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"Today the concept of truth is viewed with suspicion, because truth is identified with violence. Over history there have, unfortunately, been episodes when people sought to defend the truth with violence. But they are two contrasting realities. Truth cannot be imposed with means other than itself! Truth can only come with its own light. Yet, we need truth. ... Without truth we are blind in the world, we have no path to follow. The great gift of Christ was that He enabled us to see the face of God".Pope Benedict xvi, February 24th, 2012

The Church is ecumenical, catholic, God-human, ageless, and it is therefore a blasphemy—an unpardonable blasphemy against Christ and against the Holy Ghost—to turn the Church into a national institution, to narrow her down to petty, transient, time-bound aspirations and ways of doing things. Her purpose is beyond nationality, ecumenical, all-embracing: to unite all men in Christ, all without exception to nation or race or social strata. - St Justin Popovitch

BENEDICTUS MOMENTS

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Thursday, 3 October 2013

OCTOBER 4TH : ST FRANCIS OF ASSISI

HAPPY FEASTDAY TO ALL FRANCISCANS!!

A MUSICAL MEDITATION FROM VATICAN RADIO

THE POPE'S VISIT TO ASSISI (MP3) CLICK
A RE-TELLING OF THE PARABLE OF THE GOOD SAMARITAN
my source: Vivicat


A beggar was walking from his makeshift shelter to the soup kitchen. He's destitute, and he suffers from AIDS. He may have acquired the virus through promiscuous sex, sharing contaminated needles, or a blood transfusion. It doesn't matter, he has the illness and now, walking along the way, he collapses.

A priest/minister/rabbi/mullah walk by him and continues along the way because they are too late for the celebration of his respective liturgical service. Besides, he directs the allocation of all collections for the needy, which proves he's not uncaring. His conscience is clear.

An Objectivist  also walks by and literally jumps over the unconscious man on the ground. He's late for his board meeting. Altruism is not his ethical concern. Besides, his company gives substantial amounts of money to different charities to gain tax deductions. It's not that he's indifferent, is just that his self-interest is completely enlightened.

A "liberal" or "progressive" happens by and shocked by the sight of the beggar, runs to "occupy" something or protest loudly at the injustice of it all. He will demand more government programs to take care of the beggar and all his illnesses and conditions. "Progressive taxation" will have to be implemented to move more money from the Objectivist's wallet to the beggar's. It's not that the liberal is indifferent, but activism may save hundreds of beggars instead of just one.

Now you come and stumble upon our beggar. What are you going to do? Here you face a concrete human being, not "humanity" as an abstraction. Which one are you going to assist? The being before you or the abstraction.

What if the AIDS-suffering beggar were Christ? Well, get ready, because the beggar is Christ:
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” (Matthew 25:31-46 NIV)

I leave you with this thought: worship of God without love for our neighbor will not save us; not tax write-offs, not government programs or even street protests. What is going to save us is the act of love we direct individually to the person who needs this love the most. 

May the Peace of Christ remain with all of you.


Huffington Post
ASSISI, Italy -- ASSISI, Italy (AP) — Pope Francis made a pilgrimage Friday to the hillside Italian town of Assisi, following in the footsteps of his namesake, St. Francis, the 13th-century friar who renounced a wealthy, dissolute lifestyle to embrace a life of poverty and service to the poor.

According to tradition, St. Francis was famously told by God to "repair my house."

In word and deed, the first pope to name himself after St. Francis has made clear how he wants to follow that command. Francis is trying to shape a church that is welcoming to all, but especially to the most marginalized, with a church hierarchy that is worthy of its 1.2 billion flock.

Here are some of the pope's main goals as he attempts to remake the church into the institution St. Francis would have wanted.

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A CHURCH 'THAT IS POOR AND FOR THE POOR'

Pope Francis met with the poor in Assisi, demanding that the faithful "strip" themselves of their worldly attachment to wealth, which he said was killing the church and its souls. He delivered that exhortation during the most evocative stop of the day, in the simple room where St. Francis stripped off his clothes, renounced his wealth and vowed to live a life of poverty. Since becoming pope in March, Francis has made it clear that one of his principal objectives is a church that is humble, looks out for the poorest and brings them hope. The "slum pope," as he is known because of his work in Argentina's shantytowns, recently denounced the "idolatry" of money and encouraged those without the "dignity" of work.

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A CHURCH THAT WELCOMES EVERYONE, INCLUDING NONBELIEVERS

At his first public audience after his election, Francis made an unusual exception: In recognition that not all in the room were Christians or even believers, Francis offered a blessing without the traditional Catholic formula or gesture, saying he would bless each one in silence "respecting your conscience, but knowing that each one of you is a child of God." That respect for people of different faiths or no faith at all has become a hallmark of Francis' papacy as he actively seeks out atheists for dialogue. Assisi is known as a place of interfaith dialogue, drawing people of all faiths — and no faith — to visit the basilica dominating the hill and its magnificent frescos by Giotto.

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A CHURCH THAT DOESN'T JUDGE

Francis made his first stop in Assisi to an institute that cares for gravely disabled children, who in the words of the director are often seen as "stones cast aside," invisible and neglected by the world. Francis refuses to cast such judgment — he caressed each child, kissed each one, saying their "scars need to be recognized and listened to." It was part of the simple message of love that he has brought to others often considered outcasts, like drug addicts and convicts. His "who am I to judge" comment about gays represented a radical shift in tone for the Vatican. Catholic teaching holds that all people should be treated with dignity and respect, so Francis was making no change in doctrine. But church teaching also holds that gay acts are "intrinsically disordered" — a point Francis has neglected to emphasize in favor of a message of merciful inclusion.

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A CHURCH THAT IS 'MESSY' AND GOES OUTSIDE THE SACRISTY

St. Francis was considered a radical disobedient for having renounced everything and given himself entirely to his faith, but that's just the type of radical witness Pope Francis wants for today's Catholics. Francis told Argentine pilgrims during World Youth Day in July to make a "mess" in their dioceses and shake things up, even if it meant irritating their bishops. He wanted to convey his hope the church would stop being so inward-looking, and instead go out to the peripheries to spread the faith, just like St. Francis. The pope's first trip outside Rome was to Lampedusa, a southern Italian island closer to Africa than the Italian mainland. His eulogy for all migrants lost at sea denounced a "globalization of indifference," a prescient message given Thursday's shipwreck off Lampedusa that killed scores of migrants. As black ribbons hung from Assisi's banners in mourning, Francis proclaimed Friday "a day of tears" for the dead.

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A CHURCH THAT WORKS FOR PEACE, CARES FOR THE ENVIRONMENT

St. Francis is known for his message of peace and his care for nature, but he is often misunderstood, "sweetened" into something he wasn't, Pope Francis said Friday. A Vatican spokesman put it this way: "Too often his message is lost and we reduce his role to that of a gentle, whimsical hippie who fed birds, smelled flowers and tamed wild wolves." Pope Francis said the saint's message was to truly "love one another as I have loved you," calling for an end to all the wars in the Middle East, especially Syria. The pope has been steadfast in his call for peace in Syria, inspiring hundreds of thousands of people around the world to hold a day of fasting and prayer when it appeared military strikes against the Damascus regime were imminent.

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A REFORMED CHURCH


Francis was elected on a mandate to reform the church, and he has set about doing that. One of his first stops Friday was to pray at the sanctuary of St. Damian, where the saint in 1205 famously was told to take a broken church and rebuild it. The pope has just finished three days of meetings with advisers helping him rewrite the main blueprint for how the Catholic Church is governed. Ideas include having a "moderator" to make the Vatican bureaucracy run more smoothly and a revised role for the Vatican's powerful secretary of state. It also includes involving lay men and women more in the life of the church. Just as St. Francis wanted.
         
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