Moved by the divine command to evangelize all nations and baptize all in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, Holy Mother Church has never spared efforts to overcome all boundaries in order to proclaim the Good News to all peoples without exception. Yet, ever since apostolic times, every missionary has also been obliged to combine daring with prudence, so as not to let himself be contaminated – through his own weakness – by those who reject the Redeemer’s universal call to conversion.
The contemplation of the imposing drama of the Last Judgment has always been of immense benefit to the faithful; and even in our days, it’s an efficacious element for awakening consciences and calling to conversion. A subject that appears with clarity and frequency in the Sacred Scriptures, the Last Judgment holds great pastoral value and is easily understandable by all. The Church condenses this truth of the faith in the definitive and simple words that Catholics pray daily in the Creed: Christ will come ‘to judge the living and the dead.’
Do good and avoid evil…without doubt that’s everyone’s obligation, since no one is able to stifle that inner voice that, in the depths of the heart, constantly indicates this obligation. But…is everyone able to respond to this call in the same manner, with equal clarity and equivalent effects?
‘For a correct interpretation of Sacred Scripture it is therefore necessary to seek attentively what the hagiographers have truly wished to state and what it has pleased God to express in human words.’ This is the wise counsel that Pope Benedict XVI had imparted to the participants of the Pontifical Biblical Commission in 2009.
As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. That’s why the expressive though silent message transmitted through certain gestures often deserves our attention just as much as certain declarations or documents do. This is all the more true in the case of the one who has the mission of representing Jesus Christ ex officio, as his Vicar on earth.
It’s normal to be afraid of being bitten by a snake, whose deadly poison kills in just a few minutes. This is especially true in places where such a danger is a reality and not just a remote possibility: one walks through the natural habitat of these perilous creatures with redoubled attention to any suspicious movement….and if possible one even tries to avoid such places.
Some of Francis’ affirmations regarding the Eucharist have been utilized by for perverse purposes — by those who always do so — so as to sow confusion among the simple faithful. These often lack the formation necessary to grasp the subtle theological nuances involved in statements that are widely broadcast. For this reason, it is indispensable to clarify certain expressions that have been causing perplexity…