The sixth Beatitude says, “Blessed are the pure of heart for they shall see the face of God” (Matt 5:1-12). If we really want to see God face to face we need to be pure. CCC 2519 states “Purity of heart is a precondition to see God.” And CCC 2521 says that “Purity requires modesty.”
So what is Modesty? Modesty is protecting the intimate centre of a person. It means refusing to uncover the parts of the body that should remain covered. It also includes how we look at and behave toward each other. By dressing modestly, a woman sends a message to the world—that every person was created to love and be loved in the purest of ways. Modesty also shows the great reverence we should have for our bodies and our immortal souls—two sacred gifts that should always be treated with dignity and respect.
St. Paul in 1 Cor 6: 19 tells us that the Body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. We are not to look at each other as objects for our own pleasure.
Modesty is not only covering up ourselves but also staying away from any entertainment, life-style, environment that is impure. In other words we have to fill our minds, hearts, eyes and ears with things that will help us to grow in holiness. We need to control our tongues from cracking “non-veg” jokes at parties and walk away if someone is relating one.
Wear clothes with sleeves as far as possible – try to avoid sleeveless shirts / dresses including tank tops.
Wear clothes that fit well and avoid tight fitting clothes (like tights, slacks, jeans, sweaters and shorts) and form fitting clothes that reveal rather than conceal the figure of the wearer or emphasizes certain parts of the body.
Use linings for transparent clothes and transparent lace as well.
Wear shorts, skirts and dresses that reach at least 2 inches below the knees.
Use pleats on dresses and skirts instead of slits at the back or the front.
Avoid low and wide necklines.
By consciously guarding our eyes if they chance to fall upon a “sexily” dressed woman.
By pushing away all lustful thoughts should they come up.
By blessing God, the author of Beauty for creating that beautiful or attractive woman and for making you a man capable of being attracted by all that is good.
By saying a short prayer for that woman that she may not lead others into sin and asking God to forgive her.
By frequenting the sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist to help you become a real man like Christ.
Valentine (Vally) & Anna Coelho
Visit our blog: http://tob-attitudes.blogspot.com/
Feast of the Body of Christ
Of Maundy Thursday, which commemorates this great event, mention is made as Natalis Calicis (Birth of the Chalice) in the Calendar of Polemius (448) for the 24th of March, the 25th of March being in some places considered as the day of the death of Christ. This day, however, was in Holy Week, a season of sadness, during which the minds of the faithful are expected to be occupied with thoughts of the Lord’s Passion. Moreover, so many other functions took place on this day that the principal event was almost lost sight of. This is mentioned as the chief reason for the introduction of the new feast, in the Bull “Transiturus.”
The instrument in the hand of Divine Providence was St. Juliana of Mont Cornillon, in Belgium. She was born in 1193 at Retines near Liège. Orphaned at an early age, she was educated by the Augustinian nuns of Mont Cornillon. Here she in time made her religious profession and later became superioress. Intrigues of various kinds several times drove her from her convent. She died 5 April, 1258, at the House of the Cistercian nuns at Fosses, and was buried at Villiers.
Juliana, from her early youth, had a great veneration for the Blessed Sacrament, and always longed for a special feast in its honour. This desire is said to have been increased by a vision of the Church under the appearance of the full moon having one dark spot, which signified the absence of such a solemnity. She made known her ideas to Robert de Thorete, then Bishop of Liège, to the learned Dominican Hugh, later cardinal legate in the Netherlands, and to Jacques Pantaléon, at that time Archdeacon of Liège, afterwards Bishop of Verdun, Patriarch of Jerusalem, and finally Pope Urban IV. Bishop Robert was favourably impressed, and, since bishops as yet had the right of ordering feasts for their dioceses, he called a synod in 1246 and ordered the celebration to be held in the following year, also, that a monk named John should write the Office for the occasion. The decree is preserved in Binterim (Denkwürdigkeiten, V, 1, 276), together with parts of the Office.
Bishop Robert did not live to see the execution of his order, for he died 16 October, 1246; but the feast was celebrated for the first time by the canons of St. Martin at Liège. Jacques Pantaléon became pope 29 August, 1261. The recluse Eve, with whom Juliana had spent some time, and who was also a fervent adorer of the Holy Eucharist, now urged Henry of Guelders, Bishop of Liège, to request the pope to extend the celebration to the entire world. Urban IV, always an admirer of the feast, published the Bull “Transiturus” (8 September, 1264), in which, after having extolled the love of Our Saviour as expressed in the Holy Eucharist, he ordered the annual celebration of Corpus Christi in the Thursday next after Trinity Sunday, at the same time granting many indulgences to the faithful for the attendance at Mass and at the Office. This Office, composed at the request of the pope by the Angelic Doctor St. Thomas Aquinas, is one of the most beautiful in the Roman Breviary and has been admired even by Protestants.
The death of Pope Urban IV (2 October, 1264), shortly after the publication of the decree, somewhat impeded the spread of the festival. Clement V again took the matter in hand and, at the General Council of Vienne (1311), once more ordered the adoption of the feast. He published a new decree which embodied that of Urban IV. John XXII, successor of Clement V, urged its observance.
The feast had been accepted in 1306 at Cologne; Worms adopted it in 1315; Strasburg in 1316. In England it was introduced from Belgium between 1320 and 1325. In the United States and some other countries the solemnity is held on the Sunday after Trinity.
– CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Corpus Domini redirects here. For other uses see Corpus Domini (disambiguation)
The Feast of Corpus Christi (Latin for Body of Christ), also known as Corpus Domini, is a Latin Rite liturgical solemnity celebrating the tradition and belief in the body and blood of Jesus Christ and his Real Presence in the Eucharist. It emphasizes the joy of the institution of the Eucharist, which was observed on Holy Thursday in the somber atmosphere of the nearness of Good Friday.
In the present Roman Missal, the feast is designated the solemnity of The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. It is also celebrated in some Anglican, Lutheran, and Old Catholic Churches that hold similar beliefs regarding the Real Presence.
The feast is liturgically celebrated on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday or, “where the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ is not a Holy Day of Obligation, it is assigned to the Sunday after the Most Holy Trinity as its proper day”. At the end of Holy Mass, there is often a procession of the Blessed Sacrament, generally displayed in a monstrance. The procession is followed by Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
A notable Eucharistic procession is that presided over by the Pope each year in Rome, where it begins at the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran and makes its way to the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, where it concludes with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
The institution of Corpus Christi as a feast in the Christian calendar resulted from approximately forty years of work on the part of Juliana of Liège, a 13th-century religious woman from an unrecognized religious order. Orphaned and placed in a convent at an early age, Juliana developed a special veneration for the Blessed Sacrament, and always longed for a feast day outside of Lent in its honour. Her vita reports that this desire was enhanced by a vision of the Church under the appearance of the full moon having one dark spot, which signified the absence of such a solemnity. In 1208, she reported her first vision of Christ in which she was instructed to plead for the institution of the feast of Corpus Christi. The vision was repeated for the next 20 years but she kept it a secret. When she eventually relayed it to her confessor, he relayed it to the bishop.
Juliana also petitioned the learned Dominican Hugh of St-Cher, Jacques Pantaléon (Archdeacon of Liège who later became Pope Urban IV) and Robert de Thorete, Bishop of Liège. At that time bishops could order feasts in their dioceses, so in 1246 Bishop Robert convened a synod and ordered a celebration of Corpus Christi to be held each year thereafter.
The celebration of Corpus Christi became widespread only after both St. Juliana and Bishop Robert de Thorete had died. In 1264 Pope Urban IV issued the papal bull Transiturus de hoc mundo in which Corpus Christi was made a feast throughout the entire Latin Rite. The legend that this act was inspired by a procession to Orvieto after a village priest in Bolsena and his congregation witnessed a Eucharistic miracle of a bleeding consecrated host at Bolsena has been called into question by scholars who note problems in the dating of the alleged miracle, whose tradition begins in the 14th century, and the interests of Urban IV, which was initiated while he served as Archdeacon in Liege in the 1240s. This was the first papally imposed universal feast for the Latin Rite.
While the institution of the Eucharist is celebrated on Holy (Maundy) Thursday, the liturgy on that day also commemorates Christ’s New Commandment (“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you.” John 13:34
), the washing of the disciples’ feet, the institution of the priesthood and the agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. For this reason, the Feast of Corpus Christi was established to create a feast focused solely on the Holy Eucharist.
Three versions of the office for the feast of Corpus Christi in extant manuscripts provide evidence for the Liege origins and “voice” of Juliana in an “original office”, which was followed by two later versions of the office. A highly sophisticated and polished version can be found in BNF 1143, a musical manuscript devoted entirely to the feast, upon which there is wide scholarly agreement: The version in BNF 1143 is a revision of an earlier version found in Prague, Abbey of Strahov MS D.E.I. 7 and represents the work of St. Thomas Aquinas following or during his residency at Orvieto from 1259 to 1265. This liturgy may be used as a votive Mass of the Blessed Sacrament on weekdays in ordinary time. The hymn Aquinas composed for Vespers of Corpus Christi, Pange Lingua or another eucharistic hymn, is also used on Holy (Maundy) Thursday during the procession of the Blessed Sacrament to the altar of repose. The last two verses of Pange Lingua are also used as a separate hymn, Tantum Ergo, which is sung at Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. O Salutaris Hostia, another hymn sung at Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, comprises the last two verses of Verbum Supernum Prodiens, Aquinas’ hymn for Lauds of Corpus Christi. Aquinas also composed the propers for the Mass of Corpus Christi, including the sequence Lauda Sion Salvatorem. The epistle reading for the Mass was taken from Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 11:23-29
From 1849 until 1969 a separate Feast of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ was assigned originally to the first Sunday in July, later to the first day of the month. This feast was removed from the General Roman Calendar in 1969, “because the Most Precious Blood of Christ the Redeemer is already venerated in the solemnities of the Passion, of Corpus Christi and of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and in the feast of the Exaltaton of the Holy Cross. But the Mass of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ is placed among the votive Masses”.
Corpus Christi is primarily celebrated by the Catholic Church, but it is also included in the calendar of a few Anglican churches, most notably the Church of England. The feast is also celebrated by some Anglo-Catholic parishes even in provinces of the Anglican Communion that do not officially include it in their calendars. McCausland’s Order of Divine Service, the most commonly used ordo in the Anglican Church of Canada, provides lections for the day. As stated above, in the Roman Catholic Church the celebration is designated The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi). In the Church of England it is known as The Day of Thanksgiving for the Institution of Holy Communion (Corpus Christi) and has the status of a Festival. Although its observance is optional, where kept, it is typically celebrated as a major holy day. It is also celebrated by the Old Catholic Church, the Liberal Catholic Church and by some Western Rite Orthodox Christians, and is commemorated in the liturgical calendars of the more Latinized Eastern Catholic Churches. The feast was retained in the calendars of the Lutheran Church up until about 1600, but continues to be celebrated by some Lutheran congregations.
In medieval times in many parts of Europe Corpus Christi was a time for the performance of mystery plays. In Catalonia it is celebrated with the tradition of the Dancing egg, with evidence from the 16th century.
The earliest possible Thursday celebration falls on 21 May (as in 1818 and 2285), the latest on 24 June (as in 1943 and 2038). The Sunday celebrations occur three days later.
The Thursday dates until 2022 are:
- 30 May 2013
- 19 June 2014
- 4 June 2015
- 26 May 2016
- 15 June 2017
- 31 May 2018
- 20 June 2019
- 11 June 2020
- 3 June 2021
- 16 June 2022
Corpus Christi is a public holiday in some countries with a predominantly Catholic population including, amongst others, Austria, Brazil, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Haiti, East Timor, parts of Germany, Liechtenstein, Panama, Peru, Poland, San Marino, parts of Spain and Switzerland, Grenada, Saint Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago.
- ^ a b Sanctissimi Corpus et Sanguis Christi. Roman Missal, 2011 Latin to English translation
- ^ Catholic encyclopedia
- ^ “Vie de Sainte Julienne de Cornillon” by J.P. Delville, Published by the Institute of Medieval Studies at the Catholic University at Louvain pp. 120-123
- ^ Phyllis Jestice, Holy people of the world Published by ABC-CLIO, 2004 ISBN 1-57607-355-6 page 457
- ^ The decree is preserved in Anton Joseph Binterim, Vorzüglichsten Denkwürdigkeiten der Christkatholischen Kirche (Mainz, 1825-41), together with parts of the first liturgy written for the occasion.
- ^ The Feast of Corpus Christi By Barbara R. Walters, Published by Penn State Press, 2007 ISBN 0-271-02924-2 page 12
- ^ Oxford History of Christian Worship By Geoffrey Wainwright, Oxford University Press 2006 ISBN 0-19-513886-4, page 248
- ^ General Instruction of the Roman Missal, 375
- ^ Roman Missal, Mass of the Lord’s Supper, 38
- ^ Calendarium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 1969), p. 66
- ^ Calendarium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 1969), p. 128]
- ^ Frank Senn: Christian Liturgy: Catholic and Evangelical, Fortress Press, 1997. p. 344. ISBN 0-8006-2726-1
- Feast of Corpus Christi (Catholic Encyclopedia)
- Corpus Christi: The Body and Blood of Christ
- Feast of Corpus Christi: History
- Carthusians and Corpus Christi
- Corpus Christi
- Traditional Corpus Christi celebrations in Panama
Here is the circular of the KCBC President His Grace Most Reverend Dr. Mar Andrews Thazhath regarding the observation of a Holy Hour on the Feast of Corpus Christi 2013. His Holiness Pope Francis invites the Cathedrals and parishes around the world to join in an hour of Eucharistic Adoration as part of the Year of Faith, on Sunday, 2 June 2013, at 5:00 pm Rome Time (8.30pm Indian Time). The Holy Father will preside an hour of Eucharistic Adoration in St. Peter’s Basilica in communion with all the bishops of the world and their local diocesan communities. “The universal scope of this moment is to be a gesture of spiritual sharing.”
In this context, KCBC Executive Committee decided to extend this initiative to all our parishes, monasteries, convents and institutions and it would be a grace ﬁlled hour of solidarity with our Holy Father to share in adoration during the same hour as in Rome.
INTENTIONS FOR PRAYER (Malyalam)
The Holy Father has asked that this time of Eucharistic Adoration be offered in particular:
1. For the Church dispersed throughout the world, gathered today as a sign of unity in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist. The Lord makes her ever more obedient in listening to his word to present her to the world as ever “more glorious, without speck or wrinkle, but holy and faultless” (Eph. 5:28). By means of its faithful proclamation, may this saving word resound once more as the bearer of mercy and may it stimulate a renewed commitment of love, to provide pain and suffering with full meaning and to re-establish joy and peace.
2. For all of those who, in different parts of the world, live the suffering of new forms of slavery and who are victims of wars, of the trafficking of human beings, of drugs, of ‘slave’ labour, for children and women who suffer any form of violence. May their silent cry for help find the Church alert, so that, with her eyes fixed upon Christ Crucified, she may not forget so many of her brothers and sisters left at the of mercy of violence.
For all those, too, who find themselves in economic insecurity, especially the unemployed, the elderly, immigrants, the homeless, those in prison, and the marginalised; may the prayer of the Church and her active endeavours to be close to them be a source of comfort to them, of support to their hope, of strength and courage in defending the dignity of the person.
Each particular Church, attentive to its own particular needs, is encouraged to put forward other intentions in harmony with this appeal of the Holy Father
The Major Archiepiscopal Commission for
Evangelization the Pastoral Care of the Migrants
The Major Archiepiscopal Commission for Evangelization and Pastoral Care of the Migrants is constituted to assist the Major Archbishop of the Church in carrying out his responsibilities towards the Syro-Malabar migrant faithful out side the proper territory of the Syro Malabar Church (in India and aboard) and to animate and co-ordinate the evangelizing mission of the Church.
The Catholic Church is a communion of twenty three sui iuris Churches with different liturgy, theology, spirituality and administrative system. The Syro- Malabar Church is the second largest in number among twenty two Eastern Churches with a total population of 3.8 million faithful. It is a Major Archiepiscopal sui iuris Church with a Synodal structure. The Synod is the supreme legislative and judicial authority in the Church. The Major Archbishop is the father and head of this Church (CCEO, 55). As the father and head of the Church, the Major Archbishop must be solicitous not only for the faithful of his Church in the proper territory, but also for the migrants scattered all over the world. He enjoys certain rights and duties towards the faithful who belong to his Church no matter wherever they stay (CCEO.148§ 2). He exercises his pastoral authority in the Church with the help of various Commissions because canon 124 of the CCEO prescribes that there should be various Commissions to take care of the different fields of activities in the sui iuris Church. The Commissions are erected by the Major Archbishop, constituted of persons chosen by him and are governed by norms established by him (Synodal News, No. 1, August 1993, p. 47).
In the very first meeting of the Synod of Bishops of the Syro-Malabar Church, held from 20 to 25 May 1993 at the residence of Mar Antony Padiyara, the then Major Archbishop, at Ernakulam under the chairmanship of Archbishop Abraham Kattumana, the Pontifical Delegate to the Syro-Malabar Church, decision was taken to constitute the Major Archiepiscopal Commission for the Evangelization and Pastoral Care of the Migrants. This Commission was constituted to assist the Major Archbishop of the Church in carrying out his responsibilities towards the Syro-Malabar migrant faithful outside the proper territory of the Syro Malabar Church in India and aboard and to animate and co-ordinate the evangelizing mission of the Church. The same Synod elected Bishop Mar Gregory Karotemprel CMI as the Chairman and Bishops Mar Joseph Pallikaparampil (Pala) and Mar Paul Chittilapilly (Kalyan) as members of the Commission. (Synodal News, No. 1, August 1993, pp 6-7, Synodal News, No. 6, May 1995, p. 41).
While the VI Synod of Bishops of the Syro-Malabar Church was in session from 12th to 24th January 1998, Mar Varkey Vithayathil C.Ss.R., the Apostolic Administrator of the Syro-Malabar Church reconstituted the Commission for the Evangelization and Pastoral Care of the Migrants with Bishop Mar Gregory Karotemprel CMI as the Chairman and Bishops Mar Joseph Pallikaparampil and Mar Gratian Mundadan CMI as members. The Commission members took charge on 21 May 1998 (Synodal News, No. 11, March 1998, p.15).
The VII Synod of Bishops, held at Mount St Thomas from 14 to 20 November 1999, took the decision to establish a Mission Secretariat under the auspices of the Major Archiepiscopal Commission for Evangelization and Pastoral Care of the Migrants at the Major Archiepiscopal Curia, Mount St Thomas. Mar Varkey Vithayathil, the then Apostolic Administrator, canonically erected the Mission Secretariat at Mount St Thomas vide Decree No. 1871/99 on 17th December 1999. (Synodal News, Vol. 7, Nos. 1& 2, December 1999, pp 56, 70, 124)
In the course of the XI Synod of Bishops held at Mount St. Thomas from 3 to15 November 2003, Mar Varkey Cardinal Vithayathil, the Major Archbishop reconstituted the Commission for the Evangelization and Pastoral Care of the Migrants with Bishop Gregory Karotemprel CMI again as the Chairman and Bishops Mar Vijay Anand Nedumpuram CMI and Mar Mathew Vaniakizhakkel VC as members (Synodal News, Vol.11, No.2, December 2003, p. 30).
During the XVI synod, on 27th August 2008, Mar Varkey Cardinal Vithayathil, the Major Archbishop reconstituted the Commission for the Evangelization and Pastoral Care of the Migrants with Bishop Sebastian Vadakel MST as the Chairman and Bishops Simon Stock Palathara CMI and Mar Antony Chirayath as members (Synodal News, Vol.12, Nos.1&2, Novembers 2008, p. 47).
The love of Christ towards migrants urges us (cf. 2Cor. 5:14) to look afresh at their problems and to respond more efficiently to the pastoral needs of the Syro-Malabar faithful living outside the territorium proprium of the church in India and abroad and the zeal for Christ obliges us to be His witnesses in the whole world sharing the light of Faith lit by St Thomas the Apostle. Mission
Pastoral care of the emigrants of the Syro-Malabar Church has always been the priority of the Commission. Some of the members of the Commission in the past were appointed Apostolic Visitors of the USA and Canada as well as the European countries. They presented reports of their visitations to the Synod as well as to Rome. The Commission arranged several meetings and deliberations with the Latin prelates of the migrant areas and sent various memoranda to Rome as well as to other ecclesiastical authorities. As a result of these efforts, St Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese of Chicago was erected for the Syro-Malabar migrants in USA and Canada, chaplains were appointed for the pastoral care of the Syro-Malabar migrants by the Latin prelates in many places and several Syro-Malabar parishes were established in Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and Kolkata. Commission ensures regular correspondence with the emigrant communities
The Commission was entrusted with the task of arranging the conduct of the first Syro Malabar Mission Assembly. Accordingly a preliminary meeting was held in November 1998 at Poornodaya in Bhopal with delegates from all dioceses, especially from mission dioceses for drafting the first Working Paper (Lineamenta). The Mission Assembly was held from November 12 14, 1999 at Mount St Thomas. As per the direction of the Synod, held from November 14 20, 1999, the Commission convened a Meeting of the Bishops of the Dioceses of the Syro Malabar Church outside the Territorium Proprium and the major Superiors of the Syro Malabar Religious Congregations and Institutes of Apostolic Life, working in the above Dioceses at Poornodaya in Bhopal from 13 to 15 October, 2000.
An all-inclusive Syro-Malabar Catholic Directory was published by the Commission for the first time in November 2004. The Commission joyfully undertook the preparation of a Mission Policy of the Syro-Malabar Church in the challenging circumstances of the Mission of the Church in the third millennium. After several years of study, consultation, discussion and preparation it was finally promulgated on March 19, 2006. It was simultaneously translated into Malayalam as well. The Commission conducted the first ever Global Meet of the Syro-Malabar emigrants at Mount St Thomas, the Major Archiepiscopal Curia from 18 to 21 of August 2006 after a year long preparation. Almost 380 participants from all over the world participated in the Meet and of them some 100 were from outside India and others from various cities and Syro-Malabar dioceses in India. The Commission brought out a Directory of the Syro-Malabar Migrants, with a brief history, general statistics, contact details and other relevant pieces of information of every sizeable Syro-Malabar migrant community in India and outside. The Commission also published two issues of the Mission India. Around the time of Christmas in 2006 Syro-Malabar Global Mission was published for the emigrants of the Syro-Malabar Church as per the suggestions of the Global Meet 2006. Together with Sathyadeepam the Commission (CEPCM) brought out a Mission Supplement as a special issue in order to introduce the Syro-Malabar Mission Dioceses to the Mother Church in Kerala. The Supplement contained articles and pictures on all the Mission dioceses of the Syro-Malabar Church and it was a landmark achievement for the Commission. A study seminar on the Mission Policy of the Syro-Malabar Church under the title Mission Congress 2007 is being planned out by the Commission. The Commission intends to publish a shorter version of the Directory of the Syro-Malabar Church in 2008.
Church Teachings on Pastoral Care of the Migrants
The history of humankind is a history of migration. Migrations are on the increase day by day for reasons of better livelihood, or for other demands of life like jobs, strenuous conditions in one’s own country, religious persecution and so on. It is a matter of serious concern for all nations and people. There are many advantages along with it, like good job opportunities, peaceful life, higher salaries, wide range of living standards and so on. But it is a fact that migrants who have had to give up their homeland, their possessions and relations inevitably carry with them the characteristics and memories of their own people as an indelible identity which cannot be renounced or denied. Experience has shown that the inability of expression in other than the mother language and loss of cultural and spiritual patrimonies not only damage the conscience but also cancel religious convictions and practices. As far as the Church is concerned, migration has a great missionary dimension. Pope Paul VI in Evangelii Nuntiandi notes: “It is the result of their living presence and witness in the midst of new people that forms new Churches. So they are the real seeds and the evangelizers” (n.21).
Migration always involves uprooting, detachment from one’s people, culture and place. At the same time it is for insertion and integration into a new society and place. In the Old Testament God brought the Israelites to the promised land to make them a chosen race and wanted them to keep up their identity in the new land. God did not want the Israelites to be scattered but united as the people of God. As Yahweh cared for the Israelites, the migrants need special pastoral care from the part of the Church lest they be disoriented in the new situation. St. Paul says: “Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God” (Rom.15:7).
Proper pastoral care of the migrants is a great mission entrusted to the Church. Erga migrantes caritas Christi, an instruction issued in 2004 by the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People notes: “Welcoming the stranger is intrinsic to the nature of the Church itself and bears witness to its fidelity to the Gospel” (n. 22).The mission of the Church towards migrants calls for an integrated approach of the proclamation of the gospel, clear policy and programs of pastoral works, catechetical and liturgical formation, fostering dialogue with them, working for their human rights, dignity, etc.
There is no dearth of Magisterial material safeguarding the right of pastoral care of the migrants. Popes, Councils and Encyclicals recommend the retention and promotion of the rights of the migrants. None of the Vatican documents encourage absorption or integration of the immigrants into the Church of arrival. The teachings of the Church with regard to the pastoral care of the migrant faithful of any sui juris Church, anywhere in the world, are crystal clear from the following Church documents.
Teachings of the Councils
Lateran Council IV
“Since in many places people of different languages live within the same city or diocese, having one faith but different rites and customs, we therefore strictly order bishops of such cities and dioceses to provide suitable men who will do the following in the various rites and languages: celebrate the divine services for them, administer the Church’s sacraments, and instruct them by word and examples” Lateran Council IV (1215), can. 9, Counciliarurn Eccumenicourum … Rome.1962, p. 215.
Second Vatican Council
For the Catholic Church wishes the traditions of each particular church or rite to remain whole and entire, and it likewise wishes to adapt its own way of life to the needs of different times and places” (OE. 2).
Therefore these churches are of equal rank, so that none of them is superior to the others because of its rite. They have the same rights and obligations, even with regard to the preaching of the Gospel in the whole world (cf. Mk16:15), under the direction of the Roman Pontiff” (OE. 3)
Provision must be made therefore everywhere in the world to protect and advance all these individual Churches. For this purpose, each should organize its own parishes and hierarchy, where the spiritual good of the faithful requires it…each and every Catholic, as also the baptized members of any non-Catholic church or community who come to the fullness of the Catholic communion, must retain each his own rite wherever he is, and follow it to the best of his ability” (OE. 4)
It likewise pertains to Episcopal conferences to found and promote agencies which will fraternally receive those who immigrate from missionary territories for of work or study, and which will aid them by suitable pastoral attention” (AG.38).
This Synod solemnly declares that the Churches of the East, while keeping in mind the necessary unity of the whole Church, have the power to govern themselves according to their own disciplines, since these are better suited to the character of their faithful and better adapted to foster the good of souls. The perfect observance of this traditional principle-which indeed has not always been observed-is a prerequisite for any restoration of union” (UR. 16).
Where there are faithful of a different rite, the diocesan bishop should provide for their spiritual needs either through priests or parishes of that rite or through an Episcopal Vicar endowed with the necessary faculties. Wherever it is fitting, the last named should also have an Episcopal rank” CD. 23) Teachings of Popes “Pope Pius XII says that “for Oriental Churches there should not be any compulsion to substitute their customs with those of the Latin Church and every Rite must have equal estimation and dignity before the common Mother Church” (AAS. 1944. P. 137)
Regarding the pastoral care of the faithful of the Eastern Rites who are living in Latin Rite dioceses, in accordance with the spirit and letter of the Conciliar Decree Christus Dominus 23 and OrientaliumEcclesiarum4the Latin Ordinaries (bishops) of such dioceses are to provide as soon as possible for an adequate pastoral care of the faithful of these Eastern Rites, through the ministry of the priests or through parishes of the Rites, where this would be indicated, or through an Episcopal Vicar endowed with the necessary faculties where circumstances would so indicate” (Letter of Pope John Paul II to the bishops of India on May 28, 1987).
The migrant has the right to pastoral care from the local Church. It should be emphasized that he or she has the right not to the generic pastoral care common to the whole body of the believers but to a specific ministry adopted to their language and especially their culture” (Message of John Paul II on World migration day 1990, L’Osservatore Romano, August 6, n.32, Vol.23 (1990), p.11.
I particularly urge the Latin ordinaries in these countries to study attentively, grasp thoroughly and apply faithfully the principles issued by the Holy See concerning ecumenical cooperation and the pastoral care of the Eastern Catholic Church especially when they lack their own hierarchy.” (John Paul II, Orientale Lumen (1995), n.9.
“There is an urgent need to overcome the fears and misunderstandings which appear at times between the Catholic Eastern Churches and the Latin Church… especially with regard to the pastoral care of their people, also outside their own territories.” (John Paul II, Ecclesia in Asia, 1999, n.27.
The Christian faithful have the right to worshipping God according to the prescriptions of their own Rite approved by the 2 legitimate pastors or the Church and to follow their own form of spiritual life consonant with the teaching of the Church” (CIC.214).
If the local Ordinary has faithful of a different rite within his diocese, he is to provide for their spiritual needs either by means of the priests or parishes of that rite or by means of an Episcopal Vicar” (CIC. 383§2).
The Christian faithful have the right to worship God according to the prescriptions of their own Church sui iuris, and to follow their own form of spiritual life consonant with the teaching of the Church” (CCEO. 17).
No one can presume in any way to induce the Christian faithful to transfer to another Church sui iuris” (CCEO.31).
The Christian faithful of the Eastern Churches even if committed to the care of a hierarch or pastor of another Church sui iuris, nevertheless remain enrolled in their own Church” (CCEO.38).
No one can validly transfer to another Church sui iuris without the consent of the Holy See” (CCEO. 32§1).
The Christian faithful of the Eastern Churches even if committed to the care of a hierarch or pastor of another Church sui iuris, nevertheless remain enrolled in their own Church” (CCEO.38).
The eparchial bishop to whom the care of the Christian faithful of any other sui juris Church is committed is bound by the serious obligation of providing all the things in order that these Christian faithful retain the rite of their own Church, cultivate and observe it as much as they can; he should foster relations with the higher authority of that Church” (CCEO 193§1).
The eparchial bishop is to provide for the spiritual needs of those Christian faithful, if it is possible, through the presbyters or pastors of the same Church sui iuris as the Christian faithful or even through a syncellus constituted for the care of these Christian faithful” (CCEO 193§2).
In places where not even an exarchv has been erected for the Christian faithful of a certain Church sui iuris, the local hierarch of another Church sui iuris, even the Latin Church of the place is to be considered the proper hierarch of these faithful, with due regard for the prescription of can. 101; if, however, there are several local hierarchs, that one is to be considered their proper hierarch who has been appointed by the Apostolic See or, if it is a question of the Christian faithful of a patriarchal Church, by the Patriarch with the assent of the Apostolic See” (CCEO. 916§5).
Era migrantes Caritas Christi
Erga migrantes caritas Christi is an instruction issued in 2004 by the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People.
Welcoming the stranger is intrinsic to the nature of the Church itself and bears witness to its fidelity to the Gospel” (n. 22).
With regard to Catholic migrants the Church makes provision for a specific kind of pastoral care because of the diversity of language, origin, culture, ethnicity and tradition, or of belonging to a particular Church sui iuris with its own rite… The uprooting that moving abroad inevitably involves (from country of origin, family, language etc.) should not be made worse by uprooting the migrant from his religious rite or identity too” (n. 49).
When groups of immigrants are particularly numerous and homogeneous therefore, they are encouraged to keep up their specific Catholic traditions. In particular, efforts must be made to provide organised religious assistance by priests of the language, culture and rite of the migrants selecting the most suitable juridical option from among those foreseen by the CIC and the CCEO.” (n. 50)
Eastern Rite Catholic migrants, whose numbers are steadily increasing, deserve particular pastoral attention. In their regard we should first of all remember the juridical obligation of the faithful to observe their own rite everywhere insofar as possible, rite being understood as their liturgical, theological, spiritual and disciplinary heritage (cf. CCEO Can. 28, §1 and PaG 72) (n.51).
All the above official teachings of the Church attest to the solicitude of the Church for the migrants and defend their pastoral rights. The official ecclesiastical position on the emigrants from the time of Lateran IV (1215) favoured providing ministers of the rite and language of the emigrants because migration is no reason to dissolve one’s birth- rite. The inability of the Syro-Malabar Church to cater to the spiritual and liturgical needs of the migrants can lead to their alienation and ultimate separation from the Mother Church. The only solution to solve the above issue is to extend jurisdiction everywhere in the world as territorial or personal. Any further delay in doing so will result in irreparable damage to the entire Catholic Church. Besides, it is also a question of keeping up the credibility of the Catholic claim that the Church stands for justice, peace and harmony. It is all the more right and just for the Church to allow the faithful to protect as well as foster their own faith traditions everywhere in India through the establishment of appropriate juridical structures proper to the sui iuris Church.
Here is the Vocation Sunday Circular by His Grace Most Rev. Dr. Mar Joseph Perumthottam, Chairman of the KCBC Vocation Commission and a Prayer for the Vocations. This year Church celebrates Vocation Sunday on 21 April 2013, the fourth Sunday of the Easter.
Here is the Malayalam translation of the Vocation Sunday Message of the Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. This year Church celebrates Vocation Sunday on 21 April 2013, the fourth Sunday of the Easter. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI issued this message on 6 October 2012 and it is valid for the forthcoming Vocation Sunday.
The Catholic Diocese of Bathery was established in 1978 by His Holiness Pope John Paul II and was formally inaugurated on2nd February 1979. By the grace of God, recently the diocese of Bathery was bifurcated and the new diocese of Puttur was erected by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. This was mainly due to the geographic vastness of the area. At present we have nearly 25,000 Malankara Catholic faithful in 102 parishes and mission stations in the diocese of Bathery. His Excellency Most Rev. Geevarghese Mar Divannasios is transferred to the diocese of Puttur and His Excellency Most Rev. Dr. Joseph Mar Thomas appointed as the new bishop of Bathery. The eparchy comprises of the district of Nilgiris of Tamilnadu State; Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur, Wayanad and Kasargod districts of Kerala State. The diocesan headquarters is situated in Sulthan Bathery in the district of Wayanad in Kerala.
A SHORT HISTORY OF THE DIOCESE OF BETHERY
The Malankara Catholic Eparchy of Bathery is the fruit of the missionary zeal and desire for the unity of the Church expressed by the committed laity, priests and prelates of the Syro-Malankara Church. In 1958, the Holy See extended the jurisdiction of the Eparchy of Tiruvalla further towards the North of Kerala and some districts of Karnataka and Tamilnadu. After the extension His Excellency late Zacharias Mar Athanasios sent priests to the new regions. These pioneers of Malabar mission began to work zealously among the Malankara faithful and they gave leadership for the Re-union movement and Evangelization. As a result parishes and mission centers were established in different places. In order to accelerate the re-union movement and evangelization, His Excecellency Most Rev. Zacharias Mar Athanasios requested the Holy See to bifurcate the Diocese of Thiruvalla and to erect a new Diocese with Sulthan Bathery as its headquarters. His Holiness Pope John Paul II erected the Eparchy of Bathery on 28th October 1978 and Rev. Dr. Cyril Malancheruvil was appointed as the first Bishop of Bathery.
His Excellency Most Rev. Cyril Mar Baselios officially took charge of the Eparchy of Bathery on 2nd Ferbruary 1979 and the new diocese was inaugurated during the solemn function held at St. Thomas Pro-Cathedral, Sulthan Bathery. There were arround 8500 Malankara Catholic faithful in 43 parishes and mission stations at the beginning of the diocese. The pastoral care of the community was entrusted to 18 diocesan priests and 2 priests from Bethany Ashram who was zealous and committed in the Apostolate. Bethany sisters and sisters of Deena Sevana Sabha also gave valuable services in different parts of the diocese. As a result, thousands of families and some priests from prominent families came into full communion of the Catholic Church. Within a short period of time, many parishes and mission stations were established in different parts of the Eparchy.
Most Rev. Cyril Mar Baselios gave great leadership for all the pastoral activities. The far-sighted vision of Mar Baselios led the Eparchy in the hights of its growth. The Apostolate of the Eparchy was organized under various departments. The faith formation of the children, youth, men and women were guaranteed by the Apostolate of Catechism, youth ministry, ‘Pithrusangam’ and ‘Mathrujyothis’. The Bible Apostolate Department takes initiative for the promotion of Bible studies and distribution of Bible among the faithful. Malankara Catholic Association is the official organization of the Malankara Catholic faithful for the Social involvement and leadership. The Eparchy also gave due importance to its social commitment, taking seriously the life situation of the people around. The Eparchy chalked out a social programme aimed at promoting the integral growth of men and Women. The Social Service Centre, named Shreyas, which is the official organ of the Eparchy for promoting Social justice and fellowship, is instituted in view of creating a more human and just society, based on Gospel values, through a scientific programme of mass education, mass mobilization and mass action. The Eparchy also started few educational institutions under the Corporate Educational Agency of the Eparchy to impart a value based education to the youth irrespective of caste and creed.
Msgr.Mathew Nedungatt and Msgr.Thomas Thannickakuzhy, Msgr. Thomas Charivupurayidom and Msgr. Eldho Puthenkandathil served the Eparchy as its Vicar Generals. The Diamond Jubilee of the Malankara Reunion Movement was celebrated in the Eparchy on 20, 21 September 1990 at Sulthan Bathery.
His Eminence Wladislao Cardinal Rubin, the former Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches visited the Eparchy on 9th January 1981 and inaugurated the Pastoral Council and Parish Senate in the Diocese.
The Eparchy of Bathery was blessed by the .visit of His Eminence Simon D. Cardinal Lourdusamy, the then Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches on 25 August 1987.
After 17 years of inspiring leadership in the Diocese, His Excellency Most Rev. Cyril Mar Baselios left for Trivandrum on 12 December 1995 as he was appointed Metropolitan Archbishop of Trivandrum and the Head of the Malankara Catholic Church. His Grace Cyril Mar Baselios took charge of the Church and of the Archdiocese of Trivandrum on 14 December 1995. From 14 December 1995 till 5 February 1997, the Eparchy was led by Rev. Msgr.ThomasThannickakuzhy as its Administrator. On 18 December 1996 His Holiness pope John Paul ll appointed Very Rev. Dr. Varghese Ottathengil, the then Rector of St.Mary’s Malankara Major Seminary, Trivandrum as the new Bishop of Bathery, Msgr.Varghese Ottathengil was consecrated as Bishop on 5 February 1997 at Mar Athanasios Nagar, Bathery by His Grace Cyril Mar Baselios, the Head of the Malankara Catholic Church.
Rev. Dr. lsaac Thottunkal was the Vicar general of the Eparchy from 1999 to 2001. Then he was appointed Apostolic Visitor for North America & Europe and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archieparchy of Trivandrum, on 18 June 2001. His Excellency Rt. Rev. Msgr. lsaac Mar Cleemis was consecrated as bishop on 15 August 2001 at St. Mary’s Malankara Catholic Church, Thirumoolapuram, Thiruvalla.
The Eparchy of Bathery celebrated its Silver Jubilee year from 28 October 2002 to 28 October 2003. The SilverJubilee celebrations began with the Holy Qurbono by His Grace Most Rev.Dr.Cyril Mar Baselios, the first Bishop of Bathery and with the solemn declaration of the Jubilee year by His Excellency Most Rev Dr.Geevarghese Mar Divannasios On 28 October at St.Thomas Cathedral, Bathery. The concluding celebration of the Jubilee year was held along with the 73rd Re-union celebration of the Malankara Catholic Church on 18 to 20′ September 2003.
During the past years, the Eparchy of the Bathery and its pastoral leadership was formly established in the different geographical area of the Eparchy. As a result many parishes and mission stations together with social, charitable and educational institutions were established to the Karnataka region of the Eparchy. A new Eparchy for the Karnataka region was a long cherished dream of the Malankara Catholic faithful in the region. This dream was fulfilled at the moment of the solemn declaration of the new Eparchy of Puttur on 25th January 2010.
The Eparchy of Bathery was bifurcated and the new Eparchy of Puttur was established by the Holy Episcopal synod of the Malankara Catholic Church. His Excellency Most Rev. Dr. Geevarghese Mar Divannasios was appointed as the first bishop of the Eparchy of Puttur. His Excellency Most Rev. Dr. Joseph Mar Thomas was appointed as the third Bishop of the Eparchy of Bathery. The enthronement of the new bishop was held on 13th April 2010. At present the Eparchy of Bathery compraise of the civil districts of Wayanad, Malapuram, Kozhikode, Kannur, Kasargode of Kerala State and Nilgiris of Tamil Nadu. The ecclessiastical districts of the Eparchy at present are Bathery,Pulpally, Nilgiris, Nilambur, Edakkara, Kozhikode, Mananthavady and Kannur.
There are 87 priests of the diocesan clergy, three priests from Bethany Ashram and one priest from the OCD congregation who render their dedicated service for the pastoral care of the community. Sisters from Bethany Congregation, Daughters of Mary, Deena Sevana Sabha, Holy Spirit Sisters, FMM Sisters, John the Baptist Sisters are also give their valuable service in the Eparchy.
Catholic Bishop’s House
Sulthan Bathery PO – 673 592
Ph: +91 4936 220207
Fax: +91 4936 221287
Pope: Farewell discourse to College of Cardinals (full text)
(From Vatican Radio) “The Church is in the world but not of the world and it is a living body,” therefore it is not an institution designed and conceived according to pre-set plans, but of God. Wednesday’s audience is proof of this, it has shown the “awakening of the Church in souls”.
Below please find a Vatican Radio translation of the Holy Father’s words to the College of Cardinals Thursday morning:
Dear beloved brothers,
I welcome you all with great joy and cordially greet each one of you. I thank Cardinal Angelo Sodano, who as always, has been able to convey the sentiments of the College, Cor ad cor loquitur. Thank you, Your Eminence, from my heart.
And referring to the disciples of Emmaus, I would like to say to you all that it has also been a joy for me to walk with you over the years in light of the presence of the Risen Lord.
As I said yesterday, in front of thousands of people who filled St. Peter’s Square, your closeness, your advice, have been a great help to me in my ministry.
In these 8 years we have experienced in faith beautiful moments of radiant light in the Churches’ journey along with times when clouds have darkened the sky.
We have tried to serve Christ and his Church with deep and total love which is the soul of our ministry.
We have gifted hope that comes from Christ alone, and which alone can illuminate our path.
Together we can thank the Lord who has helped us grow in communion, to pray to together, to help you to continue to grow in this deep unity so that the College of Cardinals is like an orchestra, where diversity, an expression of the universal Church, always contributes to a superior harmony of concord.
I would like to leave you with a simple thought that is close to my heart, a thought on the Church, Her mystery, which is for all of us, we can say, the reason and the passion of our lives. I am helped by an expression of Romano Guardini’s, written in the year in which the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council approved the Constitution Lumen Gentium, his last with a personal dedication to me, so the words of this book are particularly dear to me .
Guardini says: “The Church is not an institution devised and built at table, but a living reality. She lives along the course of time by transforming Herself, like any living being, yet Her nature remains the same. At Her heart is Christ.”
This was our experience yesterday, I think, in the square.
We could see that the Church is a living body, animated by the Holy Spirit, and truly lives by the power of God, She is in the world but not of the world.
She is of God, of Christ, of the Spirit, as we saw yesterday.
This is why another eloquent expression of Guardini’s is also true: “The Church is awakening in souls.”
The Church lives, grows and awakens in those souls which like the Virgin Mary accept and conceive the Word of God by the power of the Holy Spirit. They offer to God their flesh and in their own poverty and humility become capable of giving birth to Christ in the world today.
Through the Church the mystery of the Incarnation remains present forever. Christ continues to walk through all times in all places. Let us remain united, dear brothers, to this mystery, in prayer, especially in daily Eucharist, and thus serve the Church and all humanity. This is our joy that no one can take from us.
Prior to bidding farewell to each of you personally, I want to tell you that I will continue to be close to you in prayer, especially in the next few days, so that you may all be fully docile to the action of the Holy Spirit in the election of the new Pope.
May the Lord show you what is willed by Him. And among you, among the College of Cardinals, there is also the future Pope, to whom, here to today, I already promise my unconditional reverence and obedience. For all this, with affection and gratitude, I cordially impart upon you my Apostolic Blessing.
Below please find a Vatican Radio translation of the farewell discourse by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Dean of the College of Cardinals to Pope Benedict XVI.
With great trepidation the cardinals present in Rome gather around you today, once again to show their deep affection and express their heartfelt gratitude for your selfless witness of apostolic service, for the good of the Church of Christ and of all humanity.
Last Saturday, at the end of the Spiritual Exercises in the Vatican, you thanked your collaborators from the Roman Curia, with these moving words: My friends, I would like to thank all of you not only for this week but for the past eight years, during which you have carried with me, with great skill, affection, love and loyalty, the weight of the Petrine ministry.
Beloved and revered Successor of Peter, it is we who must thank you for the example you have given us in the past eight years of Pontificate.
On 19 April 2005 you joined the long line of successors of the Apostle Peter, and today, 28 February 2013, you are about to leave us, as we wait for the helm of the Barque of Peter to pass into other hands.
Thus the apostolic succession continues, which the Lord promised His Holy Church, until the voice of the Angel of the Apocalypse is heard proclaim on earth : “Tempus non erit amplius … consummabitur mysterium Dei” (Ap 10, 6-7) “there is no longer time: the mystery of God is finished.”
So ends the history of the Church, together with the history of the world, with the advent of a new heaven and a new earth.
Holy Father, with deep love we have tried to accompany you on your journey, reliving the experience of the disciples of Emmaus who, after walking with Jesus for a good stretch of road, said to one another: “Were not our hearts burning [within us] while he spoke to us on the way?” (Luke 24:32).
Yes, Holy Father, know that our hearts burned too as we walked with you in the past eight years. Today we want to once again express our gratitude.
Together we repeat a typical expression of your dear native land “Vergelt’s Gott” — God reward you!
The First Tabernacle Ministry
A Pro-Life Movement of MCBS
Director: Fr Joy Thottamkara MCBS
First Tabernacle Ministry
Any one would ask what is ‘first tabernacle’?. But Question should be changed from WHAT to WHO. Who is first tabernacle? Mother Mary the woman of the Eucharist (Ecclesia De Eucharistia, Pope John Paul 2, no:53) is the First Tabernacle (Ecclesia De Eucharistia, Pope John Paul 2, no:55) . She experienced the Eucharist, the Great Miracle of Love(Mane Nobiscum Domine, Pope John Paul 2, no:30) in the following manner as seen in the , Gospel of St.Luke (St.Luke 1:26-45) and thus became the First Tabernacle and the Mother of Life.
“Human rights are not a privilege conferred by government; they are every human being’s entitlement by virtue of his humanity. Theright to life does not depend, and must not be contingent, on the pleasure of anyone else, not even a parent or sovereign. How canthere be too many children? That is like saying there are too many flowers.” – Mother Theresa.
“The unborn child is entitled to its right to life independently of its acceptance by its mother; this is an elementary and inalienable right which emanates from the dignity of the human being.” The Constitutional Court of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Without knowing this great mystery of life, men promote abortion, promote Euthanasia( “It is I who bring both death and life” (Dt 32:39): the tragedy of euthanasia, Ioannes Paulus PP. II Evangelium vitae, no: 64 ) and they forget the Gospel of Old Age. (“Special attention must be given to the elderly. While in some cultures older people remain a part of the family with an important and active role, in others the elderly are regarded as a useless burden and are left to themselves. Here the temptation to resort to euthanasia can more easily arise.
Neglect of the elderly or their outright rejection are intolerable. Their presence in the family, or at least their closeness to the family in cases where limited living space or other reasons make this impossible, is of fundamental importance in creating a climate of mutual interaction and enriching communication between the different age-groups. It is therefore important to preserve, or to re-establish where it has been lost, a sort of “covenant” between generations. In this way parents, in their later years, can receive from their children the acceptance and solidarity which they themselves gave to their children when they brought them into the world.
This is required by obedience to the divine commandment to honour one’s father and mother (cf. Ex 20:12; Lev 19:3). But there is more. The elderly are not only to be considered the object of our concern, closeness and service. They themselves have a valuable contribution to make to the Gospel of life. Thanks to the rich treasury of experiences they have acquired through the years, the elderly can and must be sources of wisdom and witnesses of hope and love.” Ioannes Paulus PP. II Evangelium vitae, no:94)
Anything against life happens because mankind is under the sin of spiritual abortion, the God of love is aborted from their hearts. They are rarely aware of this great sin. Many suffer from poverty, because they experience the poverty of love, being away from theGreat Miracle of Love . Early Christian Community is an example for this love (Acts 1:14, 2:42, 4:32,34 etc.) The patron St.Joseph would intercede for purity of heart with which we are able to see the Love of God.
“ The Gospel of life is at the heart of Jesus’ message. Lovingly received day after day by the Church, it is to be preached with dauntless fidelity as “good news” to the people of every age and culture.At the dawn of salvation, it is the Birth of a Child which is proclaimed as joyful news: “I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord” (Lk 2:10-11).
The source of this “great joy” is the Birth of the Saviour; but Christmas also reveals the full meaning of every human birth, and the joy which accompanies the Birth of the Messiah is thus seen to be the foundation and fulfilment of joy at every child born into the world (cf. Jn 16:21).When he presents the heart of his redemptive mission, Jesus says: “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (Jn 10:10). In truth, he is referring to that “new” and “eternal” life which consists in communion with the Father, to which every person is freely called in the Son by the power of the Sanctifying Spirit. It is precisely in this “life” that all the aspects and stages of human life achieve their full significance.”( Ioannes Paulus PP. II Evangelium vitae, no:2)
“What stronger aspiration is there than that of life?” he asked. “And yet on this universal human aspiration threatening shadows are gathering — the shadow of a culture that denies the respect of life at all its stages, the shadow of an indifference that sends countless people to a destiny of hunger and underdevelopment.”(Monday October 18, 4:26 am, VATICAN CITY (AFP) – Pope John Paul II thanked well-wishers who celebrated the 26th anniversary of his election as pontiff but warned of “threatening shadows” hanging over humanity.)
“To be truly a people at the service of life we must propose these truths constantly and courageously from the very first proclamation of the Gospel, and thereafter in catechesis, in the various forms of preaching, in personal dialogue and in all educational activity. Teachers, catechists and theologians have the task of emphasizing the anthropological reasons upon which respect for every human life is based.
In this way, by making the newness of the Gospel of life shine forth, we can also help everyone discover in the light of reason and of personal experience how the Christian message fully reveals what man is and the meaning of his being and existence. We shall find important points of contact and dialogue also with nonbelievers, in our common commitment to the establishment of a new culture of life.
Faced with so many opposing points of view, and a widespread rejection of sound doctrine concerning human life, we can feel that Paul’s entreaty to Timothy is also addressed to us: ‘Preach the word, be urgent in season and out of season, convince, rebuke, and exhort, be unfailing impatience and in teaching’ (2 Tim 4:2). This exhortation should resound with special force in the hearts of those members of the Church who directly share, in different ways, in her mission as ‘teacher’ of the truth.
May it resound above all for us who are bishops: we the first ones called to be untiring preachers of the Gospel of life. We are also entrusted with the task of ensuring that the doctrine which is once again being set forth in this encyclical is faithfully handed on in its integrity. We must use appropriate means to defend the faithful from all teaching which is contrary to it.
We need to make sure that in theological faculties, seminaries and Catholic institutions sound doctrine is taught, explained and more fully investigated.[Veritatis Splendor, August 6, 1993] May Paul’ s exhortation strike a chord in all theologians, pastors, teachers and in all those responsible for catechesis and the formation of consciences. Aware of their specific role, may they never be so grievously irresponsible as to betray the truth and their own mission by proposing personal ideas contrary to the Gospel of life as faithfully presented and interpreted by the Magisterium.
In the proclamation of this Gospel, we must not fear hostility or unpopularity, and we must refuse any compromise or ambiguity which might conform us to the world’s way of thinking (cf. Rom 12:2). We must be in the world but not of the world (cf.Jn 15:19; 17:16), drawing our strength from Christ, who by his death and resurrection has overcome the world (cf. Jn 16:33).” – Pope John Paul II
For this world to experience love they should be drawn close to the Blessed Sacrament, Eucharist, the Great Miracle of Love. A human life from the first moment of conception to the last moment of death in body, and from the beginning to the endless time in soul should experience this Great Miracle of Love. For this it is a must they should be in the First Tabernacle where the Great Miracle of Love, the Blessed Sacrament has been continuously taking place.
At the first moments of conception Mother Mary visited St. Elizabeth and she called Mary, Mother of God ( St.Luke 1:43) .
From Directors’ Chair
Filled with this certainty, and moved by profound concern for the destiny of every man and woman, I repeat what I said to those families who carry out their challenging mission amid so many difficulties: 135 a great prayer for life is urgently needed, a prayer which will rise up throughout the world. Through special initiatives and in daily prayer, may an impassioned plea rise to God, the Creator and lover of life, from every Christian community, from every group and association, from every family and from the heart of every believer. Jesus himself has shown us by his own example that prayer and fasting are the first and most effective weapons against the forces of evil (cf. Mt 4:1-11). As he taught his disciples, some demons cannot be driven out except in this way (cf. Mk 9:29). Let us therefore discover anew the humility and the courage to pray and fast so that power from on high will break down the walls of lies and deceit: the walls which conceal from the sight of so many of our brothers and sisters the evil of practices and laws which are hostile to life. May this same power turn their hearts to resolutions and goals inspired by the civilization of life and love ( Bl. JOANNES PAULUS PP. II EVANGELIUM VITAE No. 100).
Requesting your continued blessing-filled prayer Yours in Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament through the First Tabernacle.”