Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Is Evil Winning?

Of course not. But sometimes when I listen to the news or read articles I become discouraged. Christians must be people of hope but sometimes I can't understand all the evil in the world. I know we live in a fallen world, but still when I hear of these things, it's so sad....
When children still die from hunger and curable diseases at this late time in human history, it seems evil is winning.
When bombs go off in foreign countries (and in the U.S. as happened in Boston) and kill innocent people, it seems evil is winning.
When there are so many refugees with no place to live or call home, it seems evil is winning.
When there is a lack of common decency, a lack of compassion and kindness, it seems evil is winning.
When people still live in terrible poverty, without basic necessities, it seems evil is winning.
When people pollute the earth and have no regard for the environment, God's magnificent creation or the impact on future generations, it seems evil is winning.
When people deny God, denigrate religious beliefs and distort the truth, it seems evil is winning.
When people ignore God's commandments and kill, steal and are obsessed with greed, it seems like evil is winning.
When animals are treated cruelly and killed illegally (as is happening in parts of the world), it disturbs me.

There is goodness in the world, I know that, but sometimes it seems like evil is winning. At some point, God is going to destroy evil. I wish it were sooner than later. While we wait, its hard to read or watch the news or "digest" the evil ways and actions of some people.
What is it that causes such evil? Is it the devil prying on weak, disturbed minds or are people desperate and resort to greed? Why do people cooperate with evil and choose evil over good?
I wish God would act and say enough is enough and strike down evil once and for all. Because if evil keeps gaining ground, that will be troublesome for the future of humankind.

May God, the source of our hope, fill your hearts with peace as you believe in God." 
(Romans 15:13)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Pope Francis-Doing It His Way

I just read an interesting article from the Catholic News Service blog titled, "De-coding Francis: Vatican Media Adviser Offers '10 Things To Know.'" It was recommended by Peggy Clores who works in Adult Faith Formation at Our Lady of Mercy Parish on Long Island. Peggy has an extensive email blast list, which I'm on, and she is great at evangelizing and using technology to get the word out.
Anyhow, she just sent out a few recommended articles and the one I just mentioned was on it.
Pope Francis is a blessing to the Church, in my opinion, and it seems his election as Pope came at the right time in history. Some people might be confused by how he does things or what he says, but the bottom line is that he is showing authenticity, simplicity, God's unconditional love and the mercy of God which is what Christians need to show to each other.
In the article, Greg Burke, who attended Jesuit schools, and is the Senior communications adviser to the Vatican's Secretariat of State, was quoted as saying, "Pope Francis is not a politically-correct Pope rather he is a 'loyal son of the Church' who presents the hard truths with a heavy dose of mercy." Mercy, the entire New Testament is filled with acts of mercy. A heavy dose of mercy is what God is all about and so since Pope Francis is the human head of the Church on Earth he should imitate the Divine head of the Church, Jesus Christ. He's got it right. In life you can never please everyone.
As someone pointed out in the comments section of the article, Jesus was not politically correct. He socialized with the marginalized in society, reached out to the outcasts and broken and understood and forgave sinners. Pope Francis has his own style, he's comfortable in his own skin and he knows that the Church in the modern world has to become alive and relevant to the young.
He's doing a great job. His mark is everywhere in the Church. I was recently at a Church function and there was a long line to get lunch. Someone asked the priest-presenter if he would like to cut the line, instead of waiting on the long line. He said, "No, I'm learning from the Pope, I would never cut the line, I'll just wait my turn"......and he did. In big ways and in small ways this Pope is bringing about change, and bringing new energy and enthusiasm to the priesthood and the papacy.
Veni, Sanctus, Spiritus!

Monday, October 14, 2013

New Title For My Blog

I thought I should change the title of my blog..........I am a baptized Catholic and have been so since I was baptized as an infant in the Church of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary in Brooklyn,  so I started to think that perhaps that should be reflected in the title of my blog. So that's it, I changed it.
The Church where I was baptized is now named Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary and St. Stephen's Church. It was the first Italian parish to be established in Brooklyn in 1882.  Since I am an Italian-American and my paternal grandparents came to this great country in 1925 from Italy, they settled on Clinton St. in what is now Carroll Gardens (it was then called Red Hook). Brooklyn churches have a rich and storied history.
When I went to the website of SHSS Church I realized I know the pastor Msgr. Guy Massie who is a great priest. He has done great work and continues to do so in promoting interfaith dialogue, understanding and tolerance. On their website I learned that he is giving an interfaith series with Rabbi Kline titled, "Jewish Spirituality for Christians." I wish I lived closer to the Church as  I would have loved to be a part of that learning experience.
I'm convinced for there to be a lasting peace and tolerance in this world, interfaith dialogue is one way to achieve that. It's crucial for the future of humanity.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Vatican Overhaul of the Roman Curia-Come Holy Spirit Come!

A Vatican spokesman said this week that the eight Cardinals appointed by Pope Francis to advise him on renewing the Roman Curia are laying out plans to bring about this needed change. The Pope and these Cardinals need our prayers and the guidance of the Holy Spirit as this is not an easy task. The newly appointed Secretary of State, Archbishop Pietro Parolin will begin his new role on Oct. 15th (the feast day of St. Teresa of Avila) and so he will also play an integral part in renewing the Curia.
According to Catholic News Service, "The eight Cardinals brought to the meeting with the Pope suggestions they received from Church leaders throughout the world. One of the topics mentioned most often Fr. Lombardi said was the concern for the role of the laity in the Church and the world. The Pope and his Cardinal advisers talked about 'how to ensure that this dimension of the Church's reality is more adequately and effectively recognized and followed in the governance of the Church.'"
The role of the laity is crucial to the success of the Church in the modern world. The majority of the Church's 1.2 billion members are laypeople. They have gifts, talents and abilities that the Church must better utilize for the success of evangelization.
The world has been forever changed by modern technology. It will never be the way it once was. The Church must be more relevant to the lives of people and the message of Christ which is life giving and enriching must be proclaimed with authenticity and enthusiasm. Besides deep prayer to know the will of God, more than anything, common sense is needed going forward and pragmatism. If something works and it is consistent with the gospel message and the truths of Christianity then it should be used. There's an "elephant in the room," I'm not going to name it, but the eight Cardinals, the new Secretary of State and the Pope knows what it is. That topic has to be addressed, in my humble opinion.
God give them the courage they need to move the Church forward during these difficult, secular times we are living through.
Come Holy Spirit Come. Veni Sanctus Spiritus!
May the Lord be near to the Cardinal advisers, to the Pope and to the new Secretary of State. May their decisions be in accordance with the will of God.
As St. Teresa of Avila said, "So many problems arise from thinking that Jesus is far away, when He is really very near to us."