REJOICE ALWAYS

“Who are you?” This is the question the Pharisee emissaries ask John the Baptist in the Gospel of the third

Sunday of Advent.

“Who are you?” and still not satisfied “What do you have to say for yourself?”

John, made notorious by the fame and success met in the villages of Palestine, could have worked himself

up, thought he was the Messiah or a sort of his unlikely double, just to feel proud of himself and show off in

front of his many followers.

No. John defines himself as a Voice, voice of one’s crying out.

John is a basic man, dressed with camel’s hair who eats locusts. He’s just

THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Today the Church celebrates the feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Mary – a solemn day  so dear to Christians. This feast is at the beginning of the liturgical year, in the season of Advent, and lights the journey of the Church towards Christmas.

Today’s solemnity has as biblical background the Annunciation, during which the mysterious greeting of the Angel resounds: “Greetings, you who are the highly favored! The Lord is with you” (Lk 1:28).

“Highly favored”! Here’s Mary the way God imagined and wanted her from the beginning in his impenetrable plan: a creature entirely brimful with God’s love, all goodness, all beauty, all holiness.

“Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart" (1 Sam 16:7). Mary’s heart stretches out to the fulfillment of God’s will. This is

PETER AND ANDREW

The sequence is one to be remembered, or at least it’s one we’ll remember the most from Francis’ trip in Turkey.

It’s evening. We’re in the patriarchal church of Istanbul. It’s the moment of the ecumenical pray of the first vespers for Saint Andrew’s feast celebrated by Francis and Bartholomew I. The Pope is talking after having listened to today’s readings. It’s going to be a brief speech full of joy and gratitude for this encounter – “the evening brings always a sense that is a mix of gratitude for the day just passed, and of impatient trust for the falling night. This evening my soul is full of gratitude to God, who let me be here praying with His Holiness and our Sister Church at the end of a day of apostolic visit.” Francis follows his text without improvising, he goes ahead and quotes the Prophet Zachary to stress that peace, harmony and joy are gifts and promises of God exclusively. He slows down, maybe to let Bartholomew understand, who anyway speaks a perfect Italian as he studied in Rome in his youth. The Pope is short of breath,

POPE FRANCIS TO ALL CONSECRATED PEOPLE

Francesco e VCPope Francis wrote an apostolic letter to all consecrated people on the occasion of the year of consecrated life that begins today November 30, 2014. Below we publish the firs part the text.

 Dear Brothers and Sisters in Consecrated Life,

I am writing to you as the Successor of Peter, to whom the Lord entrusted the task of confirming his brothers and sisters in faith (cf. Lk 22:32). But I am also writing to you as a brother who, like yourselves, is consecrated to God.

Together let us thank the Father, who called us to follow Jesus by fully embracing the Gospel and serving the Church, and poured into our hearts the Holy Spirit, the source of our joy and our witness to God’s love and mercy before the world.

THE GIFT OF THE HOLINESS

"The only gift I can make is that the Lord make you holy," these words of Mother Caiani taken from a letter in the Christmas of 1919, is a summary of the last catechesis, Pope Francis has played during the hearing Wednesday dealing the universal call to holiness.

Thus began the Pope: "All Christians, as baptized, are equal in dignity before God and are united by vocation, which is holiness. Now we ask: in what way this vocation

universal to be holy? And how can we achieve it? First, we must bear in mind that holiness is not something that we provide, that we get with our quality and our skills. Holiness is a gift, is the gift that makes us the Lord Jesus, when He takes us with him and plays it himself makes us like him ... holiness is not a prerogative of only a few: holiness is a gift

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