What is the source of the tensions and conflicts we have in the church today? I believe the reason for the uneasiness is the pope’s emphasis on mission. There is a profound difference between a church that is a nest or a niche, in which one can find peace, tranquility and seeming stability, and a church that sees itself as missionary.
Lucien Botovasoa was born in 1908 in Vohipeno, a small village in the Diocese of Farafangana, on the south-eastern coast of Madagascar, more than one thousand kilometres from the nation’s capital. His parents were poor farmers, like many others in this region, always struggling with weather-related risks.
During my seminary studies, I read a book by Peter Berger entitled, A Rumor of Angels, in which he tries to point to various places within our everyday experience where, he submits, we have intimations of the divine, rumors of angels, hints that ordinary experience contains more than just the ordinary, that God is there.
Forty years ago, Father Tansi concluded his pilgrimage here on earth. The legacy of this outstanding Nigerian priest and monk challenges the Church to be ever more faithful to its identity and mission.
Incense, chants, endless prayers with which one tries to replace the concrete commitment in favor of the orphan, the widow, the oppressed are repugnant to God (Is 1:11-17). Jesus mentions several times the phrase of the prophet Hosea: “What I want is mercy, not sacrifice” (Mt 9:13; 12:7).
Deep down, all of us know we’re special, that we’re not just accidental, meaningless little chips of energy falling off the conveyor belt of cosmic evolution, indistinguishable from billions of others.
If our efforts at peace-making are to be fruitful, both within the intimate circles of our primary communities as well as in the wider circles of social justice, we must truly remain non-violent.
The purpose of the missioning: to prepare the city and the villages for the coming of the Lord. Jesus arrives after his messengers, not before. The task given to each apostle is not to represent himself, but to dispose the minds and hearts of the people to accept Christ in their lives.
His dream was to become a Priest so that the people of his village could have Eucharistic celebrations every Sunday. Fr. Anthony Kibira tells us his story.
Pope Francis, in his decree of beatification, described Benedict as a “diligent catechist, a thoughtful teacher, a witness of the Gospel to the point of shedding his own blood.”
Luke introduces the resolute decision of Jesus to go to Jerusalem, saying that he “sets his face hard.” It is a strong expression, taken from the Old Testament. The prophet Isaiah puts it on the lips of the Servant of the Lord who declares his determination to fulfill his mission: “Like a flint I set my face” (Is 50:7).
Nine-year-old Bakhita (c. 1869-1947), playing in the fields near her home in Sudan, was captured by slave traders. She had been warned by her parents to be careful, since her older sister earlier had been captured and enslaved.
Isidore Bakanja, a young man from Congo, died as a martyr at the hands of a hate-filled atheist colonialist. The testimonies of many of his compatriots make it clear that he died for being a Christian. Although he knew that his boss resented Christians, Bakanja insisted on wearing a scapular and saying the rosary in his free time.
Jesus did not leave us a statue, a photograph, a relic. He wanted to continue to be present among his disciples as nourishment. The food is not placed on the table to be contemplated but to be consumed.
When the famous historian Christopher Dawson decided to become a Roman Catholic, his aristocratic mother was distressed, not because she had any aversion to Catholic dogma, but because now her son would, in her words, have to “worship with the help”.
The Christian spiritual tradition has always emphasized both silence and community are important, though rarely at the same time.
It is the fifth time that, in John’s the Gospel, Jesus promises to send the Spirit, and says it will be the Spirit to carry out the project of the Father. Without his work people could never be able to accept salvation.
“I really believe that a missionary priest is a person called by God to meet the overwhelming gratuitous love of God for humanity.” A Comboni Father Placide Majambo Lutumba Petit from Congo tell us his story.
Pentecost in not an abstract mystery. We are asked to accept the spirit of our actual lives. When we do this, then we no longer belittle our own lives but know that even with all our inferiorities and frustrations, we are something.
If you want to know that God is like, look at the natural exuberance of children, look at the exuberance of a young puppy, or look at the robust, playful energy of young people. And to see God’s prodigal character, we might look at billions and billions of stars that surround us… Then what about the Cross?
Now Jesus promises another Paraclete, who has not the task of replacing him, but to accomplish his very own mission. The Spirit is the Paraclete because comes to the rescue of the disciples in their struggle against the world, that is, against the forces of evil (Jn 16:7-11).
What does it mean to live in the light? To live in the light means to live in honesty, pure and simple, to be transparent, to not have part of us hidden as a dark secret.
The certainty of the Ascension reverses our human perspective. While the years pass, the Christian is satisfied because he sees the days of the definitive encounter with Christ coming soon. He is happy to have lived, does not envy the young ones but looks at them with tenderness.
Asked whether he knew about the abuse by former cardinal McCarrick, Pope Francis replied: “I knew nothing about McCarrick, obviously, nothing, nothing. I said this several times; I knew nothing, [I had] no idea.
Once upon a time, there lived a man called John who was a hunter as well as a magician. John had seven dogs and seven large black pots. The dogs were useful for hunting while the pots protected him from his enemies.
Many things occur in life outside of our direct control or effort to make them happen. When you revisit them through your memory, you discover that what mattered most is not that you tried hard, but that you said “yes” to what you felt it was right, and you had the courage to jump, not knowing where you would land.
We humans, the species on this planet with the large brains, so-called intelligence and abilities and power to change the face of our planet, are doing so with a huge negative impact. We are endangering ourselves, our children and grandchildren and generations of children to come will be harmed by our wasteful and negligent ways.
A hasty reading of today’s Gospel can give the impression of finding ourselves facing a series of unrelated sentences and the problems of our lives. The passage, however, is not at all confusing or abstract; it is only very dense. Let’s put it in simple terms.
Augustine had been searching for love and God and he eventually found them in the most unexpected of all places, inside of himself. God and love had been inside of … Continua a leggere
The world is in transformation, and so is mission today. We all notice the changes in the world around us, in the fields of digitalization, globalization, communication, as well as some negative effects such as: the complexity of the digital world, the problem of cultural and religious identity, and the loneliness of modern human beings.
On the Feast of the Transfiguration in 1923, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin found himself alone at sunrise in the Ordos desert in China, watching the sun spread its orange and red light across the horizon. He was deeply moved, humanly and religiously. What he most wanted to do in response was to celebrate mass, to somehow consecrate the whole world to God.
Where should we be casting our eyes? Upward, downward, or just on the road that we’re walking? Well, there are different kinds of spiritualities: spiritualities of the Ascent, Spiritualities of the Descent and Spiritualities of Maintenance, and each is important.
In what he described as a desperate gesture, Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, the pope’s almoner, climbed down a manhole last Saturday evening, May 11, to restore electric power to a building in Rome occupied by some 450 homeless people, including more than 100 children. They had been without electricity and hot water for almost a week.
The importance of Hayk begins in the thirteenth century when Iyasus Mo’a founded a monastery on the island. The most notable presence in the monastery is a manuscript of the Book of the Gospels written between 1280 and 1281, which is considered the oldest manuscript existing today in Ethiopia.
“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another” (v. 35). We know that the fruits do not make the tree alive, however, they are signs that the tree is alive. Good works do not make our communities Christian, but these works give evidence that our communities are animated by the Spirit of the Risen One.
Fr. Pawe Opiola, is a Comboni Missionary from Poland. He is working as parish priest in Kanyanga Parish, among the Tumbuka people in Zambia. He tells us his story.
With his new motu proprio “Vos estis lux mundi,” Pope Francis shows that he is taking the abuse crisis very seriously. The new legislation came only months after the February 2019 abuse summit in Rome. The time and tone of the new law are revolutionary, yet the law is solidly grounded in tradition.
In a recent report on “global views on diversity, gender equality, [and] family life,” the Pew Research Centre in Washington has examined how people around the world view religion’s role in their countries.
How to recognize among many voices, that of the true Shepherd? It is necessary to accustom the ear. He who hears a person only for five minutes and then for a year does not hear him anymore, will find it difficult to distinguish the other’s voice in the crowd.
0nce upon a time, the bat and the bush-rat were great friends. All day long they would go hunting in the bush together, dodging between the tall grasses and the stunted trees, and finding good things to eat. When evening came, they would take turns to cook the meal and then eat it together.
It is the largest and the most important. The monastery concentrates certain original characteristics that do not occur in others.
John wants the Christians of his community to come to understand that Jesus, while being on the “shore,” that is, in the glory of the Father, is always beside them every day and continues to resonate his voice, calling, talking, and indicating what they should do.
From its very foundation, Debre Libanos grew in prestige and power until it surpassed all the other monasteries, thanks in the first place to the personality of its founder, Tekle Haimanot, but also to the permanent support of political power. It is still today at the head of the monastic life in Ethiopia.
The question the Sri Lanka massacre, and others like it in places such as Egypt, Nigeria and Iraq, pose to Christians in the West is: what have we sacrificed for the faith lately? What have we suffered for the suffering God?
How can we see him? Like the disciples: through his wounds. Gazing upon those wounds, the disciples understood the depth of his love. They understood that he had forgiven them, even though some had denied him and abandoned him. To enter into Jesus’ wounds is to contemplate the boundless love flowing from his heart.
We, like Peter and the women, cannot discover life by being sad, bereft of hope. Let us not stay imprisoned within ourselves, but let us break open our sealed tombs to the Lord – each of us knows what they are – so that he may enter and grant us life. Let us give him the stones of our rancour and the boulders of our past, those heavy burdens of our weaknesses and falls.
Here then is Judas, the balancer of the books, the “hander over” of Christ to his Passion, the tragic man of despair. Look on him. For this is Judas’s night. And so it is also our night, the night of misplaced desire for control, the night of misguided despair of mercy, which only God’s Son can cure and heal.
As we start to follow the gospels into the heart of this unfolding story, that question of costliness and loss of control becomes our first focus in the most striking fashion, and it comes in the form of an excessive and “costly” gift by a woman: a whole jar of expensive ointment wasted, and an exuberant expression of human love and gratitude.
There is, in a sense, only one thing that matters as we stand at beginning of Holy Week: it is a question of invitation. Think of it first, perhaps, as an invitation to a drama. Shall I this year attend this drama of love and betrayal? Shall I bring to it all the anguish and ecstasy of my own loves and betrayals, or shall I stand at a distance…
The nearly 800 monasteries with hundreds of monks still living in some of them, tell us that monasticism in Ethiopia is far from being condemned to a rapid disappearance. However, it will depend on the capacity to renew itself that monasticism continues to play in the Ethiopian Church the fundamental role it played in the past.