Friday, October 15, 2010




SEVENTH GENERAL CONGREGATION VATICAN CITY, 14 OCT 2010 (VIS REPORT) - The Seventh General Congregation of the Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops was held this afternoon in the Vatican's Synod Hall in the presence of the Holy Father. The president delegate on duty was His Beatitude Ignace Youssif III Younan, Patriarch of Antioch of the Syrians, Lebanon. (IMAGES SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA)
Extracts from some of the Synod Father's speeches are given below:
CARDINAL PETER KODWO APPIAH TURKSON, PRESIDENT OF THE PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR JUSTICE AND PEACE. "Awareness of the website of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace should be encouraged as an instrument at the service of the local Churches for a deeper study of Church Social Doctrine. On this subject, the council undertakes to complete the translation of the Compendium of Church Social Doctrine into Arabic. Furthermore, given the council's intention to set up a summer school at the dicastery, we could also consider inviting and involving priests from the Middle East. ... Churches and minority religions in the Middle East must not be subject to discrimination, violence, defamatory propaganda (anti-Christian), or the denial of permits for building places of worship or for organising public functions. In fact, the promotion of the Resolutions against the Defamation of Religions in the framework of the United Nations should not limit itself to Islam (Islamophobia) in the Western world. It should include Christianity ... in the Islamic world. We could also promote the adoption, again within the UN framework, of a resolution on religious freedom as an alternative to the resolution on the defamation of religions". RAYMOND MOUSSALLI, VICAR GENERAL OF THE PATRIARCHATE OF BABYLON OF THE CHALDEANS, JORDAN. "We are a part of the history and culture of this Middle Eastern region, and if we were forced to abandon it we would lose our identity within a generation. For this reason I hope that one of the things to emerge from this Synod will be the need for much closer collaboration between the heads of the various Churches, in mutual dialogue with our moderate Muslim brothers. As we know, our Churches, together with the clergy in Iraq, are being attacked. There is a deliberate campaign to drive Christians out of the country. Fundamentalist extremist groups have satanic plans against Christians, not only in Iraq but throughout the Middle East. ... We want to make the international community aware that it cannot remain silent in the face of the massacre of Christians in Iraq, and to encourage countries of Catholic tradition to do something for Iraqi Christians, beginning with placing pressure on their own governments. We are experiencing a catastrophic moment, with the emigration of families and the loss of our people who still speak the Aramaic language spoken by Our Lord Jesus Christ". ARCHBISHOP EDMOND FARHAT, APOSTOLIC NUNCIO. "The Middle Eastern situation today is like a living organ which has received a transplant it cannot assimilate, and with no specialists capable of healing it. As a last resource, the Muslim Arab East turned trustingly to the Church, believing her capable of obtaining justice. But this has not happened leading to disappointment and fear. Confidence has turned to frustration and the crisis has become deeper. ... Today, the Church endures injustice and calumnies As in the Gospel, many leave, others lose heart or flee. The frustrated and desperate take their revenge on the innocent. But lying behind the physical assassinations and the most disastrous failures is sin. ... The action of God continues throughout history, and the Church in the Middle East is now experiencing the way of the Cross and purification, which leads to renewal and resurrection. The present suffering and anguish are the cries of a newborn infant. If they persist it is because the demons that torment our society can be chased away only by prayer. Perhaps we have not prayed enough!" ARCHBISHOP RUGGERO FRANCESCHINI O.F.M. CAP. OF IZMIR, TURKEY, ADMINISTRATOR OF THE APOSTOLIC VICARIATE OF ANATOLIA AND PRESIDENT OF THE TURKISH EPISCOPAL CONFERENCE. "The little Church of Turkey, at times ignored, had her sad moment of fame with the brutal murder of Bishop Luigi Padovese O.F.M. Cap., president of the Turkish Episcopal Conference. In a few words I would like to close this unpleasant episode by erasing the intolerable slander circulated by the very organisers of the crime. It was premeditated murder, by those same obscure powers that poor Luigi had just a few months earlier identified as being responsible for the killing of Fr. Andrea Santoro, the Armenian journalist Dink and four Protestants of Malatya. It is a murky story of complicity between ultra-nationalists and religious fanatics, experts in the 'strategia della tensione'. The pastoral and administrative situation in the vicariate of Anatolia is serious. ... What do we ask of the Church? We simply ask what we are lacking: a pastor, someone to help him, the means to do so, and all of this with reasonable urgency. ... The survival of the Church of Anatolia is at risk. ... Nonetheless, I wish to reassure neighbouring Churches - especially those that are suffering persecution and seeing their faithful become refugees - that the Turkish Episcopal Conference will continue to welcome them and offer fraternal assistance, even beyond our abilities. In the same way, we are open to pastoral co-operation with our sister Churches and with positive lay Muslims, for the good of Christians living in Turkey, and for the good of the poor and of the many refugees who live in Turkey". After the Synod Fathers, a number of auditors also arose to address the gathering. Extracts from some of their remarks are given below. MARCO IMPAGLIAZZO, PRESIDENT OF THE SANT'EGIDIO COMMUNITY. "It is in the interest of Muslim societies that Christian communities should remain lively and active in the Middle Eastern world. A Middle East without Christians would mean the loss of a presence within Arab culture, one capable of making pluralist claims in the face of political Islam and Islamisation. Without them, Islam would be more isolated and fundamentalist. Christians represent a form of resistance to an Islamisising totalitarianism. Their presence in the Middle East is in the general interest of the societies there, and of Islam. ... Not only is there a Christian past to be defended in the Middle East, but also a vision of the future based on the conviction that all Christians have a historical vocation: to communicate the name of Jesus, to live it and, thus, to work creatively to build a civilisation of coexistence, something the whole world needs. Here lies the duty of dialogue. ... The Middle Eastern Churches could be the artisans of a civilisation of coexistence, an example to the world, if they reintegrate and re-claim the high and strong sense of their mission". PILAR LARA ALEN, PRESIDENT OF THE FOUNDATION FOR THE SOCIAL PROMOTION OF CULTURE. "Today the foundation is present in forty-one countries on four continents. In the five Middle Eastern countries, our main area, we have generated more than ninety-eight programmes with a turnover of more than sixty million euro. In the wake of these years of experience in the field, I would like to comment on the situation. In the Middle East we are witnessing the disappearance of entire Christian communities while the whole world, especially Europe, looks on indifferently. At the same time war is part of daily life; poverty is not the only reason for conflicts, more often it is the religious factor. Finally, Christians continue to live around their Churches, even if sometimes this is a mere social formality. The conclusion is that the Christian presence is fundamental for peace and reconciliation. But they should act without detaching religion from public life, as has happened in Europe, because this is of no utility to development. Religious values allow us to progress at both a social and personal level. Thus Christians must adapt their behaviour to their beliefs, overcoming hatred and resentment and seeking forgiveness. They should not preach the evangelical message in their words, then seek vengeance and armed conflict in their deeds. Every person has the obligation to obtain the formation which allows him to acquire the conditions to progress in his professional and Christian life". At 6.30 p.m. the president delegate invited two representatives of Islam to address the congregation: Muhammad al-Sammak, political adviser to the Grand Mufti of Lebanon, for Sunni Islam; and Ayatollah Seyed Mostafa Mohaghegh Ahmadabadi, professor at the Faculty of Law at the Shahid Beheshti University of Tehran and member of the Iranian Academy of Sciences, for Shia Islam. MUHAMMAD AL-SAMMAK. "Two negative points demonstrate the problem faced by Eastern Christians: The first point concerns the lack of respect for the rights of fully equal citizenship when faced with the law in certain countries. The second concerns the misunderstanding of the spirit of Islamic teaching, especially as concerns relations with Christians whom the Holy Koran qualifies as 'nearest among them in love to the believers', justifying this love by saying 'this is because there are priests and monks among them and because they do not behave proudly'. These two negative points, with all they entail ... are bad for us all - Christians and Muslims - and offend us all in our lives and in our shared destinies. For this, we are called upon, as Christians and Muslims, to work together to transform these two negative elements into positive elements Firstly, by respecting the rules of citizenship, which impose equality first in rights and then in duties. Secondly, by denouncing the culture of extremism in its refusal of others and in its wish to have the monopoly on ultimate truth, and by working towards the promotion and spread of a culture of moderation, charity and forgiveness, such as respect for differences of religion and beliefs, of language, of culture, of colour and of race. As we are taught by the Holy Koran, we put ourselves at the judgment of God about our differences. Yes, the Christians in the Middle East are being tested, but they are not the only ones". "The Eastern Christian presence, which works and acts with Muslims, is a Christian as much as Muslim need. It is a need not only for the East, but also for the entire world. The danger represented by the erosion of this presence on the qualitative and quantitative levels is a Christian as well as an Islamic concern, not only for Eastern Muslims, but for Muslims all over the world. Furthermore, I can live my Islam with all other Muslims from all States and from all ethnicities, but as a Middle Eastern Arab, I cannot live my Arab identity without the Middle Eastern Christian Arabs. The emigration of Christians is an impoverishment of Arabic identity, of its culture and of its authenticity. "For this reason I underline once again, from the stage of the Vatican, what I have already said in Mecca: I am concerned about the future of Eastern Muslims because of the emigration of Eastern Christians. To maintain the presence of Christians is a shared Islamic duty as well as a shared Christian duty. The Christians of the East are not an accidental minority. They are at the origins of the presence of the East before Islam. They are an integral part of the cultural, literary and scientific formation of Islamic civilisation". AYATOLLAH SEYED MOSTAFA MOHAGHEGH AHMADABADI. Speaking English he said: "During the past few decades, religions were faced with new conditions. The most important aspect of this is over-extended confusion of their disciples in real scenes of social life, as well as in national and international arenas. Before World War II, and in spite of technological developments, the followers of different religions, more or less lived within their own national boundaries. Neither the enormous problem of immigration existed nor did the great expansion of communication that connects so many different social groups together. ... But today we witness the great changes that have occurred in the past half century and that this transformation continues at an incredible pace. This not only had a qualitative effect on the relationship between religions, but has also affected relationships between different segments of religions and even with their own followers. Certainly no religion can remain indifferent toward this rapidly changing state". "In societies where different ethnic groups with their own languages and religions have been placed, for the sake of social stability and ethic sanity, one is required to respect their presence and their rights. Concordance of interests and social welfare on national and international levels is such that no one group or country can be disregarded. This is the reality of our time". "We should also consider what the ideal condition is for believers and followers? How is the best situation achieved? It seems that the ideal world would be the state where believers of any faith freely and without any apprehension, fear or obligation, could live according to the basic principles and modes of their own customs and traditions. This right which is universally recognised should be put into practice by States and communities".SE/ VIS 20101015 (2190) EIGHTH GENERAL CONGREGATION VATICAN CITY, 15 OCT 2010 (VIS) - The Eighth General Congregation of the Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops was held this morning in the Synod Hall in the presence of the Holy Father and of 168 Synod Fathers. The president delegate on duty was Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches. Extracts from some of the Synod Father's speeches are given below: BISHOP SHAHAN SARKISSIAN OF ALEPPO, SYRIA, ARMENIAN PRIMATE OF SYRIA. "We must give clearer and more concrete witness of the unity of the Churches, which today is more imperative than ever for the Middle East. ... Mutual respect and reciprocal understanding are the foundation for Islamic-Christian dialogue and coexistence. We must dedicate more profound attention to coexistence with Islam, while remaining faithful to Christian mission and identity. ... Priorities include relaunching and promoting Christian education, spiritual renovation and diaconate, internal evangelisation and the transmission of Christian values to young people, active participation of lay people in the life and vocation of the Church. We must underline the importance of ecumenical co-operation and bilateral dialogue. The reform and reorganisation of the Council of Middle Eastern Churches constitutes a major priority to which member Churches are dedicating their efforts". CARDINAL JEAN-LOUIS TAURAN, PRESIDENT OF THE PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR INTER-RELIGIOUS DIALOGUE. "The Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops represents an opportunity and a challenge. An opportunity, because it could lead to better understanding: (1) that the unresolved conflicts in the region are not caused by religious reasons, as evinced by the presence among us of representatives of Judaism and of Islam; (2) of the urgency for a three-way reflection (Jews, Christians and Muslims) on the place of religions in Middle Eastern societies. It is also a challenge, to give Middle Eastern Christians concrete guidelines. Let us not be shy in reclaiming not only freedom of worship, but also religious freedom. Society and State should neither force a person to act against his conscience, nor hinder him from acting according to his conscience. Let us invest more in schools and universities, which are attended by both Christians and Muslims. They are indispensable places of co-existence. Let us ask ourselves if we are doing enough, at the level of the local Churches, to encourage our Christians to stay: housing, tuition, healthcare. We cannot expect everything from others". BISHOP GIACINTO-BOULOS MARCUZZO, AUXILIARY OF JERUSALEM OF THE LATINS. "Formation is absolutely the greatest need of the Church in the Middle East; it is the pastoral priority that the Special Synod for the Middle East should adopt. ... I am convinced that the best way to implement this pastoral operation of faith is the traditional and ever new: See, judge, act. To see reality, changes and 'signs of the times'; to judge this reality in the light of the Word of God and faith and discern properly; finally, to bring it to life by planning methods of action and commitment. ... Currently, all Catholic Churches in the Holy Land have performed another great act of cultural mediation with a pastoral diocesan Synod which truly revived and renewed our faith, providing us with a shared "general pastoral plan" for the current time. The best approach to times of novelty and change is the cultural mediation of faith, and this is also the best approach to our situation in Israel where there are two great historical novelties for the Church: (a) an Arab-Palestinian minority living in a Jewish majority; (b) the birth of a Hebrew‑speaking Catholic community". AGOSTINO BORROMEO, GOVERNOR GENERAL OF THE EQUESTRIAN ORDER OF THE KNIGHTS OF THE HOLY SEPULCHRE OF JERUSALEM. "Apart from the traditional help to Churches, new strategies could also be sought with the aim of creating better living conditions in favour of Christians. Let me mention a number of examples: (1) Building social housing. (2) Creating medical clinics in places far distant from hospitals. (3) Granting microcredit, especially to finance activities that create new sources of income, or augment those that already exist. (4) Creating a system of microinsurance, with particular reference to the field of healthcare. (5) Contacting western companies with the aim of finding out if they are interested in transferring some of their productive processes to the Middle East. Naturally, these initiatives will have to be put into effect in close collaboration with the local ecclesiastical authorities, and under the control of each of the individual Churches. Although the results may be modest, they would represent a concrete witness of the closeness of Christians all over the world to the problems and sufferings of our brothers and sisters in the Middle East". JOCELYNE KHOUEIRY, PRESIDENT OF THE LAY MOVEMENT "LA LIBANAISE FEMME DU 31 MAY". "In our Church we must offer women, young people, couples, families, and especially disabled people, the chance to make choices in their lives that are coherent with the Gospel, and to discover their mission in the Church and in Arab and Middle Eastern society. ... Integrating early preparation for marriage and family values into our educational and pastoral programmes must be a priority, in order to help counteract, with conscience and responsibility, the misguided choices of consumer society. ... If Christian women can express themselves and bear witness to the beauty of the faith and of the true meaning of dignity and freedom, they become important witnesses who addresses Muslim women and open new paths of dialogue. May our families always be supported and accompanied by their Church, mother and educator, in order to become real and effective shrines open to the gift of life, especially when this is affected by disability or socio-economic difficulties".SE/ VIS 20101015 (950)

HOLY FATHER'S MESSAGE TO FAO FOR WORLD FOOD DAY VATICAN CITY, 15 OCT 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father has sent a Message to Jacques Diouf, director general of the United Nation's Rome-based Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) for the occasion of World Food Day. "The theme of this year's World Food Day, 'United against Hunger'", writes the Pope in his English-language Message, "is a timely reminder that everyone needs to make a commitment to give the agricultural sector its proper importance. Everyone - from individuals to the organisations of civil society, States and international institutions - needs to give priority to one of the most urgent goals for the human family: freedom from hunger. In order to achieve freedom from hunger it is necessary to ensure not only that enough food is available, but also that everyone has daily access to it: this means promoting whatever resources and infrastructures are necessary in order to sustain production and distribution on a scale sufficient to guarantee fully the right to food". "If the international community is to be truly 'united' against hunger, then poverty must be overcome through authentic human development, based on the idea of the person as a unity of body, soul and spirit. Today, though, there is a tendency to limit the vision of development to one that satisfies the material needs of the person, especially through access to technology; yet authentic development is not simply a function of what a person 'has', it must also embrace higher values of fraternity, solidarity and the common good". "In this context, FAO has the essential task of examining the issue of world hunger at the institutional level and proposing particular initiatives that involve its member States in responding to the growing demand for food. Indeed, the nations of the world are called to give and to receive in proportion to their effective needs, by reason of that 'pressing moral need for renewed solidarity, especially in relationships between developing countries and those that are highly industrialised'".MESS/ VIS 20101015 (340)

AUDIENCES VATICAN CITY, 15 OCT 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience Muhammad al-Sammak, political adviser to the Grand Mufti of Lebanon, a representative of Sunni Islam; and Ayatollah Seyed Mostafa Mohaghegh Ahmadabadi, professor at the Faculty of Law at the Shahid Beheshti University of Tehran and member of the Iranian Academy of Sciences, a representative of Shia Islam.AP/ VIS 20101015 (70)

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS VATICAN CITY, 15 OCT 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Archbishop Jose Serofia Palma of Palo, Philippines, as metropolitan archbishop of Cebu (area 5,088, population 4,016,000, Catholics 3,624,000, priests 760, religious 1,373), Philippines. He succeeds Cardinal Ricardo J. Vidal, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
Posted by JesusCaritasEst at 2:09 PM 0 comments

Catholic Online REPORT -Francis Cardinal Arinze was the featured speaker on October 12 for the 2010 Pope John Paul II Bioethics Lecture Series at Holy Apostles College and Seminary. He spoke on "In Defense of Human Life," underscoring the Church's role in defending the dignity of the person and protecting life from conception until natural death.The Cardinal's remarks were met with a standing ovation and prolonged, thunderous applause. It seems his clear call to building a Culture of Life has struck a chord in the Catholic community of Connecticut, and beyond.Cardinal Arinze was one of the principal advisors to Pope John Paul II and a member of the conclave that elected Benedict XVI.On Tuesday, October 12, His Eminence Francis Cardinal Arinze presented a lecture on the campus of Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, CT entitled, "In Defense of Human Life." The Cardinal was the featured speaker for the 2010 Pope John Paul II Bioethics lecture Bishop Michael Cote, the Very Rev. Douglas L. Mosey, Seminary Rector, Tom Wehner, editor of the National Catholic Register, EWTN host Rhonda Chervin, and Dr David Haas President of the National Catholic Bioethics Center, joined dozens of seminary students, faculty members, religious sisters in habit, and faithful Catholics for the presentation.Dr John Haas, President of the National Catholic Bioethics Center, introduced the Cardinal by reminding us of the urgency of keeping up with bioethics by pointing out that Nobel Prizes are being given to scientists who made human embryos subjects for destruction. "The Church has always embraced science," said Dr Hass, "and established the first Catholic Bioethics Center in 1972, a year before Roe v Wade, before AIDS, or stem cells."He went on to say that the Church has always been at the forefront of defending the dignity of human life from the threat of abortion, euthanasia or suicide, and opposes society's efforts to decorate these crimes with the title of "rights." While listening to Cardinal Arinze's address, I took copious notes, trying to capture the essence of the message he was offering us. A transcript is not available at this time, so I wanted to share a reconstruction of his address from my notes. Any inaccuracies or inelegant language are, therefore, mine.- Humanity is the crown of creation; men were the last to be created in Genesis and placed in the Garden of Eden. Pope John Paul II said that man is the summit of creation, and all is subject to him. Man was created in the image of God with an immortal soul and free will. - Man alone can participate in the Divine Life of eternal happiness; it is breathtaking proof that human life is precious. As the Baltimore Catechism reminds us; why did God make us? "God made us to know Him, love Him and serve Him in this life, and be happy forever with Him in heaven." - St John the Evangelist said that human beings are gifted with intelligence, will and an immortal soul. Only the angels were created superior to mankind. By grace we recognize the sacred value of life beginning at conception through death. This is not romantic; it is reality that human life is sacred. There can be no civilization without recognition of the dignity of human life. - The Passion of Jesus is proof that humans are precious to God. "For God so loved the world, that He sent His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). In Genesis, God said, "let Us make man in Our Own Image, giving him dominion over all creation. Men have intellence and will; God filled our hearts full of understanding. Vatican II stated that we alone know and love the Creator. Only when Cain slew Abel did the conflict of man vs. man begin. - Evangelium Vitae said those who kill the unborn, the sick and the elderly violate "thou shalt not kill". The law from Mt Sinai forbids the slaying of the innocent. Jesus, on the Sermon on the Mount, said that the value of human life is not absolute, "he who finds his life will lose it, he who loses his life for My sake, will find it" in praise of martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the Faith., like St Stephen. Church Tradition respects human life at all stages. Church Father Tertullian calls abortion 'an abominable crime' and forbids killing a child before or after birth which was common at that time. - The encyclicals Casti Connubi, Humane Vitae, Evangelium Vitae, and Caritas en Veritate of Pope Benedict all reaffirm the sacredness of human life. Pope Benedict stated in Caritas en Veritate that "openness to life is at the center of true development." Evangelium Vitae states the inviolability of human life, Gaudium et Spes condemns murder, abortion, euthanasia, slavery, prostitution, human trafficking, and unjust working conditions. Vatican II says that life must be protected from the moment of conception, and thus abortion and euthanasia are unspeakable crimes which incur automatic excommunication. - Threats to human life include not only those inherent in nature; natural disasters, but attacks on human life include scientific and technology, contraception, abortions, and the conditioning of society to present these crimes as rights. The slippery slope is conspiring against the ethical dimension of the medical profession as defined in the Hippocratic Oath, taken 2,500 years ago by doctors, in which physicians promised to do no harm, refrain from administering deadly drugs, or abortifacients to women, refrain from sexual
involvement with patients, or revealing their confidential information. This reflects the gift of God to see the truth; the Natural Laws, which proves that the 10 commandments are within the grasp of reason. In1964 Luis Lasagna revoked parts of the Hippocratic Oath, dealing with abortion and physician assisted suicide. Most doctors don't take it now. Vatican II says that abortion is an unspeakable crime, an epidemic of worldwide proportions, In Europe, in 2008, there were 2.8 million abortions, or one every 11 seconds. - The Cardinal also commented on the excuses used to justify abortion:Pluralism - Laws should not favor one religion over another. This fallacious, as abortion is against reason, it's not Church law, like not eating meat on Fridays, its part of the Natural Law. It is not imposing religious views on others, others are imposing secular views on us. We are under what Pope Benedict called the Dictatorship of Relativism. If the right to life doesn't exist, neither do any rights. Freedom is often used to justify abortion; however, the use of my freedom cannot lead to the death of others. If I want the freedom to drive my car all over the road, and I kill you as a pedestrian, my freedom must be curtailed to protect your life. Preservation of human life takes precedence over my freedom. "It's my body." The baby is NOT part of the mother's body. She has no right to turn her womb into a tomb. "I am 'personally opposed' to abortion, but I don't want to impose my views on others." How about this' "I am personally opposed to shooting you, but this man here wants to shoot you and I don't want to impose my views on him, so I'm going to let him shoot you." Objective norms of right and wrong DO exist!Population Control Committees decide abortion is necessary. How about the members of the committee offer to die instead of the unborn? After all, they are usually 60-70 years old, and the baby is young, and has not had a chance to live yet. Food shortage; the world could fee many more people than it does now. It is not true that the lower the population, the higher the level of civilization, look at the USA, it is densely populated and highly civilized. The population explosion is a myth, countries are unwilling to share with the poor. Pope Paul VI said, 'If there is not enough bread, don't kill the guests, make more bread!"- Evangelium Vitae says that we are obligated to disobey unjust laws, the bishops under St Peter's authority, have always said that direct abortion always constitutes a grave moral disorder. Common sense is not very common. - These are situations which provide temptation to abortion; unmarried mothers, poverty, wish to continue one's studies, feeling like you have too large a family, however they can't change the illicit nature of abortion. - In Evangelium Vitae, Pope John Paul II states that the following are responsible for abortion; the mother, the father, friends, doctors, nurses, politicians, those who encourage sexual permissiveness, lack of respect for mothers, and national and international organizations which promote abortions. Contraception promotes abortion; they are fruits of the same tree. Pharmaceuticals to abort without doctors and use of embryonic stem cells are also unacceptable. - Euthanasia is unacceptable, here are the reasons used to justify it; prolonged suffering, a fragile person who wants to die, false compassion of relatives, a desire to have control over life and death, to transplant organs, a desire to decrease costs of caring for the sick, and a desire to kill handicapped children. Euthanasia is the result of a culture which takes no notice of Good Friday, an absence of religious inspiration. - Other types of death are suicide, which is wrong, but the person may fall prey to mitigating factors. Murder which is always sinful, and terrorism which cries to heaven for justice. The Church has no traditional objection to the death penalty, since the person is not innocent, however modern times it is no longer necessary to protect society. - It is a sinister tendency to claim euthanasia and abortion as rights Pope John Paul II said. Therefore, government funding to subsidize abortion, forcing families to promote abortion is wrong. Human beings are seen as objects, to be used, the sick, weak, or unborn cannot defend themselves, and it is an abuse of their freedom to extinguish their destiny. The life of people should never depend on majority vote, human freedom should never grant one person absolute power over another. That is the death of true freedom. - Vatican II states that when God is forgotten, human creature is unintelligible, a fascination with technology and an overemphasis on preventing cruelty to animals are examples. For example, you cannot kill a dog, but you can kill an unborn child.. This type of practical materialism is an example of the Culture of Death. - As we say at Mass, "Dying you destroyed our death, raising you restored our life." The Church has received the mission to preach the Gospel of Life via priests, teachers, catechists and journalists. The Church extols the vocation of matrimony and sexuality. Jesus told us to expect opposition to this mission. - In Rerum Novarum the Church defended the rights of workers, in Evangelium Vitae, the Church defends the unborn, and whose lives are snuffed out by abortion. In 1991, Pope John Paul II asked the bishops what they wanted, in 1995, he wrote Evangelium Vitae. Catholics have serious duties to insist on the sanctity of life, yet this shouldn't bar them from prestigious positions. - We shouldn't say, "I am a Catholic, but. . . ." we should say, "I am a Catholic therefore..." The right to life is from God not the state and there will be accountability for this. - The state is not the only part of a civil society; it consists of families, churches, organizations, who all have duties toward the state. Pope Pius XI taught the right to private property and the principle of subsidiarty. - Openness to life is at the center of true development. Some praiseworthy initiatives are; Natural Family Planning, hospitals, convalescent homes, religious and laypeople who serve sick, films like "The Silent Scream" and married couples who are open to life, especially that of the handicapped. The government should offer them assistance if they need it. - Don't just condemn abortion; offer women alternative homes to give birth. - Social and political action are needed toward efforts to form consciences, influence the mass media and to promote the Culture of Life in order to send the Culture of Death packing. The Cardinal's remarks were met with a standing ovation and prolonged, thunderous applause. It seems his clear call to building a Culture of Life has struck a chord in the Catholic community of Connecticut.
Posted by JesusCaritasEst at 2:01 PM 0 comments

CISA report: The first president of Tanzania, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere passed away on October 14 1999 at St. Thomas More Hospital in London.The Vatican started the process of his canonization and since then he is called 'THE SERVANT OF GOD' like His Eminence Maurice Cardinal Otunga of Kenya is called today.Mwalimu Nyerere is credited for his exemplary Christian life, as a father and a commendable political leader in Tanzania and in Africa.In commemorating this day, a memorial mass will be celebrated at Holy Family Minor Basilica, Nairobi on October 16, 2010, at 9:00 am.Auxiliary Bishop Rt. David Kamau of Nairobi will be the main celebrant, while Rev. Dr. Laurent Magesa from Musoma Diocese- Nyerere's home place, will be the preacher of the day.In the same mass, prayers will be held for the servant of God His Eminence Maurice Cardinal Otunga. SOURCE
Posted by JesusCaritasEst at 1:52 PM 0 comments

Kath Net report: Well-known theologian was also close friend of Pope John Paul II.Warsaw ( the Polish theologian Prof. p. Tadeusz Styczen, close friend of Pope John Paul II., died Thursday at the age of 79. Styczen was a pupil of Karol Wojtyla and succeeded to the Chair of ethics at the Catholic University of Lublin in 1978. in 1982 he founded the "Institute John Paul II." University of Lublin, which he directed until 2006 as the Director and its Honorary Director he was until the end.
As a close confidant of Pope of Wojtyla accompanied Styczen John Paul II. several times for its holiday stays. Styczen among the ghost writers of moral encyclical "Veritatis splendor" from 1993. Furthermore, he published the entire philosophical work of Karol Wojtyla in Italian entitled "Metaphysics of the person". Styczen was John Paul II also among those who were on his deathbed.
Posted by JesusCaritasEst at 1:11 PM 0 comments


Cath News report:Cast members of the musical MacKillop helped raise awareness about the production by joining unsuspecting passengers on a morning cruise around Sydney Harbour aboard the ferry Mary MacKillop.The cast got into the spirit by entertaining the passengers with songs from the show, taking photos and handing out flyers and the official program, said a report in The Catholic Weekly.Operatic soprano Joanna Cole, who portrays Mary MacKillop, says she "had a lot of fun" joining fellow cast members in "raising a few smiles" among the passengers."Everyone seemed to get into the spirit of things and I think the passengers got a real kick out of seeing us nuns in full habit," she said."People wanted to take photos with us and were interested in learning more about the production.Writer-director Anthony McCarthy says the ferry ride was a great opportunity to bring together the real Sisters of St Joseph and the women's chorus from the musical."And to do it on the Mary Mackillop Ferry gave it that sense of movement as well," he said. "And also the fact that Mary MacKillop travelled on ferries quite a lot, back and forth from North Sydney.""The Sisters of St Joseph have really liked the production. They have found it very entertaining and humorous at different times," he told The Catholic Weekly.
Posted by JesusCaritasEst at 12:43 PM 0 comments

Asia News report: Shepherds see smoke coming from the front of the chapel; they find inflammable material ready for ignition. Local Catholics exclude the attacker or attackers are local because of good interfaith relations. Another attempted arson attack is registered at a local Protestant church.Jakarta (AsiaNews) – Someone tried to set fire to the small Chapel of Saint Joseph in Pare, a few kilometres from Delanggu subdistrict in Klaten Regency (Central Java). The building is regularly used by local Catholics to pray during weekends.On Wednesday, a group of young shepherds saw smoking coming from the front of the building. When they came closer, they saw some inflammable material, including used tyres and fuel containers, at the entrance, under the windows and near gates and a fire starting to take hold.Usually, the chapel is not monitored at night, or when it is not in use. Fr Saptaka, the parish priest at the Delanggu church, said that a similar attack occurred on 12 December 2009 but did not cause any victims.Local Catholics do not know who might be responsible for the act, but they think they must be outsiders.Fr Sutrasno, parish priest at St Maria Assunta Church in Klaten, told AsiaNews that when the previous attack took place in December 2009, he surveyed local Catholics to see if they had had any “problems” with local Muslims.“Local Catholics told me they have good relations with other residents,” he said. “In fact, the area in front of the church has been used for volleyball matches involving both Catholics and non-Catholics.” People also use the church’s compound to store the harvest.“It is almost impossible that locals are behind this. They have always respected the chapel,” the clergyman said.Yesterday morning at dawn, another arson attack hit a Protestant church in Gebyog at Ngemplak, Kartasura subdistrict, some 20 kilometres from Delanggu. Someone saw flames coming out of the building.Still, Rev Setyo Budi Utomo said that the fire caused very little damage, mostly the windows.
Posted by JesusCaritasEst at 12:41 PM 0 comments

St. Teresa of AvilaDISCALCED CARMELITE MYSTIC, FOUNDRESS, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCHFeast: October 15Information:Feast Day:October 15Born:28 March 1515, Ávila, Old Castile, SpainDied:October 15, 1582, Alba de Tormes, Salamanca, SpainCanonized:12 March 1622 by Pope Gregory XVMajor Shrine:Shrine of St. Teresa of Ávila, Ávila, SpainPatron of:bodily ills; headaches; lacemakers; laceworkers; loss of parents; people in need of grace; people in religious orders; people ridiculed for their piety; sick people; sickness; SpainIn the Autobiography which she completed towards the end of her life, Saint Teresa of Avila gives us a description of her parents, along with a disparaging estimate of her own character. "The possession of virtuous parents who lived in the fear of God, together with those favors which I received from his Divine Majesty, might have made me good, if I had not been so very wicked." A heavy consciousness of sin was prevalent in sixteenth-century Spain, and we can readily discount this avowal of guilt. What we are told of Teresa's early life does not sound in the least wicked, but it is plain that she was an unusually active, imaginative, and sensitive child. Her parents, Don Alfonso Sanchez de Capeda and Dona Beatriz Davila y Ahumada, his second wife, were people of position in Avila, a city of Old Castile, where Teresa was born on March 28, 1515. There were nine children of this marriage, of whom Teresa was the third, and three children of her father's first marriage.Piously reared as she was, Teresa became completely fascinated by stories of the saints and martyrs, as was her brother Roderigo, who was near her own age and her partner in youthful adventures. Once, when Teresa was seven, they made a plan to run away to Africa, where they might be beheaded by the infidel Moors and so achieve martyrdom. They set out secretly, expecting to beg their way like the poor friars, but had gone only a short distance from home when they were met by an uncle and brought back to their anxious mother, who had sent servants into the streets to search for them. She and her brother now thought they would like to become hermits, and tried to build themselves little cells from stones they found in the garden. Thus we see that religious thoughts and influences dominated the mind of the future saint in childhood.Teresa was only fourteen when her mother died, and she later wrote of her sorrow in these words: "As soon as I began to understand how great a loss I had sustained by losing her, I was very much afflicted; and so I went before an image of our Blessed Lady and besought her with many tears that she would vouchsafe to be my mother." Visits from a girl cousin were most welcome at this time, but they had the effect of stimulating her interest in superficial things. Reading tales of chivalry was one of their diversions, and Teresa even tried to write romantic stories. "These tales," she says in her Autobiography, "did not fail to cool my good desires, and were the cause of my falling insensibly into other defects. I was so enchanted that I could not be happy without some new tale in my hands. I began to imitate the fashions, to enjoy being well dressed, to take great care of my hands, to use perfumes, and wear all the vain ornaments which my position in the world allowed." Noting this sudden change in his daughter's personality, Teresa's father decided to place her in a convent of Augustinian nuns in Avila, where other young women of her class were being educated. This action made Teresa aware that her danger had been greater than she knew. After a year and a half in the convent she fell ill with what seems to have been a malignant type of malaria, and Don Alfonso brought her home. After recovering, she went to stay with her eldest sister, who had married and gone to live in the country. Then she visited an uncle, Peter Sanchez de Capeda, a very sober and pious man. At home once more, and fearing that an uncongenial marriage would be forced upon her, she began to deliberate whether or not she should undertake the religious life. Reading the , helped her to reach a decision. St. Jerome's realism and ardor were akin to her own Castilian spirit, with its mixture of the practical and the idealistic. She now announced to her father her desire to become a nun, but he withheld consent, saying that after his death she might do as she pleasedThis reaction caused a new conflict, for Teresa loved her father devotedly. Feeling that delay might weaken her resolve, she went secretly to the Carmelite convent of the Incarnation outside the town of Avila, where her dear friend Sister Jane Suarez was living, and applied for admission. Of this painful step, she wrote: "I remember . . . while I was going out of my father's house—the sharpness of sense will not be greater, I believe, in the very instant of agony of my death, than it was then. It seemed as if all the bones in my body were wrenched asunder.... There was no such love of God in me then as was able to quench the love I felt for my father and my friends." A year later Teresa made her profession, but when there was a recurrence of her illness, Don Alfonso had her removed from the convent, as the rule of enclosure was not then in effect. After a period of intense suffering, during which, on one occasion, at least, her life was despaired of, she gradually began to improve. She was helped by certain prayers she had begun to use. Her devout Uncle Peter had given her a little book called the , by Father Francis de Osuna, which dealt with "prayers of recollection and quiet." Taking this book as her guide, she began to concentrate on mental prayer, and progressed towards the "prayer of quiet," with the soul resting in divine contemplation, all earthly things forgotten. Occasionally, for brief moments, she attained the "prayer of union," in which all the powers of the soul are absorbed in God. She persuaded her father to apply himself to this form of prayer.After three years Teresa went back to the convent. Her intelligence, warmth, and charm made her a favorite, and she found pleasure in being with people. It was the custom in Spain in those days for the young nuns to receive their acquaintances in the convent parlor, and Teresa spent much time there, chatting with friends. She was attracted to one of the visitors whose company was disturbing to her, although she told herself that there could be no question of sin, since she was only doing what so many others, better than she, were doing. During this relaxed period, she gave up her habit of mental prayer, using as a pretext the poor state of her health. "This excuse of bodily weakness," she wrote afterwards, "was not a sufficient reason why I should abandon so good a thing, which required no physical strength, but only love and habit. In the midst of sickness the best prayer may be offered, and it is a mistake to think it can only be offered in solitude." She returned to the practice of mental prayer and never again abandoned it, although she had not yet the courage to follow God completely, or to stop wasting her time and talents. But during these years of apparent wavering, her spirit was being forged. When depressed by her own unworthiness, she turned to those two great penitents, St. Mary Magdalen and St. Augustine, and through them came experiences that helped to steady her will. One was the reading of St. Augustine's ; another was an overpowering impulse to penitence before a picture of the suffering Lord, in which, she writes, "I felt Mary Magdalen come to my assistance.... From that day I have gone on improving in my spiritual life."When finally Teresa withdrew from the pleasures of social intercourse, she found herself able once more to pray the "prayer of quiet," and also the "prayer of union." She began to have intellectual visions of divine things and to hear inner voices. Though she was persuaded these manifestations came from God, she was at times fearful and troubled. She consulted many persons, binding all to secrecy, but her perplexities nevertheless were spread abroad, to her great mortification. Among those she talked to was Father Gaspar Daza, a learned priest, who, after listening, reported that she was deluded, for such divine favors were not consistent with a life as full of imperfections as hers was, as she herself admitted. A friend, Don Francis de Salsedo, suggested that she talk to a priest of the newly formed Society of Jesus. To one of them, accordingly, she made a general Confession, recounting her manner of prayer and extraordinary visions. He assured her that she experienced divine graces, but warned her that she had failed to lay the foundations of a true spiritual life by practices of mortification. He advised her to try to resist the visions and voices for two months; resistance proved useless. Francis Borgia, commissary-general of the Society in Spain, then advised her not to resist further, but also not to seek such experiences.Another Jesuit, Father Balthasar Alvarez, who now became her director, pointed out certain traits that were incompatible with perfect grace. He told her that she would do well to beg God to direct her to what was most pleasing to Him, and to recite daily the hymn of St. Gregory the Great, "!" One day, as she repeated the stanzas, she was seized with a rapture in which she heard the words, "I will not have you hold conversation with men, but with angels." For three years, while Father Balthasar was her director, she suffered from the disapproval of those around her; and for two years, from extreme desolation of soul. She was censured for her austerities and ridiculed as a victim of delusion or a hypocrite. A confessor to whom she went during Father Balthasar's absence said that her very prayer was an illusion, and commanded her, when she saw any vision, to make the sign of the cross and repel it as if it were an evil spirit. But Teresa tells us that the visions now brought with them their own evidence of ,authenticity, so that it was impossible to doubt they were from God. Nevertheless, she obeyed this order of her confessor. Pope Gregory XV, in his bull of canonization, commends her obedience in these words: "She was wont to say that she might be deceived in discerning visions and revelations, but could not be in obeying superiors."In 1557 Peter of Alcantara, a Franciscan of the Observance, came to Avila. Few saints have been more experienced in the inner life, and he found in Teresa unmistakable evidence of the Holy Spirit. He openly expressed compassion for what she endured from slander and predicted that she was not at the end of her tribulations. However, as her mystical experiences continued, the greatness and goodness of God, the sweetness of His service, became more and more manifest to her. She was sometimes lifted from the ground, an experience other saints have known. "God," she says, "seems not content with drawing the soul to Himself, but he must needs draw up the very body too, even while it is mortal and compounded of so unclean a clay as we have made it by our sins."It was at this time, she tells us, that her most singular experience took place, her mystical marriage to Christ, and the piercing of her heart. Of the latter she writes: "I saw an angel very near me, towards my left side, in bodily form, which is not usual with me; for though angels are often represented to me, it is only in my mental vision. This angel appeared rather small than large, and very beautiful. His face was so shining that he seemed to be one of those highest angels called seraphs, who look as if all on fire with divine love. He had in his hands a long golden dart; at the end of the point methought there was a little fire. And I felt him thrust it several times through my heart in such a way that it passed through my very bowels. And when he drew it out, methought it pulled them out with it and left me wholly on fire with a great love of God." The pain in her soul spread to her body, but it was accompanied by great delight too; she was like one transported, caring neither to see nor to speak but only to be consumed with the mingled pain and happiness.Teresa's longing to die that she might be united with God was tempered by her desire to suffer for Him on earth. The account which the gives of her revelations is marked by sincerity, genuine simplicity of style, and scrupulous precision. An unlettered woman, she wrote in the Castilian vernacular, setting down her experiences reluctantly, out of obedience to her confessor, and submitting everything to his judgment and that of the Church, merely complaining that the task kept her from spinning. Teresa wrote of herself without self-love or pride. Towards her persecutors she was respectful, representing them as honest servants of God.Teresa's other literary works came later, during the fifteen years when she was actively engaged in founding new convents of reformed Carmelite nuns. They are proof of her industry and her power of memory, as well as of a real talent for expression. she composed for the special guidance of her nuns, and the for their further edification. was perhaps meant for all Catholics; in it she writes with authority on the spiritual life. One admiring critic says: "She lays bare in her writings the most impenetrable secrets of true wisdom in what we call mystical theology, of which God has given the key to a small number of his favored servants. This thought may somewhat lessen our surprise that an unlearned woman should have expounded what the greatest doctors never attained, for God employs in His works what instruments He wills."We have seen how undisciplined the Carmelite nuns had become, how the convent parlor at Avila was a social gathering place, and how easily nuns might leave their enclosure. Any woman, in fact, who wanted a sheltered life without much responsibility could find it in a convent in sixteenth-century Spain. The religious themselves, for the most part, were not even aware of how far they fell short of what their profession demanded. So when one of the nuns at the House of the Incarnation began talking of the possibility of founding a new and stricter community, the idea struck Teresa as an inspiration from Heaven. She determined to undertake its establishment herself and received a promise of help from a wealthy widow, Dona Guiomar de Ulloa. The project was approved by Peter of Alcantara and Father Angelo de Salazar, provincial of the Carmelite Order. The latter was soon compelled to withdraw his permission, for Teresa's fellow nuns, the local nobility, the magistrates, and others united to thwart the project. Father Ibanez, a Dominican, secretly encouraged Teresa and urged Dona Guiomar to continue to lend her support. One of Teresa's married sisters began with her husband to erect a small convent at Avila in 1561 to shelter the new establishment; outsiders took it for a house intended for the use of her family.An episode famous in Teresa's life occurred at this time. Her little nephew was crushed by a wall of the new structure which fell on him as he was playing, and he was carried, apparently lifeless, to Teresa. She held the child in her arms and prayed. After some minutes she restored him alive and sound to his mother. The miracle was presented at the process for Teresa's canonization. Another seemingly solid wall of the convent collapsed during the night. Teresa's brother-in-law was going to refuse to pay the masons, but Teresa assured him that it was all the work of evil spirits and insisted that the men be paid.A wealthy woman of Toledo, Countess Louise de la Cerda, happened at the time to be mourning the recent death of her husband, and asked the Carmelite provincial to order Teresa, whose goodness she had heard praised, to come to her. Teresa was accordingly sent to the woman, and stayed with her for six months, using a part of the time, at the request of Father Ibanez, to write, and to develop further her ideas for the convent. While at Toledo she met Maria of Jesus, of the Carmelite convent at Granada, who had had revelations concerning a reform of the order, and this meeting strengthened Teresa's own desires. Back in Avila, on the very evening of her arrival, the Pope's letter authorizing the new reformed convent was brought to her. Teresa's adherents now persuaded the bishop of Avila to concur, and the convent, dedicated to St. Joseph, was quietly opened. On St. Bartholomew's day, 1562 the Blessed Sacrament was placed in the little chapel, and four novices took the habit.The news soon spread in the town and opposition flared into the open. The prioress of the Incarnation convent sent for Teresa, who was required to explain her conduct. Detained almost as a prisoner, Teresa did not lose her poise. The prioress was joined in her disapproval by the mayor and magistrates, always fearful that an unendowed convent would be a burden on the townspeople. Some were for demolishing the building forthwith. Meanwhile Don Francis sent a priest to Madrid, to plead for the new establishment before the King's Council. Teresa was allowed to go back to her convent and shortly afterward the bishop officially appointed her prioress. The hubbub now quickly subsided. Teresa was hence. forth known simply as Teresa of Jesus, mother of the reform of Carmel. The nuns were strictly cloistered, under a rule of poverty and almost complete silence; the constant chatter of women's voices was one of the things that Teresa had most deplored at the Incarnation. They were poor, without regular revenues; they wore habits of coarse serge and sandals instead of shoes, and for this reason were called the "discalced" or shoeless Carmelites. Although the prioress was now in her late forties, and frail, her great achievement still lay in the future.Convinced that too many women under one roof made for relaxation of discipline, Teresa limited the number of nuns to thirteen; later, when houses were being founded with endowments and hence were not wholly dependent on alms, the number was increased to twenty-one. The prior general of the Carmelites, John Baptist Rubeo of Ravenna, visiting Avila in 1567, carried away a fine impression of Teresa's sincerity and prudent rule. He gave her full authority to found other convents on the same plan, in spite of the fact that St. Joseph's had been established without his knowledge.Five peaceful years were spent with the thirteen nuns in the little convent of St. Joseph. Teresa trained the sisters in every kind of useful work and in all religious observances, but whether at spinning or at prayer, she herself was always first and most diligent. In August, 1567, she founded a second convent at Medina del Campo. The Countess de la Cerda was anxious to found a similar house in her native town of Malagon, and Teresa went to advise her about it. When this third community had been launched, the intrepid nun moved on to Valladolid, and there founded a fourth; then a fifth at Toledo. On beginning this work, she had no more than four or five ducats (approximately ten dollars), but she said, "Teresa and this money are nothing; but God, Teresa, and these ducats suffice." At Medina del Campo she encountered two friars who had heard of her reform and wished to adopt it: Antony de Heredia, prior of the Carmelite monastery there, and John of the Cross. With their aid, in 1568, and the authority given her by the prior general, she established a reformed house for men at Durelo, and in 1569 a second one at Pastrana, both on a pattern of extreme poverty and austerity. She left to John of the Cross, who at this time was in his late twenties, the direction of these and other reformed communities that might be started for men. Refusing to obey the order of his provincial to return to Medina, he was imprisoned at Toledo for nine months. After his escape he became vicar-general of Andalusia, and strove for papal recognition of the order. John, later to attain fame as a poet, mystic confessor, and finally saint, became Teresa's friend; a close spiritual bond developed between the young friar and the aging prioress, and he was made director and confessor in the mother house at Avila.The hardships and dangers involved in Teresa's labors are indicated by a little episode of the founding of a new convent at Salamanca. She and another nun took over a house which had been occupied by students. It was a large, dirty, desolate place, without furnishings, and when night came the two nuns lay down on their piles of straw, for, Teresa tells us, "the first furniture I provided wherever I founded convents was straw, for, having that, I reckoned I had beds." On this occasion, the other nun seemed very nervous, and Teresa asked her the reason. "I was wondering," was the reply, "what you would do alone with a corpse if I were to die here now." Teresa was startled, but only said, "I shall think of that when it happens, Sister. For the present, let us go to sleep."At about this time Pope Pius V appointed a number of apostolic visitors to inquire into the relaxations of discipline in religious orders everywhere. The visitor to the Carmelites of Castile found great fault with the Incarnation convent and sent for Teresa, bidding her to assume its direction and remedy the abuses there. It was hard to be separated from her own daughters, and even more distasteful to be brought in as head of the old house which had long opposed her with bitterness and jealousy. The nuns at first refused to obey her; some of them fell into hysterics at the very idea. She told them that she came not to coerce or instruct but to serve and to learn from the least among them. By gentleness and tact she won the affection of the community, and was able to reestablish discipline. Frequent callers were forbidden, the finances of the house were set in order, and a more truly religious spirit reigned. At the end of three years, although the nuns wished to keep her longer, she was directed to return to her own convent.Teresa organized a nunnery at Veas and while there met Father Jerome Gratian, a reformed Carmelite, and was persuaded by him to extend her work to Seville. With the exception of her first convent, none proved so hard to establish as this. Among her problems there was a disgruntled novice, who reported the nuns to the Inquisition, charging them with being Illuminati.The Italian Carmelite friars had meanwhile been growing alarmed at the progress of the reform in Spain, lest, as one of their number said, they might one day be compelled to set about reforming themselves, a fear shared by their still unreformed Spanish brothers. At a general chapter at Piacenza several decrees were passed restricting the reform. The new apostolic nuncio dismissed Father Gratian from his office as visitor to the reformed Carmelites. Teresa was told to choose one of her convents and retire to it, and abstain from founding others. At this point she turned to her friends in the world, who were able to interest King Philip II in her behalf, and he personally espoused her cause. He summoned the nuncio to rebuke him for his severity towards the discalced friars and nuns. In 1580 came an order from Rome exempting the reformed from the jurisdiction of the unreformed Carmelites, and giving each party its own provincial. Father Gratian was elected provincial of the reformed branch. The separation, although painful to many, brought an end to dissension.Teresa was a person of great natural gifts. Her ardor and lively wit was balanced by her sound judgment and psychological insight. It was no mere flight of fancy when the English Catholic poet, Richard Crashaw, called her "the eagle" and "the dove." She could stand up boldly and bravely for what she thought was right; she could also be severe with a prioress who by excessive austerity had made herself unfit for her duties. Yet she could be gentle as a dove, as when she writes to an erring, irresponsible nephew, "God's mercy is great in that you have been enabled to make so good a choice and marry so soon, for you began to be dissipated when you were so young that we might have had much sorrow on your account." Love, with Teresa, meant constructive action, and she had the young man's daughter, born out of wedlock, brought to the convent, and took charge of her upbringing and that of his young sister.One of Teresa's charms was a sense of humor. In the early years, when an indiscreet male visitor to the convent once praised the beauty of her bare feet, she laughed and told him to take a good look at them for he would never see them again-implying that in the future he would not be admitted. Her method of selecting novices was characteristic. The first requirement, even before piety, was intelligence. A woman could attain to piety, but scarcely to intelligence, by which she meant common sense as well as brains. "An intelligent mind," she wrote, "is simple and teachable; it sees its faults and allows itself to be guided. A mind that is dull and narrow never sees its faults even when shown them. It is always pleased with itself and never learns to do right." Pretentiousness and pride annoyed her. Once a young woman of high reputation for virtue asked to be admitted to a convent in Teresa's charge, and added, as if to emphasize her intellect, "I shall bring my Bible with me." "What," exclaimed Teresa, "your Bible? Do not come to us. We are only poor women who know nothing but how to spin and do as we are told."In spite of a naturally sturdy constitution, Teresa continued throughout her life to suffer from ailments which physicians found baffling. It would seem that sheer will power kept her alive. At the time of the definitive division of the Carmelite Order she had reached the age of sixty-five and was broken in health. Yet during the last two years of her life she somehow found strength to establish three more convents. They were at Granada, in the far south, at Burgos, in the north, and at Soria, in Portugal. The total was now sixteen. What an astounding achievement this was for one small, enfeebled woman may be better appreciated if we recall the hardships of travel. Most of this extensive journeying was done in a curtained carriage or cart drawn by mules over the extremely poor roads; her trips took her from the northern provinces down to the Mediterranean, and west into Portugal, across mountains, rivers, and arid plateaus. She and the nun who accompanied her endured all the rigors of a harsh climate as well as the steady discomfort of rude lodgings and scanty food.In the autumn of 1582, Teresa, although ill, set out for Alva de Tormez, where an old friend was expecting a visit from her. Her companion of later years, Anne-of-St. Bartholomew, describes the journey. Teresa grew worse on the road, along which there were few habitations. They could get no food save figs, and when they arrived at the convent, Teresa went to bed in a state of exhaustion. She never recovered, and three days later, she remarked to Anne, "At last, my daughter, I have reached the house of death," a reference to her book, . Extreme Unction was administered by Father Antony de Heredia, a friar of the Reform, and when he asked her where she wished to be buried. she plaintively replied, "Will they deny me a little ground for my body here?" She sat up as she received the Sacrament, exclaiming, "O my Lord, now is the time that we shall see each other! " and died in Anne's arms. It was the evening of October 4. The next day, as it happened, the Gregorian calendar came into use. The readjustment made it necessary to drop ten days, so that October 5 was counted as October 15, and this latter date became Teresa's feast day. She was buried at Alva; three years later, following the decree of a. provincial chapter of Reformed Carmelites, the body was secretly removed to Avila. The next year the Duke of Alva procured an order from Rome to return it to Alva de Tormez, and there it has remained.Teresa was canonized in 1662. Shortly after her death, Philip II, keenly aware of the Carmelite nun's contribution to Catholicism, had her manuscripts collected and brought to his great palace of the Escorial, and there placed in a rich case, the key of which he carried on his person. These writings were edited for publication by two Dominican scholars and brought out in 1587. Subsequently her works have appeared in uncounted Spanish editions, and have been translated into many languages. An ever-spreading circle of readers through the centuries have found understanding and courage in the life and works of this nun of Castile, who is one of the glories of Spain and of the Church. Teresa's emblems are a heart, an arrow, and a book.
Posted by JesusCaritasEst at 7:43 AM 0 comments

TODAY'S GOSPEL: OCT. 15: Luke 12: 1 - 7
Luke 12: 1 - 71In the meantime, when so many thousands of the multitude had gathered together that they trod upon one another, he began to say to his disciples first, "Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.2Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.3Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.4"I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.5But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear him!6Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God.7Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.
Posted by JesusCaritasEst at 7:42 AM 0 comments

Post a Comment