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October 3rd, 2012

The Year of Faith

The Year of Faith

Pope Benedict XVI has announced a Year of Faith that runs from October 11th, 2012 to November 24th, 2013.

This move is related to two anniversaries. One is the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council and the other the 20th anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. There is also a major event related to the Year of faith which is the Synod of Bishops on the theme ‘The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian faith.’

Porta Fidei (The Door of Faith)

The Pope has issued an Apostolic Letter proclaiming the Year of faith titled, ‘Porta Fidei’ or ‘The door of faith.’ He uses the ‘door’ as an image of faith. Paul and Barnabas, returning after their missionary journey to different lands, sailed back to Antioch. ‘When they arrived they called the Churches together and related all that God has done with them and how he opened a door of faith to the Gentiles’ (Acts 14:27).

The door ‘is always open for us.’ It welcomes us into a communion with God and offers entry into his Church. There are two essential elements that makes possible the entry through this door namely proclamation of the Word of God and allowing the same word to shaping the heart with its transforming grace. Entering this door is a life long journey that begins with our baptism and continues till death to eternal life.

Know the Faith

The document gives beautiful reflections on the theme of faith. Faith is choosing to stand with the Lord so as to live with him. ‘Standing with the Lord’ would signify understanding the reasons for believing. We must know the contents of faith. Knowing well what exactly is to be believed is essential for giving one’s own assent that is to say for adhering fully with the intellect and will to what the Church proposes.

‘Knowledge of faith opens a door into the fullness of the saving mystery revealed by God.’ Believing means, ‘we accept the whole mystery of faith.’ Both our intellect and will must make its choice to believe only then can we feel comfortable to remain with the Lord.

The acceptance of faith

Focusing on Jesus is essential to lead a life of true Christian faith. Jesus attracts to himself people of every generation. It clearly states that ‘The Year of Faith… is a summons to an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord the Saviour of the world.’ He is the ‘pioneer and perfecter of our faith (Heb. 12:2). The reasons for keeping our gaze fixed on Jesus Christ and contemplating in his Incarnation, death and Resurrection are:

a) In him all the anguish and all the longing of human finds fulfillment
b) Fulfills the joy of love
c) Gives answer to the drama of suffering and pain
d) The power of forgiveness in the face of offense received
e) The victory of life over emptiness of death
f) The examples of faith that has marked the two thousand years of our salvation history are brought to the fullness of light.

The document tells us that By faith, we too live. It is the living recognition of the Lord Jesus. There are people who are born and brought up as Christians but are totally ignorant of the person of Christ. The life, works and message of Christ are alien to them. This year of faith calls every Christian to recognize this Christ ‘present in our lives and in our history.’

St. Augustine is given as one of the bright examples of this journey of faith. The pope tells that ‘his life was a continual search for the beauty of the faith until such thing as his heart could find rest in God.’ His extensive writings still help people to find the right path towards the ‘door of faith.’ This year of faith must turn out to be an occasion during which the entire Church may undertake a renewed outlook on the faith by a deeper study of the Christian Doctrine and delve deeper into the mystery of Christ.

– – – written by Fr. Freddie Pereira SDB

August 14th, 2012

Poem : The Truth of Faith

The Truth of Faith

Visions and miracles
As claimed throughout
The history of the Church
Of Christ – the one and only
Fathered by the Pope
Cannot be simply ignored.
In spite of the truth that
Fraudulent cases exist.
The latter by persons
Who are in need of prayer.

Miracles of The Eucharist,
Visions of Our Lady,
Various medically confirmed
Cases of stigmatisation and
Innumerable cures claimed
By many sincere people
Christian and non-Christian
Cannot be swept under the carpet
Of atheism or ignored by agnosticism
Or attacked by misled Protestantism.

Nor can He who established His
Church upon St.Peter be ignored,
Especially His claim that He
And God are One!
A claim endorsed by the history
Of miracles that Jesus performed
Prior to His death and are in tune
With those recorded since the
Old Testament promised
The coming of the Creator of All

In the history of our species
No one matches Jesus
And no other faith is relevant
And why!
Because He is the Son of God,
The Son of Mary,and Our Saviour,
Who arose from the dead as witnessed
And who lives for us in The Eucharist.
In fact the Eucharist is God!

– – – written by Liam Ó Comáin

Recently I saw a Protestant Minister on Irish TV implying that Church Tradition was irrelevant and contending that The Bible was the source of all truth. But later on in the interview the Minister stated that he could not accept that the Eucharist was Jesus – that he had no time for cannibalism.

Surely, this contradicts his earlier statement regarding the Holy Word? Was Jesus lying when he said “This is my body…”? Thus thank God for the Catholic Church and Jesus guarantee that it would always express the truth in matters of faith and morals. – Liam Ó Comáin

July 5th, 2012

Pedagogy From Geese

Pedagogy From Geese

Have you ever wondered why migrant geese fly in a V formation? It seems to be a wonder. Whenever we see such a scene under the sky it has been an agape for our eyes. When God created each being he had his own intention behind that and that is sacred and secret which is beyond our comprehension.

As with most animal’s behavior, God had a good reason for including that in their instincts. As each bird flaps its wings, it creates uplift for the bird following. In a V formation, the whole flocks add at least 71% more flying range than if each bird flew alone. Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to fly alone….and quickly gets back into formation.

Like Geese

People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier than those who try to go it alone. When goose gets tired, it rotates back in to the formation and another goose flies at the point position. If people had as much sense as geese, they would realize that ultimately their success depends on working as a team, taking turns and doing the hard tasks, and sharing leadership. Geese in the rear of the formation honk to encourage those up front to up their speed.

It is important that our “honking from behind” be encouraging. Otherwise it is just-well-honking.

When goose gets sick or wounded, two other geese drop out of formation and follow it down to help and provide protection. They stay with the unhealthy member of the flock until it is either able to fly again or dies. Then they launch out again with another passing flock or try to catch up with their own. May we be so sacrificial, that we may be worthy of such friends in our time of need.

You do not have to be a Scientist

To learn from God’s marvelous creation; you only need to stop long enough to observe and let God reveal his wonders to you. “Ask the beasts, and they will teach you; and the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you; and the fish of the sea will explain to you. Who among all those does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this?” Job 12:7-9

Read more at Lessons From Geese

Let us prepare ourselves to learn from geese to be better by learning from them.

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