“With this image Jesus tells is that in this world the good and the evil are so intertwined that it is impossible to separate and extirpate all the evil,” the Pope told the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square. “God alone can do this, and He will do so in the Last Judgment.”
“The present situation, with its ambiguities and its composite character, is the field of the freedom, the field of the freedom of Christians, in which the difficult exercise of discernment between good and evil takes place,” Pope Francis continued, as he called for “decision and patience”:
The decision is to want to be the good seed—we all want this, with all our strength, and, hence, distancing ourselves from the Evil One and his seductions. Patience means to prefer a Church that is leaven in the dough, who does not fear soiling her hands washing the clothes of her children, rather than a Church of “pure ones” that pretends to judge before the time who is and who is not in the Kingdom of God.
Christ “tells us that the boundary line between the good and the evil passes in the heart of every person, passes in the heart of every one of us, that is, we are all sinners,” the Pope added. “With Baptism, He has also given us Confession, because we are always in need of being forgiven for our sins.”
The bishops of Zambia, joined by the apostolic nuncio, recently celebrated a Mass marking the 125th anniversary of the Catholic faith in Zambia.
The nation of 15.5 million is now 75% Protestant and 20% Catholic.
“The Catholic Church has continued to be a strong and reliable partner with government in not only the delivery of social services but also in advocating for integral development,” said Inonge Wina, the nation’s vice president.
Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu, president of the episcopal conference, warned against tribalism, regionalism, and attempts to link the Church to partisan politics.
162,093 Catholics left the Church in Germany during 2016—down from 181,925 in 2015, according to statistics released by the bishops’ conference on July 21.
28.5% of Germans are Catholic, and the Catholic population stands at 23,582,000, down from 27,533,000 in 1996.
537 parishes closed in 2016. Over the past two decades, over 3,000 parishes have closed, with the number declining from 13,329 to 10,280.
There are now 13,856 priests in Germany, down from 14,087 the previous year. The Sunday Mass attendance rate was 10.2% in 2016, down from 10.4% in 2015.
On the Gospel reading (1 John 3:22–4:6) begins with a promise that seems too good to be true: “We receive from God whatever we ask….” The rest of the sentence explains why this is true: “Because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.”
Many people think that the reason why prayers don’t get answered is because we don’t ask rightly — we don’t pray enough novenas or we don’t use the right words. But God’s Word says it’s because we don’t live rightly: “We should believe in the name of Jesus, ….”
What does believing in Jesus mean? “Love one another as he commanded us.”
To receive whatever we ask for, we must remain in God, and he in us. That means being an open, holy vessel of the Lord. If we live in true union with God, then whatever we desire — whatever we ask for — already came from God in the first place.Read More »
Elijah is the solitary Prophet who cultivated the thirst of the only God and lived in His presence. He is the contemplative enraptured by the ardent passion for the absolute of God, whose “word burnt like a torch”. He is the mystic who, after a long and tiresome road, learns and reads the new signs of the presence of God.
Elijah is first introduced in 1 Kings 17:1 as delivering a message from God to Ahab, king of Israel. He is sometimes known as the “Tishbite,” being from the town of Tishbe.
Having delivered his message to Ahab, he retired at the command of God to a hiding-place by the brook Cherith, beyond Jordan, where he was fed by ravens. When the brook dried up God sent him to the widow of Zarephath, a city of Zidon, from whose scanty store he was supported for the space of two years. During this period the widow’s son died, and was restored to life by Elijah (1 Kings 17:2-24).
During these two years a famine prevailed in the land. At the close of this period of retirement and of preparation for his work, Elijah met Obadiah, one of Ahab’s officers, whom he had sent out to seek for pasturage for the cattle, and bade him go and tell his master that Elijah was there. The king came and met Elijah, and reproached him as the “troubler of Israel.” It was then proposed that sacrifices should be publicly offered, for the purpose of determining whether Baal or the Israelite God was the true God. This was done on Mount Carmel; the result was that a miracle took place convincing those watching that Baal was false and that the Israelite God was real. The prophets of Baal were then put to death by the order of Elijah.Read More »
“Trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.” ~ Teresa of Ávila
A lady went to her Pastor and said “Pastor, I won’t be going to your church anymore.”
The Pastor responded, “But why?”
The lady said “Ah! I saw a woman gossipping about another member; a man that is a hypocrite; the worship team living wrong; people looking at their phone during service; among so many other things wrong in your church.”
The Pastor replied “OK. But before you go, do me a favor: take a full glass of water and walk around the church three times without spilling a drop on the ground. Afterwards, leave the church if you desire.”
The lady thought: too easy! She walked three times around the church as the Pastor had asked. When she finished she told the Pastor she was ready to leave.Read More »