Jesus Is Always There


1) Sometimes our skies are cloudy and dreary,
Sometimes our hearts and burdened with care;
But we may know, whate’er may befall us,
Jesus is always there.

Never a burden that He doth not carry,
Never a sorrow that He doth not share;
Whether the days may be sunny or dreary,
Jesus is always there.

3) When we are walking through the green pastures,
Or over mountains rugged and bare;
Precious the thought and sweet the assurance,
Jesus is always there.

4) “Lo, I am with you alway,” is written,
God will not fail to answer our prayer;
Trusting His Word, we rest on His promise–
Jesus is always there.

#ShortNews: Pope calls for peace in Ecuador

Pope Francis appealed October 13, 2019, for peace in Ecuador, where violence in recent days has included riots and attacks on government buildings.  His remarks came during the Angelus prayed with the faithful in St. Peter’s Square.

“Together with all the members of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazonian Region, especially those from Ecuador, I follow with concern all that is happening in the last weeks in that country,” the Holy Father said. “I entrust it to our common prayer and to the intercession of the new Saints, and I unite myself to the grief for the dead, the wounded and the dispersed. I encourage the seeking of social peace, with particular attention to the most vulnerable populations, to the poor and to human rights.”


#ShortNews: Listen to the cry of Hong Kong’s citizens, Cardinal Tong urges government

Only by “responding to and concretley realising the demands of citizens, is it possible to rebuild social harmony” in Hong Kong, says Card.  John Tong, Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese.The Cardinal published a letter inviting citizens and faithful to “regain hope” (Sat, 12 Oct 2019).  “Violence is not the solution to the current problem, but only causes deeper and deeper wounds,” says the Cardinal.

Dear friends of Hong Kong,

The riots which began as a result of the extradition law not only are not improving, indeed they are worsening.  As a citizen of Hong Kong, this pains me deeply.  I am a religious and not a politician;  in fact, I’m not here to propose a possible solution to this problem.  However, thanks to my faith, I am firmly convinced that the Lord is the master of human history, what is happening cannot be explained with common sense and the people involved do not know how to deal with it.  And yet, I firmly believe that God accompanies us during difficult times.

Many faithful have asked me: “Besides prayer, what else can we do?”  I know that prayer does not change others, but I think it can convert our heart by helping us to face the test and find hope.  I know that most listeners are not believers and that it is possible to lose control during this period of repeated disorders.  In such situations, I suggest you take a deep breath and remember how we overcame past challenges, finding hope.  And if all this negative information affects our inner peace, I advise people to confide in some trusted friend who understands you;  this helps us move forward.

To read the full letter:

#ShortNews: To oppose the Pope is to be outside the Church

Guinean Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, said the people who portray him as an opponent of Pope Francis are being used by the devil to help divide the Church.

“The truth is that the Church is represented on earth by the vicar of Christ, that is by the Pope. And whoever is against the Pope is, ipso facto, outside the Church,” the cardinal said in an interview published on October 7 in Corriere della Sera, an Italian daily.

Catholics today must ask themselves if they truly believe the faith the Church always has taught, the faith of their ancestors, is still valid today, Cardinal Sarah told Corriere. “We are called to rediscover the truth of these (teachings) both with the incomparable analysis of Benedict’s thought and with great and sunny industriousness of Francis.”


Peace for the troubled heart

In the Gospel passage (John 14:27-31a), Jesus assures us that in him there is no reason to be afraid nor for our hearts to feel troubled. The opposite of a troubled heart is peace, but very often we head for the wrong kind of peace, he says.

When a spouse or friend argues with us, we try to regain peace by proving that we’re right or by making the other person agree with us. And when this doesn’t work? How then can we find peace? Maybe we punish the person by using “the silent treatment” or by refusing to have a good time together until we get an apology. And when this doesn’t produce peace, then what?

For every troubling situation, we try a multitude of worldly ways to feel peaceful again: We anesthetize ourselves with alcohol or drugs or food addition or burying ourselves in work. We insist on our own way, or we pout and withdraw, or we dump the problem into someone else’s lap and run away. We blame others to appease our own guilt. And when this fails to calm our fears or soothe our troubled hearts? Then what?

Even when our troublesome trials end, our troubled hearts are never fully satisfied. Burnt once, we shy away from all flickering flames, wary that one of them will explode and burn us again. Cynicism and self-protective walls that shut others out are a sure sign that we’re not turning to Jesus for the peace that only he can give.Read More »

Saint Callistus I

Callistus was originally a slave in the imperial Roman household. Put in charge of the bank by his master, he lost the money deposited, fled, and was caught. After serving time for a while, he was released to make some attempt to recover the money. Apparently he carried his zeal too far, being arrested for brawling in a Jewish synagogue. This time he was condemned to work in the mines of Sardinia. Through the influence of the emperor’s mistress he was released and went to live at Anzio.

After winning his freedom, Callistus was made superintendent of the public Christian burial ground in Rome—still called the cemetery of Saint Callistus—probably the first land owned by the Church. The pope ordained him a deacon and made him his friend and adviser.

Callistus was elected pope by a majority vote of the clergy and laity of Rome, and thereafter was bitterly attacked by the losing candidate, Saint Hippolytus, who let himself be set up as the first antipope in the history of the Church. The schism lasted about 18 years.

After the death of Zephyrinus (217), Callistus was elected pope but was opposed by his theological adversary Hippolytus, who attempted to supplant him and who accused him of favouring modalist, or Patripassian, doctrines, both before and after his election. (Callistus, however, condemned and excommunicated Sabellius [fl. c. 215–c. 220], the most prominent champion of modalistic monarchianism, called Sabellianism, a heretical doctrine that denied personal distinctions within the Godhead.) Hippolytus also accused him of certain relaxations of discipline: it appears that Callistus reduced the penitential severities against fornication and adultery, which the church had previously regarded as irremissible except by God.Read More »