Sunday, September 22, 2019

Pope Francis explains "Faced with our shortcomings, our failures, Jesus assures us that we are always in time to heal the evil done with good." Full Text at Angelus


St. Peter's Square
Sunday, 22 September 2019

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

The parable contained in this Sunday's Gospel (cf. Lk 16: 1-13) has as its protagonist a clever and dishonest administrator who, accused of having squandered the assets of the master, is about to be fired. In this difficult situation, he does not recriminate, he does not seek justification or let himself be discouraged, but he devises a way out to ensure a peaceful future. At first it reacts with lucidity, recognizing its limits: "Hoe, I don't have the strength; begging, I am ashamed "(v. 3); then he acts with cunning, robbing his master for the last time. In fact, he calls the debtors and reduces the debts they have towards the master, to make them friends and then be rewarded by them. This is making friends with corruption and getting gratitude with corruption, as unfortunately it is customary today.

Jesus presents this example certainly not to exhort to dishonesty, but to shrewdness. In fact he emphasizes: "The master praised that dishonest administrator, because he had acted with cunning" (v. 8), that is with that mixture of intelligence and cunning, which allows you to overcome difficult situations. The key to reading this story lies in Jesus' invitation at the end of the parable: "Make friends with dishonest wealth, for when they fail, they welcome you to eternal dwellings" (v. 9). This seems a little confused, but it is not: the "dishonest wealth" is money - also called "devil's dung" - and in general material goods.

Wealth can push to erect walls, create divisions and discriminate. Jesus, on the contrary, invites his disciples to change course: "Make friends with riches". It is an invitation to know how to transform goods and riches into relationships, because people are worth more than things and count more than the wealth they possess. In life, in fact, he bears fruit not those who have so many riches, but those who create and keep so many bonds, so many relationships, so many friendships through the different "riches", that is, the different gifts with which God has endowed him. But Jesus also indicates the ultimate purpose of his exhortation: "Make friends with riches, so that they may welcome you to eternal dwellings". To welcome us in Paradise, if we are able to transform riches into instruments of fraternity and solidarity, there will be not only God, but also those with whom we have shared, administering them well, what the Lord has put in our hands.

Brothers and sisters, this Gospel passage echoes in us the question of the dishonest administrator, chased by his master: "What will I do now?" (V. 3). Faced with our shortcomings, our failures, Jesus assures us that we are always in time to heal the evil done with good. Who caused tears, make someone happy; who has embezzled, gifts to those in need. In doing so, we will be praised by the Lord "because we have acted with cunning", that is, with the wisdom of one who recognizes himself as a child of God and brings himself into play for the Kingdom of Heaven.

May the Blessed Virgin help us to be cunning in ensuring ourselves not worldly success, but eternal life, so that at the time of the final judgment the needy persons we have helped may testify that in them we have seen and served the Lord.

After the Angelus

Dear brothers and sisters,

I affectionately greet all of you, Romans and pilgrims from different countries. In particular, I greet the participants in the Via Pacis, a foot race that crossed the streets of Rome this morning, to bring a message of peace, fraternity and above all dialogue between different cultures and religions.

I greet the group of the Polish Catholic Mission in Germany; the "San Leonardo" Choir of Procida; the confirmation candidates of Settimello (Florence); and the Sisters of Bell’Amore, who remember the 25th anniversary of their foundation.

Next Sunday, September 29th, there will be World Migrant and Refugee Day. For the occasion I will celebrate Holy Mass here in St. Peter's Square. I invite you to participate in this celebration to express our closeness to migrants and refugees from all over the world with prayer.

I wish you all a good Sunday. And please don't forget to pray for me. Good lunch and goodbye!

Sunday Mass Online : Sunday, September 22, 2019 - #Eucharist - 25th Ord. Time - C - Readings + Video from the US National Shrine

Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 135

Reading 1AM 8:4-7

Hear this, you who trample upon the needy
 and destroy the poor of the land!
 "When will the new moon be over," you ask,
 "that we may sell our grain,
 and the sabbath, that we may display the wheat?
 We will diminish the ephah,
 add to the shekel,
 and fix our scales for cheating!
 We will buy the lowly for silver,
 and the poor for a pair of sandals;
 even the refuse of the wheat we will sell!"
 The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob:
 Never will I forget a thing they have done!

Responsorial PsalmPS 113:1-2, 4-6, 7-8

R. (cf. 1a, 7b) Praise the Lord who lifts up the poor.
R. Alleluia.
Praise, you servants of the LORD,
 praise the name of the LORD.
Blessed be the name of the LORD
 both now and forever.
R. Praise the Lord who lifts up the poor.
R. Alleluia.
High above all nations is the LORD;
 above the heavens is his glory.
Who is like the LORD, our God, who is enthroned on high
 and looks upon the heavens and the earth below?
R. Praise the Lord who lifts up the poor.
R. Alleluia.
He raises up the lowly from the dust;
 from the dunghill he lifts up the poor
to seat them with princes,
 with the princes of his own people.
R. Praise the Lord who lifts up the poor.
R. Alleluia.

Reading 21 TM 2:1-8

First of all, I ask that supplications, prayers,
petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone,
for kings and for all in authority,
that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life
in all devotion and dignity.
This is good and pleasing to God our savior,
who wills everyone to be saved
and to come to knowledge of the truth.
For there is one God.
There is also one mediator between God and men,
     the man Christ Jesus,
who gave himself as ransom for all.
This was the testimony at the proper time.
For this I was appointed preacher and apostle
— I am speaking the truth, I am not lying —,
teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

It is my wish, then, that in every place the men should pray,
lifting up holy hands, without anger or argument.

AlleluiaCF. 2 COR 8:9

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Though our Lord Jesus Christ was rich, he became poor,
so that by his poverty you might become rich.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 16:1-13

Jesus said to his disciples,
"A rich man had a steward
who was reported to him for squandering his property.
He summoned him and said,
'What is this I hear about you?
Prepare a full account of your stewardship,
because you can no longer be my steward.'
The steward said to himself, 'What shall I do,
now that my master is taking the position of steward away from me?
I am not strong enough to dig and I am ashamed to beg.
I know what I shall do so that,
when I am removed from the stewardship,
they may welcome me into their homes.'
He called in his master's debtors one by one.
To the first he said,
'How much do you owe my master?'
He replied, 'One hundred measures of olive oil.'
He said to him, 'Here is your promissory note.
Sit down and quickly write one for fifty.'
Then to another the steward said, 'And you, how much do you owe?'
He replied, 'One hundred kors of wheat.'
The steward said to him, 'Here is your promissory note;
write one for eighty.'
And the master commended that dishonest steward for acting prudently.
"For the children of this world
are more prudent in dealing with their own generation
than are the children of light.
I tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth,
so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.
The person who is trustworthy in very small matters
is also trustworthy in great ones;
and the person who is dishonest in very small matters
is also dishonest in great ones.
If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth,
who will trust you with true wealth?
If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another,
who will give you what is yours?
No servant can serve two masters.
He will either hate one and love the other,
or be devoted to one and despise the other.
You cannot serve both God and mammon."

OrLK 16:10-13

Jesus said to his disciples:
"The person who is trustworthy in very small matters
is also trustworthy in great ones;
and the person who is dishonest in very small matters
is also dishonest in great ones.
If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth,
who will trust you with true wealth?
If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another,
who will give you what is yours?
No servant can serve two masters.
He will either hate one and love the other,
or be devoted to one and despise the other.
You cannot serve both God and mammon."

Saint September 22 : St. Thomas of Villanova in Valencia Spain and an Augustinian Bishop

St. Thomas of Villanova

Feast: September 22
Feast Day:
September 22
1488, Spain
1555, in Valencia, Spain
November 1, 1658 by Pope Alexander VII

Educator, philanthropist, born at Fuentellana, Spain, 1488; died at Valencia, 8 September, 1555. Son of Aloazo Tomas Garcia and Lucia Martinez Castellanos, the saint was brought up in the practices of religion and charity. Every Friday his father was wont to give in alms all the meal he earned at the mill, besides his usual daily dole of bread. On great feast-days he added wood, wine, and money; while to poor farmers he loaned money and seed. On the death of her husband, Lucia continued the usual alms, and supplied indigent maidens in the neighbourhood with clothing and money. When sixteen tears old, Thomas entered the University of Alcala, where, after proceeding master of arts and licentiate in theology, he filled the chair (1514) of arts, logic, and philosophy. Among his auditors were the famed scholars Ferdinand de Encina and Dominic Soto. With Alcala, however, ended his university associations, he having declined the chair of natural philosophy at Salamanca, where he joined the Augustinians in 1516, his vows following a year later, and his ordination to priesthood the year after; his first Mass was celebrated at Christmas, 1518. At Salamanca Convent Thomas was given the class of scholastic theology because of his attachment for books, chiefly the Lombard and St. Thomas, and his exemplary life. Preaching in the pulpits of Spain was soon added to his duties, among other places at Valencia, the field of his later trials, and Valladolid, seat of the imperial Court and residence of the Emperor Charles V when on his visits to the Low Countries. In this last-named city St. Thomas was named by the emperor his court preacher, and one of his councillors of state. Rarely, however, did the saint pay visits of ceremony to the then master of Europe, though his written correspondence with Charles, who held his opinions in high esteem, was voluminous. Towards the close of his life, while at Valencia, he had all the emperor's letters destroyed; his own letters to the emperor, however, are now stored at Simancas.
 Apart from these burdens Thomas held many offices of trust in his order, e.g. as convent prior in various cities, among others at Valladolid in 1544, the very year he was called to the See of Valencia. Moreover, he was twice provincial-prior, first of Andalusia and Castile in 1527, then six years later of Castile alone, whence the first mission band of his brethren was sent across the Atlantic in 1533 to establish houses of their order in Mexico. On 5 Aug., 1544, he received his nomination to the Archbishopric of Valencia, a post that for well-nigh a hundred years had witnessed no bishop in residence, an appointment that was confirmed by Paul III. Previously St. Thomas had declined the See of Granada, offered him by the emperor, while that of Valencia he accepted only through obedience to his superiors. He was consecrated in the church of his order at Valladolid by Juan, Cardinal Tavera de Pardo, Archbishop of Toledo. On his entrance to his see on 1 Jan., 1545, of which he was thirty-second bishop and eighth archbishop, St. Thomas opened his career as legislator and philanthropist, which won for him the titles of "Almsgiver", "Father of the Poor", and "Model of Bishops", given him at his beatification in 1618 by Paul V. During his eleven years of episcopal rule his most noteworthy deeds were as follows: a visitation of his diocese, opened a few weeks after entrance into his see. Among other amendments he inhibited his visitators from accepting any gifts whatever. He then held a synod, the first at Valencia for many years, whereby he sought to do away with a number of abuses, as bloodshed, divorce, concubinage, and many excessive privileges or unreasonable exemptions; he abolished the underground prisons; rebuilt the general hospital at Valencia which had just been destroyed by fire; founded two colleges, one for young ecclesiastics, the other for poor students; laboured for the conversion of the , whose profession of Christianity was largely mere outward show; established a creche near his palace for foundlings and the offspring of indigent parents; had Mass said at early hours for the working-classes; and in brief, by statutes, by preaching, and by example, strove to reform the morals of churchman and layman.
Towards the poor especially his heart was ever alive with pity; to them his palace gate was always open; daily he had a repast for every poor person that applied for help, as many even as four to five hundred thus getting their meals at his hands. In every district of the city he had almoners appointed with orders especially to search out the respectable persons who shrank from asking alms; these he had supplied with money, food, clothing, while as to indigent workmen, poor farmers, and mechanics, he replenished their stock and brought them tools, thus putting them in the way of making a living. His whole life as replete with acts of practical kindness. He spent his spare time chiefly in prayer and study; his table was one of simple fare, with no luxuries. His dress was inexpensive; he mended with his own hands whatever needed repairs. Numberless are the instances of St. Thomas' supernatural gifts, of his power of healing the sick, of multiplication of food, of redressing grievances, of his ecstasies, of his conversions of sinners. He was taken ill in August, 1555, of angina pectoris, of which he died at the age of 67, at the termination of Mass in his bedroom. His last words were the versicles: "In manus tuas, Domine", etc.; his remains were entombed at the convent Church of Our Lady of Help of his order outside the city walls, whence later they were brought to the cathedral. The saint was of well-knit frame, of medium height, with dark complexion, brilliant eyes, ruddy cheeks, and Roman nose. He was beatified by Paul V (7 Oct., 1618), who set his feast-day for 18 Sept., and canonized by Alexander VII on 1 Nov., 1658.
Various reasons are given to account for St. Thomas' non-appearance at the Council of Trent, among them that he was ill, unable to stand the fatigue of travel; that his people would not brook his absence; and that the emperor was unable to do without his aid at home. The writings of St. Thomas, mainly sermons, are replete with practical norms of mystic theology. Some twenty editions have been published, the best and most complete being probably that of Manila, 1882-1884, in 5 tomes.SHARED FROM the Catholic Encyclopedia

Saturday, September 21, 2019

At Mass Pope Francis says "Today's invitation from God is: "be merciful". He comes with his mercy." Full Text Homily in Albano



Piazza Pia
Sunday, 21 September 2019

The episode we heard is in Jericho, the famous city destroyed in the time of Joshua that, according to the Bible, should not have been reconstructed anymore (see GS 6): it should have been "the forgotten city". But Jesus, the Gospel says, "enters and crosses" Jericho (see Lk 19: 1). And in this city, which is below sea level, he is not afraid of reaching the lowest level, represented by Zacchaeus. This was a publican, or rather the "chief of the publicans", that is, of those Jews hated by the people who collected taxes for the Roman Empire. He was "rich" (v. 2) and it is easy to guess how he had become: at the expense of his fellow citizens, exploiting his fellow citizens. In their eyes Zacchaeus was the worst, the unsavory. But not in the eyes of Jesus, who calls him by his own name, Zacchaeus, which means "God remembers". In the forgotten city, God remembers the greatest sinner.

The Lord first of all remembers us. He does not forget us, he does not lose sight of us despite the obstacles that can keep us away from him. Obstacles that were not lacking in the case of Zaccheus: his short stature, physical and moral, but also his shame, so he tried to see Jesus hidden in the branches of the tree, probably hoping not to be seen. And then the external criticisms: in the city, because of that meeting, "everyone murmured" (v. 7) - but I believe that in Albano it is the same: it is rumored ... Limits, sins, shame, chatter and prejudices: no obstacle makes us forget to Jesus the essential, the man to love and save.

What does this Gospel tell us about the anniversary of your Cathedral? That every church, that the Church with a capital letter exists to keep alive in the hearts of men the memory that God loves them. It exists to tell everyone, even to the farthest: "You are loved and you are called by Jesus by name; God does not forget you, you care about him ". Dear brothers and sisters, like Jesus do not be afraid to "cross" your city, to go to those who are more forgotten, to those who are hidden behind the branches of shame, fear, loneliness, to tell them: "God remembers you".

I would like to emphasize a second action of Jesus. In addition to remembering, recognizing Zacchaeus, He anticipates. We see it in the game of looks with Zacchaeus. He "sought to see who Jesus was" (v. 3). It is interesting that Zacchaeus not only sought to see Jesus, but to see who Jesus was: that is, to understand what kind of teacher he was, what his distinctive trait was. And he finds out not when he looks at Jesus, but when he is looked at by Jesus. Because while Zacchaeus tries to see him, Jesus sees him first; before Zacchaeus speaks, Jesus speaks to him; before inviting Jesus, Jesus comes to his home. Here is who Jesus is: he who sees us first, he who loves us first, he who first welcomes us. When we discover that his love anticipates us, that he reaches us first of all, life changes. Dear brother, dear sister, if as Zacchaeus you are looking for a meaning to life but, not finding it, you are throwing yourself away with "surrogates of love", such as riches, career, pleasure, some addiction, let yourself be looked at by Jesus. Only with Jesus will you discover that you have always been loved and will make the discovery of life. You will feel touched within by the invincible tenderness of God, which moves and moves the heart. So it was for Zaccheus and so it is for each of us, when we discover the "first" of Jesus: Jesus who anticipates us, who looks at us first, who speaks to us first, who is waiting for us first.

As a Church, let us ask ourselves if Jesus comes first to us: first he or our agenda, is he or our structures first? Every conversion is born of an anticipation of mercy, born of God's tenderness that steals the heart. If everything we do does not start from the merciful gaze of Jesus, we run the risk of mundanizing the faith, of complicating it, of filling it with so many contours: cultural topics, efficient visions, political options, party choices ... But we forget the essential, the simplicity of faith, that which comes first of all: the living encounter with the mercy of God. If this is not the center, if it is not at the beginning and at the end of all our activities, we risk holding God " outside the home ”, that is, in the church, which is his home, but not with us. Today's invitation is: "be merciful" from God. He comes with his mercy.
To guard the "first" of God, Zacchaeus is an example. Jesus sees it first because he had climbed onto a sycamore tree. It is a gesture that required courage, enthusiasm, and imagination: not many adults are seen climbing trees; this is what kids do, it's something you do as children, we all did it. Zacchaeus has overcome the shame and in a sense he is a child again. It is important for us to go back simple, open. To guard the "first" of God, that is his mercy, we must not be complicated Christians, who elaborate a thousand theories and disperse to look for answers in the net, but we must be like children. They need parents and friends: we also need God and others. We are not enough for ourselves, we need to unmask our self-sufficiency, to overcome our closures, to return small inside, simple and enthusiastic, full of enthusiasm towards God and love of neighbor.

I would like to highlight one last action of Jesus, which makes one feel at home. He says to Zacchaeus: "Today I must stay at your house" (v. 5). In your house. Zacchaeus, who felt himself a stranger in his city, returns to his home as a loved one. And, loved by Jesus, he rediscovers his neighboring people and says: "I give half of what I have to the poor and, if I stole from someone - and he had stolen so much, this man -, I give back four times as much" (see 8). The Law of Moses asked to return by adding a fifth (see Lv 5:24), Zacchaeus giving four times as much: it goes well beyond the Law because he has found love. Feeling at home, he opened the door to the next.

How wonderful it would be if our neighbors and acquaintances felt the Church as their home! Unfortunately, it happens that our communities become foreign to many and unattractive. Sometimes we also suffer the temptation to create closed circles, intimate places among the elect. We feel elected, we feel elite ... But there are so many brothers and sisters who are homesick, who don't have the courage to get close, maybe because they didn't feel welcomed; perhaps because they met a priest who treated them badly or chased them away, he wanted to make them pay the sacraments - a bad thing - and they left. The Lord wants his Church to be a house among the houses, a hospitable tent where every man, a traveler of existence, meets Him who has come to dwell among us (see Jn 1:14).

Brothers and sisters, let the Church be the place where others are never looked down on, but like Jesus with Zacchaeus, from the bottom up. Remember that the only time you can look at a person from the top down is to help her get up, otherwise it is not allowed. Only then: look at it like that, because it has fallen. We never look at people as judges, always as brothers. We are not inspectors of the lives of others, but promoters of the good of all. And to be promoters of the good of all, one thing that helps so much is to keep the language steady: not to talk about others. But sometimes, when I say these things, I hear people say: "Father, look, it's a bad thing, but it comes to me, because I see something and I want to criticize". I suggest a good medicine for this - apart from prayer -; effective medicine is: bite your tongue. It will swell in your mouth and you can't talk!

"The son of man - the Gospel concludes - came to seek and save what was lost" (Lk 19:10). If we avoid those who seem lost to us, we are not of Jesus. We ask for the grace to meet each one as a brother and not to see anyone as an enemy. And if we have been hurt, we return good. Jesus' disciples are not slaves of past evils but, forgiven by God, they do as Zacchaeus: they think only of the good they can do. We give freely, we love the poor and those who do not have to give us back: we will be rich in the eyes of God.

Dear brothers and sisters, I hope that your cathedral, like any church, will be the place where everyone feels remembered by the Lord, anticipated by his mercy and welcomed home. So that the most beautiful thing happens in the Church: rejoice because salvation has entered life (see v. 9). So be it.

Pope Francis tells Carmelites " Today we need a revolution of tenderness that makes us more sensitive to the dark nights and the tragedies of humanity." Full Text


Hall of the Consistory
Saturday, 21 September 2019

Dear brothers!

With joy I greet you, summoned to celebrate the General Chapter, and, through you, I greet all the members of the Carmelite Order. The theme at the center of your chapter reflection is "You are my witnesses" (Is 43,10); from one generation to another: called to be faithful to our Carmelite charism (see Const. 21).

God blessed Carmel with an original charism to enrich the Church and to communicate the joy of the Gospel to the world, sharing what you received with enthusiasm and generosity: "Freely you have received, freely give" (Mt 10.8). I would like to encourage you in this by pointing out three lines of walking.

The first line is fidelity and contemplation. The Church appreciates you and, when thinking of Carmel, thinks of a school of contemplation. As a rich spiritual tradition attests, your mission is fruitful to the extent that it is rooted in the personal relationship with God. Blessed Titus Brandsma, martyr and mystic, affirmed: «It is proper to the Order of Carmel, although it is a mendicant order of active life and that lives among the people, to maintain a great esteem for solitude and detachment from the world, considering solitude and contemplation as the best part of his spiritual life ». The Constitutions of 1995, which you are reviewing in these days, emphasize this: "The great spiritual teachers of the Carmelite family always refer to this contemplative vocation" (n. 17). The Carmelite mode of living contemplation prepares you to serve the people of God through any ministry and apostolate. What is certain is that, whatever you do, you will be faithful to your past and open to the future with hope if, "living in homage to Jesus Christ" (Rule, 2), you will especially care about the spiritual journey of the people.

The second line is accompaniment and prayer. Carmel is synonymous with inner life. Carmelite mystics and writers have understood that "being in God" and "being in his things" do not always coincide. Struggling for a thousand things of God without being rooted in Him (see Lk 10: 38-42), sooner or later he presents us with the bill: we realize that we have lost Him along the way. Santa Maria Maddalena de 'Pazzi, in her famous letters of Renewal of the Church (1586), provides that "lukewarmness" can creep into consecrated life when the evangelical counsels become only a routine and the love of Jesus is no longer the center of life (see Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, 264). And thus worldliness can also creep in, which is the most dangerous temptation for the Church, especially for us, men of the Church. I know very well, brothers, that this temptation has entered and has done serious damage even among you. I prayed and prayed for the Lord to help you. And this Chapter is a providential opportunity to receive from the Holy Spirit the strength to fight together against these pitfalls.

Generations of Carmelites and Carmelites have taught us by example to live more "inside" than "outside" of ourselves, and to go towards "el más profundo centro - the deepest center", as Saint John of the Cross says (Fiamma viva d'amore B, 1,11-12), because God lives there, and there he invites us to look for him. The true prophet in the Church is he and she who comes from the "desert", like Elijah, rich in the Holy Spirit, and with that authority that those who have listened to the subtle voice of God in silence (see 1 Kings 19,12).

I encourage you to accompany people to "make friends" with God. Saint Teresa said: "I never tired of talking or hearing about God". Our world is thirsty for God and you Carmelites, teachers of prayer, can help so many to come out of the noise, haste and spiritual dryness. Naturally it is not a question of teaching people to accumulate prayers, but to be men and women of faith, friends of God, who know how to walk the paths of the spirit.

From silence and prayer, renewed communities and authentic ministries will be born (see Const., 62). As good artisans of fraternity, place your trust in the Lord by overcoming the inertia of immobility and avoiding the temptation to reduce the religious community to "work groups" that would end up diluting the fundamental elements of religious life. The beauty of community life is in itself a point of reference that generates serenity, attracts the people of God and infects the joy of the Risen Christ. The true Carmelite conveys the joy of seeing in the other a brother to support and love and with whom to share life.
And finally the third line: tenderness and compassion. The contemplative has a compassionate heart. When love weakens, everything loses its flavor. Love, caring and creative, is balm for those who are tired and exhausted (see Mt 11:28), for those who suffer the abandonment, the silence of God, the emptiness of the soul, the broken love. If one day, around us, there are no more sick and hungry people, abandoned and despised - the minores of which your beggar tradition speaks - it is not because they are not there, but simply, because we do not see them. The little ones (see Mt 25: 31-46) and the discarded (see Evangelii gaudium, 53) we will always have (see Jn 12: 8), to offer us an opportunity for contemplation to be a window open to beauty, to truth and to goodness. "Whoever loves God must seek him in the poor", in the "brothers of Jesus", as Blessed Angelo Paoli said, of whom we will soon be celebrating the third centenary of his death. May you always have the goodness to look for them! The absolute trust of Blessed Angelo Paoli in divine providence made him exclaim with joy: "I have a pantry in which nothing is missing!" Your pantry overflows with compassion before any form of human suffering!

Contemplation would only be something momentary if it were reduced to raptures and ecstasies that would take us away from the joys and worries of the people. We must be wary of the contemplative who is not compassionate. Tenderness, according to the style of Jesus (cf. Lk 10: 25-37), shelters us from "pseudomistics", "weekend solidarity" and the temptation to stay away from the wounds of the body of Christ. Three dangers: the "pseudomistic", the "weekend solidarity" and the temptation to stay away from the wounds of the body of Christ. The wounds of Jesus are also visible today in the bodies of the brothers who are stripped, humiliated and enslaved. By touching these wounds, caressing them, it is possible to worship the living God in our midst. Today we need a revolution of tenderness (see Evangelii gaudium, 88; 288) that makes us more sensitive to the dark nights and the tragedies of humanity.

Dear brothers, I thank you for this meeting. May the Virgin of Carmel always accompany you and protect all those who collaborate with you and draw from your spirituality. And please also entrust me to her maternal protection. Thanks!
Full Text + Image Source: - Unofficial Translation

Quote to SHARE by St. John Paul II "The rosary is a prayer both so humble and simple and theologically rich in Biblical content. I beg you to pray it" #JPII

"The rosary is a prayer both so humble and simple and theologically rich in Biblical content. I beg you to pray it"  
St. Pope John Paul ll

Novena to St. Matthew - Powerful Prayer to the Patron of Money, Bankers and Tax Collectors

Author unknown. 
Opening Prayer
God of mercy you chose a tax collector, Saint Matthew, to share the dignity of the apostles. By his example and prayers help us to follow Christ and remain faithful in your service. We ask this through Our Lord Jesus Christ, your son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.
Day One
Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.”  (Matthew 5:3)
Dear Jesus, I have sinned against God and you.  I have gone against you and hurt you with each and every sin I have committed.  I am not worthy of your love, but you are my only hope.  Please save me, and please forgive me, for I am lost without you.
Saint Matthew, as you were one of the lucky twelve who walked the Earth with Jesus by your side, you were continually made aware of your own nothingness before his greatness and saw many evidences of God’s immense grace.  Help me to be so poor in spirit that I acknowledge my own nothingness before God on a moment-by-moment basis, and please intercede with Jesus in asking him to grant my desperate request, (STATE REQUEST).
Day Two
Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4)
Dear Jesus, even though I have committed such grave offenses against you and God, you still loved me enough to give your life for me so I could be free in Heaven.  With all my heart, please forgive me for ever having offended you.  I know it was my sins that condemned you to die.  I love you more than I love myself, and can do nothing without you.  All that I am and all that I hope to be is solely because of your grace and mercy and nothing else.
Saint Matthew, as a former tax-collector, you were considered one of the worst sinners, but Jesus called you anyway to be one of his apostles.  Help me to truly mourn for all the sins I have committed and please intercede with Jesus in asking him to grant my desperate request, (STATE REQUEST). 
Day Three
Jesus said, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the Earth.”(Matthew 5:5)
Dear Jesus, I know that I can do all things through you who gives me strength, but not according to my will, but yours.  Therefore, I submit my will totally to you.  Although evil may seem to triumph, these are temporary triumphs indeed, because the meek, not the wicked, shall inherit the Earth.
Saint Matthew, you gave up a life of worldly pleasures to follow God’s word made flesh in Jesus, trusting that he would take care of all your needs.  This must not have been easy, since you came from a life of privilege.  Please help me to have the quality of meekness before God constantly being produced within me, relying on his strength for every move I make and every action I take, and please intercede with Jesus in asking him to grant my desperate request, (STATE REQUEST).
Day Four
Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” (Matthew 5:6)
Dear Jesus, I want to be just like you.  Please lead and guide me so I can live my life completely in conformity with the will of God, going contentedly wherever his will takes me.  Help me to do everything just as you would.
Saint Matthew, you left behind a very financially lucrative career and the ways of the world to follow Jesus’s way instead.  Help me to constantly hunger and thirst for righteousness just as you did, and please intercede with Jesus in asking him to grant my desperate request, (STATE REQUEST). 
Day Five
Jesus said, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” (Matthew 5:7)
Dear Jesus, thank you for the mercy you have shown me time and time again, even when my actions have not merited it.  Thank you for comforting me in times of sickness and trouble.  Help me to look at everyone I come across with a tender heart, truly feeling in my heart the pain and suffering of others.  Help me to always make the effort to ease the pain and suffering of others, with an ever ready, always affectionate, and joyful heart.
Saint Matthew, as an apostle, you were an extension of Jesus in the world.  You got to see his kindness and mercy displayed firsthand and then were asked to emulate it.  Help me to emulate Jesus by demonstrating true kindness and mercy to others, just as Jesus did, and please intercede with Jesus in asking him to grant my desperate request, (STATE REQUEST).
Day Six
Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”(Matthew 5:8)
Dear Jesus, I have so often let you down because of my impure heart; please forgive me.  Help me to be pure in my imagination, in my thoughts, in my words, in my decisions, and in my desires.  Help me to think how God thinks, desire what God desires, hate what God hates, and love only what God loves.  Please make my heart completely free of all evil thoughts.
Saint Matthew, I know you understand what it means to struggle with maintaining a pure heart because you were a man and struggled with the desires of the flesh just as I do.  Help me to remain truly pure in heart, and please intercede with Jesus in asking him to grant my desperate request, (STATE REQUEST).
Day Seven
Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)
Dear Jesus, first and foremost, help me to find peace with God, for only then can I find true peace with others.  Help me to do whatever it takes to create peace wherever I go, although my efforts may often meet with failure.  Help me to love, desire, and delight in peace.  Forgive me for all of the times my actions have resulted in discord and dissention, whether intentional or unintentional.
Saint Matthew, you made your peace with God through Jesus, now please help me to make mine.  Help me also to sow peace wherever I may go, just as you did, as a witness to Jesus Christ, and please intercede with Jesus in asking him to grant my desperate request, (STATE REQUEST).
Day Eight
Jesus said, “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.” (Matthew 5:10)
Dear Jesus, please show me how to persevere in this struggle for things which are holy and honorable, because I fall down and grow weak so often.  Help me to be faithful to you in all things, so that your will may be done in and through my life.  Help me to be bold in my steady struggle for faith and unwavering in my commitment to all Godly things.
Saint Matthew, please guide me to be courageous like you in standing on the side of God’s truth, even in the face of being persecuted for righteousness, and please intercede with Jesus in asking him to grant my desperate request, (STATE REQUEST).
Day Nine
Jesus said, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.”(Matthew 5:11)
Dear Jesus, as the times in which we live become darker and darker, living by your ways and following you is branding me in such a way that invites persecution and insult, just as it did you.  If I live by your ways and love you with my whole being, I live by the light and provide a target for those who do not live by the light.  Sinning is what gives most people pleasure, but I can no longer live that way, because I am aware of how much you sacrificed for me in love by dying on the cross.  For all that you have done for me, I no longer desire to live in the darkness.  Each time I receive an insult for belonging to you, please help me to bear it with great patience.
Saint Matthew, in being given the awesome honor of being chosen to be an apostle, you were persecuted just as Jesus was persecuted.  You felt, however, the persecution you experienced was also a great honor, because Jesus was not just a man, but he was indeed God.  Help me to be strong enough to love Jesus’s light and to run from the darkness of sin and then, when persecution comes, to be strong enough to handle that as well.  And please intercede with Jesus in asking him to grant my desperate request, (STATE REQUEST).

Pope Francis says "Jesus Christ loves you, he gave his life to save you, and now he lives by your side every day" to New Evangelization Meeting - Full Text


Sala Clementina
Saturday, 21 September 2019
Dear brothers and sisters,

I welcome you and thank Bishop Fisichella for the words he addressed to me on behalf of all of you.

You have reflected on a central theme for evangelization: how to ignite the desire to meet God despite the signs that obscure its presence. In this sense, the Gospel of Luke offers us a good starting point, when it tells of the two disciples who went to Emmaus: there was Christ walking with them, but because of the discomfort they had in their heart they were not able to recognize him (see Lk 24, 13-27). It is also true for many of our contemporaries: God is close to them, but they cannot recognize him. It is said that once upon a time Pope John, meeting a journalist who told him he did not believe, answered him: «Quiet! You say that! God does not know it, and considers you equally as a child to love. " The secret, then, lies in feeling, together with one's own uncertainties, the wonder of this presence. It is the same astonishment that the disciples of Emmaus caught: "Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked with us along the way, when he explained the Scriptures to us?" (V. 32). Burning the heart is our challenge.

It often happens that the Church is for men today a cold memory, if not a bitter disappointment, as was the story of Jesus for the disciples of Emmaus. Many, especially in the West, have the impression of a Church that does not understand them and is far from their needs. Some, then, who would like to support the less evangelical logic of relevance, consider the Church too weak towards the world, while others see it still too powerful compared to the great poverty of the world. I would say that it is right to worry, but above all to take care, when we perceive a worldly Church, that is, that follows the criteria of success of the world and forgets that it does not exist to announce itself, but Jesus. A Church concerned to defend its good name, that it struggles to renounce what is not essential, no longer feels the ardor of bringing the Gospel down today. And it ends up being more a beautiful museum exhibit than the simple and festive house of the Father. Eh, the temptation of museums! And also to conceive the living tradition of the Church as a museum, to guard things so that all are in their place: "I am a Catholic because ... I digested the Denzinger" [Collection of Symbols, Definitions and Declarations on the topics of faith and moral], let's face it.

Yet there are so many children that the Father wants to "feel at home"; they are our brothers and sisters who, while benefiting from many technical achievements, live absorbed by the vortex of a great frenzy. And while they carry deep wounds and struggle to find a stable job, they find themselves surrounded by an external well-being that numbs inside and distracts from courageous choices. How many people live next to us, a slave to what should serve them better and forget the taste of life: the beauty of a large and generous family, which fills the day and the night but dilates the heart; of the brightness found in the eyes of children, which no smartphone can give; of the joy of simple things; of the serenity that gives prayer. What our brothers and sisters often ask us, perhaps without being able to ask the question, corresponds to the deepest needs: to love and to be loved, to be accepted for what we are, to find peace of heart and a longer lasting joy of entertainment .

We have experienced all of this in one word, even in one person, Jesus. We who, while fragile and sinful, have been flooded by the river in the fullness of God's goodness, we have this mission: to meet our contemporaries to let them know his love. Not so much teaching, never judging, but making us fellow travelers. Like the deacon Philip, who - the Acts of the Apostles recounts - got up, set off, ran towards the Ethiopian and, as a friend, sat down next to him, entering into dialogue with that man who had a great desire for God in the midst of many doubts (see Acts 8: 26-40). How important it is to feel challenged by the questions of today's men and women! Without pretending to have immediately responded and without giving ready-made answers, but sharing words of life, not aimed at making proselytes, but to leave space for the creative power of the Holy Spirit, which frees the heart from the slavery that oppresses it and renews it. Transmitting God, then, is not talking about God, it is not justifying its existence: even the devil knows that God exists! Announcing the Lord is witnessing the joy of knowing him, it is helping to live the beauty of meeting him. God is not the answer to an intellectual curiosity or a commitment to the will, but an experience of love, called to become a story of love. Because - it applies to us above all - once we have met the living God, we need to look for him again. The mystery of God is never exhausted, it is as immense as his love.

"God is love" (1 Jn 4: 8), says the Scripture. Use the verb to be, because God is like that, it does not vary depending on how we behave: it is unconditional love, it does not change, despite all that we can combine. As the Psalm says: "His love is forever" (Psalm 136.1). It is love that is not consumed, as in the scene of the burning bush when God, revealing his name for the first time, already used the verb to be: "I am who I am" (Ex 3:14). How beautiful it is to announce this faithful God, a fire that is not consumed, to the brothers who live in lukewarmness because the first enthusiasm has cooled. How nice it is to tell them: "Jesus Christ loves you, he gave his life to save you, and now he lives by your side every day" (Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, 164).

In the light of this kerygma, the life of faith develops, which is not a complicated construction made up of so many bricks to be put together, but the ever new discovery of the "fundamental nucleus", the throbbing beat of the "heart of the Gospel: the beauty of the saving love of God manifested in Jesus Christ who died and rose again "(ibid., 36). The Christian life is always renewed with this first announcement. I like to reiterate before you that "when we say that this announcement is" the first ", it does not mean that it is at the beginning and afterwards it forgets or replaces itself with other content that surpasses it. It is the first in a qualitative sense, because it is the main announcement, the one that must always go back to listening in different ways and that we must always return to announce during catechesis in one form or another, in all its stages and his moments "(ibid., 64). Otherwise, the subtle presumption hides that to be more "solid" means to become educated, experts in sacred things (see Apostolic Exhortation Post. Christus Vivit, 214). But the wisdom of God is granted to the poor in spirit, to those who remain with Jesus, loving everyone in his name.

One last thing I would like to share with you. Faith being life that is born and reborn from the encounter with Jesus, what in life is an encounter helps us to grow in faith: draw closer to those in need, build bridges, serve those who suffer, take care of the poor, "anoint of patience" those around us, comforting those who are discouraged, blessing those who harm us ... Thus we become living signs of the Love we proclaim. I thank you, dear brothers and sisters, because you want to spread the joy of being loved by God and of loving as he taught us. I accompany you with my blessing and, please, do not forget to pray for me. Thanks.
FULL TEXT + Image Source: - Unofficial Translation

#BreakingNews Amnesty International has accused the Hong Kong Police excessive Violence towards Protestors

AsiaNews reports - Amnesty accuses Hong Kong police of breaking bones, causing bleeding and even engaging in torture
by Paul Wang
The human rights organisation releases a report based on 38 interviews and footage. The police reject the charges. Protest movement’s Lennon Walls have been targeted. Junius Ho described as Hong Kong "garbage".

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – Amnesty International has accused the Hong Kong Police of breaking bones, hurting people, causing bleeding and even engaging in torture in its crackdown against people protesting an extradition bill over the past three months.

The charges, contained in a report presented yesterday, are based on 38 interviews of arrestees, medical workers and lawyers, as well as reviewed footage that detail a “disturbing pattern” of improper reckless and unlawful tactics.

Since protests began in June, the anti-extradition movement has called for an independent investigation into the excessive use of force by police.

Over the three months, police have fired more than 2,382 canisters of tear gas, more than 776 rubber bullets, beanbag rounds and sponge grenades as of September 10 and arrested 1,359 people. At least 70 of them have been charged with rioting, an offence carrying a penalty of 10 years in prison.

Amnesty’s most serious accusations concern collusion between law enforcement and organised crime in Yuen Long and police actions at the King Edward MTR[*] station on 31 August.

At a press conference yesterday, Police Public Relations Branch Chief Superintendent Tse Chun-chung rejected the report, claiming that it did not take in account that “we are facing an unprecedented challenge to the rule of law.”

In an official statement, the police also said that it does not comment particular cases and if anyone is unhappy with the attitude of some police officers, they can take it up through proper channels.

Today, pro-China LegCo Member Junius Ho launched a campaign to clean Hong Kong and remove "Lennon Walls" across the territory.

A Lennon Wall is a form of protest that emerged in Czechoslovakia in the 1980s, and involves walls on which people can freely post messages.

In Hong Kong, young people have stuck thousands of such messages on advertising space, walls, bus stops, full of colourful posts and notes praising democracy.

Junius Ho quickly went back on his proposal, telling people to only clean the rubbish (picture 2), and not touch the Lennon Walls to avoid provocations. In fact, his teams have wiped clean several democracy walls.

So far there have been no clashes. A young man from the anti-extradition movement told Junius Ho to get out of the way, describing him as "garbage" of Hong Kong society. For others, he could clean the walls as much as he wanted because they would be filled again with posts (picture 3).

A rally is scheduled for Yuen Long to commemorate attacks by organised crime groups against protesters two months ago. The MRT closed the local station to prevent vandalism.
Full Text by AsiaNewsIT

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Saturday, September 21, 2019 - #Eucharist

Feast of Saint Matthew, Apostle and evangelist
Lectionary: 643

Reading 1EPH 4:1-7, 11-13

Brothers and sisters:
I, a prisoner for the Lord,
urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received,
with all humility and gentleness, with patience,
bearing with one another through love,
striving to preserve the unity of the Spirit
through the bond of peace:
one Body and one Spirit,
as you were also called to the one hope of your call;
one Lord, one faith, one baptism;
one God and Father of all,
who is over all and through all and in all.

But grace was given to each of us
according to the measure of Christ's gift.

And he gave some as Apostles, others as prophets,
others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers,
to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry,
for building up the Body of Christ,
until we all attain to the unity of faith
and knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood,
to the extent of the full stature of Christ. 

Responsorial PsalmPS 19:2-3, 4-5

R. (5) Their message goes out through all the earth.
The heavens declare the glory of God;
and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
Day pours out the word to day,
and night to night imparts knowledge.
R. Their message goes out through all the earth.
Not a word nor a discourse
whose voice is not heard;
Through all the earth their voice resounds,
and to the ends of the world, their message.
R. Their message goes out through all the earth.

Alleluia See Te Deum

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
We praise you, O God,
we acclaim you as Lord;
the glorious company of Apostles praise you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 9:9-13

As Jesus passed by,
he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post.
He said to him, "Follow me."
And he got up and followed him.
While he was at table in his house,
many tax collectors and sinners came
and sat with Jesus and his disciples.
The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples,
"Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?"
He heard this and said,
"Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do.
Go and learn the meaning of the words,
I desire mercy, not sacrifice.
I did not come to call the righteous but sinners."