We can do with a lot more open and responsive and spontaneous elements of Catholicism that Hispanic culture has always cultivated and manifested. Hispanic Catholicism, for my money, in some respects is too conservative — too focused on some private devotions, too uncritical toward the hierarchy, the pope. There is something in the non-Hispanic tradition, the cultures that came from Europe — the sense of due process and human rights and suspicion of authority.
I think we can learn from each other. On the whole, the large percentage of Hispanic Catholics in the church in the U. I look to that to be a constant source of enrichment in this new century. Perhaps the most significant development in the Catholic Church in the twentieth century, was the great flourishing of Catholic higher education — the development of universities like Notre Dame and Boston College and Fordham and many colleges and high schools and parochial school systems.
What we have produced in this country is clearly the most mass-educated laity in the history of the Catholic Church. With education comes a critical spirit, and I think probably the best thing that has happened to American Catholicism because of the great advantages of its higher education system is that now do we not only have a better educated Catholic laity, but a more critical Catholic laity.
Ordination of women will eventually come. Not in the next few years, certainly not under John Paul II, but it will come eventually. A good Catholic is a good human being. A good Catholic is also a good Christian — someone who really believes in Jesus Christ and all that Jesus Christ stands for and tries to live by the standards that Jesus Christ set for us all.
Not just seven times, but seventy times seven and so forth.
A good Catholic takes seriously the sacramental life of the Church and the implications of it. And then to go out and live that way … we must go out and be willing to break whatever little bread we have with others. We carry the eucharistic mentality into our lives. That in itself is not a virtue — or obeying your bishop. A good Catholic is one who allows or herself or himself to be drawn into that mystery of its sacramental life and then, more importantly, to live out the implications of it. In the United States, in the election, Catholics voted by about 3 percentage points for Gore over Bush.
President Bush is making a big mistake in trying to court the Catholic vote, assuming that the Catholic vote is a conservative vote. The advisors he has chosen to help him understand the Catholic vote are politically conservative Catholics. Should they be consulted? Of course. But he had better consult a more politically liberal Catholic as well. Pro-life is my excuse. There are a lot of Democrats who are pro-life.
But I vote Democratic. Pro-life means different things to different people. Lots of pro-life Catholics are also for capital punishment. A lot of pro-life Catholics are also for spending lots of money on the military. African Americans, Jews — those votes are a lot more uniform than any sort of Catholic vote.
The Catholic vote is almost divided down the middle. Most Catholics by a slim majority are politically liberal. Many of them are young. In general, they are seeking opportunities for themselves and their families. Unscrupulous traffickers, frequently linked to drug cartels or arms cartels, exploit the weakness of migrants, who too often experience violence, trafficking, psychological and physical abuse and untold sufferings on their journey.
Nor must we overlook the particular vulnerability of migrants who are unaccompanied minors, or the situation of those compelled to spend many years in refugee camps, or of those who remain trapped for a long time in transit countries, without being able to pursue a course of studies or to use their talents. In some host countries, migration causes fear and alarm, often fomented and exploited for political ends. Fragmentation is also felt by the communities they leave behind, which lose their most vigorous and enterprising elements, and by families, especially when one or both of the parents migrates, leaving the children in the country of origin.
The Church has an important role as a point of reference for the young members of these divided families. However, the stories of migrants are also stories of encounter between individuals and between cultures. For the communities and societies to which they come, migrants bring an opportunity for enrichment and the integral human development of all.
Grave concern was also expressed by Churches whose members feel forced to escape war and persecution and by others who see in these forced migrations a threat to their survival. Recently, urgent appeals have been made for us to hear the cry of the victims of different kinds of abuse perpetrated by some bishops, priests, religious and laypersons. There can be no turning back. Clearly, the ways of exercising authority that make all this possible have to be eradicated, and the irresponsibility and lack of transparency with which so many cases have been handled have to be challenged.
Their efforts are like a great forest that quietly grows. Thank God, those who committed these horrible crimes are not the majority of priests, who carry out their ministry with fidelity and generosity. I ask young people to let themselves be inspired by this vast majority. And if you see a priest at risk, because he has lost the joy of his ministry, or seeks affective compensation, or is taking the wrong path, remind him of his commitment to God and his people, remind him of the Gospel and urge him to hold to his course. In this way, you will contribute greatly to something fundamental: preventing these atrocities from being repeated.
This dark cloud also challenges all young people who love Jesus Christ and his Church: they can be a source of great healing if they employ their great capacity to bring about renewal, to urge and demand consistent witness, to keep dreaming and coming up with new ideas. Nor is this the only sin of the members of the Church; her long history is not without its shadows. Our sins are before the eyes of everyone; they appear all too clearly in the lines on the age-old face of the Church, our Mother and Teacher.
She has made this journey as she is, without cosmetic surgery of any kind. She is not afraid to reveal the sins of her members, which some try at times to hide, before the burning light of the word of the Gospel, which cleanses and purifies. Still, let us never forget that we must not abandon our Mother when she is wounded, but stand beside her, so that she can summon up all her strength and all her ability to begin ever anew.
Some other aspects will be dealt with in the following chapters. As I have said, I do not claim to be exhaustive in this analysis. I encourage communities to examine, respectfully and seriously, the situation of their young people, in order to find the most fitting ways of providing them with pastoral care. At the same time, I do not want to end this chapter without addressing some words to each of you. I remind you of the good news we received as a gift on the morning of the resurrection: that in all the dark or painful situations that we mentioned, there is a way out.
For example, it is true that the digital world can expose you to the risk of self-absorption, isolation and empty pleasure. That was the case with the Venerable Carlo Acutis. Carlo was well aware that the whole apparatus of communications, advertising and social networking can be used to lull us, to make us addicted to consumerism and buying the latest thing on the market, obsessed with our free time, caught up in negativity. Yet he knew how to use the new communications technology to transmit the Gospel, to communicate values and beauty.
He saw that many young people, wanting to be different, really end up being like everyone else, running after whatever the powerful set before them with the mechanisms of consumerism and distraction. In this way they do not bring forth the gifts the Lord has given them; they do not offer the world those unique personal talents that God has given to each of them. Dare to be more, because who you are is more important than any possession. What good are possessions or appearances? You can become what God your Creator knows you are, if only you realize that you are called to something greater.
Ask the help of the Holy Spirit and confidently aim for the great goal of holiness. In this way, you will not be a photocopy. You will be fully yourself. If this is to happen, you need to realize one basic truth: being young is not only about pursuing fleeting pleasures and superficial achievements. If the years of your youth are to serve their purpose in life, they must be a time of generous commitment, whole-hearted dedication, and sacrifices that are difficult but ultimately fruitful.
As a great poet put it:. If to be in love now First I had to be hurt, I consider what I suffered well suffered, I consider what I wept for as well wept for.
Because in the end I came to see That we do not really enjoy what we enjoyed Unless we have suffered for it. If you are young in years, but feel weak, weary or disillusioned, ask Jesus to renew you. With him, hope never fails. You can do the same if you feel overwhelmed by vices, bad habits, selfishness or unhealthy pastimes. Jesus, brimming with life, wants to help you make your youth worthwhile. In this way, you will not deprive the world of the contribution that you alone can make, in all your uniqueness and originality.
Whenever you are enthused about life in common, you are capable of great sacrifices for others and for the community. Isolation, on the other hand, saps our strength and exposes us to the worst evils of our time. Putting all else aside, I now wish to speak to young people about what is essential, the one thing we should never keep quiet about. It is a message containing three great truths that all of us need constantly to keep hearing.
It makes no difference whether you have already heard it or not. I want to remind you of it. God loves you. Never doubt this, whatever may happen to you in life. At every moment, you are infinitely loved. Perhaps your experience of fatherhood has not been the best. Your earthly father may have been distant or absent, or harsh and domineering.
Or maybe he was just not the father you needed. But what I can tell you, with absolute certainty, is that you can find security in the embrace of your heavenly Father, of the God who first gave you life and continues to give it to you at every moment. He will be your firm support, but you will also realize that he fully respects your freedom.
It is as if he tried to find different ways of showing that love, so that, with one of them at least, he could touch your heart. For him, you have worth; you are not insignificant. You are important to him, for you are the work of his hands. That is why he is concerned about you and looks to you with affection. Because he loves you. Try to keep still for a moment and let yourself feel his love. Try to silence all the noise within, and rest for a second in his loving embrace.
It is the love of the Lord, a daily, discreet and respectful love; a love that is free and freeing, a love that heals and raises up. He does not get upset if you share your questions with him. The Bible tells us that Jacob fought with God cf. Gen , but that did not keep him from persevering in his journey.
His love is so real, so true, so concrete, that it invites us to a relationship of openness and fruitful dialogue. Seek the closeness of our heavenly Father in the loving face of his courageous witnesses on earth! The second great truth is that Christ, out of love, sacrificed himself completely in order to save you. The same Christ who, by his cross, saved us from our sins, today continues to save and redeem us by the power of his total self-surrender.
Time and time again, he bears us on his shoulders. No one can strip us of the dignity bestowed upon us by this boundless and unfailing love. We can do any number of things against him, yet he loves us and he saves us. For only what is loved can be saved. Only what is embraced can be transformed. Yet it is precisely through our problems, frailties and flaws that he wants to write this love story.
He embraced the prodigal son, he embraced Peter after his denials, and he always, always, always embraces us after every fall, helping us to rise and get back on our feet. His forgiveness and salvation are not something we can buy, or that we have to acquire by our own works or efforts. He forgives us and sets us free without cost. Young people, beloved of the Lord, how valuable must you be if you were redeemed by the precious blood of Christ!
You are not up for sale! Please, do not let yourselves be bought. Do not let yourselves be seduced. Do not let yourselves be enslaved by forms of ideological colonization that put ideas in your heads, with the result that you end up becoming slaves, addicts, failures in life.
You are priceless. You must repeat this always: I am not up for sale; I do not have a price. I am free! Keep your eyes fixed on the outstretched arms of Christ crucified, let yourself be saved over and over again. And when you go to confess your sins, believe firmly in his mercy which frees you of your guilt. Contemplate his blood poured out with such great love, and let yourself be cleansed by it.
In this way, you can be reborn ever anew. Finally, there is a third truth, inseparable from the second: Christ is alive! We need to keep reminding ourselves of this, because we can risk seeing Jesus Christ simply as a fine model from the distant past, as a memory, as someone who saved us two thousand years ago. But that would be of no use to us: it would leave us unchanged, it would not set us free. The one who fills us with his grace, the one who liberates us, transforms us, heals and consoles us is someone fully alive. He is the Christ, risen from the dead, filled with supernatural life and energy, and robed in boundless light.
Alive, he can be present in your life at every moment, to fill it with light and to take away all sorrow and solitude. He fills your life with his unseen presence; wherever you go, he will be waiting there for you. Because he did not only come in the past, but he comes to you today and every day, inviting you to set out towards ever new horizons. See Jesus as happy, overflowing with joy. Rejoice with him as with a friend who has triumphed.
They killed him, the holy one, the just one, the innocent one, but he triumphed in the end. Evil does not have the last word. Nor will it have the last word in your life, for you have a friend who loves you and wants to triumph in you. Your Saviour lives. Because he lives, there can be no doubt that goodness will have the upper hand in your life and that all our struggles will prove worthwhile. If this is the case, we can stop complaining and look to the future, for with him this is always possible. That is the certainty we have. Jesus is eternally alive. If we hold fast to him, we will have life, and be protected from the threats of death and violence that may assail us in life.
Every other solution will prove inadequate and temporary. It may be helpful for a time, but once again we will find ourselves exposed and abandoned before the storms of life. With Jesus, on the other hand, our hearts experience a security that is firmly rooted and enduring. If in your heart you can learn to appreciate the beauty of this message, if you are willing to encounter the Lord, if you are willing to let him love you and save you, if you can make friends with him and start to talk to him, the living Christ, about the realities of your life, then you will have a profound experience capable of sustaining your entire Christian life.
You will also be able to share that experience with other young people. Wherever the Father and the Son are, there too is the Holy Spirit. He is the one who quietly opens hearts to receive that message. He keeps alive our hope of salvation, and he will help you grow in joy if you are open to his working. The Holy Spirit fills the heart of the risen Christ and then flows over into your lives.
When you receive the Spirit, he draws you ever more deeply into the heart of Christ, so that you can grow in his love, his life and his power. Ask the Holy Spirit each day to help you experience anew the great message.
Why not? You have nothing to lose, and he can change your life, fill it with light and lead it along a better path. He takes nothing away from you, but instead helps you to find all that you need, and in the best possible way. Do you need love? You will not find it in dissipation, using other people, or trying to be possessive or domineering. You will find it in a way that will make you genuinely happy. Are you seeking powerful emotions? You will not experience them by accumulating material objects, spending money, chasing desperately after the things of this world.
They will come, and in a much more beautiful and meaningful way, if you let yourself be prompted by the Holy Spirit. Are you looking for passion? What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, whom you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
He is the source of youth at its best. What does it mean to live the years of our youth in the transforming light of the Gospel? God is the giver of youth and he is at work in the life of each young person. Youth is a blessed time for the young and a grace for the Church and for the world. It is joy, a song of hope and a blessing. Making the most of our youthful years entails seeing this season of life as worthwhile in itself, and not simply as a brief prelude to adulthood.
The love of God and our relationship with the living Christ do not hold us back from dreaming; they do not require us to narrow our horizons. On the contrary, that love elevates us, encourages us and inspires us to a better and more beautiful life. This healthy restlessness typical of youth continues to dwell in every heart that remains young, open and generous.
True inner peace coexists with that profound discontent. Sometime ago, a friend asked me what I see in a young person. A young person stands on two feet as adults do, but unlike adults, whose feet are parallel, he always has one foot forward, ready to set out, to spring ahead. Always racing onward. To talk about young people is to talk about promise and to talk about joy. Young people have so much strength; they are able to look ahead with hope. A young person is a promise of life that implies a certain degree of tenacity.
Some young people might hate this stage of life, because they want to continue being children or indefinitely prolong their adolescence and put off having to make decisions. Yet youth cannot remain on hold. It is the age of choices and herein lies its fascination and its greatest responsibility. We will look at these issues more closely in the final chapters, when dealing with individual vocations and their discernment. But opposed to these hopes and dreams that generate decisions, there is always the temptation to complain or give up. When everything seems to be standing still and stagnant, when our personal issues trouble us, and social problems do not meet with the right responses, it does no good to give up.
He is the Lord! He changes the way we see life. Faith in Jesus leads to greater hope, to a certainty based not on our qualities and skills, but on the word of God, on the invitation that comes from him. Without making too many human calculations, and without worrying about things that challenge your security, put out into the deep.
Keep following your hopes and dreams. But be careful about one temptation that can hold us back. It is anxiety. Anxiety can work against us by making us give up whenever we do not see instant results. Our best dreams are only attained through hope, patience and commitment, and not in haste.
At the same time, we should not be hesitant, afraid to take chances or make mistakes. Avoid the paralysis of the living dead, who have no life because they are afraid to take risks, to make mistakes or to persevere in their commitments. Even if you make mistakes, you can always get up and start over, for no one has the right to rob you of hope. Dear young people, make the most of these years of your youth.
Whatever you do, do not become the sorry sight of an abandoned vehicle! Take risks, even if it means making mistakes. Make a ruckus! Give yourselves over to the best of life! Open the door of the cage, go out and fly! While drawn towards the future and its promise, young people also have a powerful desire to experience the present moment, to make the most of the opportunities life offers.
Our world is filled with beauty! Contrary to what many people think, the Lord does not want to stifle these desires for a fulfilling life. The true God, who loves you, wants you to be happy. How could God take pleasure in someone incapable of enjoying his small everyday blessings, someone blind to the simple pleasures we find all around us?
But this is not the same as embarking irresponsibly on a life of dissipation that can only leave us empty and perpetually dissatisfied. This youthful day may well be your last, and so it is worth the effort to live it as enthusiastically and fully as possible.
This can also be applied to times of difficulty, that have to be fully experienced if we are to learn the message they can teach us. Even though they may not always be able to have the same experiences as others, they possess amazing resources and abilities that are often far above average. The Lord Jesus grants them other gifts, which the community is called to recognize and appreciate, so that they can discover his plan of love for each of them.
No matter how much you live the experience of these years of your youth, you will never know their deepest and fullest meaning unless you encounter each day your best friend, the friend who is Jesus. Through our friends, the Lord refines us and leads us to maturity. The experience of friendship teaches us to be open, understanding and caring towards others, to come out of our own comfortable isolation and to share our lives with others. Friendship is no fleeting or temporary relationship, but one that is stable, firm and faithful, and matures with the passage of time. A relationship of affection that brings us together and a generous love that makes us seek the good of our friend.
Friends may be quite different from one another, but they always have things in common that draw them closer in mutual openness and trust. By the gift of his grace, we are elevated in such a way that we truly become his friends. With the same love that Christ pours out on us, we can love him in turn and share his love with others, in the hope that they too will take their place in the community of friendship he established. And even as he enjoys the complete bliss of the life of the resurrection, we, for our part, can work generously to help him build his kingdom in this world, by bringing his message, his light, and above all his love, to others cf.
Jn The disciples heard Jesus calling them to be his friends. It was an invitation that did not pressure them, but gently appealed to their freedom. After that unexpected and moving encounter, they left everything and followed him. Friendship with Jesus cannot be broken. He never leaves us, even though at times it appears that he keeps silent. When we need him, he makes himself known to us cf. Jer ; he remains at our side wherever we go cf. Jos He never breaks his covenant. With a friend, we can speak and share our deepest secrets.
With Jesus too, we can always have a conversation. Prayer is both a challenge and an adventure. And what an adventure it is! Gradually Jesus makes us appreciate his grandeur and draw nearer to him. Prayer enables us to share with him every aspect of our lives and to rest confidently in his embrace. At the same time, it gives us a share in his own life and love. Do not deprive your youth of this friendship. You will be able to feel him at your side not only when you pray, but at every moment. Try to look for him, and you will have the beautiful experience of seeing that he is always at your side.
Seen that way, it puts us off. Christianity is a person who loved me immensely, who demands and claims my love. The dream for which Jesus gave his life on the cross, for which the Holy Spirit was poured out on the day of Pentecost and brought fire to the heart of every man and woman, to your heart and mine. To your heart too, he brought that fire, in the hope of finding room for it to grow and flourish.
A dream whose name is Jesus, planted by the Father in the confidence that it would grow and live in every heart. Many young people are concerned about their bodies, trying to build up physical strength or improve their appearance. Others work to develop their talents and knowledge, so as to feel more sure of themselves.
Some aim higher, seeking to become more involved and to grow spiritually. Seeking the Lord, keeping his word, entrusting our life to him and growing in the virtues: all these things make young hearts strong.
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Just as you try not to lose your connection to the internet, make sure that you stay connected to the Lord. I hope that you will be serious enough about yourselves to make an effort to grow spiritually. This does not involve losing anything of your spontaneity, boldness, enthusiasm and tenderness. Becoming an adult does not mean you have to abandon what is best about this stage of your lives. Adults, too, have to mature without losing the values of youth. Every stage of life is a permanent grace, with its own enduring value. The experience of a youth well lived always remains in our heart.
It continues to grow and bear fruit throughout adulthood. Young people are naturally attracted by an infinite horizon opening up before them. The very opposite should happen: as we mature, grow older and structure our lives, we should never lose that enthusiasm and openness to an ever greater reality. At every moment in life, we can renew our youthfulness. When I began my ministry as Pope, the Lord broadened my horizons and granted me renewed youth. The same thing can happen to a couple married for many years, or to a monk in his monastery.
Growing older means preserving and cherishing the most precious things about our youth, but it also involves having to purify those things that are not good and receiving new gifts from God so we can develop the things that really matter. At times, a certain inferiority complex can make you overlook your flaws and weaknesses, but that can hold you back from growth in maturity. Instead, let yourself be loved by God, for he loves you just as you are.
He values and respects you, but he also keeps offering you more: more of his friendship, more fervour in prayer, more hunger for his word, more longing to receive Christ in the Eucharist, more desire to live by his Gospel, more inner strength, more peace and spiritual joy. Becoming a saint means becoming more fully yourself, becoming what the Lord wished to dream and create, and not a photocopy.
Your life ought to be a prophetic stimulus to others and leave a mark on this world, the unique mark that only you can leave. Whereas if you simply copy someone else, you will deprive this earth, and heaven too, of something that no one else can offer. Your spiritual growth is expressed above all by your growth in fraternal, generous and merciful love.
Yet we can also experience ecstasy when we recognize in others their hidden beauty, their dignity and their grandeur as images of God and children of the Father. The Holy Spirit wants to make us come out of ourselves, to embrace others with love and to seek their good. That is why it is always better to live the faith together and to show our love by living in community and sharing with other young people our affection, our time, our faith and our troubles. The Church offers many different possibilities for living our faith in community, for everything is easier when we do it together.
There are times when all our youthful energy, dreams and enthusiasm can flag because we are tempted to dwell on ourselves and our problems, our hurt feelings and our grievances. You will grow old before your time. Each age has its beauty, and the years of our youth need to be marked by shared ideals, hopes and dreams, great horizons that we can contemplate together. God loves the joy of young people. May your youthful spontaneity increasingly find expression in fraternal love and a constant readiness to forgive, to be generous, and to build community.
Let us not allow ourselves to be robbed of fraternity. At times, seeing a world so full of violence and selfishness, young people can be tempted to withdraw into small groups, shunning the challenges and issues posed by life in society and in the larger world. They may feel that they are experiencing fraternity and love, but their small group may in fact become nothing other than an extension of their own ego.
This is even more serious if they think of the lay vocation simply as a form of service inside the Church: serving as lectors, acolytes, catechists, and so forth. They forget that the lay vocation is directed above all to charity within the family and to social and political charity. It is a concrete and faith-based commitment to the building of a new society.
Social enmity, on the other hand, is destructive. Families are destroyed by enmity. Countries are destroyed by enmity. The world is destroyed by enmity. And the greatest enmity of all is war.
If, as a result of our own simple and at times costly efforts, we can find points of agreement amid conflict, build bridges and make peace for the benefit of all, then we will experience the miracle of the culture of encounter. This is something which young people can dare to pursue with passion. Alongside some who are indifferent, there are many others who are ready to commit themselves to initiatives of volunteer work, active citizenship and social solidarity. They need to be accompanied and encouraged to use their talents and skills creatively, and to be encouraged to take up their responsibilities.
Very often, they come to realize that there they receive much more than what they give. We grow in wisdom and maturity when we take the time to touch the suffering of others. The poor have a hidden wisdom and, with a few simple words, they can help us discover unexpected values. Other young people take part in social programmes that build houses for the homeless, or reclaim contaminated areas or offer various kinds of assistance to the needy. It would be helpful if this shared energy could be channelled and organized in a more stable way and with clear goals, so as to be even more effective.
University students can apply their knowledge in an interdisciplinary way, together with young people of other churches or religions, in order to propose solutions to social problems. As in the miracle of Jesus, the bread and the fish provided by young people can multiply cf. As in the parable, the small seeds sown by young people can yield a rich harvest cf.
All of this has its living source in the Eucharist, in which our bread and our wine are transformed to grant us eternal life. Young people face immense and difficult challenges. Mercy, creativity and hope make life grow. I have been following news reports of the many young people throughout the world who have taken to the streets to express the desire for a more just and fraternal society.
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Young people taking to the streets! The young want to be protagonists of change. Please, do not leave it to others to be protagonists of change. You are the ones who hold the future! Through you, the future enters into the world. I ask you also to be protagonists of this transformation. You are the ones who hold the key to the future! Continue to fight apathy and to offer a Christian response to the social and political troubles emerging in different parts of the world. I ask you to build the future, to work for a better world. Dear young people, please, do not be bystanders in life.
Get involved! Jesus was not a bystander. He got involved. It seems more modest than the Reagan regulations, upheld by the U. Supreme Court in , which barred Title X clinics from counseling on abortion as well as from performing or referring for it. The new rule is said not to restrict counseling. A word of caution to pro-life groups tempted to exaggerate what the regulation does.
The regulation will better implement what Congress always intended in this program. Courtesy is the best part of culture, a kind of enchantment and it wins the goodwill of all, just as rudeness wins only scorn and universal annoyance. Better too much courtesy than too little. It costs little but pays a nice dividend: Those who honor are honored.
The quote by Spanish Jesuit Baltasar Gracian was written over years ago. Although it is centuries old, it speaks especially to our times. Courtesy is the will to give others room — and space. It avoids oppressive closeness, embarrassment and the sting of painful circumstances. During my ministry, most divorces I witnessed resulted in one spouse restricting the space of the other. No longer was there breathing room to live together peacefully. Restrictions had choked the life out of their marriage. An open atmosphere that encourages mutual sharing and uplifts the human spirit was nonexistent.
In order to exercise it, we must stop and wait; we must make a detour; and we must be considerate and defer our own affairs. In some talk shows, it is common to see a person interrupted in mid-speech and to hear ideas flying here and there and never land. Some consider this good old-fashioned bantering. A closer look often reflects rudeness for the sake of rudeness and dialogue with no true discourse. Why say this? It is because dignity is at its heart. When we act dignified, graciousness is at its best. In other words, continuously be on the alert to promote the goodness and talents in those you meet.
How wise the Psalms are in using the image of honey to symbolize a community in harmony. In a recent homily, Bishop Robert E. The two seem closely related. If you want to embrace everyone in society, you avoid making moral judgments that banish some people to the margins. So all are welcome, along with their own moral views — unless they commit the sin of being judgmental. Take the federal law forbidding sex discrimination, commonly called Title IX.
Congress enacted it to end exclusivism at schools and colleges, where women could not take part in athletic events or win institutional support for their sports teams. The law has worked well. But in the name of inclusion, the Obama administration reinterpreted it to protect those who identify themselves as belonging to a gender with which they were not born.
The result? In theory, a college could legally have two wrestling teams — one made up of men, and one made up of men who identify as women. Driving people from their livelihood based on their religion is an obvious example of exclusion. Or take the public campaign against the fast-food chain Chick-fil-A because it is opening outlets in New York City.
I am a Jew. I am black. I am gay. I am a woman seeking to control her body. We are one New York. But pro-life citizens, faithful Catholics and other traditional Christians — not to mention people who enjoy delicious chicken sandwiches — may not be welcome in this New York. These campaigns have been launched against people seeking simply to live their own lives by their beliefs.
The Christian baker whose case is now before the Supreme Court, as well as the owners of Chick-fil-A, serve all customers equally. They believe in the equal dignity of all people, but not the equal moral status of all actions and relationships. So the baker cannot in conscience make a wedding cake for something his faith says is not a wedding.
If secular Americans want to include everyone, they will need to welcome even people with Christian convictions. We Christians are called to something more demanding. We hate the sin because we love the sinner, because sin hurts those who practice it. We are called to embrace every human being made in the image and likeness of God, and pray for all people to attain their full God-given potential. That means humbly making judgments about behavior that can block this from happening.
If others see that as judgmental, and therefore a sin, they might ask themselves how they can be judgmental against those who believe in the reality of sin and grace. Fred Rogers used to say the space between the television screen and the viewer is holy ground. Imagine if all media producers felt that way. Just beneath Mr. His approach was remarkable for its unremarkability. There were no animations, quick cuts, spastic characters or laugh tracks.
Rogers walked into his living room, and by extension ours, and said hello. Despite the screen separating them, Mr. Divorce rates were skyrocketing and more households sent both mom and dad off to work. Rogers had small rituals that young viewers came to cherish. Each little ritual and repetition provided a moment of recognition for children, and that kind of recognition is calming.
Rogers ties his shoes just like me. Each episode was an opportunity to learn something new, or better, to see something old in a new way. Rogers would bring in a simple object like a shoebox and ask the children what they might do with it. How would they use their imagination to see more than a shoebox?
Rogers showed children that the average and the everyday can be signs of something much more. What better catechism for a child who will one day be shown that this very small piece of bread becomes God in the holy sacrifice of the Mass. Or over the phone or by email for that matter. Something always gets lost in the translation from human presence to electronic reproduction. Fred Rogers knew TV was not the same as the real thing, but his genius was letting his young viewers in on that fact from the very beginning. When the trolley went to the land of make-believe, it was his way of teaching children that the real world and the TV world are two different places.
As a media professor at a Catholic university, I am often asked if I think Christ would have appeared on television if he had been on earth today. He sent an emissary who understood the value of real presence, ritual, sacramentality and friendship. Every morning, before he entered his office, Mr. For Fred. But as her team played its way into the Final Four and became the talk of the sports world, she became the talk of the country.
In the midst of talk about seedings, match-ups, strategies, etc. She was genuine and engaging as she talked about things specific to most teams, i. And you do that not by talking all the time, but just by your presence. What she sowed could certainly have fallen upon fertile ground. The horrific mass shooting at a Florida high school that left 17 people dead has placed school violence and gun control at the forefront of public debate. These should be considered in light of the best evidence on what will save lives without violating our constitutional freedoms.
In this area, I am no expert. One proposal I dislike involves arming teachers, which risks changing the culture of our schools for the worse. I think of the nuns who taught me in middle school, and the Marist brothers and devout laymen who gave me a fine high school education, and I struggle in vain to imagine them packing heat. Nor do I want crazed gunmen to avoid heavily armed public schools to target those run by churches. And gun violence is a larger problem. It takes over 30, lives a year.
Mass shootings are a tiny percentage of this alarming total. Suicides, a scourge among our young people, make up more than half of it. Days after the Florida shooting, there were reports of a year-old boy who shot himself in a middle school restroom in Ohio and died. Why these senseless acts of violence by boys and young men now?
इंग्रजी शब्दकोशामध्ये "tolerate" याचा अर्थ
Farrell says the presence of a strong male role model shows adolescent boys how to channel their aggressive impulses in positive directions, how to be a man. Obviously, most boys raised in our growing number of single-parent families do not become violent. Most single mothers do a great job raising their children, and some kinds of male role model are worse than none at all. But it is important for society to help fill the gap.
Teachers, coaches, Big Brothers, scoutmasters, youth ministers and others have traditionally done so. Churches in particular have offered a moral code against taking human life — a countercultural message, in a nation where abortion and assisted suicide are praised — and a caring community that spans generations. But churches are losing young members, too.
So what do we do, since we must do something? The policy debate continues, and I hope it includes discussion of the loneliness and alienation of boys in our society. I wonder what our excuse will be as Christians for not doing so? Its arrival is preceded by an intense and detailed fact-finding process — more than 18 months in Richmond — to determine whether or not a community has the resources and support a Cristo Rey school needs in order to exist and flourish.
The Cristo Rey Network board saw the results and believes Richmond has those resources and support. As Peter J. Additional credit goes to the late Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo and Bishop Barry C. The benefits of having Cristo Rey in Richmond are threefold: The Cristo Rey model has proven students will be academically successful; they boast a college acceptance rate of percent, 90 percent of whom enroll.
In the course of their education, students receive hands-on, professional work experience. Finally, the Church benefits by having young adults being formed in the faith — faith that can serve them well among peers, in their families and communities and in the vocation to which they are eventually called.
While we did not expect it to be the opening word of Bishop Barry C. In the short time Bishop Knestout has been in the diocese, it is evident he brings genuine enthusiasm for the Gospel and energy to proclaim it. Consider the early years in St. In the case of the latter, it is still being felt. Bishop Knestout said as much in his homily:. At the conclusion of Evening Prayer on Jan. We have not read the page Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. However, one voice to whom we will be listening is Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, chairman of the U. Throughout the debate about the act he warned Congress not to act hastily, noting on Nov.
When the legislation passed Dec. We should expect them to, and want them to, continue speaking on behalf of the poor to us in our churches, through the media, at Congressional hearings, and in the public square. The bishops should have an expectation of us, too. As they continue to root us in the Gospel and all Church teaching about the poor, they should expect we will respond to that teaching.
Whether or not the flaws in the tax act about which the bishops have spoken are remedied legislatively will be determined by those in whom we have entrusted that duty. That could take years, even decades. Legislation or not, one clear understanding we as Catholics must always have is to continue advocating for and serving the poor. They should expect no less of us; we should expect no less of ourselves.
How fitting that during the season in which we hear much about shepherds and the good news they were the first to hear, Pope Francis announced good news for us in naming Bishop-designate Barry C. Knestout as the shepherd for the Diocese of Richmond. In the day and a half Bishop Knestout was in the diocese, we witnessed how quickly — and genuinely — he connected with members of his flock. In the span of one afternoon, we saw him act upon a recommendation Pope Francis made to the U. With the students and staff of Our Lady of Lourdes School, among Catholic Campus Ministry students at VCU, and in meeting the residents and staff at Little Sisters of the Poor, Bishop Knestout was close to his people, attentive to them, taking time with them, listening to them, engaging them.
That bodes well not only for our shepherd, but for us, his flock. He has already spoken about balancing office work with being among the faithful. Most importantly, we have been blessed with a prayerful man who celebrates Mass daily, prays the rosary during his commute to work, and has a devotion to the Holy Spirit. One of the things we know about Blessed Solanus is that he was humble. Dismissed from an archdiocesan seminary because he was not considered academically smart enough to be a diocesan priest, Solanus was welcomed by the Capuchins, who recognized his faith, provided his academic and spiritual formation, and ordained him.
While he was allowed to say Mass, his Franciscan superiors, due to his scholarly limitations, prohibited him from preaching sermons. Nor was he allowed to hear confessions. They assigned him to what could well have been the lowliest job in the Franciscan community — answering the door. We do not criticize his superiors for having such a human response. Had they not made him the community porter, he might have never ministered to thousands of people in the manner he did, and we might never have known this stellar example of Christian witness. If that was all Father Solanus was good for, so be it.
The people Father Solanus served — the poor, the hungry, the lonely, the hurting, the sick, the ignored, the forgotten — did not need a scholar to clothe them, feed them, listen to them, comfort them, and pray for and with them. They needed a priest who was present to them, cared for them, and loved them as Christ loves them. Father Solanus was that priest.
As we do from those lowly and humble people who are an integral part of our Advent and Christmas story, we have much to learn from Blessed Solanus. His humility and willingness to accept the lowest position, and then use it as a way to give witness to the Gospel is exemplary. Cardinal Donald W. Oh, yes. Avoiding repetition of those sins is even more difficult. But it is work that needs to be done if reconciliation is to be genuine.
What must come from the words of prayers, pastoral letters and dialogue is action. Not an action, but ongoing action so that the Catholic commitment to eliminating the infection of racism is never past tense. Atlanta Archbishop Wilton D. The Catholic Church —its members, leadership, parishes, schools, dioceses, organizations, institutions, and programs — is called to determine a course of action and execute it. Credit the Knights of Columbus for reminding us year after year to keep Christ in Christmas. The reminders come early, but our response is often too late.
Yet, when it comes to promoting and embracing the true meaning of Christmas, we delay or, worse, fail to do it. The annual admonishment to keep Christ in Christmas is not futile, but it is going to take more than a slogan or a sign to change hearts. That conversion begins with a personal commitment to focus on the peace and joy of Bethlehem versus the discount peace and tissue paper joy of the retail world. It involves discussions among friends and family, including children, highlighting and embracing how our faith is rooted in this season.
Warning: Expect some to see you more as Scrooge than as St. Nicholas when you put the spiritual above the secular. We have a choice: Be ensnared by the commercialization of Christmas or reclaim the season — our season — seeing it and using it as an opportunity for evangelization. Better than telling people to keep Christ in Christmas, we can show them how to keep Christ in Christmas.
Having a rosary is one thing; praying it is another, as the latter does not automatically follow the former. In our case, all but one of the rosaries were buried in drawers, most untouched in years. This was not due to spiritual deficiency or theological indifference but rather we had opted for other forms of prayer. The witness of those who are part of these rosary rallies can inspire us to reacquaint ourselves with this form of prayer and to delve into the mysteries it highlights.
Those photos can prod us to try praying it in a focused, meaningful way that provides the spiritual nourishment we need. When the rosary was a regular part of my prayer life, I carried one in my pocket where it would get entangled with cash. As I would slowly separate the two and re-pocket the rosary, the expressions of the cashier and other customers varied from discomfort to indifference to curiosity. None said a word, though I wish they had; it would have been an opportunity for catechesis.
For the rosary, as a sacramental and as a prayer, to be an integral part of our prayer life — individually or communally — it has to be in our hands. There are multiple ways to benefit from it. We were reminded of that mindset Oct. With millions of others, we joined in prayer for the victims and their families. But was that enough? Was it enough to pray for the dead, and to ask God to bring healing to their loved ones? Those prayers were and are essential, and, as people of faith, we know God hears them as we are taught to call upon God in our time of need. But our time of need should not be limited to disasters — manmade or natural.
Rather, we should — we must — be in regular contact with God. He must be in us, reflected in our words and actions. We suspect that if, God forbid, we were to experience what the Greatest Generation lived, churches would be open, but they might be echo chambers. As Sunday Mass attendance continues to decline across the United States and elsewhere, there is no reason to believe people would be coming to church daily and at all hours in order to reconnect with God.
We do not need another war or tragedy of any kind. What we need, individually and as a faith community, is to commit or recommit to knowing God, to abandoning ourselves to his will, as taught by his Son and inspired by his Spirit. We must make that relationship evident in all phases of our lives, to the point that we are visible and audible witnesses of his love and mercy. Expect those who do not recognize God as the source of everlasting life to be derisive of our witness, to blame God for tragedies and disasters.
With admirable intentions, they will seek solutions to preventing tragedies, yet they will fall short should they fail to make dependence upon God the key element of those solutions. Every day is our time of need. Addressing those needs, be they as life-changing as hurricanes and mass killings or as personal as the day-to-day challenges we encounter, requires us to embrace the One who can fulfill them. So it was Sept. Our concern is twofold. One is that Feinstein attacked Barrett because the nominee is Catholic.
Can one imagine had the nominee been questioned about her religious beliefs if she were of another faith tradition? There would have been an uproar, widespread calls for apologies, and demands for the questioner to resign. The Catholic leaders one would expect to voice outrage, e. Apparently, attacks on Catholics and Catholicism are still considered OK among a vast group of Americans, probably including, sadly, some who identify as Catholics. For reasons researchers have not been able to quantify, there is little, if any, uproar from people in the pews.
There was a time when we did, but no longer. We would do well to reclaim it — soon. Our second concern is the lack of outrage by Catholic members of the senate who did not call their colleague to task. There are 24 senators — 15 Democrats and 9 Republicans — who identify themselves as Catholic. They were in a position to defend a fellow Catholic and our faith, and they did nothing. It would be interesting to know how they reconcile that inaction with Church teaching.
Instead, comedians mock us, TV shows jab at our beliefs, and U. The outrage from Catholics should be automatic whenever anyone attacks Catholics and Catholicism. If this behavior from a U. In remembering our beloved Bishop, much has been written about his pastoral leadership, his depth of knowledge in moral theology, and his compassion for the poor and vulnerable. Notable evidence of his pastoral leadership are the increases in the number of men discerning their vocation, averaging 30 men in recent years, and the strong relationship with bishops around the world resulting in 47 international priests currently assigned to our parishes, securing a bright future for the lay faithful.
The same can be said of his ability in finance and administration. Consider the following financial highlights:. Bishop DiLorenzo was praised by many for his support for Catholic schools. In October , the University of Notre Dame recognized his efforts when they awarded him the Sorin Award for service to Catholic education. He believed Catholic schools could break the cycle of poverty in certain communities and needed to be affordable to all. Under his leadership, these principles were calls to action and several initiatives were developed to increase the affordability of Catholic schools.
The work of the shepherd of a diocese is never done, but Bishop DiLorenzo gave his successor a very firm foundation on which to build. In light of the passing of Bishop DiLorenzo it is appropriate that we stop and do justice to his life and death. First and foremost, his life was grounded in the Gospel and the call to make the Kingdom of God present to the Diocese. And how did he make the Kingdom of God present? There were so many ways. His love of Catholic schools and his wish to make Catholic education affordable to all was one of the hallmarks of his leadership.
His desire to see a well-educated laity placed in positions of Church leadership was another. He reached out to dioceses around the world and asked them to send their priests to assist in the pastoral care of the Diocese of Richmond — and the many international priests who have served under his leadership ensured that parishes need not be closed. He loved to be around youth, collegians and young adults — and his affection for them was reciprocated.
He wholeheartedly supported the Office of Evangelization which serves young people and parishes so well. He had a steadfast love and affection for our seminarians as well as deep concern for our priests and permanent deacons with whom he met annually. He supported the Capital Campaign and the Annual Appeal and was overwhelmed by the generosity of the lay faithful who responded to his call for support. He hoped that the Home Mission Grant program would benefit smaller parishes with limited financial resources — and, indeed, it has.
My hope is that these ministries and others he initiated will not be lost but will continue to benefit the Church and the Diocese. I pray — as he would — that word, worship, community and service continue to thrive. We always knew when Bishop DiLorenzo was around. We tolerated his singing because he kept us entertained. He loved and was genuinely interested in everyone he met. Bishop DiLorenzo struggled with health issues for many years, but he was always hopeful and optimistic about his future.
He was also very grateful. And in that last week he told us so. He thanked each of us who worked for him, and all the people in the Pastoral Center and parishes. In his last few days he felt the reality of the Cross in his own pain and suffering and in the end he was courageous enough to move from the Cross, to trust in God, and through that trust to the fullness of the Resurrection.
This is an act all of us can emulate daily. Let us pray that nothing of his life be lost but that it continue to benefit our Church and our Diocese. In the s, this fear drove campaigns to legalize abortion and pour billions of dollars into birth control programs. Now experts warn about the opposite. While birth rates remain relatively high in developing nations, they are lower than predicted. For a while, the United States did better than Europe, partly due to immigration. But even immigrants are having fewer children as they absorb American values, and we now have the lowest U.
Combined with our longer life span, this trend has dire consequences. Has the Planned Parenthood agenda succeeded beyond its wildest dreams? Abortions have been declining as well. And numerous studies show that birth control programs often fail to reduce pregnancies, births or abortions. The deeper problem is not technology but a lack of will. People in our society are losing interest in having a family, especially a large family.
This varies by religion, according to a study by the Pew Research Center. Jews, Catholics and most flavors of Protestantism have fertility rates ranging from 2 to 2. So secularization is a major factor. Why are those who deeply believe in God and eternal life, regardless of any specific teaching on birth control, more willing to generate new life here and now? I think the decline in belief has led many people to think this life brings the only pleasure they will know, and personal or professional achievement brings the only self-affirmation.
Pursuit of these excludes devoting time and effort to marriage and especially children — at least until later life when fertility declines. Believers see this life as a testing ground, not a final reward. Christians especially know that opening yourself to others in love is the path to heaven, and to a more lasting joy and deeper satisfaction in this life than pleasure or affluence provide. So Catholics worried about the rise of atheism can take a short-term and a long-term approach. Right now, we need to educate our children, evangelize and respond to attacks on the faith.
As for the long term, Catholic couples, can you guess? Pope Francis left a not-so-subtle message outside his office in the Domus Sanctae Marthae residence: anyone who is thinking of making a fuss, leave your whining at the door. To get the best out of yourself, concentrate on your potential and not on your limitations. While it may seem like a serious request, the pope found the sign hilarious when it was given to him by Italian life coach and motivational speaker, Dr.
Salvo Noe. Continue to complain; he is a father and this is a form of prayer. Complain to the Lord, this is good. For some it was about keeping young people in the church. Others wanted to hear about diocesan ministries in another locale and perhaps bring an idea home. A few more were glad they could be heard by a bishop or two. Participants from the Diocese of Richmond who gave up their Fourth of July holiday with family and friends to participate in this task for the Church had expectations, too.
Some are detailed in this edition of The Catholic Virginian. Catholic Church. The convocation, years in planning, was the first time in a century that the bishops convened church leaders — clergy, religious, seminarians, parish volunteers and professional staff among them — to respond to social and spiritual quandaries that have left millions of people drifting on the margins of society.
Clergy — more than prelates and priests — recognize that the church must respond to those quandaries. While cardinals, archbishops and bishops played leading roles throughout the convocation, they also were on hand to listen. They joined breakout sessions; some did not speak at all.
During the final gatherings of diocesan delegations and affiliated groups July 4, bishops could be seen quietly watching and taking notes as the conversations on practical steps to undertake back home unfolded. Pope Francis fueled the impetus for the gathering. His call for a more merciful church joyfully working on the peripheries of society to heal the wounded inspired the delegates throughout the convocation. Although Father James Kauffmann was a brilliant man who spoke several languages, he had a gift of being able to connect with a diversity of people who benefitted from that relationship.
Over the next several weeks those who knew Father Kauffmann, who died June 19, will likely share stories of how he had touched their lives. While pastor of St. This interest sparked a priestly vocation. Father Kauffmann was a strong supporter of Catholic school education, promoting it whenever he could. From there he went on to St. It was there Father Kauffmann developed a love for Italy that continued for the next plus years. He had just recently returned from Italy when he died suddenly at age His love for learning marked his life.
He also loved travel and was scheduled to lead a pilgrimage to Sicily and Southern Italy in November. Benedict Parish in Richmond, he worked hard to ensure that students at the parish school received a fine classical education. The students developed an appreciation for different languages as well as art and music. Father Kauffmann cultivated friendships with people who were also brilliant.
He radiated both curiosity and enthusiasm in his conversations which developed into learning experiences for both parties. A good number of people eventually entered the Catholic Church after dialogue with Father Kauffmann. One professor, a Presbyterian, was introduced to Father Kauffmann because of their mutual interest in Latin and Greek. Father Kauffmann and the professor spent hours discussing scholarly points which would have limited interest to others.
But Father Kauffmann was just as animated and interested in talking with others of far less intellect. The students at St. Benedict School loved him and were excited when he made visits to the classrooms. Father Kauffmann would laugh that hearty laugh if someone were to portray him as an extraordinary priest, but, in fact, he was. Attendance at two separate liturgies — at St.
We are now living in the joyful season of Easter. But I ask you, is it realistic to ask anyone to be joyful in this crazy world of ours? There will always be crosses, and yet we are called to live joyfully through all the drudgery and pain of life. We all suffer physical and emotional pain of one kind or another: our bodies ache, people disappoint, financial woes engender fear, the possibility of war persists, but despite this, we are still called to live joyfully.
In a true sense joy is the keynote message and the recurring motif of the Gospels — Go therefore and become messengers of joy. I will be glad, and filled with joy, because of you. Recently Bishop Robert Barron wrote about the strict moral code that the Church proclaims in matters of sexuality. Many Catholics say the Church should scale back on these rigid standards, but Christ calls us higher. We all know the heartbreak and suffering that comes from unbridled sexuality.
Mediocrity and irresponsibility always lead to misery and death. Of course, we are weak and sinful. Of course, we need Divine mercy just to survive spiritually from day to day, but we also need Christian ideals that call us to nobility and holiness. Mediocrity is not an option.
Probably few people under the age of 30 have any sense of the role orphanages played in American society until the s when that system of child protection began to be phased out. Children were placed in buildings known as orphanages when their parents or other family members were unable to care for them, largely because of financial issues. For more than half a century the Diocese of Richmond had St. It was established by St. Many of the boys grew up to be lawyers and business executives and credited St.
Perhaps the one man best known for his charitable work in orphanages is the late Father Edward J. Father Flanagan was the founder of Boys Town in Omaha. His story and that of Boys Town was made into a movie in which starred Spencer Tracy as the kind-hearted but no-nonsense priest. The priest started out with a rented house for five boys who needed a home. It grew to become a national treasure which had a main campus of group homes for both boys and girls, a grade school and high school and a post office.
The Catholic Archdiocese of Omaha took up the cause for Father Flanagan to be declared a saint in