Today's Wisdom

Those who do not pass from the experience of the cross to the truth of the resurrection condemn themselves to despair! For we cannot encounter God without first crucifying our narrow notions of a god who reflects only our own understanding of omnipotence and power
Pope Francis

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Remove Excommunications!

I am asking His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI to remove all excommunications declared by him, by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith or by any prior Ecumenical Council against any person in the long history of the Catholic Church. This request is in line with the commandment of the Lord to "Love your enemies" in spite of any actions or aggression against the teachings or the sons and daughters of the Catholic Church. This is also in line with the teachings of Vatican II and with those of Blessed John XXIII who wished to imitate "The Good Pastor" and Blessed John Paul II who requested forgiveness from all those groups, Churches and persons of any religion or ideology in the past 2,000 years of the history of the Church. 
We recall the visit of John Paul II to Athens in Greece in 2001 when Greek Orthodox Archbishop Christodoulos initially resisted to receive the Pope and the Pope's immediate response asking for the forgiveness of Orthodox people regarding violence by Catholics against Orthodox brothers since the Great Schism and the sacking of Constantinople by Crusaders in 1204! Archbishop Christodoulos in turn responded by praising the Pope and eventually praying with him to the astonishment of conservatives.
In their common declaration Pope John Paul II and Archbishop Christodoulos stated "We are watching that the scientific and social development of man is not accompanied by a probe into the concept and value of life which, in any case, is a gift of God, nor by a corresponding appreciation of the unique dignity of man. We ascertain with anxiety that wars, massacres, torturing and sufferings constitute the daily nightmarish reality for millions of our brothers.
"We are committed to struggling for peace all over the world, respect for life and the dignity of man and solidarity for all who are in need...We are watching attentively and with concern the process of globalization with the hope that it will provide gracious fruit...We are satisfied with the success and progress of the European Union. The unification of the European world into one state entity, without peoples losing their conscience, national tradition and religious identity, was the vision of its leaders." 
How far is the reality today of violence in the Middle East and elsewhere in China and Africa from what the above declaration in 2001 stated? How far is the reality today of globalization and excessive capitalism from what the above declaration in 2001 stated? How far is the reality today of the European Continent from what the above declaration in 2001 stated? 
For the above reasons, Christian leaders must work harder and give a good example to all their fellow Christians. Christian unity will be realized only when bad memories of hatred and greed have been eradicated.
It is in this spirit that I appeal to Benedict XVI to remove all excommunications.

Monday, August 6, 2012

God's work in the little and great souls today!

In this age of selfishness and materialism, I am grateful to God who allowed me to meet a number of great persons in the wedding of my nephew Edward with the down-to-earth Teresa Di Mascio. Teresa is very much the image of her mom who takes care of everyone around her. I always found Edward to be a caring person, but now I found many other souls who attended the wedding too. I think his upbringing in the love of God by his dear parents my twin brother Shaker and my sister in- law Marjia made a significant impression on his development as a man of great integrity. Marija too continues to inspire me for her dedication to the Church and her services to her family.

In the wedding I met many but here I will mention only a few. First: Stefania, a hero for us in accepting her long suffering and her love of the Lord. Second: Her daughter Mary, a teacher, and caring person of her mother and dad throughout their suffering and ageing. Third: Andrea, an organist at the local Church who plays as a volunteer in the Masses, an open-minded person, as well as her husband Steve who is a member of the Knights of Columbus. Steve's story is an impressive one in terms of giving to the point that he was elected Grand Knight  of his Knights of Columbus Council in Acton a couple of years ago and his story was published in the State Bulletin. That evening was a gift from God; for I was introduced to some of the souls that are accepting their suffering with diseases, the careless world around them with a smile, and volunteering or rather investing their time in serving those others who are in need.

In the 4th century, St. Basil the Great, Archbishop of Constantinople, built a city for the needy and sick. He also said that as Mary the Mother of God delivered Christ to the world for the world's salvation, so too Christians must deliver Christ to the world in their commitment and services. When Blessed Pope John XXIII said that in this age the Church still bears many saints, some argued that he was too optimistic, but John XXIII went all the way in the Church's reforms through Vatican II which proved to be the greatest gift of God to his Church in the 20th century.

And back to my little world today, I dare to hope in God's mercy. It is true that Christ works through all in order to bring all to his Father. It is a matter of us accepting to work with him as he invites everyone of us to participate in his salvific work.

Today's Quote

"Behold I make all things new." (Revelation 21:5)


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