Last August, Francis commented on the famous ‘Bread of Life’ discourse narrated in the sixth chapter of the Gospel of Saint John.
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!
From the heart, love and compassion spring, and life flows. Within a home, the children are the primary concern of the family, but the mother is the heart. Without the mother, what are the children?
Among the wide feedback that we have been receiving from around the globe, offering support and useful contributions, some time ago we received a suggestion for an analysis, from a brother priest, regarding one of the topics addressed by Francis in a General Audience, during the preparatory series for the Synod of Bishops on the family. This request already contains some excellent points for this study, and so we decided to make it available to our readers. Obviously, we have excluded the parts of the letter that might reveal the identity of the priest (and have copied from the original English translation passages that our brother priest cites in Spanish).
At the end of the 16th century, an Archbishop of Valencia marked its history and that of the Church, for he was elevated to the altars by pope John XXIII in 1960. Saint John de Ribera was a true Shepherd. Not satisfied with merely caring for the faithful of his diocese, he also went in search of new sheep. One of his greatest concerns was to convert the followers of Mohammed to the Catholic Faith, and after having converted them, to instruct them well in the faith.
Some of the most beautiful pages of the History of the Church are doubtlessly those written with the blood of the Martyrs who, giving their lives for love of Jesus Christ, received from the hands of their executioners both the death of their mortal bodies and the everlasting glory of immolating themselves for the One who had rescued them on the Cross. Defenseless children, heroic virgins, robust men, venerable ancients, throughout the ages and in all places, have heard the summons to give a resplendent and moving testimony to the power of the Gospel.
The Catholic faith we received on the day of our Baptism is centered on the person of Jesus Christ, only begotten Son of the Father, Lord of all creation, and Redeemer of humanity.
“Oh Liberty, what crimes are committed in thy name!” These were the last words pronounced by Madame Roland, one of the vital participants of the French Revolution, before she lay her head on the block to be guillotined.
What joy for a mother to receive a flower form her little child! Her joy would surely be greater if her little one did not just offer her one rose, but a beautiful bouquet. What joy would be hers if, on a very special day all her children were to decorate the house with more than 175 thousand flowers?
As everyone knows, the famous saying “When in Rome, do as the Romans do” insinuates an adaptation to the customs and culture of the places we visit, in order to feel more at ease and be more easily accepted by the inhabitants. This norm is applied, obviously, to those practices that don’t offend good morals, for it’s also true that as good Catholics we should never frequent places where this could occur. Even more, in places where our faith might be put at risk.