On the day of the spectacular descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the Apostles were so filled with strength and courage, that Saint Peter went out and converted three thousand people that very day with his preaching. From these conversions we have the first ecclesial testimony: ‘They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life. […] All who believed were together and had all things in common’ (Acts 2: 42–44).
In the first paragraphs of Amoris Laetitia we encounter an affirmation that sets the entire gist of what Francis wishes to convey in this document: it is time to develop ‘various ways of interpreting some aspects of that teaching’ to ‘seek solutions better suited to its culture’ in family ministry.
All of us remember the experiences of so many of our national soldiers who went through arduous, exhausting and seemingly interminable combats. How many of them saw numerous companions fall, and they themselves were uncertain of their own survival…but the desire to defeat the enemy, to save their country, and to fight on like heroes encouraged them to continue without desisting, and even to give their lives if necessary. How many nations have the glory of numbering among their sons men of this valor; men who are more concerned with fulfilling their duty than enjoying a life of betrayal and egoism.
In reading Saint Augustine’s The City of God, we get the sensation that he was writing for our days; not what he wrote on the city of God itself, but rather, the city of the evil one as he describes it.
Francis once again shows his preferences, calling Jesus’ traitor a “poor, penitent man”.
He who perpetrated the most heinous crime of all history is now the object of the Supreme Pontiff’s compassion… Would the saying “Tell me who your friends are, and I will tell you who you are” fittingly apply to this case?
Through the centuries, the Church has moved from triumph to triumph, though it continually endures attacks, persecutions and hatred from all quarters, all promoted by one leader: the infernal enemy who has the illusion of one day destroying it.
After the death of Our Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross, a soldier pierced his side with a lance, and blood and water flowed forth – a symbol of the sacraments that he would institute for the edification of his Church, the only true Church.
‘He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him takes care to chastise him’ (Prov 13:24).
The natural love that parents have for their children such that they are even willing to sacrifice their lives for the good of their offspring is familiar to all. Due to this love, parents experience much concern when a young person begins to take the wrong path… They must teach them, reprehend and warn them, and when necessary, resort to a more severe measure: punishment.
The Church has always faithfully exercised her mission of caring for those in need. The times have changed, but the same difficulties always present themselves with new aspects. Vice has always degraded human beings, earlier gambling and alcohol were key problems, today having lost none of their detrimental character, they have had to yield the first place to drugs… And an unending list of other vices plague us.
It is very pleasing, and above all, we feel love and admiration when, on going through the pages of the Gospel, we observe how Jesus ‘went about doing good’ (Acts 10: 38) – He cured all, pardoned sins, multiplied loaves, resurrected the dead, blessed children, etc. But, there is a truth that is often forgotten in our days, and even ends up being despised by those who would prefer to tear away the memory of it from their consciences: in the inseparable unity of merciful Jesus, there also exists justice, severity and integrity that does not tolerate the abominations or the errors of those who obstinately persist in sin. Both are the same Jesus…in both ways, Jesus is good, rather He is Goodness itself!