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Day of Missionary Martyrs. Cardinal Cupich: Martyrs teach us the power of love
Posted on 03/24/2023 08:19 AM ()
On the eve of the Day of Missionary Martyrs, on March 24, the Archbishop of Chicago attends the inauguration of a Memorial of the New Martyrs of the XX and XXI centuries in the Roman Basilica of St. Bartholomew exposing several relics the church has been collecting since the Great Jubilee of 2000.
US retaliatory strikes in Syria target pro-Iranian fighters
Posted on 03/24/2023 08:10 AM ()
The United States launches air strikes against targets in Syria after a drone attack killed an American contractor.
UN organizations and experts call for human rights to water
Posted on 03/24/2023 06:12 AM ()
The final day of work at the United Nations New York headquarters will produce the final document of the Water Conference, inspired by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Carmelite nuns transform abandoned farm into monastery
Posted on 03/24/2023 06:11 AM ()
A community of nuns in the Czech Republic are building their own monastery with their own hands. A look behind the scenes!
Pope highlights need to help parents with hospitalized children
Posted on 03/24/2023 06:09 AM ()
Pope Francis sends a message for the inauguration of the "Casa Fabrizio Frizzi" in Milan, Italy, that assists parents with children who are hospitalized. He underscores the need to assist parents so they can be close to their children dealing with illness.
Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent
Posted on 03/24/2023 05:30 AM (USCCB Daily Readings)
Reading 1 Wis 2:1a, 12-22
thinking not aright:
"Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us;
he sets himself against our doings,
Reproaches us for transgressions of the law
and charges us with violations of our training.
He professes to have knowledge of God
and styles himself a child of the LORD.
To us he is the censure of our thoughts;
merely to see him is a hardship for us,
Because his life is not like that of others,
and different are his ways.
He judges us debased;
he holds aloof from our paths as from things impure.
He calls blest the destiny of the just
and boasts that God is his Father.
Let us see whether his words be true;
let us find out what will happen to him.
For if the just one be the son of God, he will defend him
and deliver him from the hand of his foes.
With revilement and torture let us put him to the test
that we may have proof of his gentleness
and try his patience.
Let us condemn him to a shameful death;
for according to his own words, God will take care of him."
These were their thoughts, but they erred;
for their wickedness blinded them,
and they knew not the hidden counsels of God;
neither did they count on a recompense of holiness
nor discern the innocent souls' reward.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 34:17-18, 19-20, 21 and 23
The LORD confronts the evildoers,
to destroy remembrance of them from the earth.
When the just cry out, the LORD hears them,
and from all their distress he rescues them.
R. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted;
and those who are crushed in spirit he saves.
Many are the troubles of the just man,
but out of them all the LORD delivers him.
R. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.
He watches over all his bones;
not one of them shall be broken.
The LORD redeems the lives of his servants;
no one incurs guilt who takes refuge in him.
R. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.
Verse Before the Gospel Mt 4:4b
but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.
Gospel Jn 7:1-2, 10, 25-30
Jesus moved about within Galilee;
he did not wish to travel in Judea,
because the Jews were trying to kill him.
But the Jewish feast of Tabernacles was near.
But when his brothers had gone up to the feast,
he himself also went up, not openly but as it were in secret.
Some of the inhabitants of Jerusalem said,
"Is he not the one they are trying to kill?
And look, he is speaking openly and they say nothing to him.
Could the authorities have realized that he is the Christ?
But we know where he is from.
When the Christ comes, no one will know where he is from."
So Jesus cried out in the temple area as he was teaching and said,
"You know me and also know where I am from.
Yet I did not come on my own,
but the one who sent me, whom you do not know, is true.
I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me."
So they tried to arrest him,
but no one laid a hand upon him,
because his hour had not yet come.
Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.
Confession is 'encounter of love' that fights evil, pope tells priests
Posted on 03/24/2023 05:30 AM (USCCB News Releases)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- In a world where "there is no shortage of hotbeds of hatred and revenge," Pope Francis told priests and seminarians that "we confessors must multiply the 'hotbeds of mercy,'" by making it easy for people to access the sacrament of reconciliation.
"We are in a supernatural struggle" with evil, the pope said, "even though we already know the final outcome will be Christ's victory over the powers of evil. This victory truly takes place every time a penitent is absolved. Nothing drives away and defeats evil more than divine mercy."
Pope Francis was speaking March 23 with priests and seminarians attending a course at the Apostolic Penitentiary, a Vatican tribunal dealing with matters of conscience, the sacrament of reconciliation and indulgences, and with priests who offer confession at the major basilicas of Rome.
He told them, "If someone doesn't feel like being a giver of the mercy he received from Jesus, don't enter the confessional."
The pope said he had told Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, head of the Apostolic Penitentiary, which assigns confessors to the major basilicas of Rome, that one of the confessors "listens and rebukes, rebukes and then gives you a penance that cannot be done. Please, this will not do, no. Mercy. You are there to forgive and to say something so that the person can move forward renewed by forgiveness."
"You are there to forgive: put that in your heart," the pope told them.
While insisting individual confession is "the privileged way to go, because it fosters a personal encounter with divine mercy, which every repentant heart awaits," the pope also encouraged the priests to offer communal celebrations "on some occasions," as occurred around the world during the Coronavirus pandemic.
As ministers of the church, he said, a priest hearing confession must have obvious "evangelical attitudes," including: "First of all, welcoming everyone without prejudice, because only God knows what grace can work in the hearts at any time; then listening to your brother or sister with the ear of the heart, wounded like Christ's heart; absolving penitents, generously dispensing God's forgiveness; and accompanying the penitent's journey without forcing it, keeping the pace of the faithful with constant patience and prayer."
As he often does, Pope Francis pleaded with the priests to be generous with the time they are available for confessions since "the church's evangelizing mission passes in large part through the rediscovery of the gift of confession, also in view of the approaching jubilee of 2025."
Every cathedral, every shrine and every deanery or cluster of parishes should have an ample schedule of confession times, he said.
"If mercy is the mission of the church, we must facilitate the faithful's access to this 'encounter of love' as much as possible," he said, taking great care when preparing children for their first confession and, especially, when ministering to the sick and dying.
"When not much more can be done to restore the body," he said, "much can and always must be done for the health of the soul."
Especially in an individual confession, he said, God can "caress each individual sinner with his mercy. The Shepherd, and he alone, knows and loves his sheep one by one, especially the weakest and most wounded."
Pope Francis told the seminarians and priests that if they felt they had a vocation as a psychologist or psychoanalyst, "exercise it elsewhere."
And, he said, when a penitent does not seem to be sorry for his or her sins, the priest needs to ask questions that can budge open the heart.
"Are you repentant?" the pope imagined a priest saying. "No," was the imagined response. "But doesn't that weigh you down?"
A priest always must look "for the door to enter with forgiveness," he said. "And when one cannot enter by the door, one enters through the window; but one always must try to enter with forgiveness. With magnanimous forgiveness."
Telling the group that he had an appointment for his own confession at 3 p.m. that day, Pope Francis said God is "abundant; he always forgives more, always!"
Good Friday collection a 'call to solidarity with Holy Land'
Posted on 03/24/2023 05:26 AM ()
The Prefect of the Dicastery for the Eastern Churches, Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, appeals to the faithful around the world to support Christians in the Holy Land.
Archbishop Caccia: Water should harm neither human nor environment
Posted on 03/24/2023 05:18 AM ()
Addressing a UN conference on water, Archbishop Gabriele Caccia speaks on behalf of the Holy See, asking for clean, available and safe water for all, everywhere.
Vatican message for Ramadan urges promoting culture of friendship
Posted on 03/24/2023 03:52 AM ()
The Vatican’s Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue releases message for Islam’s holy month of Ramadan and Id al-Fitr, urging both Christians and Muslims worldwide to join in building a “more peaceful, harmonious and joyful coexistence” as opposed to “a culture of hate” fuelled today by social media.