peter’s Square, the Pope said “The desert … may indicate the state of abandonment and loneliness, the “place” of man’s weakness where there are no supports and certainties, where temptation becomes stronger.”

“But,” he added, “it may also indicate a place of refuge and shelter, as it was for the people of Israel who escaped from slavery in Egypt, where we can experience the presence of God in a special way.”

Today’s passage according to Ratzinger teaches us that “as long as he lives, man is never wholly free from the temptation … but with patience and true humility we can become stronger than any enemy.” “Patience and humility” he explained with great fervour “ to follow the Lord every day, learning not to build our lives outside of Him, as if he did notexist, but in Him and with Him, because He is the source of true Life.”

He invited people to have faith in God and to yield every day their lives to his will, turning each action and thought towards Good. Benedict XVI then remarked that “The season of Lent is a time to renew and strengthen our relationship with God through daily prayer, acts of penance, works of fraternal charity.”

February 27, 2012 Posted by | Catholicism, couples, Faith in God, Faithful, Family, God, Lent, married couples, Pope Benedict XVI, Presence of God, Singles, Vatican, Youth | Leave a comment

02/16/2012 Wednesday 22 February

Ash Wednesday: Benedict XVI to visit Roman churches and basilicas

On the first day of Lent, the Pope will visit the Basilica of St. Sabina for the celebration of the Blessing and Imposition of the Ashes and the Roman Station Liturgy and Penitential Procession. Benedict XVI will hold a Mass in St. Anselm’s Church in Rome. Benedict XVI will then lead the procession on to the Basilica of St. Sabina, where Mass will be celebrated and the Blessing and Imposition of the Ashes will take place. Cardinals, archbishops, bishops, Benedictine monks from St. Anselm’s and the Dominican Fathers of St. Sabina will all be participating in the procession and the mass.

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February 21, 2012 Posted by | Ash Wednesday, Cardinals, Catholicism, Mass, Politics, Pope Benedict XVI, Vatican | Leave a comment

Ordinary public Consistory for the Creation of New Cardinals and for the Vote of Several Causes of Canonization Eucharistic Concelebration with the New Cardinals.

ORDINARY PUBLIC CONSISTORY
FOR THE CREATION OF NEW CARDINALS
AND FOR THE VOTE ON SEVERAL CAUSES OF CANONIZATION
EUCHARISTIC CONCELEBRATION WITH THE NEW CARDINALS

HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI

Vatican Basilica
Sunday, 19 February 2012

Dear Cardinals,
Brother Bishops and Priests,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

On this solemnity of the Chair of Saint Peter, we have the joy of gathering around the altar of the Lord together with the new Cardinals whom yesterday I incorporated into the College of Cardinals. It is to them, first of all, that I offer my cordial greetings and I thank Cardinal Fernando Filoni for the gracious words he has addressed to me in the name of all. I extend my greetings to the other Cardinals and all the Bishops present, as well as to the distinguished authorities, ambassadors, priests, religious and all the faithful who have come from different parts of the world for this happy occasion, which is marked by a particular character of universality.

In the second reading that we have just heard, Saint Peter exhorts the “elders” of the Church to be zealous pastors, attentive to the flock of Christ (cf. 1 Pet 5:1-2). These words are addressed in the first instance to you, my dear venerable brothers, who have already shown great merit among the people of God through your wise and generous pastoral ministry in demanding dioceses, or through presiding over the Dicasteries of the Roman Curia, or in your service to the Church through study and teaching. The new dignity that has been conferred upon you is intended to show appreciation for the faithful labour you have carried out in the Lord’s vineyard, to honour the communities and nations from which you come and which you represent so worthily in the Church, to invest you with new and more important ecclesial responsibilities and finally to ask of you an additional readiness to be of service to Christ and to the entire Christian community. This readiness to serve the Gospel is firmly founded upon the certitude of faith. We know that God is faithful to his promises and we await in hope the fulfilment of these words of Saint Peter: “And when the chief shepherd is manifested you will obtain the unfading crown of glory” (1 Pet 5:4).

Today’s Gospel passage presents Peter, under divine inspiration, expressing his own firm faith in Jesus as the Son of God and the promised Messiah. In response to this transparent profession of faith, which Peter makes in the name of the other Apostles as well, Christ reveals to him the mission he intends to entrust to him, namely that of being the “rock”, the visible foundation on which the entire spiritual edifice of the Church is built (cf. Mt 16:16-19). This new name of “rock” is not a reference to Peter’s personal character, but can be understood only on the basis of a deeper aspect, a mystery: through the office that Jesus confers upon him, Simon Peter will become something that, in terms of “flesh and blood”, he is not. The exegete Joachim Jeremias has shown that in the background, the symbolic language of “holy rock” is present. In this regard, it is helpful to consider a rabbinic text which states: “The Lord said, ‘How can I create the world, when these godless men will rise up in revolt against me?’ But when God saw that Abraham was to be born, he said, ‘Look, I have found a rock on which I can build and establish the world.’ Therefore he called Abraham a rock.” The prophet Isaiah makes reference to this when he calls upon the people to “look to the rock from which you were hewn … look to Abraham your father” (51:1-2). On account of his faith, Abraham, the father of believers, is seen as the rock that supports creation. Simon, the first to profess faith in Jesus as the Christ and the first witness of the resurrection, now, on the basis of his renewed faith, becomes the rock that is to prevail against the destructive forces of evil.

Dear brothers and sisters, this Gospel episode that has been proclaimed to us finds a further and more eloquent explanation in one of the most famous artistic treasures of this Vatican Basilica: the altar of the Chair. After passing through the magnificent central nave, and continuing past the transepts, the pilgrim arrives in the apse and sees before him an enormous bronze throne that seems to hover in mid air, but in reality is supported by the four statues of great Fathers of the Church from East and West. And above the throne, surrounded by triumphant angels suspended in the air, the glory of the Holy Spirit shines through the oval window. What does this sculptural composition say to us, this product of Bernini’s genius? It represents a vision of the essence of the Church and the place within the Church of the Petrine Magisterium.

The window of the apse opens the Church towards the outside, towards the whole of creation, while the image of the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove shows God as the source of light. But there is also another aspect to point out: the Church herself is like a window, the place where God draws near to us, where he comes towards our world. The Church does not exist for her own sake, she is not the point of arrival, but she has to point upwards, beyond herself, to the realms above. The Church is truly herself to the extent that she allows the Other, with a capital “O”, to shine through her – the One from whom she comes and to whom she leads. The Church is the place where God “reaches” us and where we “set off” towards him: she has the task of opening up, beyond itself, a world which tends to become enclosed within itself, the task of bringing to the world the light that comes from above, without which it would be uninhabitable.

The great bronze throne encloses a wooden chair from the ninth century, which was long thought to be Saint Peter’s own chair and was placed above this monumental altar because of its great symbolic value. It expresses the permanent presence of the Apostle in the Magisterium of his successors. Saint Peter’s chair, we could say, is the throne of truth which takes its origin from Christ’s commission after the confession at Caesarea Philippi. The magisterial chair also reminds us of the words spoken to Peter by the Lord during the Last Supper: “I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren” (Lk 22:32).

The chair of Peter evokes another memory: the famous expression from Saint Ignatius of Antioch’s letter to the Romans, where he says of the Church of Rome that she “presides in charity” (Salutation, PG 5, 801). In truth, presiding in faith is inseparably linked to presiding in love. Faith without love would no longer be an authentic Christian faith. But the words of Saint Ignatius have another much more concrete implication: the word “charity”, in fact, was also used by the early Church to indicate the Eucharist. The Eucharist is the Sacramentum caritatis Christi, through which Christ continues to draw us all to himself, as he did when raised up on the Cross (cf. Jn 12:32). Therefore, to “preside in charity” is to draw men and women into a eucharistic embrace – the embrace of Christ – which surpasses every barrier and every division, creating communion from all manner of differences. The Petrine ministry is therefore a primacy of love in the eucharistic sense, that is to say solicitude for the universal communion of the Church in Christ. And the Eucharist is the shape and the measure of this communion, a guarantee that it will remain faithful to the criterion of the tradition of the faith.

The great Chair is supported by the Fathers of the Church. The two Eastern masters, Saint John Chrysostom and Saint Athanasius, together with the Latins, Saint Ambrose and Saint Augustine, represent the whole of the tradition, and hence the richness of expression of the true faith of the holy and one Church. This aspect of the altar teaches us that love rests upon faith. Love collapses if man no longer trusts in God and disobeys him. Everything in the Church rests upon faith: the sacraments, the liturgy, evangelization, charity. Likewise the law and the Church’s authority rest upon faith. The Church is not self-regulating, she does not determine her own structure but receives it from the word of God, to which she listens in faith as she seeks to understand it and to live it. Within the ecclesial community, the Fathers of the Church fulfil the function of guaranteeing fidelity to sacred Scripture. They ensure that the Church receives reliable and solid exegesis, capable of forming with the Chair of Peter a stable and consistent whole. The sacred Scriptures, authoritatively interpreted by the Magisterium in the light of the Fathers, shed light upon the Church’s journey through time, providing her with a stable foundation amid the vicissitudes of history.

After considering the various elements of the altar of the Chair, let us take a look at it in its entirety. We see that it is characterized by a twofold movement: ascending and descending. This is the reciprocity between faith and love. The Chair is placed in a prominent position in this place, because this is where Saint Peter’s tomb is located, but this too tends towards the love of God. Indeed, faith is oriented towards love. A selfish faith would be an unreal faith. Whoever believes in Jesus Christ and enters into the dynamic of love that finds its source in the Eucharist, discovers true joy and becomes capable in turn of living according to the logic this gift. True faith is illumined by love and leads towards love, leads on high, just as the altar of the Chair points upwards towards the luminous window, the glory of the Holy Spirit, which constitutes the true focus for the pilgrim’s gaze as he crosses the threshold of the Vatican Basilica. That window is given great prominence by the triumphant angels and the great golden rays, with a sense of overflowing fulness that expresses the richness of communion with God. God is not isolation, but glorious and joyful love, spreading outwards and radiant with light.

Dear brothers and sisters, the gift of this love has been entrusted to us, to every Christian. It is a gift to be passed on to others, through the witness of our lives. This is your task in particular, dear brother Cardinals: to bear witness to the joy of Christ’s love. We now entrust your ecclesial service to the Virgin Mary, who was present among the apostolic community as they gathered in prayer, waiting for the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts 1:14). May she, Mother of the Incarnate Word, protect the Church’s path, support the work of the pastors by her intercession and take under her mantle the entire College of Cardinals. Amen!


February 20, 2012 Posted by | Cardinals, Catholicism, Pope Benedict XVI, Religious, Vatican | Leave a comment