Overcome Globalization of Indifference, Pope Says in 2015 Lenten Message

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By Edward Pentin | In his Lenten Message for 2015, Pope Francis has issued an eloquent rallying cry to the faithful to overcome a globalization of indifference by having “firm and merciful” hearts.

Indifference to our neighbor and to God… (4)

Mk 1:14-20 Fishers of Men

This is a syndicated post from Daily Meditations with Fr. Alfonse. [Read the original article...]

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
(Click here for readings)


After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him. When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.

Simon, Andrew, James, and John are so inspiring because of their willingness to drop everything that they have to follow Christ and proclaim the good news. They weren’t afraid to share the gospel with those who did not know or believe. They had confidence to walk with Christ!
God has called me in wonderful ways to share his message and preach to others, but it’s difficult for me to do this with confidence. I’m always afraid that people won’t understand what I’m saying or they won’t receive the message I’m trying to send. As hard as it is for me to  share, I’ve still accepted the opportunities God has given me to speak with him, such as the time I gave a witness talk at freshman retreat this past semester.

I was excited of the idea of doing this, but I was hesitant at first. I wrote multiple outlines to figure out what I wanted to say and what the best way to present it would be. Even as I began sharing what I have learned about myself through the Bible on stage, I still wasn’t sure if I was good enough for such an important task. Regardless of that fear, I accepted and let the Holy Spirit speak through me and fill the thoughts of the young girls. It’s crazy to imagine that those men confidently went out to speak to others with no hesitation!

This reading helps me when I’m anxious about speaking to others, because the fishermen’s actions alone demonstrate the behavior and attitude we should have when working for God:
  • never be afraid to speak out

When God calls us to go out and spread his word, we should not be afraid to do so. He is choosing us to speak through – we are his messengers, and it’s impossible for others to hear and know the truth if we don’t share it with them. What should we fear when we have God to give us strength and knowledge? One of my favorite verses is Romans 8:31 – “If God is for us, who can be against us.” Whenever we are scared or afraid, we need to take a step back and remember that God is always on our side. He believes in us and our ability to be the best version of ourselves. God is always rooting for us, all he asks in return is that we follow his guidance and speak out through words and actions so that we can share his love with others.
  • be a light for others
We don’t realize how influential we actually are – there will always be someone that is either inspired by your words and actions or following your lead.
During the freshman retreat, my friend Sabrina gave a witness talk and spoke about her spiritual journey. As she was speaking, she mentioned me and how much I’ve impacted her through my compassion and positivity. It was an incredible feeling – I didn’t realize that my attitude towards God and the joy I shared with others could be so influential.
You never know how much of an impression you’ll make on someone. There are younger people all around you, looking up to you. Be a positive example to others so that you can show them how great it feels to be an example of God’s love.
  • have confidence walking with Christ in all situations
Christ is your strength and you can do anything through him. He is your best friend who always has your back. Sometimes we doubt ourselves when people around us are louder about their opinions than us. THere’s a girl in my class who broadcasts her opinions so loudly that I sometimes find myself questioning my own beliefs. I always have to stop and remind myself of the reasons that I believe what I do. Do not let yourself be persuaded by the noise of the world around you. God has provided you with your own voice so that you might find confidence to speak out when he calls you too.
Shine bright for all to see and speak loud for all to hear. Always spread joy and love to others, and let others see how you live with Christ. The influence we have on others may be much more significant than we realize, and what we have to share is important


2 Tm 1:1-8 Have Courage!

This is a syndicated post from Daily Meditations with Fr. Alfonse. [Read the original article...]

Monday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time
(Click here for readings)

By Benedict Augustine
“For this reason, I remind you to stir into flame
the gift of God that you have through the imposition of my hands.
For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice
but rather of power and love and self-control.
So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord,
nor of me, a prisoner for his sake;
but bear your share of hardship for the Gospel
with the strength that comes from God.”
A couple of weeks ago, three million people assembled in Paris in solidarity with the murdered cartoonists of the magazine Charlie Hebdo. A few weeks before that, crowds gathered for Eric Garner, a man killed by a police officer in New York. A few weeks before crowds protested, and then rioted, after shooting of Michael Brown in Furgeson, Missouri. In the first case, the people rallied behind bawdy cartoonists who celebrated their freedom of expression with obscenities and blasphemy. In the second case, people were chanting to kill cops because a man selling cigarettes illegally died from the officer’s excessive use of force. In the third case, people vandalized a whole neighborhood for a thug who robbed a cigar store and resisted arrest. The principles animating the people to cry out may have been mixed, but the anger, the energy, was there.
If only the people showed so much vitriol and anger for the widespread massacring of Christians not only in the Middle East, but all over the world. If only people truly spoke out and acted against the repeated kidnapping, human trafficking, and regular ransacking of Boko Haram in Nigeria instead of putting up a feeble online campaign consisting of posting selfies with signs saying, “Save our girls.” If only the world could voice their support with brutally oppressed Tibetans and North Koreans who suffer at the hands of their own government by the thousands; rather, a stupid movie is produced—released only after so much hesitation and hand-wringing—and that is the West’s response to dictators.
As far as global problems go, it seems apparent that the clearer and worse the injustice, the more muddled and absurd is the call for action. People express their disapproval in the safety of numbers, the safety of internet anonymity, the safety of false narratives. In those decisive moments that demand real change, nothing happens: the evil doers continue doing their dirty work. No other word can describe this behavior except cowardice.
Terrorism, police brutality, and racial inequality deserve attention, as do wide-scale religious persecution, widespread criminality, and oppressive tyrannies. However, as Paul notes, not only do these issues of injustice demand attention, they demand a response of “power and love and self-control.” Protests with mixed intentions and false narratives lack love and self-control while those with good intentions frequently lack power. Christian courage requires a recognition of truth, dignified and coherent protest and counteraction, and a commitment to help those in need. Timothy and Titus, whose feast day is today, acted out this kind of courage in their preaching.
By its fallen nature, the world necessitates courage from Christians. Jesus’ exorcism of demons models what Christians should do today: call out Evil and remove it. The developed world today has the materials means to eliminate evil, but it does not have the spiritual means. In fact, the developed world would rather collude with the corrupted elements of impoverished areas than reform it in any significant way. In this situation, Christians need to stand apart. They need to give all they can to the heroes, the soldiers, the social workers, and the missionaries who combat these problems; in turn, they need to refuse as much as they can to the celebrities, politicians, and businessmen who profit from these problems; and at all times, they need to continue speaking out instead of shrugging off these things as necessary evils.
Besides supporting the heroes, which serves as a first step in courage, Christians need to become the heroes; they need to become saints. Saints distinguish themselves with their willingness to do the right thing in the worst circumstances. They speak out against abortion at their reception of the Nobel Peace Prize (Blessed Mother Theresa). They denounce tyranny and state-worship in a country caught its throes (St. John Paul II). They explain the clear menace of contraception in the chaos of social and cultural upheaval (Blessed Paul VI). They generously sacrifice themselves for their neighbor at the hands of cruel Fascists (St. Maximilian Kolbe). They dismantle and and identify decadence in a popular philosophy that has taken hold of the world’s intelligentsia (St. Pius X). These saints have courage, but they are relatively few; their foes, who still haunt today’s world and even today’s Church, have no courage, but they are many.
Fortunately, Jesus empowers his disciples to face these demons. The disciples just need to accept this power, this grace, to do this. Those who shy away from the task of confronting spiritual evil, who pretend it does not exist, do not receive this power. They become slaves to sin and add to the legions of Satan, possessed with indifference and mealymouthed equivocation. They risk committing the unforgivable sin of blaspheming against the Holy Spirit: they live and die refusing God’s salvation through Jesus Christ (see St. John Paul II’s encyclical, “Dominum et Vivificantum”). Many blaspheme this way because of temptation, but more do it out of fear.
Therefore, the Church must unite with the saints, and her members must join their ranks.“If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand,” warns Jesus. Heedless of this warning, the spirit of evil divides its followers, giving an opportunity to Catholics to stymie its progress and restore sanity to the world. Jesus and His disciples started this work; Paul and his associates followed their example; and Catholics today must continue onward. It will require courage, but as in all things, the Lord will provide.


Jan 27 – Homily: Brethren of the Lord & the Will of God

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Whenever we hear "brethren of the Lord", we should think of St. Jerome and that impure heresiarch, Helvidius. We should also know that doing the will of God is necessary for salvation and…
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28 to be Ordained Priests in Seoul

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

Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, archbishop of Seoul, will ordain 25 deacons as priests for the Archdiocese of Seoul and three deacons from religious orders on February 6 at the Olympic Gymnastics Hall of the Olympic Park in Seoul. The Archdiocese of Seoul has been holding the Mass of Ordination annually, with an a…


Wondering what to give up for Lent? Try indifference, Pope says

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

Vatican City, Jan 27, 2015 / 05:35 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The “globalization of indifference” was at the heart of Pope Francis’ Lenten message, in which he urged faithful to fight individualism with merciful hearts that are more attentive to the needs of others.

“(Jesus) is interested in each of us; his love does not allow him to be indifferent to what happens to us,” the Pope noted in his Jan. 27 Lenten message, saying that often times when we life a healthy and comfortable lifestyle, “we forget about others.”

“We are unconcerned with their problems, their sufferings and the injustices they endure…Our heart grows cold,” he observed, saying that today this “selfish attitude of indifference has taken on global proportions, to the extent that we can speak of a globalization of indifference.”

The Roman Pontiff’s Jan. 27 message, titled after the biblical passage “Make Your Hearts Firm” from James Chapter 5 verse 8, was given as a precursor for the start of the Church’s Lenten season, which begins on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 18.

Lent, he said, is a time of grace in which we encounter the love of the Lord, who first served us through his life and the washing of the disciples’ feet before his passion, and ultimately in his sacrificial death on the cross.

“God is not indifferent to our world; he so loves it that he gave his Son for our salvation,” the pontiff explained, saying that one of the most “urgent challenges” of today’s world – and the one to which he dedicated his Lenten message – “is precisely the globalization of indifference.”

This “globalization of indifference” is a reality that Christians must confront by going outside of themselves, he said, and highlighted three biblical passages he said would help to resist the temptation to withdraw and remain closed inside of ourselves.

“If one member suffers, all suffer together” from St. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians reminds us of the Church, the Pope explained, saying that the love of God breaks through the barriers of indifference we frequently put up.

“But we can only bear witness to what we ourselves have experienced,” he said, and encouraged faithful to turn to the sacraments during Lent – particularly the Eucharist – in order to better imitate the Lord.

During Mass “we become what we receive: the Body of Christ. In this body there is no room for the indifference which so often seems to possess our hearts,” the Pope explained.

He then pointed to the verse in Genesis Chapter 4 when God asks Cain “Where is your brother?” This passage, he said, is representative of the various parishes and Christian communities around the world.

“Do these ecclesial structures enable us to experience being part of one body? A body which receives and shares what God wishes to give? Or do we take refuge in a universal love that would embrace the whole world, while failing to see the Lazarus sitting before our closed doors?” the pontiff asked.

In order to both receive what God gives to us and make it bear fruit in our communities we need to go beyond the boundaries of the physical Church, the Pope said, noting that this is first done through our prayers to the saints in heaven, who intercede for us with joy.

Secondly, a particular parish or community can cross these boundaries by engaging “in the life of the greater society of which it is a part, especially with the poor and those who are far away.”

The Church is “missionary by her very nature,” he said, and commissioned parishes and communities not to remain self-enclosed, but go out to every nation and people so that they therefore become “islands of mercy in the midst of the sea of indifference!”

Pope Francis then pointed to the biblical verse in James “Make your hearts firm” from which the title of his message is taken, saying that it speaks to the temptation for individual Christians to become indifferent.

“Flooded with news reports and troubling images of human suffering, we often feel our complete inability to help,” he observed.

Both praying together as a community and performing small acts of charity are concrete ways that can prevent us from getting “caught up in this spiral of distress and powerlessness,” the Pope explained.

He then drew attention to the “24 Hours for the Lord” initiative of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization. Set to take place March 13-14, in the middle of Lent, confessions will be available for the entire 24 hour period.

The Pope, who is set to preside over a penitential liturgy for the event, expressed his hope that it “will be observed throughout the Church, also at the diocesan level (as) a sign of this need for prayer.”

Also noting the importance of conversion, the Bishop of Rome said that seeing the suffering of others inevitably reminds us of our dependency on God, as well as on our brothers and sisters, and encouraged all to ask for God’s grace in accepting their limitations.

If we do this, he said, “we will trust in the infinite possibilities which God’s love holds out to us (and) we will also be able to resist the temptation of thinking that by our own efforts we can save the world and ourselves.”

Pope Francis concluded his message by praying that during Lent, each person receive “a heart which is firm and merciful, attentive and generous, a heart which is not closed, indifferent or prey to the globalization of indifference.”


Women as Cardinals?

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

Answered by Legionary of Christ Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy and dean of theology at the Regina Apostolorum university. Q: I understand that technically anyone, even a woman, can be appointed a cardinal because a cardinal does not have to be a bishop or priest. Kindly enlighten. Secondly, the Holy…


Jan 27 – Homily: Who are my Mother and Brothers

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

Fr. Alan connects the life of St. Angela Merici to the readings today which tell us that true sacrifice is obedience to God's will. This is what brings us into God's family and sometimes God…
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Read Pope Francis’ Full Lenten Message (Video)

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

To view the video click here.


Mexico gives Vatican officials, highest award granted to foreigners (Video)

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

To view the video click here.


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