Saturday, May 31, 2014

Pope Francis Meets with Children "“With love. With love. All together, like brothers, fighting alongside one another with love."

Pope Francis meets with schoolchildren
31/05/2014

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Saturday met with a group of Italian school children at risk of dropping out, part of a new initiative of the Pontifical Council for Culture.

Under “The Digger’s Light” program, the children visited the the Catacombs of St. Januarius in Naples and of St. Priscilla in Rome. On Saturday, a special train brought the children to Rome, where they met with Pope Francis, and were able to visit the Vatican and the Colosseum.
“We decided, together with the Ministry of Education, on schools that are far from the centre, far from the places of culture and beauty,” said  Patrizia Martinez, the head of the “Courtyard of the Children,” which spearheaded the event. “The children are prepared by the teachers for the visit to the catacombs, but they remain enchanted by all that is beautiful and luminous beneath the earth.”During the meeting with the Pope in the Paul VI auditorium, several of the children presented Pope Francis with gifts from their excursion – earth and plants from the catacombs. Speaking familiarly with the children, the Holy Father spoke about the plant as a “plant of light to make a better world.” The earth, which came from the darkness of the catacombs, was given to the Pope “to make it become light.”
The Pope talked with the children about the importance of coming from the darkness into the light. “The light,” he said, “is always inside us. Because the light give us joy, gives us hope.” When people seek light, he continued, they can make the world a better place.
But, the Pope said, we can’t make the world better with hatred – only with love. “With love. With love. All together, like brothers, fighting alongside one another with love. And for that reason, I want to tell you one thing: When the Apostle John, who was such a good friend of Jesus, wanted to say who God is, do you know what he said? ‘God is love.’”
“God is love,” Pope Francis repeated, “And we go forward together toward the light to find the love of God. But is the love of God within us, even in moments of darkness? Is the love of God hidden there? Yes, always! The love of God never leaves us. It is always with us. Let us have faith in this love.”
Shared from Radio Vaticana

Today's Mass Readings Online : Saturday May 31, 2014 - Feast of the Visitation

Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Lectionary: 572

reading 1ZEP 3:14-18A
Shout for joy, O daughter Zion!
Sing joyfully, O Israel!
Be glad and exult with all your heart, 
O daughter Jerusalem!
The LORD has removed the judgment against you,
he has turned away your enemies;
The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst,
you have no further misfortune to fear.
On that day, it shall be said to Jerusalem:
Fear not, O Zion, be not discouraged!
The LORD, your God, is in your midst,
a mighty savior;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
and renew you in his love,
He will sing joyfully because of you,
as one sings at festivals.

Or ROM 12:9-16

Brothers and sisters:
Let love be sincere;
hate what is evil,
hold on to what is good;
love one another with mutual affection;
anticipate one another in showing honor.
Do not grow slack in zeal,
be fervent in spirit,
serve the Lord.
Rejoice in hope,
endure in affliction,
persevere in prayer.
Contribute to the needs of the holy ones,
exercise hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you,
bless and do not curse them.
Rejoice with those who rejoice,
weep with those who weep.
Have the same regard for one another;
do not be haughty but associate with the lowly;
do not be wise in your own estimation.

Responsorial Psalm IS 12:2-3, 4BCD, 5-6

R. (6) Among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.
God indeed is my savior;
I am confident and unafraid.
My strength and my courage is the LORD,
and he has been my savior.
With joy you will draw water
at the fountain of salvation.
R. Among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.
Give thanks to the LORD, acclaim his name;
among the nations make known his deeds,
proclaim how exalted is his name.
R. Among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.
Sing praise to the LORD for his glorious achievement;
let this be known throughout all the earth.
Shout with exultation, O city of Zion,
for great in your midst 
is the Holy One of Israel!
R. Among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.

Gospel LK 1:39-56

Mary set out
and traveled to the hill country in haste
to a town of Judah,
where she entered the house of Zechariah
and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting,
the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said,
“Most blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And how does this happen to me,
that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed are you who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled.”

And Mary said:
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.

He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.”

Mary remained with her about three months
and then returned to her home.

Breaking Meriam Ibrahim to be Released - Keep Praying - Mother of 2 on Death Row for Christian Faith

Update: Italics Report from the UK Telegraph:
But lawyers for 27-year-old Ms Ibrahim expressed scepticism that she would be freed so quickly.
“It’s a statement to silence the international media,” said Elshareef Ali Mohammed. “This is what the government does. We will not believe that she is being freed until she walks out of the prison."
BBC Report: Sudan death penalty reignites Islam apostasy debate UK leaders condemn death sentence. Sudan woman faces death for apostasy. Sudanese authorities are to free a woman who was sentenced to death for having abandoned the Islamic faith, a foreign ministry official says. Meriam Ibrahim, who gave birth to a daughter in custody, will be freed in a few days, the official told the BBC. Abdullahi Alzareg, an under-secretary at the foreign ministry, said Sudan guaranteed religious freedom and was committed to protecting the woman.
(Meriam in Prison Holding New Baby Maya born while Shackled : Source: DailyMail.uk
Condemnation: World leaders and celebrity figures piled pressure on Sudan to reverse the sentence
Condemnation: World leaders and celebrity figures piled pressure on Sudan

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2644796/Sudanese-woman-facing-barbaric-death-sentence-marrying-Christian-FREED-U-turn-authorities.html#ixzz33KDTJ9Kg 

 Khartoum has been facing international condemnation over the death sentence. In an interview with The Times newspaper, British Prime Minister David Cameron described the ruling as "barbaric" and out of step with today's world. The UK Foreign Office this week said that it would push for Ms Ibrahim to be released on humanitarian grounds. Apostasy debate Ms Ibrahim, 27, was brought up as an Orthodox Christian, but a Sudanese judge ruled earlier this month that she should be regarded as Muslim because that had been her father's faith. She refused to renounce her Christianity and was sentenced to death by hanging for apostasy. On Wednesday, she gave birth to a daughter in her prison cell - the second child from her marriage in 2011 to Daniel Wani, a US citizen. The court said Ms Ibrahim would be allowed to nurse her baby for two years before the sentence was carried out. The court had earlier annulled her Christian marriage and sentenced her to 100 lashes for adultery because the union was not considered valid under Islamic law. Sudan has a majority Muslim population and Islamic law has been in force there since the 1980s. The ruling has revived a debate over apostasy, with liberal and conservative scholars giving different opinions over whether - and how - the act of abandoning the Islamic faith should be punished. Shared From BBC News
KEEP PRAYING THAT MERIAM IS RELEASED!

European Union Election Results - 28 - Nation Elections on May 22-25 2014

Returns from the 28-nation European Parliament elections.  The winners in France, the anti-EU, far-right National Front party led by Marine Le Pen got one in four votes. UK Independence Party (UKIP) was the highest in the poll in European elections in Britain. Nigel Farage’s UK Independence Party (UKIP) had 27.5% of the vote, the main opposition Labour Party 25%, the Conservatives 24%.  Voters in Greece, handed first place and six seats to the anti-establishment Syriza. In Poland, politician Janusz Korwin-Mikke was elected to the parliament. In Spain, Podemos, a new movement won five seats.  Germany Angela Merkel’s conservatives were the strongest force in Germany winning with 36% of the vote, but that was down from 42% in last year’s national election. The anti-euro Alternative for Germany party — won about 7% of the vote.  
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Read Cardinal Marx Statement on Election Results: Press Release of COMECE President Reinhard Cardinal Marx on the outcome of the European elections

A large majority of the citizens who participated in the European elections voted for pro-European candidates. In the years to come this will allow the European Parliament to continue its work for the common good of all Europeans with dedicated and competent women and men. Full Article

European Parliament election, 2014
European Union
2009 ←
members
22–25 May 2014→ 2019

All 751 seats to the European Parliament
376 seats needed for a majority
 First partySecond partyThird party
 Ioannes Claudius Juncker die 7 Martis 2014.jpgMartinus Schulz die 15 Novembris 2013.jpgGuido Verhofstadt die 30 Martis 2012.jpg
LeaderJean-Claude JunckerMartin SchulzGuy Verhofstadt[1]
PartyEPPPESALDE
AllianceEPPS&DALDE
Last election36%, 265 seats25%, 184 seats11.4%, 84 seats
Seats won21419164
Seat changeDecrease 51Increase 7Decrease 20

 Fourth partyFifth partySixth party
 Ska Keller (10851856583).jpg José Bové - Meeting in Toulouse for the 2007 French presidential election 0188 2007-04-18 touched.jpgNo image.svgAlexis Tsipras die 16 Ianuarii 2012.jpg
LeaderSka Keller and
José Bové
Did not present a candidate[2]Alexis Tsipras[3]
PartyGreenAECRLeft
AllianceGreens–EFAECREUL–NGL
Last election7.5%, 55 seats7.3%, 54 seats4.8%, 35 seats
Seats won524645
Seat changeDecrease 3Decrease 8Increase 10

 Seventh partyEighth party
 No image.svgNo image.svg
LeaderDid not present a candidateDid not present a candidate[4]
PartyMELDEAF
AllianceEFD
Last election4.3%, 32 seatsNew
Seats won3835
Seat changeIncrease 6New
(Chart Source: WIKIPEDIA: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Parliament_election,_2014

Free Catholic Movie - "Mary, Mother of Jesus" - Stars Christian Bale

Mary, Mother of Jesus (1999) TV Movie - 88 min - Drama - 14 November 1999 (USA) Director: Kevin Connor Writer: Albert Ross Stars: Christian Bale, Pernilla August, Melinda Kinnaman

New President of Malawi in Africa - Peter Mutharika

Lilongwe (Agenzia Fides)- Malawi has a new president. He is Peter Arthur Mutharika, 74 year old brother of Bingu wa Mutharika, President who died in 2012 while in office, succeeded by Joyce Banda who has led the country for the past two years.
The electoral Commission announcement came just after midnight yesterday May 30, after the High Court had allowed a recounting of the ballots. However the Court recalled that the law requires results to be made public within eight days after the voting . Voting for the 20 May elections was extended in some polling stations until 22 May because of serious organisation difficulties (see Fides 22/5/2014), and therefore the results had to be announced by midnight yesterday. 
The new President won 36% of the votes. “This was a vote in which regional and clan divisions emerged clearly, as in the past the south is still the great elector of the presidents of Malawi” Fides was told by Monfort missionary father Piergiorgio Gamba, who has lived and worked in this country for decades. “ The north of Malawi gave 50% of its votes to Joyce Banda (who came third), the centre gave 50% of its votes to Lazaro Chakwera (who came second) whereas the south voted compactly for Peter Mutharika” the missionary explained. 
Serious irregularities in the voting and ensuing institutional clashes between outgoing president Banda and the Supreme Court, which had declared not valid the decision of the head of state to annul the vote and call new elections within 90 days, led to clashes in which at least three people were killed. “Black Friday in Mangochi- Fr. Gamba told Fides yesterday – with a series of demonstrations which police stopped with shooting, killing one demonstrator and filling the wards of Mangochi Hospital with the injured, some were inmates of Saint Monica's Hostel for Girls affected by tear gas”. “Situated just outside the Catholic cathedral, the Hostel is run by the Sisters of Divine Providence and has hundreds of girls” the missionary explained.
“Let’s hope that now Peter Arthur Mutharika will keep promises made during the electoral campaign, like the prison reform and lower prices for cement and metal sheeting to enable to people to live in more permanent buildings and abandon hut homes, standard for the great majority of Malawians. A small step, but if achieved, of great importance” concluded Fr. Gamba. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 31/5/2014)

Pope Francis Consecration Mass of Bishop Fabene at Vatican - Full Video


Pope Francis ordains bishop Fabio Fabene
30/05/2014


(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis celebrated Mass on Friday eveneing in St Peter’s Basilica, during which he consecrated Fr. Fabio Fabene a bishop. Bishop Fabene is the undersecretary of the Synod of Bishops. In his homily, which was closely based on the model homily for episcopal ordinations found in the Roman Ritual, the Holy Father spoke of the high calling of the office of bishop, and the great responsibility the office entails toward both God and the faithful.
“Episcopacy, in fact,” said Pope Francis, “is a service, and not an honour, since it is for the bishop to serve, rather than to dominate.”
Born in 1959, Bishop Fabene was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Viterbo in 1984, and was appointed undersecretary for the Synod on April 8th of this year.

Novena to the Holy Spirit for Pentecost - SHARE this Prayer



NOVENA TO THE HOLY SPIRIT FOR PENTECOST DAY 2
ACT OF CONSECRATION TO THE HOLY GHOST

On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses I offer myself, soul and body to You, Eternal Spirit of God. / I adore the brightness of Your purity the unerring keenness of Your justice and the might of Your love. You are the Strength / and Light of my soul. In You I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve You by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart! To be kept from the smallest sin against You. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Your light: and listen to Your voice and follow Your gracious inspirations. I cling to You and give myself to You and ask You / by Your compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds / and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart / I implore You / Adorable Spirit I Helper of my infirmity, so to keep me in Your grace that I may never sin against You. Give me grace O Holy Ghost, Spirit of the Father and the Son to say to You always and everywhere / "Speak Lord for Your servant heareth." Amen.


PRAYER FOR THE SEVEN GIFTS OF THE HOLY GHOST

O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven did promise to send the Holy Ghost to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles and Disciples deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul / the work of Your grace and Your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth / the Spirit on Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude, that I may bear my cross with You I and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God find know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable / the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord with the sign of Your true disciples / and animate me in all things with Your Spirit. Amen.

(Saturday of 6th Week of Easter)
Come. Father of the poor. Come, treasures which endure; Come, Light of all that live!
The Gift of Fear
The gift of Fear fills us with a sovereign respect for God, and makes us dread nothing so much as to offend Him by sin. It is a fear that arises, not from the thought of hell, but from sentiments of reverence and filial submission to our heavenly Father. It is the fear that is the beginning of wisdom, detaching us from worldly pleasures that could in any way separate us from God. "They that fear the Lord will prepare their hearts, and in His sight will sanctify their souls."
Prayer
Come, O blessed Spirit of Holy Fear, penetrate my inmost heart, that I may set you, my Lord and God, before my face forever, help me to shun all things that can offend You, and make me worthy to appear before the pure eyes of Your Divine Majesty in heaven, where You live and reign in the unity of the ever Blessed Trinity, God world without end. Amen.
(Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father 7 TIMES. Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts)
Novena Day 1 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/novena-to-holy-spirit-day-1-pentecost.html
Day 2 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/holy-spirit-novena-day-2-for-pentecost.html
Day 3 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/holy-spirit-novena-day-3-for-pentecost.html
Day 4 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/novena-to-holy-spirit-day-4-for.html
Day 5 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/novena-to-holy-spirit-day-5-for.html
Day 6 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/novena-to-holy-spirit-day-6-for.html
Day 7 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/novena-to-holy-spirit-day-7-for.html
Day 8 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/novena-to-holy-spirit-day-8-for.html
Day 9 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/novena-day-9-to-holy-spirit-for.html  

For More Novena Prayers, Breaking News and Free Catholic Movies LIKE http://fb.com/catholicnewsworld 


Feast May 31 Visitation of Mary to her Cousin Elizabeth

Visitation of the Blessed Virgin
Feast: May 31


Information:
Feast Day:May 31
Assuming that the Annunciation and the Incarnation took place about the vernal equinox, Mary left Nazareth at the end of March and went over the mountains to Hebron, south of Jerusalem, to wait upon her cousin Elizabeth, because her presence and much more the presence of the Divine Child in her womb, according to the will of God, was to be the source of very great graces to the Blessed John, Christ's Forerunner.
The event is related in Luke 1:39-57. Feeling the presence of his Divine Saviour, John, upon the arrival of Mary, leaped in the womb of his mother; he was then cleansed from original sin and filled with the grace of God. Our Lady now for the first time exercised the office which belonged to the Mother of God made man, that He might by her mediation sanctify and glorify us. St. Joseph probably accompanied Mary, returned to Nazareth, and when, after three months, he came again to Hebron to take his wife home, the apparition of the angel, mentioned in Matthew 1:19-25, may have taken place to end the tormenting doubts of Joseph regarding Mary's maternity.

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)


SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/V/visitationoftheblessedvirginmary.asp#ixzz1wRJFu2Kw

Saint May 31 St. Mechtildis of Edelstetten : Miracle Worker : Died 1160

St. Mechtildis was born around 1125 in Bavaria. Here parents were Count Berthold of Andechs and Sophia. When Mechtildis was five, her parents placed her in the Monastery they had founded on their estate at Diessen, Bavaria. The Nuns brought her up, and Mechtildis grew up to be a devout and prayerful young lady.
 She grew in piety and eventually became a Benedictine Nun. She was elected Abbess at a young age after her Superior died. Although her parents founded the Monastery, she felt God chose her calling to become a Nun. Her holiness and reputation spread, and when she was twenty eight, the Bishop of Augsburg appointed her Abbess of Edelstetten and told her to reform the Convent. Despite her protests that she was not old enough for the task and could be unable to cope with the problems of the Convent, she accepted the appointment.
 She received instructions from Pope Anastasius IV about the reform that he desired. She received a warm welcome at first, but soon into her new position she was met with a great deal of resistance. When she began to enforce discipline, they were not cooperative with her. The measures that she took were that the Nuns start observing the Benedictine Rule, that the enclosure of the Convent be followed, especially the rule denying admission to visitors who came to spread gossip. She was only able to succeed after the Bishop expelled the main troublemakers. Soon she won over the other Sisters. In addition to her reputation for holiness, she had strong administration skills. She became well know for her miracles of healing, restoring speech and vision, and her mystical trances and ecstasies that would often last for hours. She was considered a model of Religious life. Shortly before her death in 1160,
St. Mechtildis resigned as Abbess and returned to Diessen, where she died on May 31. Her life is an example that reminds us, whether we are Religious, Married or Single, we are all called to enter into the holiness and love of God, and to be of service to others.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Patriarch Reveals discussion with Pope Francis for the Catholic - Orthodox Synod of Nicea in 2025

Asia News IT Release: by NAT da Polis
In an interview with AsiaNews , the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople reveals the future steps to strengthen unity between Catholics and Orthodox. In addition to the appointment of Nicaea, the first truly ecumenical council , in the autumn the next meeting of the Catholic-Orthodox Joint Commission will be held in Jerusalem, where everyone "must commit themselves without hypocrisy".


Istanbul (AsiaNews) - On his return from Jerusalem , where he met with Pope Francis at the Holy Sepulchre, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, has revealed an important appointment for unity between Catholics and Orthodox: a gathering at Nicaea in 2025, where the first real ecumenical council of the undivided Church was celebrated.

Speaking exclusively with AsiaNews, Bartholomew says that together with Pope Francis "we agreed to leave as a legacy to ourselves and our successors a gathering in Nicaea in 2025, to celebrate together, after 17 centuries , the first truly ecumenical synod, where the Creed was first promulgated".



The Council of Nicaea (now Iznik, 130 km south- east of Istanbul) , brought together more than 300 bishops from East and West in  325 and is considered the first true ecumenical council. It was there that the formula of the Creed was decided, similar to the one recited during the liturgy today, saying that Jesus "is co-substantial to the Father,"to counter the Aryan ideology.

Francis and Bartolomew met to mark 50 years since the embrace between Paul VI and Athenagoras. The 1964 meeting broke a centuries old silence between the Christian East and the West, with all the socio-political consequences that have arisen, and from which Europe still suffers.

The meeting at the Holy Sepulchre has revitalized dialogue between Catholics and Orthodox , two Christian visions that despite their differences, have a common vision of the sacraments and  apostolic tradition.

"The dialogue for unity between Catholics and Orthodox - Bartholomew tellsAsiaNews - will start again from Jerusalem. In this city, in the autumn , a meeting of the Catholic-Orthodox Joint Commission  will be held hosted by the Greek -Orthodox patriarch Theophilos III . It is a long journey in which we all must be committed without hypocrisy".

 "Jerusalem - continues Bartholomew - is the place, the land of the dialogue between God and man, the place where the Logos of God was incarnated. Our predecessors Paul VI and Athenagoras have chosen this place to break a silence that lasted centuries between the two sister Churches".

"I walked with my brother Francis in the Holy Land not with the fears of Luke and Cleopas on their way to Emmaus (cf. Luke 24: 13-35), but inspired by a living hope which we learn from our Lord".

(Image Share YNet News)
(Article Share from Asia News IT)

Attack on Catholic Church leaves Over 15 Killed including Priest in CAR

Agenzia Fides) – The perpetrators of the attack on Our Lady of Fatima parish church in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, spoke neither French nor the locale Sango, Fides was told by Archbishop Dieudonné Nzapalainga, archbishop of Bangui, who added: “The attackers shouted in English ‘open the door’”.  (Image Share France24)
On 28 May men armed with automatic weapons and hand grenades attacked the parish where a number of persons had sought shelter from violence. The attack left 18 people dead including a Catholic priest Rev. Paul-Emile Nzale, aged 76. According to Fides sources at least 42 people were taken hostage and the bodies were later found. However Archbishop Nzapalainga cannot confirm the news. “Some survivors whom I met told me people were taken away, but on their whereabouts voices are contradictory: some say they were killed others affirm they are still alive” the Archbishop said.
The attack has increased tension in the capital. “The city is totally paralyzed. Demonstrators calling for the temporary government to resign were dispersed by the army. Tension is high and no one knows what is going to happen” concludes Mons. Nzapalainga.
According to Fides sources, the attack on Our Lady of Fatima parish was carried out by foreign jihadists who now have complete control of Muslims living in the Km 5 district of Bangui. “Although the authorities pretend not to notice, many Central Africans know that jihadists terrorists from Sudan and Nigeria have infiltrated into the Seleka and are now in the Km 5 district. Likening the anti balaka to Christians, the western media offered these criminals a perfect means of propaganda” our sources conclude. Bishop Nestor Desire Nongo-Aziagbia, Bishop of Bossangoa, had earlier told Fides Agency about the presence of foreign jihadists at km 5 (see Fides 28/4/2014).
Seleka is the rebel coalition which took power in Bangui in March 2013, throwing the country into chaos. The anti balaka militiamen who chased the Seleka from the capital turned into criminal gangs now rampant in various parts of Central Africa. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 30/5/2014

Pope Francis "We must tell the truth: Christian life not just one big party."


Pope Francis at Friday morning Mass in Casa Santa Marta
30/05/2014


(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis’ morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta was a hymn to Christian joy, which we cannot buy because it is a gift from God.  The Pope likened this joy gifted by God to the joy of a mother embracing her baby after childbirth, because it is a joy “purified” by the suffering of labor.  The joy of the Christians, he said is a "joy in hope".

Pope Francis based his homily on the observation that St. Paul "was very brave", "because he had strength in the Lord”.   Of course, he noted, sometimes even the Apostle to the Gentiles was afraid. "It happens to all of us in life, to have some ‘fear’ he added.  So much so, that sometime one wonder’s whether "it would be better to keep a lower profile, to not be a little less Christian and seek a compromise with the world".
However, Paul knew that “neither the Jews, nor the Gentiles" liked what he did, but this didn’t stop him and in the end he endured hardship and persecution. The Pope said that this should make us think about our fears.   Even Jesus in Gethsemane felt fear and anguish. And in his farewell speech, to his disciples clearly says that "the world will rejoice" for their suffering, as was the case with the first martyrs in the Coliseum:
"We must tell the truth: Christian life not just one big party. Not at all! We cry, we cry so many times. When we are sick; when we have a problem with our son, in the family, with our daughter, or wife, or husband; When we see that our salary does not reach the end of the month and we have a sick child; when we see that we cannot pay the mortgage on the house and we must somehow survive ... So many problems, we have so many. But Jesus tells us: 'Do not be afraid!'. 'Yes, you will be sad, cry and people will even rejoice, the people who are against you'".
"But - he continued - there is another sadness: the sadness that comes to all of us when we take the wrong road". When , "to put it simply", "we try to buy happiness, joy, [the happiness and joy] of the world, of sin.  In the end there is a void within us, there is sadness". And this, he reiterated , "is the sadness of  the wrong sort of happiness". Christian joy, "is a joy in hope, which comes".
"However, in times of trial we do not see this. It is a joy that is purified by trials, our everyday trials: 'Your sorrow will turn to joy'. But it's hard to go to a sick person who is suffering greatly and say: 'Come on! Come on! Tomorrow you will have joy!'. No, you cannot say this! We have to help them feel what Jesus made us feel. When we are in the dark, we do not see anything , 'I know, Lord, that this sorrow will turn to joy. I do not know how, but I know it!'. An act of faith in the Lord. An act of faith!".
To help us understand the sadness turns to joy, Jesus takes the example of a woman in labor: "It’s true, women suffer a lot in childbirth - the Pope said - but then when she holds her child,  she forgets". What remains is "the joy of Jesus, a purified joy". That is "the joy that remains". The Pope acknowledged that this joy is "hidden in some moments of life, we do not feel it in bad times, but it comes later: a joy in hope". This, then, "is the message of the Church today: Do not be afraid!".
"Be courageous in suffering and remember that after the Lord will come, after joy will come, after the dark comes the sun. May the Lord give us all this joy in hope. And the sign that we have this joy in hope is peace. How many sick, who are at the end of life, in pain, have that peace of soul ... This is the seed of joy, this is the joy of hope and peace. Do you have peace of soul in times of darkness, in times of trouble, in times of persecution, when everyone else rejoices at your suffering? Do you have peace? If you have peace, you have the seed of joy that will come later. May the Lord help us understand these things”.