‘Charity begins at home’. This popular expression clearly transmits the attitude that an apostle of the Gospel should have. In fact, no one can give to others what he himself doesn’t possess.
‘What has been, that will be; what has been done, that will be done. Nothing is new under the sun’ (Eccles 1:9). Those who lived the years previous to the commemoration of the 5th Centenary of the Discovery of America (1992) were perhaps not surprised with the words that Francis pronounced a few days ago in Ecuador and Bolivia.
Spiritual realities surpass natural realities, often evading the capacity of our limited intelligence. That’s why the Divine Master frequently used analogies when he explained the marvels of his kingdom to his followers.
Love for the poor is no novelty within the Church of Christ, although some try to present it as a recent innovation, something that sprung up in the past few years…
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.
Europe is, without doubt, the only continent whose borders are not defined by geographic criteria, for if these were to be considered, it would be nothing more than a peninsula of Asia!
St. Pius X warned about pastors only committed ‘to doing good, above all to resolving the problems of the people,’ but who were concerned ‘greatly about nourishment and care of the body, while silencing the salvation of the soul and the gravest obligations of the Christian faith.’ This admonition, made in a time when society was incomparably more Christian than it is today, makes us recall the words of the Divine Master: ‘Man does not live by bread alone, but that man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord’ (Deut 8:3).
If there’s a place in the world where anyone, rich or poor, can feel welcomed without restrictions, it’s in a Catholic church. In it, material splendor is at the service of the glory of God and at everyone’s reach – one may calmly enjoy the splendor of the church better than anyone could at palaces or museums.
The spiritual good of the People of God depends on the proclamation of the Gospel that was confided by Jesus Christ himself to Saint Peter and the Apostles.
Saint John Chrysostom compares the education of a child with the fashioning of a wonderful statue for God. According to this Doctor of the Church, the privileged mission confided to parents is to bring their child to the practice of virtue, teaching it to love the true God and ‘to mark all that it says and does with the sign of the cross.’