Posted in PAPAL MESSAGES, QUOTES on MISSION, WORLD DAYS of PRAYER

Thought for the Day – 20 October – World Mission Sunday – The Holy Father’s Message

Thought for the Day – 20 October – Twenty Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 18:1–8 and World Mission Sundayworld mission sun 20 oct 2019 i am a mission you are a mission

The Holy Father’s Message

Baptised and Sent
The Church of Christ on Mission in the World

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

For the month of October 2019, I have asked that the whole Church revive her missionary awareness and commitment as we commemorate the centenary of the Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud of Pope Benedict XV (30 November 1919).   Its farsighted and prophetic vision of the apostolate has made me realise once again the importance of renewing the Church’s missionary commitment and giving fresh evangelical impulse to her work of preaching and bringing to the world the salvation of Jesus Christ, who died and rose again.
The title of the present Message is the same as that of October’s Missionary Month—Baptised and Sent: The Church of Christ on Mission in the World.   Celebrating this month will help us, first, to rediscover the missionary dimension of our faith in Jesus Christ, a faith graciously bestowed on us in baptism.   Our filial relationship with God, is not something simply private but always in relation to the Church.   Through our communion with God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we, together with so many of our other brothers and sisters, are born to new life.   This divine life is not a product for sale – we do not practice proselytism – but a treasure to be given, communicated and proclaimed – that is the meaning of mission.   We received this gift freely and we share it freely (cf. Mt 10:8), without excluding anyone.   God wills that all people be saved by coming to know the truth and experiencing His mercy through the ministry of the Church, the universal sacrament of salvation (cf. 1 Tim 2:4; Lumen Gentium, 48).

The Church is on a mission in the world.   Faith in Jesus Christ enables us to see all things in their proper perspective, as we view the world with God’s own eyes and heart.   Hope opens us up to the eternal horizons of the divine life that we share.   Charity, of which we have a foretaste in the sacraments and in fraternal love, impels us to go forth to the ends of the earth (cf. Mic 5:4; Mt 28:19; Acts 1:8; Rom 10:18).   A Church that presses forward to the farthest frontiers requires a constant and ongoing missionary conversion.   How many saints, how many men and women of faith, witness to the fact that this unlimited openness, this going forth in mercy, is indeed possible and realistic, for it is driven by love and its deepest meaning as gift, sacrifice and gratuitousness (cf. 2 Cor 5:14-21)!   The man who preaches God must be a man of God (cf. Maximum Illud).

This missionary mandate touches us personally – I am a mission, always, you are a mission, always, every baptised man and woman is a mission.   People in love never stand still – they are drawn out of themselves, they are attracted and attract others in turn, they give themselves to others and build relationships that are life-giving.   As far as God’s love is concerned, no-one is useless or insignificant.   Each of us is a mission to the world, for each of us is the fruit of God’s love.   Even if parents can betray their love by lies, hatred and infidelity, God never takes back His gift of life.   From eternity He has destined each of His children to share in His divine and eternal life (cf. Eph 1:3-6).

This life is bestowed on us in baptism, which grants us the gift of faith in Jesus Christ, the conqueror of sin and death. Baptism gives us rebirth in God’s own image and likeness and makes us members of the Body of Christ, which is the Church.   In this sense, baptism is truly necessary for salvation for it ensures that we are always and everywhere sons and daughters in the house of the Father, and never orphans, strangers or slaves.   What, in the Christian, is a sacramental reality – whose fulfilment is found in the Eucharist – remains the vocation and destiny of every man and woman in search of conversion and salvation.   For baptism fulfils the promise of the gift of God that makes everyone a son or daughter in the Son.   We are children of our natural parents but in baptism, we receive the origin of all fatherhood and true motherhood, no-one can have God for a Father who does not have the Church for a mother (cf. Saint Cyprian, De Cath. Eccl., 6).

Our mission, then, is rooted in the fatherhood of God and the motherhood of the Church. The mandate given by the Risen Jesus at Easter is inherent in Baptism – as the Father has sent me, so I send you, filled with the Holy Spirit, for the reconciliation of the world (cf. Jn 20:19-23; Mt 28:16-20).   This mission is part of our identity as Christians, it makes us responsible for enabling all men and women to realise their vocation to be adoptive children of the Father, to recognise their personal dignity and to appreciate the intrinsic worth of every human life, from conception until natural death.   Today’s rampant secularism, when it becomes an aggressive cultural rejection of God’s active fatherhood in our history, is an obstacle to authentic human fraternity, which finds expression in reciprocal respect for the life of each person.   Without the God of Jesus Christ, every difference is reduced to a baneful threat, making impossible, any real fraternal acceptance and fruitful unity, within the human race.

The universality of the salvation offered by God in Jesus Christ led Benedict XV to call for an end to all forms of nationalism and ethnocentrism, or the merging of the preaching of the Gospel with the economic and military interests of the colonial powers.   In his Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud, the Pope noted that the Church’s universal mission requires setting aside exclusivist ideas of membership in one’s own country and ethnic group.   The opening of the culture and the community to the salvific newness of Jesus Christ requires leaving behind every kind of undue ethnic and ecclesial introversion.

Today too, the Church needs men and women who, by virtue of their baptism, respond generously to the call to leave behind home, family, country, language and local Church, and to be sent forth to the nations, to a world not yet transformed by the sacraments of Jesus Christ and His holy Church.   By proclaiming God’s word, bearing witness to the Gospel and celebrating the life of the Spirit, they summon to conversion, baptise and offer Christian salvation, with respect for the freedom of each person and in dialogue with the cultures and religions of the peoples to whom they are sent.

The missio ad gentes, which is always necessary for the Church, thus contributes in a fundamental way to the process of ongoing conversion in all Christians.   Faith in the Easter event of Jesus, the ecclesial mission received in baptism, the geographic and cultural detachment from oneself and one’s own home, the need for salvation from sin and liberation from personal and social evil – all these demand the mission that reaches to the very ends of the earth.

The providential coincidence of this centenary year with the celebration of the Special Synod on the Churches in the Amazon allows me to emphasise how the mission entrusted to us by Jesus with the gift of His Spirit is also timely and necessary for those lands and their peoples.   A renewed Pentecost opens wide the doors of the Church, in order that no culture remain closed in on itself and no people cut off from the universal communion of the faith.   No-one ought to remain closed in self-absorption, in the self-referentiality of his or her own ethnic and religious affiliation.   The Easter event of Jesus breaks through the narrow limits of worlds, religions and cultures, calling them to grow in respect, for the dignity of men and women and towards a deeper conversion to the truth of the Risen Lord, who gives authentic life to all.

Here I am reminded of the words of Pope Benedict XVI at the beginning of the meeting of Latin American Bishops at Aparecida, Brazil, in 2007.   I would like to repeat these words and make them my own:  “Yet what did the acceptance of the Christian faith mean for the nations of Latin America and the Caribbean?   For them, it meant knowing and welcoming Christ, the unknown God whom their ancestors were seeking, without realising it, in their rich religious traditions. Christ is the Saviour for whom they were silently longing.   It also meant that they received, in the waters of Baptism, the divine life that made them children of God by adoption, moreover, they received the Holy Spirit who came to make their cultures fruitful, purifying them and developing the numerous seeds that the incarnate Word had planted in them, thereby guiding them along the paths of the Gospel…   The Word of God, in becoming flesh in Jesus Christ, also became history and culture.   The utopia of going back to breathe life into the pre-Columbian religions, separating them from Christ and from the universal Church, would not be a step forward, indeed, it would be a step back.   In reality, it would be a retreat towards a stage in history anchored in the past” (Address at the Inaugural Session, 13 May 2007: Insegnamenti III, 1 [2007], 855-856).

We entrust the Church’s mission to Mary our Mother.   In union with her Son, from the moment of the Incarnation, the Blessed Virgin set out on her pilgrim way.   She was fully involved in the mission of Jesus, a mission that became her own at the foot of the Cross – the mission of co-operating, as Mother of the Church, in bringing new sons and daughters of God to birth in the Spirit and in faith.

I would like to conclude with a brief word about the Pontifical Mission Societies, already proposed in Maximum Illud as a missionary resource.  The Pontifical Mission Societies serve the Church’s universality as a global network of support for the Pope in his missionary commitment by prayer, the soul of mission, and charitable offerings from Christians throughout the world.   Their donations assist the Pope in the evangelisation efforts of particular Churches (the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith), in the formation of local clergy (the Pontifical Society of Saint Peter the Apostle), in raising missionary awareness in children (Pontifical Society of Missionary Childhood) and in encouraging the missionary dimension of Christian faith (Pontifical Missionary Union). In renewing my support for these Societies, I trust that the extraordinary Missionary Month of October 2019 will contribute to the renewal of their missionary service to my ministry.

To men and women missionaries and to all those who, by virtue of their baptism, share in any way in the mission of the Church, I send my heartfelt blessing.

From the Vatican, 9 June 2019, Solemnity of Pentecost
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Holy Mother, Pray for us all!holy mother pray for us 30 jan 2019.jpg

Posted in QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on MISSION, St JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN!, St Pope JOHN PAUL, THOMAS a KEMPIS, WORLD DAYS of PRAYER

Quote/s of the Day – 20 October – World Mission Sunday

Quote/s of the Day – 20 October – World Mission Sunday

“We must sow
the seed,
not hoard it.”

St Dominic (1170-1221)we-must-sow-the-seed-not-hoard-it-st-dominic-8-aug-2018and 20 october 2019.jpg

“He will be with you also,
all the way, that faithful God.
Every morning when you awaken
to the old and tolerable pain,
at every mile of the hot uphill dusty road of tiring duty,
on to the judgement seat,
the same Christ there as ever,
still loving you,
still sufficient for you, even then.
And then, on through all eternity.”

Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)he-will-be-with-you-also-that-same-christ-thomas-a-kempis-14-june-2018-and-3-oct-2019 and 20 oct 2019.jpg

“It is our vocation
to set people’s hearts ablaze,
to do what the Son of God did,
who came to light a fire on earth
in order to set it ablaze with His love.”

Blessed Frédéric Ozanam (1813–1853)it-is-our-vocation-bl-frederic-ozanam-9-sept-2019 20 oct 2019.jpg

“We are apostles!
We are apostles
and we wander far and wide,
we work generously,
only for the sake of souls,
only for the Church,
only for heaven!”

Blessed Paolo Manna (1872-1952)we-are-apostles-bl-paolo-manna-15-sept-2019 and 20 oct 2019.jpg

“To die for the faith
is a gift to some,
to live the faith
is a call for all.”

St John Paul II (1920-2005)to-die-for-the-faith-is-a-gift-to-some-to-live-the-faith-is-a-call-to-all-st-john-paul-28-sept-2019 and 20 oct 2019.jpg

“I have a place in God’s counsels,
In God’s world
which no-one else has,
whether I be rich or poor,
despised or esteemed by man,
God knows me
and calls me by my name.
God has created me to do Him
some definite service.
He has committed some work to me,
which He has not committed to another.
I have my mission –
I never may know it in this life
but I shall be told it, in the next.
…Yet, I have a part in this great work,
I am a link in a chain,
…I shall do good,
I shall do His work,
I shall be an angel of peace,
a preacher of truth in my own place
…and serve Him in my calling.”

Saint John Henry Newman (1801-1890)i have a place in god's counsels - world mission sun 20 oct 2019 st john henry newman .jpg

Posted in EUCHARISTIC Adoration, PAPAL MESSAGES, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The HOLY EUCHARIST, WORLD DAYS of PRAYER

Thought for the Day – 16 February – May we all become Sacramentini!

Thought for the Day – 16 February – The Memorial of Blessed Joseph Allamano (1851–1926) – Founder of the Consolata Missionaries and Consolata Missionary Sisters and of World Mission Sunday

20 October 2019 will mark the 93rd World Mission Sunday and this year, the Holy Father has proclaimed October as as ‘Extraordinary Missionary Month’ to be marked and celebrated in the whole Church throughout the world and entrusted the mission of the Church in the world especially to St Pope John Paul II, as Pope Francis made the announcement he said – “On the day of the liturgical memory of Saint John Paul II, missionary Pope, we entrust to his intercession the mission of the Church in the world.’

The first World Mission Day was celebrated in October 1926, eight months after the death of Blessed Joseph Allamano.   This is not a simple coincidence because Joseph Allamano dedicated a great deal of his time and influence during the last years of his life, to the effort of creating awareness in the Church, about the need for a World Mission Day to be celebrated once a year by all Catholics.

This was in line with his vision that Missions and missionary work were the duty of every baptised believer, each one according to his abilities and possibilities but none exempted.   Allamano did not see here on earth the fulfilment of his efforts for the creation of this day of prayer and commitment but witnessed it from heaven.

He can be compared to Fidelis of Sigmaringen (1577-1622), a saint he especially admired and proposed as Patron to his Missionaries, who in his time insisted tirelessly on the need to create in Rome a Congregation for the Evangelisation of the Peoples and died a martyr of the faith in April 1622, three months before the creation of the Congregation of Propaganda Fide (for the Propagation of the Faith).

For Allamano it was not simply a question of awakening the missionary zeal in others, he always looked at his faith, whatever the circumstances, as a faith to be shared with the entire world.   He would subscribe especially to the Pope Benedict’s message statement that “every Christian community is born missionary and it is exactly on the basis of the courage to evangelise that the love of believers for their Lord is measured”. (Pope Benedict’s Message 2001 – To All the Churches of the World)

The sources of Joseph’s personal tenderness for all, for the whole world, were Our Lady Consolata and the Eucharist.   The love towards our Mother Mary and the Eucharist made him speak words belonging uniquely to him.   He became progressive resulting in marked changes in his attitude and behaviour  . It was a life shaped by Mary and Jesus. Familiar to us, the sons and daughters of Allamano, are these very words, ‘First Saints and then Missionaries.’

For sure, Blessed Allamano was an excellent father in human relationships.   Who was the source of his inspiration and wisdom?   Indeed, it is only from the Eucharist that Joseph Allamano found God in His essence, the pure love.   Therefore, Allamano became a witness of the pure love, Jesus.   Ultimately, he was inspired to send missionaries to be ‘SACRAMENTINI’ as he would say.   He sent them to ‘love the Eucharist’.

My prayer, is that Blessed Joseph Allamano, priest and missionary for the entire world, may bless all our parish communities and all the Catholics of the world, that our zeal and determination may be increased, to make our treasure, the Gospel and the Holy Eucharist, our Lord and Saviour, available to all.

May we all become Sacramentini!  Amenbl joseph allamano pray for us no 2 - 16 feb 2019.jpg

Posted in MORNING Prayers, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, WORLD DAYS of PRAYER

World Mission Sunday – 22 October – 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

World Mission Sunday – 22 October – 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

‘Mission at the Heart of the Christian Faith’

Pope Francis’ Message for World Mission Sunday 2017, which is focused on Mission at the Heart of the Christian Faith.WORLD MISSION SUNDAY 22 OCT 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Once again this year, World Mission Day gathers us around the person of Jesus, “the very first and greatest evangeliSer” (PAUL VI, Evangelii Nuntiandi, 7), who continually sends us forth to proclaim the Gospel of the love of God the Father in the power of the Holy Spirit.    This Day invites us to reflect anew on the mission at the heart of the Christian faith.    The Church is missionary by nature; otherwise, she would no longer be the Church of Christ but one group among many others that soon end up serving their purpose and passing away.   So it is important to ask ourselves certain questions about our Christian identity and our responsibility as believers in a world marked by confusion, disappointment and frustration, and torn by numerous fratricidal wars that unjustly target the innocent.  What is the basis of our mission?   What is the heart of our mission?   What are the essential approaches we need to take in carrying out our mission?

Mission and the transformative power of the Gospel of Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life

1. The Church’s mission, directed to all men and women of good will, is based on the transformative power of the Gospel.   The Gospel is Good News filled with contagious joy, for it contains and offers new life: the life of the Risen Christ who, by bestowing His life-giving Spirit, becomes for us the Way, the Truth and the Life (cf. Jn 14:6).   He is the Way who invites us to follow Him with confidence and courage.   In following Jesus as our Way, we experience Truth and receive His Life, which is fullness of communion with God the Father in the power of the Holy Spirit.   That life sets us free from every kind of selfishness and is a source of creativity in love.

2. God the Father desires this existential transformation of his sons and daughters, a transformation that finds expression in worship in spirit and truth (cf. Jn 4:23-24), through a life guided by the Holy Spirit in imitation of Jesus the Son to the glory of God the Father.   “The glory of God is the living man” (IRENAEUS, Adversus Haereses IV, 20, 7).  The preaching of the Gospel thus becomes a vital and effective word that accomplishes what it proclaims (cf. Is 55:10-11): Jesus Christ, who constantly takes flesh in every human situation (cf. Jn 1:14).

Mission and the kairos of Christ

3. The Church’s mission, then, is not to spread a religious ideology, much less to propose a lofty ethical teaching.   Many movements throughout the world inspire high ideals or ways to live a meaningful life.   Through the mission of the Church, Jesus Christ himself continues to evangelize and act; her mission thus makes present in history the kairos, the favourable time of salvation.   Through the proclamation of the Gospel, the risen Jesus becomes our contemporary, so that those who welcome Him with faith and love can experience the transforming power of His Spirit, who makes humanity and creation fruitful, even as the rain does with the earth.  “His resurrection is not an event of the past; it contains a vital power which has permeated this world.   Where all seems to be dead, signs of the resurrection suddenly spring up.  It is an irresistible force” (Evangelii Gaudium, 276).

4. Let us never forget that “being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea but the encounter with an event, a Person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction” (BENEDICT XVI, Deus Caritas Est, 1).   The Gospel is a Person who continually offers Himself and constantly invites those who receive Him with humble and religious faith to share His life by an effective participation in the paschal mystery of His death and resurrection.   Through Baptism, the Gospel becomes a source of new life, freed of the dominion of sin, enlightened and transformed by the Holy Spirit.  Through Confirmation, it becomes a fortifying anointing that, through the same Spirit, points out new ways and strategies for witness and accompaniment.   Through the Eucharist, it becomes food for new life, a “medicine of immortality” (IGNATIUS OF ANTIOCH, Ad Ephesios, 20, 2).

5. The world vitally needs the Gospel of Jesus Christ.   Through the Church, Christ continues his mission as the Good Samaritan, caring for the bleeding wounds of humanity, and as Good Shepherd, constantly seeking out those who wander along winding paths that lead nowhere.   Thank God, many significant experiences continue to testify to the transformative power of the Gospel.   I think of the gesture of the Dinka student who, at the cost of his own life, protected a student from the enemy Nuer tribe who was about to be killed.   I think of that Eucharistic celebration in Kitgum, in northern Uganda, where, after brutal massacres by a rebel group, a missionary made the people repeat the words of Jesus on the cross:   “My God, My God, why have you abandoned me?” as an expression of the desperate cry of the brothers and sisters of the crucified Lord.   For the people, that celebration was an immense source of consolation and courage.   We can think too of countless testimonies to how the Gospel helps to overcome narrowness, conflict, racism, tribalism, and to promote everywhere, and among all, reconciliation, fraternity, and sharing.

Mission inspires a spirituality of constant exodus, pilgrimage, and exile

6. The Church’s mission is enlivened by a spirituality of constant exodus.   We are challenged “to go forth from our own comfort zone in order to reach all the peripheries in need of the light of the Gospel” (Evangelii Gaudium, 20).   The Church’s mission impels us to undertake a constant pilgrimage across the various deserts of life, through the different experiences of hunger and thirst for truth and justice.   The Church’s mission inspires a sense of constant exile, to make us aware, in our thirst for the infinite, that we are exiles journeying towards our final home, poised between the “already” and “not yet” of the Kingdom of Heaven.

7.  Mission reminds the Church that she is not an end unto herself but a humble instrument and mediation of the Kingdom.   A self-referential Church, one content with earthly success, is not the Church of Christ,hhis crucified and glorious Body.  That is why we should prefer “a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security” (ibid., 49).

Young people, the hope of mission

8. Young people are the hope of mission.   The person of Jesus Christ and the Good News He proclaimed continue to attract many young people.   They seek ways to put themselves with courage and enthusiasm at the service of humanity.   “There are many young people who offer their solidarity in the face of the evils of the world and engage in various forms of militancy and volunteering…  How beautiful it is to see that young people are ‘street preachers’, joyfully bringing Jesus to every street, every town square and every corner of the earth!” (ibid., 106).   The next Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, to be held in 2018 on the theme Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment, represents a providential opportunity to involve young people in the shared missionary responsibility that needs their rich imagination and creativity.

The service of the Pontifical Mission Societies

9. The Pontifical Mission Societies are a precious means of awakening in every Christian community a desire to reach beyond its own confines and security in order to proclaim the Gospel to all.   In them, thanks to a profound missionary spirituality, nurtured daily, and a constant commitment to raising missionary awareness and enthusiasm, young people, adults, families, priests, bishops and men and women religious work to develop a missionary heart in everyone.    World Mission Day, promoted by the Society of the Propagation of the Faith, is a good opportunity for enabling the missionary heart of Christian communities to join in prayer, testimony of life and communion of goods, in responding to the vast and pressing needs of evangelization.

Carrying out our mission with Mary, Mother of Evangelization

10. Dear brothers and sisters, in carrying out our mission, let us draw inspiration from Mary, Mother of Evangelisation.   Moved by the Spirit, she welcomed the Word of life in the depths of her humble faith.   May the Virgin Mother help us to say our own “yes”, conscious of the urgent need to make the Good News of Jesus resound in our time.  May she obtain for us renewed zeal in bringing to everyone the Good News of the life that is victorious over death.   May she intercede for us so that we can acquire the holy audacity needed to discover new ways to bring the gift of salvation to every man and woman.

From the Vatican, 4 June 2017
Solemnity of Pentecost

Mary, Mother of Evangelisation, Pray for the Church, Pray for us all – that we may go forth and make the Good News of Jesus resound in our time!MARY MOTHER OF EVANGELISATION - 22 oct 2017