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(Vatican Radio) In order to hear the voice of the Lord, you need to make yourself small. That was the message of Pope Francis in his homily at the daily Mass at the Casa Santa Marta on Friday morning, as the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.The Lord has chosen us, He has “mixed Himself up with us in the journey of life,” and has given “His Son, and the life of His Son, for our love.” In the first Reading, taken from the book of Deuteronomy, Moses says that God has chosen us “from all the nations on the face of the earth to be a people peculiarly His own.” Pope Francis explained how God is praised because “in the Heart of Jesus He gave us the grace to celebrate with joy the great mystery of our salvation, of His love for us”; that is, celebrating “our faith.” In particular, the Pope dwelt on two words contained in the reading: “to choose,” and “smallness.” With regar...
Vatican Weekend for June 24th, 2017 features a report on Pope Francis’ general audience, an interview with Cardinal-designate Anders Arborelius ahead of the June consistory, Monsignor Kennedy, a senior curial official, reflects on the issue of fake news and how Christians should respond plus an inspirational story of how a U.S. Catholic photographer founded a charity to give a future to slum kids who were scavenging for a living in a garbage dump.Listen to this program produced and presented by Susy Hodges:
Aleppo, Syria, Jun 23, 2017 / 10:06 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Christians who fled Aleppo because of the four year battle for the city are now returning, and in the face of such challenges as poverty, destruction, and a shortages of basic goods, they persevere with the help of the local Church.Fr. Ibrahim Alsabagh, a Franciscan priest in the city, told CNA that between January and June, 18 Catholic families have returned to Aleppo from places like Armenia, France, Germany, and Venezuela. In addition, 400 Christian families of the Armenian community returned to the area.He said these families have decided to return because in their host countries “they live in poverty and feel like foreigners. Also because they miss the warmth of the Christian community that welcomes, heals, and accompanies each family with all its needs.”“When they see they aid that we give to the Christians in Aleppo, they say, ‘Why don’t we return home, to our culture, to our society when t...
Mountain View, Calif., Jun 22, 2017 / 05:52 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A pro-life activist walks into Google’s headquarters and delivers a speech so compelling that within 24 hours, the online video of it surpassed a similar speech given by the head of Planned Parenthood.It may sound like the start to a far-fetched joke, but on April 20th, pro-life speaker and activist Stephanie Gray did just that.Gray was the co-founder of the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform and served as its executive director for several year before starting the ministry which she now runs, Love Unleashes Life.She spoke in April as a part of the Talks at Google series, a program that brings a variety of speakers to the company’s headquarters to discuss their work. Gray has participated in more than 800 talks and debates on abortion.Gray’s talk centered around the idea that there are three qualities that lead us to call someone “inspiring:” They place others ahead of themselves, have...
London, England, Jun 22, 2017 / 03:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Legal efforts to bar the parents of a British baby born with a disabling medical condition from seeking treatment overseas are based on deep ethical errors, a Catholic expert in medical ethics has warned.“It seems to me completely wrongheaded that the state should be stepping in here when the decision that the parents are making is really aimed at the best interests of the child,” Dr. Melissa Moschella, a Catholic University of America philosophy professor, told CNA.“It’s not crazy, it’s not abusive, it’s not neglectful. It’s the decision of parents who want to, however they can, to give their very sick child a chance for life.”She said such a decision “should be completely within the prerogative of the parent,” citing the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights. According to Moschella, that declaration “clearly indicates that the parents, ...
(Vatican Radio) A shepherd must be passionate, must know how to discern and how to denounce evil. Those were Pope Francis’ words during Mass on Thursday at the Casa Santa Marta, where he focused on the figure of the Apostle Paul and then turned his attention to the example offered by Don Milani. Like the parish priest of Barbiana, the Pope said, one should take care of one’s neighbour."The Good Shepherd gives his life for his sheep," said Pope Francis during his homily, drawing inspiration from the readings of the day and dwelling on the characteristics that a shepherd should have. The Pope noted in Saint Paul, the figure of the "true shepherd", who does not abandon his sheep unlike a "mercenary". The first quality, therefore, the Holy Father indicated, is that St Paul  is "passionate". Passionate,  he added, "to the point of telling his people, 'I feel for you all a kind of divine jealousy'." He  ...
IMAGE: CNS photo/Chaz MuthBy Cindy WoodenQUEBEC CITY (CNS) -- Faith and films have been lifelongobsessions for director Martin Scorsese, obsessions that he said have given himmoments of peace amid turmoil, but also challenges and frustrations that, inhindsight, he will accept as lessons in humility."For me, the stories have always been about how weshould live who we are, and have a lot to do with love, trust andbetrayal," he said, explaining that those themes have been with him sincehis boyhood spent in the rambunctious tenements of New York and in the peace ofthe city's St. Patrick's Old Cathedral, where he was an altar server.Scorsese spoke June 21 in Quebec City at a joint session ofthe Catholic Press Association's Catholic Media Convention and the worldcongress of Signis, the international association of Catholic mediaprofessionals. That evening, both groups presented him with a lifetime achievement award for excellence in filmmaking.Before Scorsese answered questions posed by ...
Vatican City, Jun 22, 2017 / 07:32 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Thursday Pope Francis met with King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, as part of the visit returning to them a long-lost royal stick of a 16th century Dutch king.An important diplomatic portion of the audience June 22, was the Vatican's return of the stick of William I, Prince of Orange, which until recently had remained lost in the Jesuit Catalan archives.The stick, which resembles a sort of scepter or baton, and depicts the coat of arms of William of Orange, was given by the 16th century Dutch royal to a Dutch commander in the Battle of Mookerheyde in 1574.The stick was waved by William's brother, Luigi of Nassau, during the battle.After it was lost, it came into the hands of a Spanish general and eventually a Jesuit general, until being returned Thursday, through the Vatican, to Willem-Alexander, current King of the Netherlands and Prince of Orange.According to a press release from the N...
Vatican City, Jun 22, 2017 / 07:32 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Thursday Pope Francis met with King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, as part of the visit returning to them a long-lost royal stick of a 16th century Dutch king.An important diplomatic portion of the audience June 22, was the Vatican's return of the stick of William I, Prince of Orange, which until recently had remained lost in the Jesuit Catalan archives.  The story of the long-lost stick of the Netherlands involves wars, a Spanish general, and Jesuits. Given by the Dutch Royalty to a commander in the army, he carried it into the Battle of Mookerheyde in 1574. Luigi of Nassau waved the stick in the battle. After its loss, it passed through the hands of a Spanish general to Catalan Jesuits, who stored it in their archives, and the stick was largely forgotten. On Thursday, #PopeFrancis returned the stick to the King and Queen of the Netherlands during their visit to the Vatican. #roya...
Vatican City, Jun 21, 2017 / 05:27 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Wednesday, Pope Francis said the saints show us that despite what we might think, holiness is possible for everyone, and we should call on them for help in living out our vocations.Some of us may be tempted to question if it is really possible to be holy in everyday life, the Pope said, but “yes, you can,” he encouraged, and it doesn’t mean you have to pray all day long.“No, no. It means you have to do your duty all day long,” he said June 21. “Pray, go to work, watch over the children. But everything must be done with a heart open to God, in a way that the work, even in illness, and in suffering, also in difficulty, is open to God. And so you can become saints.”“You can!” he continued. “May the Lord give us the hope of being holy! But we can. We do not think it's a difficult thing, that it's easier to be scoundrels than saints! No. It is possible to be holy...
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