#ShortNews: ‘The Lord is the goal of our journey in this world,’

“…On the journey of life, do I seek the way forward? Or am I satisfied with living in the moment and thinking only of feeling good, solving some problems and having fun? What is the path? Is it the search for health, which many today say comes first but which eventually passes? Could it be possessions and wellbeing? But we are not in the world for this. Return to me, says the Lord. To me. The Lord is the goal of our journey in this world. The direction must lead to him.”

“…Today we have been offered a sign that will help us find our direction: the head marked by ash. It is a sign that causes us to consider what occupies our mind. Our thoughts often focus on transient things, which come and go. The small mark of ash, which we will receive, is a subtle yet real reminder that of the many things occupying our thoughts, that we chase after and worry about every day, nothing will remain. No matter how hard we work, we will take no wealth with us from this life. Earthly realities fade away like dust in the wind. Possessions are temporary, power passes, success wanes. The culture of appearance prevalent today, which persuades us to live for passing things, is a great deception. It is like a blaze: once ended, only ash remains. Lent is the time to free ourselves from the illusion of chasing after dust. Lent is for rediscovering that we are created for the inextinguishable flame, not for ashes that immediately disappear; for God, not for the world; for the eternity of heaven, not for earthly deceit; for the freedom of the children of God, not for slavery to things. We should ask ourselves today: Where do I stand? Do I live for fire or for ash?”

Read full Papal’s Homily here; http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2019/03/06/190306e.html

#ShortNews: ‘Their violence did not succeed in removing Jesus from our lives’

More than a decade after the worst anti-Christian persecution in the history of India, victims and their families are turning out to be biggest witnesses and inspiration of the Christian faith in the country, church leaders told the Feb. 22 gathering in Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore) city.

“When Christians die for their faith, it is a time for the Church to remember that martyrdom is like a seed,” said Archbishop Peter Machado of Bangalore. Martyrdom helps faith grow more quickly than can be achieved by theology or the Bible, he said.

Read more about their harrowing stories; https://www.ucanews.com/news/a-decade-on-anti-christian-riots-inspire-indian-church/84614

#ShortNews: Nearly 50,000 Catholic baptisms in China in 2018

At least 48,365 baptisms were celebrated in churches and Catholic communities in the People’s Republic of China in the year 2018.

The annual reports on the new Catholics baptized provided year by year by the Faith Institute from 2000 onwards seem to have a fluctuating trend, with a growth recorded until 2010, and a significant decline that would have marked the years from 2010 to 2015. The last two years, with the data provided by the Faith institute, which claims nearly 50 thousand new baptisms, indicate a new trend reversal when compared to the declining trend of the five-year period 2010-2015. Furthermore, several observers agree on the decline in priestly and religious vocations in the Catholic Church in China with respect to the eighties and nineties, which had registered an increase in seminarians and novices.

Source: https://www.lastampa.it/2019/03/01/vaticaninsider/china-nearly-baptisms-in-the-catholic-church-in-55wCQJUt1vWQRNFPBpOMMM/pagina.html