Saint Alphonsus Ligouri

Saint Alfonso Maria de’ Liguori, Alfonso also spelled Alphonsus, (born Sept. 27, 1696, Marianella, Kingdom of Naples—died Aug. 1, 1787, Pagani; canonized 1839; feast day August 1), Italian doctor of the church, one of the chief 18th-century moral theologians, and founder of the Redemptorists, a congregation dedicated primarily to parish and foreign missions. In 1871 he was named a doctor of the church by Pope Pius IX. In 1950 he was named patron saint of moralists and confessors by Pope Pius XII.

Moral theology, Vatican II said, should be more thoroughly nourished by Scripture, and show the nobility of the Christian vocation of the faithful and their obligation to bring forth fruit in charity for the life of the world. Alphonsus, declared patron of moral theologians by Pius XII in 1950, would rejoice in that statement.

In his day, Alphonsus fought for the liberation of moral theology from the rigidity of Jansenism. His moral theology, which went through 60 editions in the century following him, concentrated on the practical and concrete problems of pastors and confessors. If a certain legalism and minimalism crept into moral theology, it should not be attributed to this model of moderation and gentleness.Read More »

#MoralStory: Am I A Fireman Yet?

In Phoenix, Arizona, a 26-year-old mother stared down at her 6 year old son, who was dying of terminal leukaemia.

Although her heart was filled with sadness, she also had a strong feeling of determination. Like any parent, she wanted her son to grow up & fulfil all his dreams.

Now that was no longer possible. The leukaemia would see to that. But she still wanted her son’s dream to come true.

She took her son’s hand and asked, “Billy, did you ever think about what you wanted to be once you grew up?

Did you ever dream and wish what you would do with your life?”

Mommy, “I always wanted to be a fireman when I grew up.”

Mom smiled back and said, “Let’s see if we can make your wish come true.”Read More »

The Great Forerunner Of The Morn

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The great forerunner of the morn,
The herald of the Word, is born:
And faithful hearts shall never fail
With thanks and praise his light to hail.

With heavenly message Gabriel came,
That John should be that herald’s name,
And with prophetic utterance told
His actions great and manifold.

John, still unborn, yet gave aright
His witness to the coming Light;
And Christ, the Sun of all the earth,
Fulfilled that witness at His birth.

Of woman born shall never be
A greater prophet than was he,
Whose mighty deeds exalt his fame
To greater than a prophet’s name.

But why should mortal accents raise
The hymn of John the Baptist’s praise?
Of whom, or e’er his course was run,
Thus spake the Father to the Son?

“Behold, My herald, who shall go
Before Thy face Thy way to show,
And shine, as with the day-star’s gleam,
Before Thine own eternal beam.”

But why should mortal voices raise
The hymn of John the Baptist’s praise,
Of whom, before his course was run,
The Father said unto the Son:

“Behold my herald who shall go
Before your face, your way to show,
And shine, as with the Day-star’s gleam,
Before your own eternal beam.”

All praise to God the Father be,
All praise, eternal Son, to Thee,
Whom with the Spirit we adore
Forever and forevermore.

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#ShortNews: Protestants arrested for ‘forced conversions’ in India

The complaint started with the father of a young tribal ethnic Sarna who wanted to marry a Christian. The girl, the future husband and two Christians allegedly tried convert even the elderly father. The anti-conversion law provides for severe penalties for those who force the conversion of minors and tribals.

The leader of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) reports that this rule “is a means of intimidating and harassing the vulnerable Christian community. Furthermore, a worrying trend has emerged in the Chotanagpur area: there are biased interests that want to divide the tribal population, pitting the Sarna tribes against other indigenous groups”.

According to Sumaru, his daughter’s future spouse – of Christian religion – would have convinced her to embrace her faith in Christ before marriage. In view of the wedding, the two young men would try to convince their father too, with the complicity of the pastor and the other woman. Sajan K George complains that “the diatribe broke out on the wedding day, when Sumaru thought that the wedding ceremony should be carried out according to the Sarna tradition”.

Read full story: http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Jharkhand,-four-Evangelicals-arrested-for-‘forced-conversions’-44173.html

#ShortNews: Number of refugees reaches record 68.5 million

“No one becomes a refugee by choice; but the rest of us can have a choice about how we help.”

Wars, violence and persecution uprooted record numbers of men, women and children worldwide last year, making a new global deal on refugees more critical than ever, according to a UNHCR report published today.

The UN Refugee Agency’s annual Global Trends study found 68.5 million people had been driven from their homes across the world at the end of 2017, more people than the population of Thailand.

Refugees who have fled their countries to escape conflict and persecution accounted for 25.4 million. This is 2.9 million more than in 2016, also the biggest increase UNHCR has ever seen in a single year.

New displacement is also growing, with 16.2 million people displaced during 2017 itself, either for the first time or repeatedly. That is an average of one person displaced every two seconds. And overwhelmingly, it is developing countries that are most affected.

Read full story: http://www.unhcr.org/en-us/news/stories/2018/6/5b222c494/forced-displacement-record-685-million.html

#ShortNews: ‘Forgive, Love Our Enemies,’ Pope Preaches At Weekday Mass

The challenge of Christian life, he said, is asking the Lord for the grace “to bless our enemies” and to love them.

“To pray for those who want to destroy me, my enemies, so that God may bless them: This is truly difficult to understand. We can recall events of the last century, like the poor Russian Christians who, simply for being Christians, were sent to Siberia to die of cold. And they should pray for the executing government that sent them there? How can that be? Yet many did so: they prayed. We think of Auschwitz and other concentration camps. Should they pray for the dictator who sought a ‘pure race’ and killed without scruple, even to pray that God should bless him? And yet many did so.”

Read full article: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope-francis/mass-casa-santa-marta/2018-06/pope-mass-santa-marta-christians-enemies.html

How did John ‘Prepare The Way’?

There is an important principal that we can learn from the story of John the Baptist. Even though our Bible seems to have little to say about John, he conveys to us a simple but important message that still applies today about the repentance of sins.

How did John ‘prepare the way’?

We are clearly told that John was sent to ‘prepare the way’ for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (Mark 1:2-3), but what exactly did he do in preparing the way? In Luke 3:3-4, we are told, “And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins; As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.” Also in Matthew 3:1-3, “In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

So how did the people cooperate with John in preparing the way for Jesus? They confessed their sins and were baptized as a sign that they have turned from their sins, as Matthew 3:6 tells us, “And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.”

What does it mean to ‘prepare the way’? Read More »

Saint John the Baptist

John-Baptist-Baptism-JesusJohn the Baptist was the son of Zachary, a priest of the Temple in Jerusalem, and Elizabeth, a kinswoman of  Mary who visited her. As Zachary was ministering in the Temple, the angel Gabriel brought him news that Elizabeth would bear a child filled with the Holy Spirit from the moment of his birth. Zachary doubted and was struck dumb until John’s birth.

John was born 6 months before Jesus Christ. Thirty years later, John began a ministry of baptism. He was a priest, wearing a leather belt and a tunic of camel hair, living off locusts and wild honey, and preaching a message of repentance to the people of Jerusalem. He was in wilderness area on the Jordan river. People came from all over, especially from Judah and Jerusalem, to hear John preach and heed his call to repent of their sins and be baptized. John converted many, and prepared the way for the coming of Jesus.

Seven hundred years before the birth of Jesus, the prophet Isaiah wrote how the Messiah would be “led like a lamb to the slaughter” as a sacrifice to take away our sins (Isa.53:7). That’s why, when John saw Jesus coming toward him, he pointed to Him and said to his disciples, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” He baptized Jesus in the Jordan river, after which he stepped away and said to the people who was gathering around the Jordan river: “I have baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the holy spirit.”Read More »