Doing The Father’s Will

This is a syndicated post from Catholic Journal. [Read the original article...]

Each one of us is born into this world possessing certain gifts and talents. These gifts and talents were given to us by God. They are specific to each and every individual and, along with our own unique appearance and personality, define who we are. We were each created for a purpose. To be faithful to the will of God is to be faithful to who we are, faithful to who we were created to be, and faithful to the gifts and talents we’ve been given. The following anonymous quote says it best: “What you are is God’s gift to you. What you make of yourself is your gift to God.”

Many years ago I worked evenings as a part-time instructor at one of our local community colleges. I taught classes in machine design. As with any subject, there were always those students who easily grasped the subject matter and these students did very well. There were also those who found the material difficult and these students struggled. Most of my students were young, freshly out of high school. But one year I had a young man in my class who was conspicuously older than my average student. And the subject matter apparently did not come easily to this young man. He struggled to keep up.

One day this young man stayed after class to discuss a particular assignment with me because he was having some difficulty with it. After discussing the topic with him I said to him, “Could I ask you a personal question?” He said, “Sure! Go ahead!” I continued, “You are obviously the oldest student in our class this year. Are you starting a new career? Did you have a profession before this?” He said, “Yes! I was a respiratory therapist; and I was good at it. I worked in a hospital in a midwestern state. I just want to start a new career in life.” So I asked, “What prompted you so seek a new career?” He said, “I was on the blue team. I am sure you have been in a hospital and heard them page, ‘code blue room 232’. That means that there is an emergency in that room and everyone on the blue team is to go immediately to that room. Well one day my team was called to a room and I was the first to arrive. As I entered the room I found a man in full cardiac arrest. Being a respiratory therapist, I immediately started administering C.P.R. Gradually other members of the team arrived and busied themselves with their individual responsibilities. The patient was not responding to the C.P.R., but I know that I could literally keep this patient alive by my continuing to do what I was doing. I feverishly did my best, but the patient was not responding. Eventually the doctor called it and told me to stop. I couldn’t stop, because I knew that if I did stop this person would die, and I literally had the power to keep this patient’s body alive. They told me repeatedly to stop. I ignored them. Eventually they pulled me off, forcing me to stop. I left the room and walked out of the hospital and never went back. A patient died because I stopped doing my job. I just could not accept that responsibility. I could not accept the fact that I literally held the power of life or death, for another human being, in the palm of my hand.”

I thought of that man many times. He did not demonstrate a talent for the design or engineering field, but he himself admitted that he was a good respiratory therapist. And he obviously had deep compassion for those in his care. It was obvious to me that his calling was to be a respiratory therapist. The skills that he possessed said that’s who he was, that was his calling in life. Yet he was attempting to run away from that calling because he feared the responsibility. And it made me wonder, how many of us spend a lifetime attempting to abandon our calling for one reason or another.

In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus tells a parable of a man with two sons. In the story, the man asks each of his sons to go and work in the vineyard. One says yes, but doesn’t go. The other says no, but goes to work there anyway. Then Jesus asked the question, “Which of those two brothers did his father’s will?” (Matthew 21:31) We all know that we are to live our lives doing God’s will. We can easily be faithful to the will of our Heavenly Father by simply being loyal to who we were created to be and following our calling in life by making use of the gifts and talents God gave us. To abandon that calling is to deny the authority of our omnipotent God who gave us these gifts and talents for a purpose.

The post Doing The Father’s Will appeared first on Catholic Journal.

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The Holy Father at Vespers in Albania

This is a syndicated post from The Chant Café. [Read the original article...]

There are many problems that you encounter every day. These problems compel you to immerse yourselves with fervour and generosity in apostolic work. And yet, we know that by ourselves we can do nothing: “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labour in vain” (Ps 127:1). This awareness calls us to give due space for the Lord every day, to dedicate our time to him, open our hearts to him, so that he may work in our lives and in our mission. That which the Lord promises for the prayer made with trust and perseverance goes beyond what we can imagine (cf Lk 11:11-12): beyond that which we ask for, God sends us also the Holy Spirit. The contemplative dimension of our lives becomes indispensable even in the midst of the most urgent and difficult tasks we encounter. The more our mission calls us to go out into the peripheries of life, the more our hearts feel the intimate need to be united to the heart of Christ, which is full of mercy and love.

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Catholic-Muslim spouses say Pope Francis is for everybody

This is a syndicated post from CNA Daily News. [Read the original article...]

Tirana, Albania, Sep 22, 2014 / 02:00 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A Catholic-Muslim married couple who traveled three hours from Kosovo to take part in Pope Francis’ Albanian visit say that the Pope is “for everybody” regardless of religion.

Valentin, 30, and Vanessa, 22, hail from the Kosovo town of Gjakova, where the mother of Mother Teresa lived.

“We Catholics are just a few, but we really want the Pope to come to our small country,” Valentin said. “In the meantime, I decided to come here and see the Pope.”

Both Valentin and Vanessa attended Pope Francis’ morning Mass in Tirana and then moved to the Albanian capital’s Cathedral of St. Paul, where Pope Francis celebrated Vespers.

“We think Pope Francis’ visit will give a message of love and peace,” said Vanessa.

Valentin said that the Pope “at first impression speaks in a very simple way.”

“I really hope this visit will have an impact on the region,” he added.

Catholics in Kosovo are just two percent of the population.

Though Catholicism is considered an important part of the identity of Kosovo, Muslims are more likely to hold the key positions in the official ranks.

A 2010 report by the Oasis Foundation, an Italian think tank on interreligious dialogue founded by Cardinal Angelo Scola, stressed that “in Kosovo, Catholics and Muslims live in different village, and the big cities and the capital are almost exclusively inhabited by Muslims.”

Valentin and Vanessa both hope a Pope will soon visit Kosovo.

“We need a Pope to come to our country, and give a message of unity,” they said.

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Full Text of In-Flight Papal Press Conference From Albania

This is a syndicated post from ZENIT - The World Seen From Rome. [Read the original article...]

Here below is an English translation of the transcript of Pope Francis’ press conference given on the flight back from Tirana yesterday evening.  *** 
(Father Lombardi) – Well, now: We are very grateful to the Holy Father for being with us, even at the end of such a demanding day. He wished to be at our disposi…

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Don’t ‘Rebuild’ Your Parish, Restore It; Help Christians in Iraq; Romance and More!

This is a syndicated post from The Daily Register. [Read the original article...]

By TITO EDWARDS | Don't 'Rebuild' Your Parish, Restore It by Brian Williams of One Peter 5 – BigPulpit.com

Take Action: Stop ISIS & Genocide in Iraq, Help those Persecuted – Boston Catholic Insider

A God-Centered Romance – Cristina Montes,… (8)

Chosenness

This is a syndicated post from The Daily Register. [Read the original article...]

By Mark Shea | Some time back, a reader wrote me with an interesting observation:

You know, I just thought of something. I used to have a part-time job as a pest caller (phone surveys, mostly) and so I met a lot of Wiccans. (In the '90's they… (11)

Sep 21 – Homily – Fr. Wade Menezes: Living a Trinitarian Life

This is a syndicated post from Uploads by franciscanfriars. [Read the original article...]

Fr. Wade Menezes, CPM gives the homily this Sunday as the final conference for his retreat called "Working Out Your Salvation". He first gives the context by outlining all five of his conferences:…
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Papal visit fosters Albanians’ hopes

This is a syndicated post from CNA Daily News. [Read the original article...]

Tirana, Albania, Sep 21, 2014 / 08:11 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis’ visit to Albania is a “gigantic event” for the religiously diverse country as it seeks a greater role in Europe, one leader at the country’s main Catholic university has said.

“Catholics, Orthodox and Muslims are pursuing together the European dream. Pope Francis’ visit will foster this pursuit, and hopefully will accelerate the Albanian process to be a fully acknowledged European country,” said Tritan Shehu, vice-rector of the Catholic University Our Lady of the Good Counsel in Tirana.

Pope Francis visited the university the afternoon of Sep. 21 for a meeting with all the religious leaders of Albania. The Pope encouraged inter-religious work for the common good and stressed that the strong belief that truth has its own “power of attraction” negates the need for religious coercion.

“I may say that Pope Francis has chosen to come to our university because we are a Catholic university, but we also live in an international, interreligious atmosphere,” said Shehu ahead of the papal visit.

Shehu, a doctor and a government cabinet minister from 1993 to 1997, has witnessed the Albanian transition from communist to democratic rule.

He said that since John Paul II’s visit to Albania in 1993, “many things have changed, and we also made some mistakes in our transition.”

“We have lost some of our spirit, we have thought to open up to a free market without considering our national identity. But we are walking toward Europe, and Pope Francis’ visit will acknowledge this.”

The interreligious meeting held at Shehu’s university, “is also an acknowledgement of the work we have done,” Shehu said.

He explained that Our Lady of the Good Counsel is a Catholic university, but students as well as teachers are Catholic, Muslim, and Orthodox Christian.

“This mirrors Albanian society, where all religions live together in harmony.”

Our Lady of Good Counsel University was founded in 2004 and is owned by a Catholic foundation.

Pope Francis noted Albania’s national unity and interreligious coexistence when he announced his Albania trip in August on his return flight from South Korea.

“All the religious leaders base their message on tolerance,” Shehu underscored. “Coexistence among religions is real in Albania.”

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Pope: Albanian martyrs knew God’s consolation

This is a syndicated post from CNA Daily News. [Read the original article...]

Tirana, Albania, Sep 21, 2014 / 03:31 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- God’s consolation for Albania’s martyrs and other persecuted Christians is a reminder for us all of the intimate consolation that God offers amid suffering, Pope Francis said at a Sunday vespers service.

“The Lord consoled them because there were people in the Church, the people of God – the old ladies, holy and good, many cloistered sisters… who prayed for them. And this is the mystery of the Church: when the Church asks the Lord to console his people, the Lord consoles humbly, even clandestinely. He consoles in the intimacy of the heart and he consoles with strength.”

“Woe to us if we seek another consolation” than in the Lord, the Pope said. “Woe to priests, religious, sisters, novices and the consecrated who seek consolation that is distant from the Lord!”

Albania lived under state-imposed atheism from 1967 to 1991, but priests and other religious leaders began to endure persecution when dictator Enver Hoxha took power in 1946.

The regime conducted a war against religions: almost 2,100 people, including Catholic priests and adherents of other religions, were brutally killed because of their religious beliefs.

Pope Francis spoke about the country’s history of persecution at a Sep. 21 vespers service at the Cathedral of St. Paul in Albania’s capital of Tirana.

He said he had been surprised to learn of the severity of Albania’s suffering.

He recounted seeing the images of Albania’s martyrs that lined his route from the airport to Mother Teresa Square. At the vesper service, the Pope also met an elderly priest and a nun persecuted under Albania’s oppressive twentieth century atheist dictatorship.

“One sees that this people still has memory of their martyrs, of those who have suffered greatly! A people of martyrs,” Pope Francis said.

“And today, I was touched by two of them.”

The Pope noted the “simplicity” of the priest’s and the nun’s speech even though they told of “much suffering.”

He suggested the reasons they could survive their tribulations could be found in the vesper service reading from St. Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians, which speaks of “the God of every consolation.”

God still consoled the persecuted despite their physical and mental suffering and their fears of being sent to the firing squad, he said.

“Blessed be God the Father, God of every consolation, who consoles us in all of our trials, in order that we may console those who we find in every kind of affliction, with the consolation with which we ourselves are consoled by God,” the Pope said.

“We are sinners,” the Pope said. But in the martyrs, “the Lord was with us.”

“This is the way. Do not be discouraged!”

The Pope said that these martyrs have provided an example, but we must be an example for others. As we go home today, the Pope concluded, we might think: “Today we have touched the martyrs.”

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Papal Spokesperson: Muslims pray for Pope in Albania, Security a Non-Issue

This is a syndicated post from The Daily Register. [Read the original article...]

By ANDREA GAGLIARDUCCI/ CNA | TIRANA, Albania — In a press briefing Sunday the Vatican’s spokesman downplayed worries over Pope Francis’ safety in Albania, also noting that Muslims gathered in an important Tirana mosque to pray for the Holy… (10)

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