Home » Posts tagged 'New Year'

Viewpoint: Lots of things to pray about in 2017

January 8th, 2017 Posted in Opinion Tags: , ,

By

 

Based on the record of 2016, there are a lot of things to pray about in the coming year. Wouldn’t it be nice to know what we might focus our petitions on to lessen the painful effects of any bad news heading our way?

However, it isn’t hard to see the challenges, the dangers, the illnesses, the risks, the economies and the wars that afflict so many people. We can join with Pope Francis in his daily prayers for an end to war and violence in the world. Read more »

Comments Off on Viewpoint: Lots of things to pray about in 2017

New Year calls for courage, hope; no more hatred, selfishness, pope says

By

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Whether the new year will be good or not depends on us choosing to do good each day, Pope Francis said.

“That is how one builds peace, saying ‘no’ to hatred and violence, with action, and ‘yes’ to fraternity and reconciliation,” he said Jan. 1, which the church marks as the feast of Mary, Mother of God and as World Peace Day.

Pope Francis kisses a figurine of the baby Jesus at the start of a Mass marking the feast of Mary, Mother of God, in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican Jan. 1. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Pope Francis kisses a figurine of the baby Jesus at the start of a Mass marking the feast of Mary, Mother of God, in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican Jan. 1. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Speaking to the some 50,000 pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the first noon Angelus of 2017, the pope referred to his peace day message in which he asked people to adopt the style of nonviolence for building a politics for peace.

Lamenting the brutal act of terrorism that struck during a night of “well-wishes and hope” in Istanbul, the pope offered his prayers for the entire nation of Turkey as well as those hurt and killed. A gunman opened fire during a New Year’s Eve celebration at a popular nightclub early Jan. 1, killing at least 39 people and wounding at least 70 more.

“I ask the Lord to support all people of good will who courageously roll up their sleeves in order to confront the scourge of terrorism and this bloodstain that is enveloping the world with the shadow of fear and confusion,” he said.

Earlier in the day, the pope spoke of how maternal tenderness, hope and self-sacrifice were the “strongest antidote” to the selfishness, indifference and “lack of openness” in the world today.

Celebrating Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, which was decorated with bright red anthuriums, evergreen boughs, white flowers and pinecones brushed with gold paint, the pope said that a community without mothers would be cold and heartless with “room only for calculation and speculation.”

The pope said he learned so much about unconditional love, hope and belonging from seeing mothers who never stop embracing, supporting and fighting for what is best for their children incarcerated in prisons, ill in hospitals, enslaved by drugs or suffering from war.

“Where there is a mother, there is unity, there is belonging, belonging as children,” he said.

Just like all mothers of the world, Mary, Mother of God, “protects us from the corrosive disease of being ‘spiritual orphans,’” that is when the soul feels “motherless and lacking the tenderness of God, when the sense of belonging to a family, a people, a land, to our God, grows dim.”

“This attitude of spiritual orphanhood is a cancer that silently eats away at and debases the soul,” which soon “forgets that life is a gift we have received and owe to others a gift we are called to share in this common home,” he said.

A “fragmented and divided culture” makes things worse, he said, leading to feelings of emptiness and loneliness.

“The lack of physical and not virtual contact is cauterizing our hearts and making us lose the capacity for tenderness and wonder, for pity and compassion,” he said, as well as making us “forget the importance of playing, of singing, of a smile, of rest, of gratitude.”

Remembering that Jesus handed his mother over to us “makes us smile once more as we realize that we are a people, that we belong” and can grow, that we are not just mere objects to “consume and be consumed,” that we are not “merchandise” to be exchanged or inert receptacles for information. “We are children, we are family, we are God’s people.”

Mary shows that humility and tenderness aren’t virtues of the weak, but of the strong, and that we don’t have to mistreat others in order to feel important, he said.

The pope also presided over an evening prayer service with eucharistic adoration and the singing of a special hymn of thanksgiving to God Dec. 31 in St. Peter’s Basilica.

As the year ends, he said in his homily, he asked people to reflect on how God has been present in their lives and to thank the Lord for all signs of his generosity, “seen in countless way through the witness of those people who quietly took a risk.”

Gazing upon the manger, we remember how Jesus “wanted to be close to all those who felt lost, demeaned, hurt, discouraged, inconsolable and frightened. Close to all those who in their bodies carry the burden of separation and loneliness, so that sin, shame, hurt, despair and exclusion would not have the final word in the lives of his sons and daughters.”

His sacrifice and love challenges people “not to give up on anything or anyone,” and to find the strength to forge ahead “without complaining or being resentful, without closing in on ourselves or seeking a means of escape, looking for shortcuts in our own interest.”

“Looking at the manger means recognizing that the times ahead call for bold and hope-filled initiatives, as well as the renunciation of vain self-promotion and endless concern with appearances.”

He urged everyone to help make room for young people, who are often marginalized and forced to migrate or beg for undignified jobs. Everyone has a duty to help them grow and fulfill “the dreams of their ancestors” in their own nation and community.

After the prayer service, the pope walked into St. Peter’s Square instead of using the popemobile. He walked the entire periphery of the square, stopping to shake hands, receive cards and notes, offer happy New Year’s greetings, bless babies and chat with people lining the barricades.

In the center of the square, the pope prayed silently before the Vatican Nativity scene, which was created by a Maltese artist. He also stood before the twisted and crumbled spire from the St. Benedict Basilica in Norcia, which like dozens of villages and towns, was damaged in a series of earthquakes in central Italy.

Comments Off on New Year calls for courage, hope; no more hatred, selfishness, pope says

Living Our Faith: The Epiphany

December 29th, 2016 Posted in Uncategorized Tags: , ,

By

On the feast of the Epiphany, the church contemplates Christ’s presence to the entire world. Can you envision yourself walking in the shoes of the Magi? We all resemble the Magi in an important way.

Men dressed as the Magi riding on horses and following a star lead a procession of Catholics Jan. 4, from St. Ferdinand Parish to St. Ladislaus Parish in Chicago in celebration of the 2016 feast of the Epiphany. The light of love promised and delivered by God -- like the light of the star that led the Magi to where God's newborn son lay in a humble manger -- is what all of us are called to reflect to one another. (CNS photo/Karen Callaway, Catholic New World)

Men dressed as the Magi riding on horses and following a star lead a procession of Catholics Jan. 4, from St. Ferdinand Parish to St. Ladislaus Parish in Chicago in celebration of the 2016 feast of the Epiphany. The light of love promised and delivered by God — like the light of the star that led the Magi to where God’s newborn son lay in a humble manger — is what all of us are called to reflect to one another. (CNS photo/Karen Callaway, Catholic New World)

Like the Magi, we too follow a light, the light of Christ, which we are also called to reflect to one another. “Your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father,” says Jesus (Mt 5:15).

 The feast of the Epiphany comes after the start of the new year. Is our New Year’s resolution to grow more deeply in love with God, to achieve a new level of spirituality, to listen more closely to the Spirit in our life?

Comments Off on Living Our Faith: The Epiphany

It’s time to stop violence, discord, and begin making peace at home, Francis says

By

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Welcoming in a new year, Pope Francis said it was time to stop provoking and ignoring violence, tragedy and conflict in the world, and begin building peace at home.

“Justice and peace at home, among us, you begin at home and then you move on to all of humanity. But we have to start at home,” he said Jan. 1, which the church marks as the feast of Mary, Mother of God and as World Peace Day.

Children bring Pope Francis a chalice during the offertory as he celebrates Mass in the Vatican’s St. Peter’s Basilica on the feast of Mary, Mother of God, Jan. 1. (CNS photo/Giampiero Sposito, Reuters)

Speaking to tens of thousands of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the first noon Angelus of 2014, the pope referred to his peace day message, which he said called for building a world where everyone “respects each other, accepts others in their diversity and takes care of each and every one.”

People must not remain “indifferent and immobile” in the face of violence and injustice, but commit themselves to “build a truly more just and caring society,” he said.

The pope referred to a letter he had received the day before from a man struggling to understand why there were still so many tragedies and wars.

The pope said he wanted to ask the same question: “What is happening in people’s hearts? What is going on in the heart of humanity” that leads to violence?

“It’s time to stop,” Pope Francis said. “It will do us good to stop taking this path of violence.”

May God “help all of us walk the path of justice and peace with greater determination,” he said, and the Holy Spirit break down the obstinacy and barriers people construct between each other.

The pope also prayed to Mary that the “Gospel of fraternity” might “speak to every conscience and knock down the walls that hinder enemies from recognizing each other as brothers and sisters.”

Earlier in the day, the pope celebrated Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, which was decorated with white flowers, evergreens, gold trim and poinsettias. Two girls and one boy, wearing long capes and shiny gold paper crowns in memory of the magi who traveled to Bethlehem, brought the offertory gifts to the pope.

Prayers for peace were offered in five languages; the Spanish version asked that God “bless all women and all mothers, called to bring forth, to guard and to promote life.”

In his homily, the pope said Mary, the Mother of God, became the mother of all humanity when Jesus, dying on the cross, gave her to the world.

When she lost her divine son, “her sorrowing heart was enlarged to make room for all men and women, whether good or bad, and she loves them as she loved Jesus,” he said.

Even before the church officially defined Mary as God’s mother in the fifth century, the faithful had already acknowledged her divine maternity and called for its recognition, the pope said, noting the case as an example of the “sensus fidei” (sense of the faith) “of holy people, the faithful of God, who, in their unity, are never ever wrong.”

Mary is a source of hope and true joy and continually strengthens people in their faith, vocation and mission, he said. “By her example of humility and openness to God’s will she helps us to transmit our faith in a joyful proclamation of the Gospel to all, without reservation.”

He asked the faithful to entrust with Mary their journey of faith, their hopes and needs as well as “the needs of the whole world, especially of those who hunger and thirst for justice, peace and God.”

In his homily, Pope Francis also mentioned the Marian icon “Salus Populi Romani” (health of the Roman people) in Rome’s Basilica of St. Mary Major, which he said was the first Marian shrine in the West where the image of the Mother of God, the “Theotokos,” was venerated.

According to Vatican Radio, the pope visited St. Mary Major Dec. 31 to pray at length before the icon, repeating a pilgrimage he made on the first morning of his pontificate in March and on other subsequent occasions.

 

Comments Off on It’s time to stop violence, discord, and begin making peace at home, Francis says

Pope wants Christians to bring hope, peace to 2012

January 3rd, 2012 Posted in Featured, Vatican News Tags: , , ,

By

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Christians should look toward the New Year with hope and a commitment to working for justice and peace, Pope Benedict XVI said.

“God is love, he is just and peaceable, and anyone wishing to honor him must first of all act like a child following his father’s example,” the pope said Jan. 1 during a Mass marking the feast of Mary, Mother of God and World Peace Day.

Read more »

Comments Off on Pope wants Christians to bring hope, peace to 2012
Marquee Powered By Know How Media.