Posted in MARTYRS, ON the SAINTS, Papa FRANCIS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONSCIENCE, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on HUMAN DIGNITY, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, SAINT of the DAY, The TEN COMMANDMENTS, YouTube VIDEOS

Thought for the Day – 24 March – An Incarnational Faith must be expressed publicly

Thought for the Day – 24 March – The Third Sunday of Lent, Year C and The Memorial of Bl Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez (1917–1980) Martyr

The night before he was murdered while celebrating Mass, Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador said on the radio:

“I would like to appeal in a special way to the men of the army and in particular to the troops of the National Guard, the police and the garrisons. Brothers, you belong to our own people.   You kill your own brother peasants and in the face of an order to kill that is given by a man, the law of God that says ‘Do not kill!’ should prevail.

No soldier is obliged to obey an order counter to the law of God.   No-one has to comply with an immoral law.   It is the time now that you recover your conscience and obey its dictates rather than the command of sin. . . . Therefore, in the name of God and in the name of this long-suffering people, whose laments rise to heaven every day more tumultuous, I beseech you, I beg you, I command you!   In the name of God: ‘Cease the repression!’”

Simultaneously, Romero had eloquently upheld the gospel and effectively signed his own death warrant.

When a military junta seized control of the national government in 1979, Archbishop Romero publicly criticised the US government for backing the junta.  His weekly radio sermons, broadcast throughout the country, were regarded by many as the most trustworthy source of news available.

Romero’s funeral was celebrated in the plaza outside the cathedral and drew an estimated 250,000 mourners.

His tomb in the cathedral crypt soon drew thousands of visitors each year.   On 3 February 2015, Pope Francis authorised a decree recognising Oscar Romero as a martyr for the faith.   His beatification took place in San Salvador on 23 May 2015.   He was canonized on 14 October 2018.archbishop-romero-invites-us-to-good-sense-pope-francis-24-march-2019.jpg

Oscar Romero and many other Latin American martyrs for the faith were falsely accused of advocating a Marxist-inspired “theology of liberation.”   Following Jesus always requires choices.   Romero’s fiercest critics conveniently dismissed his choices as politically inspired.   An incarnational faith must be expressed publicly.

St Oscar Romero, Pray for Us!ast oscar romero pray for us 24 march 2019.jpg

Posted in Papa FRANCIS, PAPAL HOMILIES, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 10 February – The Memorial of Blessed Aloysius Stepinac (1898–1960) Martyr

Thought for the Day – 10 February – The Memorial of Blessed Aloysius Stepinac (1898–1960) Martyr

Excerpt from the Beatification Homily of
THE HOLY FATHER AT MARIJA BISTRICA
FOR THE BEATIFICATION OF THE
VENERABLE SERVANT OF GOD
CARDINAL ALOJZIJE STEPINAC
3 October 1998

For all of us, a particular cause for comfort is today’s Beatification.   This solemn act takes place in the Croatian national shrine of Marija Bistrica on the first Saturday of the month of October.   Beneath the gaze of the Most Blessed Virgin, an illustrious son of this blessed land is raised to the glory of the altars, on the hundredth anniversary of his birth.   It is an historic moment in the life of the Church and of your nation.   The Cardinal Archbishop of Zagreb, one of the outstanding figures of the Catholic Church, having endured in his own body and his own spirit the atrocities of the Communist system, is now entrusted to the memory of his fellow countrymen with the radiant badge of martyrdom.

The Episcopate of your country asked that the Beatification of Cardinal Stepinac take place here, in the Shrine of Marija Bistrica.   I know from personal experience the significance that the Shrine of Jasna Gora had for the Polish people at the time of Communist rule, a Shrine closely linked to the pastoral ministry of the Servant of God Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski.   I am not surprised that this Shrine, or that of Solona which I shall visit tomorrow, have had a similar importance for you.   For some time I have wanted to visit the Shrine of Marija Bistrica.   And so I gladly accepted the proposal of the Croatian Episcopate and today celebrate the solemn beatification ceremony in this significant place.682px-Marija_Bistrica.jpg

“If anyone serves me, he must follow me” (Jn 12:26).   Blessed Alojzije Stepinac took the Good Shepherd as his sole Teacher, following His example to the end and offering his life for the flock entrusted to him at a particularly difficult period of history.

The person of the new Beatus sums up, so to speak, the whole tragedy which befell the Croatian people and Europe in the course of this century marked by the three great evils of fascism, national socialism and communism.   He is now in the joy of heaven, surrounded by all those who, like him, fought the good fight, purifying their faith in the crucible of suffering.   Today we look to him with trust and invoke his intercession.

Significant in this regard are the words spoken by the new Beatus in 1943, during the Second World War, when Europe was in the grip of unheard-of violence:   “What system does the Catholic Church support today, while the whole world is fighting for a new world order?   We, in condemning the injustices, all the killing of innocent people, the burning of peaceful villages, the destruction of the labour of the poor, … give this answer: the Church supports that system which is as old as the Ten Commandments of God.   We are for the system which is not written on impermanent tables but which has been written by the hand of the living God on the consciences of men” (Homilies, Addresses, Messages, Zagreb, 1996, 179-180).

“Father, glorify your name!” (Jn 12:28).   In his human and spiritual journey Blessed Alojzije Stepinac gave his people a sort of compass to serve as an orientation.   And these were its cardinal points – faith in God, respect for man, love towards all even to the offer of forgiveness and unity with the Church guided by the Successor of Peter.   He knew well that no bargains can be made with truth, because truth is not negotiable.   Thus he faced suffering rather than betray his conscience and not abide by the promise given to Christ and the Church.

In this courageous witness he was not alone.   He had at his side other courageous souls who, in order to preserve the unity of the Church and defend her freedom, agreed to pay with him a heavy price in imprisonment, mistreatment and even bloodshed  . To these generous souls – Bishops, priests, men and women religious and lay faithful – we offer today our admiration and gratitude.   Let us listen to their urgent call for forgiveness and reconciliation.   To forgive and to be reconciled, means to purify one’s memory of hatred, rancour, the desire for revenge, it means acknowledging as a brother even those who have wronged us, it means not being overcome by evil but overcoming evil with good (cf. Rom 12:21).
May you be blessed, “Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Father of mercies and God of all comfort” (2 Cor 1:3), for this new gift of your grace.

May you be blessed, Unbegotten Son of God and Saviour of the world, for your glorious Cross, which in the Archbishop of Zagreb, Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac, has won a splendid victory.

May you be blessed, Spirit of the Father and the Son, Paraclete Spirit, who continue to manifest your holiness among men and unceasingly carry on the work of salvation.

Triune God, today I wish to thank you for the strong faith of this your people, despite the many trials encountered through the centuries.   I wish to thank you for the countless martyrs and confessors, men and women in every age, who have arisen in this blessed land.

“Father, glorify your name!” (Jn 12:28).

Blessed be Jesus and Mary!

HIS HOLINESS JOHN PAUL II

Blessed Aloysius Stepinac, Pray for Us!blessed sloysius stepinac pray for us 10 feb 2019 .jpg