Sunday, February 27, 2011

Pala Diocese to Host KCYM State Action Plan Inauguration

The 33rd state action plan inauguration of Kerala Catholic Youth Movement will be held on 2nd March 2011 at St. Francis Assisi Parish Hall in Marangattupalli. The program that will be hosted by KCYM Diocese of Pala will be inaugurated by Bp. Joseph Kallarangatt, Bishop of Pala Diocese at 10.00 AM.

Youth representatives from the 30 catholic dioceses in Kerala will participate in the state action plan inauguration. In the afternoon a meeting of Diocesan KCYM Presidents and General Secretaries will also be held at St. Francis Assisi Parish Hall in Marangattupalli.

In the meeting which will be presided by Aji Daniel, KCYM State President, Fr. Jaison Kollannur, KCYM State director will deliver the introductory address and Godfrey Henry, KCYM State General Secretary will deliver the welcome note. Monce Joseph MLA, Sr. Ancy Antony, KCYM State assistant director and other state and diocesan leaders will take part in the program.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Seek Wealth Only If It Leads to God, Pope Suggests

Draws on St. Bellarmine: "Whoever Loses God Loses Everything"

Citing St. Robert Bellarmine, Benedict XVI today reminded the faithful that wealth, health and honor only serve a person if they lead to God.

The Pope spoke of the true values of life when he offered a reflection today at the general audience on St. Bellarmine (1542-1621), one of the key figures in the Counter Reformation.

The Holy Father outlined the main events and contributions of the Jesuit saint's life, all oriented toward putting Christ at the center of everything.

"In the writings of this man of government one sees very clearly, even in the reserve with which he concealed his sentiments, the primacy that he assigns to the teachings of Christ," the Pontiff noted. "St. Bellarmine thus offers a model of prayer, the soul of every activity: a prayer that listens to the Word of the Lord, is fulfilled in contemplating grandeur, does not withdraw into itself, finds joy in abandonment to God."

Benedict XVI said that one distinctive sign of the saint's spirituality was his perception of the "immense goodness of God."

This, the Pope said, led him to a firm conviction that he was a "beloved son of God" and brought him great joy in prayer.

He went on to cite St. Bellarmine's affirmation: "Whoever finds God finds everything, whoever loses God loses everything."

Union with God

The Bishop of Rome also noted how the Jesuit taught with clarity and his own example that "there cannot be a true reform of the Church if there is not first our personal reform and the conversion of our hearts."

The Holy Father mentioned one of Bellarmine's reflections from his "The Mind's Ascent to God": "If you have wisdom, understand that you were created for the glory of God and for your eternal salvation. Because of this, esteem as truly good for yourself that which leads you to your end, and as truly evil what makes you lack it. Prosperous or adverse events, riches and poverty, health and sickness, honors and insults, life and death -- the wise man must never seek or flee from them for himself. But they are good and desirable only if they contribute to the glory of God and to your eternal happiness, they are bad and to be fled from if they impede it."

"These, obviously, are not words that have gone out of style," Benedict XVI declared, "but words for us to meditate upon today at length in order to orient our journey on this earth."

The Pope said the saint's teaching is a reminder that "the end of our life is the Lord, the God that revealed himself in Jesus Christ, in whom he continues to call us and to promise us communion with him. The saint's words remind us of the importance of trusting in the Lord, of spending oneself in a life faithful to the Gospel, of accepting and enlightening every circumstance and every activity of life with faith and with prayer, always tending to union with him."

Courtesy Zenit

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Pope's Lent Message Looks at Baptism Link


Offers a Gospel Reflection for Each Sunday

Benedict XVI is proposing a journey with the Word of God this Lent and a deepening in the mystery of baptism.           

The Pope's annual Lenten message was released today with a theme from Colossians: "You were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him." The message offers a reflection for each of the Sunday Gospel readings of the liturgical season.

The Holy Father noted a "particular connection" between baptism and Lent, "as the favorable time to experience this saving grace."

He observed how baptism's reception in infancy "highlights how it is a gift of God: no one earns eternal life through their own efforts. The mercy of God, which cancels sin and, at the same time, allows us to experience in our lives 'the mind of Christ Jesus,' is given to men and women freely."

"Baptism," the Pope said, "is not a rite from the past, but the encounter with Christ, which informs the entire existence of the baptized, imparting divine life and calling for sincere conversion; initiated and supported by grace, it permits the baptized to reach the adult stature of Christ."

Guide

To undertake the journey toward "the most joyous and solemn feast of the entire liturgical year," Benedict XVI proposed being guided by the Word of God.

Beginning with the Gospel for the First Sunday of Lent -- Jesus' temptations in the desert -- the Pope emphasized the fragility of humanity and the strength of Christ.

He said, "It is a powerful reminder that Christian faith implies, following the example of Jesus and in union with him, a battle 'against the ruling forces who are masters of the darkness in this world,' in which the devil is at work and never tires -- even today -- of tempting whoever wishes to draw close to the Lord."

The Second Sunday brings us to Christ's glory in the transfiguration, the Pontiff continued, which "announces the divinization of man."

"It is the invitation to take a distance from the noisiness of everyday life in order to immerse oneself in God’s presence," he proposed.

The Samaritan woman at the well is presented on Lent's Third Sunday, with Christ's request that she give him a drink.

This, Benedict XVI explained, "expresses the passion of God for every man and woman, and wishes to awaken in our hearts the desire for the gift of 'a spring of water within, welling up for eternal life.'"

Next comes the story of the man born blind, which "presents Christ as the light of the world."

"The miracle of this healing is a sign that Christ wants not only to give us sight," the Holy Father reflected, "but also open our interior vision, so that our faith may become ever deeper and we may recognize him as our only Savior."

Finally, the resurrection of Lazarus on the Fifth Sunday of Lent, brings us to face "the ultimate mystery of our existence."

"Communion with Christ in this life prepares us to overcome the barrier of death, so that we may live eternally with him," the Pope reflected. "Faith in the resurrection of the dead and hope in eternal life open our eyes to the ultimate meaning of our existence: God created men and women for resurrection and life."

Rediscovery

The message goes on to discuss the three hallmarks of Lent: prayer, fasting and almsgiving, (which have been the subject of previous Lenten reflections.)

The Pope concluded by affirming that "through the personal encounter with our Redeemer and through fasting, almsgiving and prayer, the journey of conversion towards Easter leads us to rediscover our baptism."

"This Lent," he said, "let us renew our acceptance of the grace that God bestowed upon us at that moment, so that it may illuminate and guide all of our actions. What the sacrament signifies and realizes, we are called to experience every day by following Christ in an ever more generous and authentic manner."

Courtesy Zenit

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Pope to Youth: Spread Joy of Christ

Benedict XVI urged the youth present at today's weekly general audience to spread the peace and joy of Christ, and to make room for him in their hearts.

The Pope said this today at the weekly general audience after he delivered his catechesis on the figure of St. John of the Cross, priest of the Order of Discalced Carmelites and doctor of the Church (1542-1591).

After greeting those present in Paul VI in various language, he addressed the youth, the sick and newlyweds.

"You, dear young people," he said, "make room in your heart for Jesus and spread his joy and his peace."

Addressing the sick, the Holy Father urged them to "offer your moments of trial to the Lord so that the doors of hearts will open to the proclamation of the Gospel."

"And you, dear newlyweds," he concluded, "always be witnesses of the love of Christ, who has called you to realize a common project of life."

Courtesy: zenit

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

­Cardinal Rouco Gives Pope WYD Backpack

Cardinal Antonio María Rouco, the archbishop of Madrid, gave Benedict XVI the first of thousands of World Youth Day backpacks to be distributed to participants ahead of the August event.

The Holy Father received the Spanish cardinal in audience on Monday, during which he updated the Pontiff on the preparations for the youth day, which will take place Aug. 16-24 in Madrid.

The World Youth Day backpack is yellow and red -- the colors of the Spanish flag -- and carries the official 2011 World Youth Day logo. Inside the pack, participants will find a rosary, a Pilgrim’s Booklet, a guidebook to World Youth Day, a Youcat (the youth catechism), an access pass for public transportation, a cap, and a fan.

Courtesy: zenit

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Benedict XVI Urges Youth to Be Heroes of Daily Life

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI is urging young people to be heroes in every day life, and to do that through holiness.

The Pope said this today as he concluded the general audience with his traditional greetings to youth, the sick and disabled, and newlyweds.

He recalled Tuesday's liturgical memorial of St. Jerome Emiliani, founder of the Somaschi, and of St. Josephine Bakhita, "a daughter of Africa who became a daughter of the Church."

"May the courage of these faithful witnesses of Christ help you, dear young people, to open your heart to the heroism of holiness in every day existence," the Holy Father said. "May it sustain you, dear sick, in persevering patiently to offer your prayer and your suffering for the whole Church. And may it give you, dear newlyweds, the courage to make your families communities of love, marked by Christian values."

Courtesy: zenitnews

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Pontiff Recommends "Extraordinary" Youth Catechism

Says He Still Considers the Adult Version a Miracle

"Dear friends, young people! Today I counsel you to read an extraordinary book."

Thus begins Benedict XVI's preface to "Youcat," the new catechism for young people being prepared in light of the upcoming World Youth Day.

Ignatius Press is publishing the English version, due out March 1. L'Osservatore Romano published the Holy Father's preface.

The Pope claimed Youcat is extraordinary "because of its content but also because of its format," which he goes on to explain is based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

He spoke of the difficult times of the recent past, following the Second Vatican Council, when "many people no longer knew correctly what Christians should actually believe, what the Church taught, [...] and how all this could be adapted to the new cultural climate."

Amid questions about if the Church can even teach, or if Christianity is obsolete, the Pontiff recalled, his predecessor "made an audacious decision: He decided that the bishops worldwide should write a book to answer these questions." "He [John Paul II] entrusted to me the task of coordinating and overseeing the work of the bishops so that a book would be born from the contributions of the bishops, a real book and not a simple juxtaposition of a multiplicity of texts," Benedict XVI recalled. "[...] I was frightened by this task, and I must confess that I doubted that such a thing could succeed. How could it be that authors who are spread around the whole world could produce a legible book?"

The Pope admitted that "still today the fact seems a miracle to me that this project in the end succeeded."

Different worlds

After explaining the general dynamic of the work that went into the Catechism, he noted that already then, "we became ever more aware of how the text required 'translations' into the different worlds, to be able to reach the people with their different mentalities and different problems."

In light of World Youth Days, he continued, "we asked ourselves if we should not seek to translate the Catechism of the Catholic Church into the language of young people and make its words penetrate their world."

Hence, the Holy Father noted, the work was entrusted to the same editor as for the adult version: Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, archbishop of Vienna.

"I hope that many young people will let themselves be fascinated by this book," he said.

Not superficial

The Pontiff continued, "Some persons tell me that the Catechism does not interest today's youth, but I do not believe this affirmation and I am sure I am right."

Young people are not superficial as they are accused of being, the Holy Father affirmed: "Young people want to know what life truly consists of. [...] This book is fascinating because it speaks to us of our very destiny and that is why it concerns each one of us very closely. "Because of this I invite you: Study the Catechism! This is my heartfelt wish."

He noted that the youth version of the Catechism doesn't underestimate young people.

"It does not," the Pope said, "offer easy solutions; it calls for a new life on your part; it presents to you the message of the Gospel as the 'precious pearl' for which there is need to give everything."

"Because of this I ask you: Study the Catechism with passion and perseverance! Sacrifice your time for it! Study it in the silence of your room, read it together, if you are friends, form groups and study networks, exchange ideas on the Internet. In any case remain in dialogue on your faith," he exhorted. "You must know what you believe; you must know your faith with the same precision with which a specialist in information technology knows the working system of a computer; you must know it as a musician knows his piece; yes, you must be much more profoundly rooted in the faith of the generation of your parents, to be able to resist forcefully and with determination the challenges and temptations of this time.

"You have need of divine help, if you do not want your faith to dry up as a dewdrop in the sun, if you do not want to succumb to the temptations of consumerism, if you do not want your love to be drowned in pornography, if you do not want to betray the weak and the victims of abuse and violence."

Love the Church

The Pope concluded with a final counsel: "You all know in what way the community of believers has been wounded in recent times by the attacks of evil, by the penetration of sin in the interior, in fact in the heart of the Church. Do not take this as a pretext to flee from God's presence; you yourselves are the Body of Christ, the Church! Carry intact the fire of your love in this Church every time that men have obscured her face."

And he noted God's predilection for the young: "When Israel was in the darkest point of its history, God called to the rescue no great and esteemed persons, but a youth called Jeremiah; Jeremiah felt invested with too great a mission: 'Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth!'

"But God did not let himself be misled: 'Do not say, "I am only a youth;" for to all to whom I send you you shall go, and whatever I command you you shall speak.'" "I bless you," the Holy Father concluded, "and pray every day for all of you."

Courtesy: zenit