Discussion in 'Christian Fellowship' started by Galadriel, Mar 11, 2012.
Thinking about visiting an eastern rite Catholic Church. Has anyone ever visited one of the eastern churches?
Yes, Melchite. Others not exactly in union with Rome. I figure, if Our Lady appears at Zeitoun at their Eastern Orthodox, then they are still the universal Church. But do what you are called to do. Eastern is different. For Melchite, they use sweet wine in the cup with tiny bites of what looks leavened and is dipped in the wine. You open your mouth and tilt your head back. Don't chomp down on the spoon I know from experience. I bet father still remembers me. It was a natural reflex cuz the bread wasn't coming fast enough.
I've gone Coptic, both Ethiopian and Egyptian, Melchite (one in union with Rome) and of course, plenty of Greek Orthodox services. I still might join them.
Man, I know so many who say they get nothing out of the Mass but I've been so very blessed from start until now. So blessed and I am extremely thankful daily. Such edifying priests, even our visiting ones from Nigeria and India.
I would prefer the churches in union with Rome. Thank you for sharing your experience. I think I will look at some videos on YouTube and probably go on a reconnaissance mission one Sunday
Have a great time. There is a Coptic one in union, an Armenian one, the Lebanese Maronites in union and I think some Chaldean ones. Probably pretty sparse, though. Shoot, I love Youtube. I listen to their hymns pretty often.
“I Thirst”: Mother Teresa’s Devotion to the Thirst of Jesus
Edward P. Sri
When visiting a chapel of the Missionaries of Charity—the religious order Bl. Mother Teresa founded—one is immediately struck by the simplicity, indeed the austerity, of the sacred space. There are no chairs, pews, or kneelers. The sisters take their shoes off before entering the chapel and sit or kneel on the bare floor. Typically, there are no ornate pieces of religious art. Just a gold tabernacle behind the altar and a statue of Our Lady in one corner.
The image that stands out most is a large crucifix behind the altar and the stark words painted in bold, black capital letters on the wall alongside it: “I THIRST.”
Mother Teresa said that those words in the chapel—taken from Jesus words from the cross on Good Friday—were a constant reminder of the purpose of the Missionaries of Charity. “We have these words in every chapel of the MCs to remind us what an MC is here for: to quench the thirst of Jesus for souls, for love, for kindness, for compassion, for delicate love.”1 Ever since her call to serve the poorest of the poor in 1946, Mother Teresa insisted that the Missionaries of Charity were founded “to satiate the thirst of Jesus,” and she included this statement in the founding Rules for the new religious order: “The General End of the Missionaries of Charity is to satiate the thirst of Jesus Christ on the Cross for Love and Souls.”2
But what does this mean—“to satiate the thirst of Jesus”? Throughout the ages, men and women have expressed the human person’s thirst for God. We see this in the famous Psalm 42: “As a hart longs for flowing streams, so longs my soul for thee, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God” (Psalm 42:1). We see this also in the Catechism, which teaches that the human person has “longings for the infinite” which only God can fulfill (CCC, 33). Perhaps St. Augustine put it best in his prayer to God in the opening of his Confessions: “Our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”
The tradition often has emphasized our thirst for God. But Mother Teresa focused on God’s thirst for us. And the way she expressed it was revolutionary for me. In my youth, I heard that Jesus’ words from the Cross, “I thirst,” expressed His thirst for souls. But I understood this more in a general, abstract way: Jesus wanted souls “out there” in the world to be saved. Mother Teresa, however, sees Jesus’ “I thirst” as a very personal statement spoken to each individual today, at every moment. And she said Jesus is constantly awaiting our response to His thirst. Near the end of her life, in a letter to all of the Missionaries of Charity sisters, she made a passionate appeal to draw closer to the thirst of Jesus and take His statement “I Thirst” more seriously in their daily lives:
Why does Jesus say “I Thirst”? What does it mean? . . . If you remember anything from Mother’s letter, remember this—‘I Thirst’ is something much deeper than just Jesus saying ‘I love you.’ Until you know deep inside that Jesus thirsts for you—you can’t begin to know who He wants to be for you. Or who He wants you to be for Him.3
What specifically is Jesus thirsting for in us? He longs for our love—our attention, our ardent devotion, the total entrusting of our lives to Him. Reflecting on Jesus’ words from the Cross, Mother Teresa said,
At this most difficult time He proclaimed, ‘I thirst.’ And people thought He was thirsty in an ordinary way and they gave Him vinegar straight away; but it was not for that thirst; it was for our love, our affection, that intimate attachment to Him, and that sharing of His passion. He used, ‘I thirst,’ instead of ‘Give Me your love’… ‘I thirst.’ Let us hear Him saying it to me and saying it to you.4
Mother Teresa made Jesus’ statement “I thirst” so personal that she told her sisters to imagine Jesus saying those words directly to them. She even encouraged them to put their own name before “I thirst” and hear Jesus saying, for example, “Sister Mary Vincent, I thirst.” We can do the same. We can put ourselves in the silent presence of God, in a quiet place at home or in front of the Blessed Sacrament at church, and prayerfully imagine Jesus gently calling our name and speaking His parting words from the cross personally to each of us: “Ted, I thirst.”
Just put yourself in front of the tabernacle. Don’t let anything disturb you. Hear your own name and “I Thirst.” I thirst for purity, I thirst for poverty, I thirst for obedience, I thirst for that wholehearted love, I thirst for that total surrender. Are we living a deeply contemplative life? He thirsts for that total surrender.5
What should our response be to Jesus’ thirst for our love? When a suffering person in Ethiopia or India experienced torturing thirst, Mother Teresa would quickly bring water to satiate that thirst. In a similar way, Jesus thirsts for our love, and Mother Teresa desired to satiate His thirst by promptly responding to His will, by making sacrifices for Him, by loving Him in the people she served and by entrusting her entire life into His hands. “This is Jesus’ word, ‘I thirst’—for love, for souls not water.”6
We can begin to satiate God’s thirst for our love by being generous with Him with our time, by giving Him attention throughout our day, by spending more of our lives with Him in prayer. Mother Teresa also taught that we satiate Christ’s thirst by loving Him in our neighbor— those people He places in our lives, especially those in most need of our care and attention.
Most of all, Jesus thirsts for our lives to be completely surrendered to Him. He ardently desires that we be intimately attached to Him in such a way that we will not thirst for anything in this world that will lead us away from Him, the only “true and living fountain.”7 This satiating Christ’s thirst entails more than mere avoidance of sin; it involves a total yielding of our lives to Him—truly pursuing His plan for our lives. He thirsts for our entire lives to be surrendered to Him so that they may be used for His purposes.
Many of us, however, are hesitant. We are afraid to entrust ourselves totally to Him. We cling on to our own plans. Meanwhile, Jesus waits for our response as he continuously says to us, “I Thirst”.
One small vignette from Mother Teresa’s life exemplifies this point. She once told a religious—apparently someone who was hesitant to take a certain next step of faith in walking with the Lord—that Jesus “has a deep and personal longing to have you for Himself. Let Him do it.”8 Like this religious, we, too, face moments when the Lord is inviting us to do something difficult, to step out into the unknown. He wants to act in our lives, but we, in our fear, sometimes hesitate or even turn our backs on the path where He is leading us. Mother Teresa inspires us in those moments to consider our life choices in the context of Jesus’ thirst—as opportunities to satiate His thirst for our love: “Have we experienced His thirst? . . . Jesus came into this world to draw souls closer to His Father. . . . Just think, God is thirsting for you and me to come forward to satiate His thirst.”9
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Happy and blessed Divine Mercy Sunday!
When the true Presence of Christ is known and displayed, there is no doubt that the H-ly Spirit is likewise present. Where there is the Magisterium guiding the Church and the promise of Christ that the H-ly Spirit is leading it, why would there be doubt it is the truth? The Mass is fruitful in measures of our surrender to G-d the Father.
I hope you all had a wonderful Divine Mercy Sunday! I'm thrilled that my eldest son will be making his First Communion this Saturday (the 100th Anniversary of the Fatima apparitions).
Just came back... was wondering if there were any updates? Pope Francis is DEFINITELY attempting to unite Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. See all news, since this post.
I wouldn't say weird, but there are things about various religions that I don't understand and that doesn't make it weird just different.
Again, people need to know history and politics. The popes have BEEN involved with social problems and political issues from forever as they affect all life on earth. Nothing new. Every presidency has held an audience with the standing Pope. The ecumenical movement is not new. As there are various denominations and religions, how are they working to give the Pope supremacy? He is the Vicar of the Church that Jesus established. Understand the reform movement and also keep an open mind as well as facts about all the various denominations. Are they still belonging to THEIR denominations? Absolutely. If anything, it's like having peace accords, looking to that one thing that unites us, love of the G-d the Father. Conspiracy theories mislead people.
To your first question, you cannot participate in our sacraments unless you come into the Church by proper conversion, period. There are various reasons for that. CHRISTIANITY itself is a global religion...think about it a little.
- Do you worship the Sabbath like the Pharisaical leaders or the L-rd of the Sabbath?
- Because it is murder of the most indefensible, the unborn people. It is a most grave sin. People can scoff...but one day, we will all give an accounting of our lives and G-d's rule is final.
- knowledge is everything...procure it. It's widely available. Seek wisdom and cultivate it. Seek truth. If sincerely desired and you persevere, it will be given.
John 8:32King James Version (KJV)
32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
All of this.
That's exactly why I like Catholicism too. Protestantism and the way it developed reminds me too much of the Salafi so called "fundamentalist" interpretations of Islam.
Hahaha kkkkkk *snort*
Came across this article today after watching something on Msgr. Romero last night:
The Beatification of Óscar Romero
By Carlos Dada
May 19, 2015
In his home country of El Salvador, the Archbishop Óscar Romero, who was assassinated, in 1980, for his outspoken opposition to the country’s military regime, is still a divisive figure.Photograph by Alex Bowie / Getty
On May 23rd, thirty-five years after his assassination, Óscar Romero, the Archbishop of San Salvador, will be beatified. The ceremony is the step just prior to sainthood, so a big celebration is expected in El Salvador, although the cheer will not be unanimous. The country is still deeply divided between the rightist and leftist political forces that emanated from its civil war, in the nineteen-eighties, and Romero, identified with the poor, was a divisive figure who declared war on inequality and a criminal military regime.
When I was a child, in the late seventies, Monseñor Romero was an omnipresent figure: on the front pages of all the newspapers, on TV and radio, in every adult conversation. Every Sunday, when Romero celebrated Mass in the cathedral, Salvadorans who could not attend tuned in to the radio station that broadcast his homilies. From the pulpit, Romero lectured politicians, soldiers, popular organizations, and guerrillas alike; he urged them to renounce violence and he demanded social justice. He reminded the Salvadoran élites that peace could not be achieved in an unequal society. He accused them of maintaining “insulting” privileges through repression. He usually read detailed reports about people who had been killed or disappeared, and on massacres committed by the Army. And then, on March 24, 1980, a sniper from a right-wing death squad shot Romero in the heart while he was officiating Mass in a chapel in San Salvador.
Romero’s ecclesiastical career before he became Archbishop was that of a shy, traditional priest, averse to politics and most comfortable inside the walls of his temple. But starting in the late sixties, throughout Latin America, thousands of Catholic priests and laymen were traveling to remote villages to organize peasants and workers, following the directives of Vatican II and the 1968 Conference of Latin American Bishops, in Medellín, Colombia, which established the preferential option for the poor, asking all Catholics to act against the structural problems that had so many people in poverty. Medellín asked Christians to help the poor form Christian Base Communities, where they would talk about and engage in the struggle to dignify their lives.
This was no small transformation. For centuries, the Church had been telling the poor that their sufferings were God’s will, but now young priests were coming to rural areas to tell them that an unjust political and economic system, not God, was to blame for their miserable condition. God wanted them to live decent lives in this world, before they went to Heaven. The church was there to help them. It was a radical change, a revolution. The poor now had religious support to organize and defend themselves against the landowners, the oligarchy, the wealthiest people in one of the most unequal regions in the world, and against their repressive military apparatus.
Romero’s predecessor as Archbishop of San Salvador, Luis Chávez y González, was a strong supporter of peasants and workers’ organizations. He moved nuns from urban schools to rural posts and called for civilians to bring Vatican II everywhere. He opened a small office at the San Salvador archbishopric to provide legal aid to the poor. (Under Romero, that office would become Tutela Legal, El Salvador’s main center for denouncing massacres and disappearances.) Local newspapers, owned by the ruling families, complained about Chávez y González and called him a communist. So in 1977, when he reached retirement age, the élites saw a golden opportunity to put the Salvadoran church back on track.
Oscar Romero’s aversion to politics earned him the appointment as Archbishop. By then, the military, which had been ruling the country since 1931, had staged another electoral fraud and was strongly repressing popular movements. It was chasing, capturing, torturing, and killing priests who organized peasants in the rural areas, especially in the coffee farms owned by the wealthy. Just one month after Romero’s inauguration, one of those priests, Rutilio Grande, a Jesuit who headed a rural parish, and who was one of Romero’s closest friends, was killed by state agents.
Much to everyone’s surprise, the new Archbishop proved to be a determined man. He cancelled Sunday Mass throughout the country and convened the Salvadoran Church in the cathedral for a single Mass; there, he publicly blamed the government for Grande’s death and demanded justice. A couple of months later, he refused an invitation to the inauguration of the new President, General Carlos Romero, a first for a Salvadoran Archbishop, and refused to meet with Government officials if they would not investigate and prosecute the crime.
In a letter to Cardinal Sebastiano Baggio, the Prefect of the Congregation of the Bishops in Rome, Romero explained his decision: “I felt it was my duty to translate into words and contemporary evangelical gestures the brave old attitude of the Saint Bishop of Milano, Ambrosius, when he did not allow Emperor Theodosius to enter the church, demanding a previous public penitence for his guilt in unjustifiable killings.”
The Vatican nuncio (ambassador) to El Salvador, an Italian bishop named Emanuele Gerada, who had successfully lobbied for Romero’s appointment, was now furious with him. He wrote to Rome that the new Archbishop had severed the church’s relations with the government. Half of the Salvadoran Episcopal Conference—the local Catholic hierarchy, composed of six bishops, including the Archbishop—accused Romero of treason and swore to destroy him. One of them was the military chaplain.
During those days, Romero received his first death threats, from death squads with names such as La Falange and the White Warriors Union. They sent him letters warning that he was at the front of “a group of clergymen that at any moment will receive thirty bullets in their faces and chests.” It became common knowledge that Romero could be killed at any moment, as so many other priests had been.
Beginning in March, 1978, Romero sat in front of a microphone almost every night and recorded a diary, offering his reflections on a variety of subjects, from his regular ecclesiastical duties to the political turmoil and violence that were engulfing El Salvador. This diary, along with the transcripts of his homilies, his pastoral letters, and his correspondence with the Catholic Church hierarchy in Rome, constitute the main body of work studied by the Congregation for the Cause of the Saints, which is in charge of the process of canonization.
Romero was not a theologian and never considered himself part of Liberation Theology, the most radical Catholic movement born of Vatican II. But he shared with the liberationists a vision of a Gospel meant to protect the poor. “Between the powerful and the wealthy, and the poor and vulnerable, who should a pastor side with?” he asked himself. “I have no doubts. A pastor should stay with his people.” It was a political decision, but justified theologically. All of his writings include extensive biblical references, Church documents, and Papal quotations to support his assertions.
In October, 1978, Karol Wojtyla, a Polish Cardinal who had heroically resisted the Nazi occupation and guided the Church of Poland under the attacks of a communist regime, became John Paul II, a Pope ill-prepared to understand the situation on the other side of the Atlantic, where the oppressive military regimes were not communists but rightists—supported not by Moscow but by the other Cold War power, the United States.
On May 11, 1979, John Paul II hosted the Archbishop of San Salvador for a brief meeting in Rome. News had reached the new Pope of the deep divisions in the Salvadoran Church. Romero explained how hard it was for him to work with bishops who acted in compliance with the Salvadoran military regime, which was systematically targeting his clergymen. By then, three priests who were close to Romero had been killed by state security forces, and dozens of others had been tortured, expelled, or banned from entering the country. Yet the conservative Salvadoran bishops were blessing military tanks, blaming Liberation Theology for the military attacks against the Church, and speaking against Romero to Rome.
Romero recorded in his diary: “[John Paul II] reminded me of his situation in Poland, where he had to face a non-Catholic regime with which the development of the Church had to be done in spite of such difficulties. He gave much importance to the unity of the episcopate and, remembering again his times in Poland, said this was the main problem, to keep the episcopal unity.”
His Holiness was wrong. The most urgent matter in El Salvador was not fostering episcopal unity but stopping brutal repression by the military and the death squads and averting a civil war.
Less than a year after that meeting, on March 24, 1980, Romero became the first Catholic bishop killed in a church since Thomas Becket was murdered in Canterbury, in 1170.
His assassination was organized by a paramilitary death squad headed by Mario Molina (the son of the former President Colonel Arturo Molina) and a former intelligence officer named Roberto d’Aubuisson. The squad was protected by the military command and financed by wealthy Salvadorans. On the night of Romero’s killing, the quiet of San Salvador’s wealthiest neighborhoods was broken by fireworks and shotguns, sounds of celebration.
Joaquín Villalobos, a former commander of the Farabundo Martí Liberation Front, wrote recently, “Before they killed Monseñor, we were tens of guerrilla fighters; after it, we were thousands.” A twelve-year war between the F.M.L.N. and the regime erupted.
For decades, Romero was not even mentioned in El Salvador’s official narrative. Something similar happened in Rome. His beatification is a sign that Pope Francis is determined to undo the work of his predecessors, John Paul II and Benedict, and that Rome is, once again, changing course.
The Church has now declared that Romero was killed because of his faith. Yet the death squads, the military, and the wealthy financiers of his killing all professed to be followers of Christ. Some of them, still alive, are active members of church communities, give lots of money to Catholic conservative organizations, send their kids to Catholic schools, and never miss a Sunday Mass. They say that they have God to thank for all their possessions (never mind their corruption, exploitation of the poor, repression, impunity, and historical position as the effective owners of the state). On religious grounds, they firmly oppose abortion, gay marriage, and birth control. They were not opposed to killing thousands of people who challenged their point of view. And, during the reigns of John Paul and Benedict, they also had leverage in Rome.
Soon after the Argentinean Cardinal Mario José Bergoglio was named Pope Francis, he declared he had “unblocked” the canonization process for Romero, effectively admitting that the process had been blocked by the hierarchies of the previous papacies. Early this year, Monsignor Vincenzo Paglia, the bishop of the Italian diocese of Terni and the official postulant of the cause for Romero’s sainthood, revealed that three Salvadoran ambassadors to the Vatican—he refused to name them—had actively lobbied against the canonization process, arguing that Romero was still a politically divisive figure in El Salvador and that his elevation to the altars could be manipulated by the leftist groups.
Salvadoran conservative groups argued that Romero was killed for his “subversive” political stances in the context of a civil war—a necessary narrative, especially since the organizer of the killing was also the leader of the conservatives, and they still revere him.
On the other side, supporters of Romero’s canonization have tried to strip his legacy of any political controversy. Romero, they argue, acted strictly based on the Gospels. He was killed because of his faith.
Neither of these accounts is accurate. Romero was indeed deliberately and intensely political. He discovered the power of the archbishopric and decided to use it to influence the Salvadoran political process in favor of the victims and against the military regime. But his direct confrontation with the established powers can’t explain his assassination. He was killed because those powers thought they could get away with it. And they did, because Salvadoran history, for them, was a lesson in controlling the system through repression.
Because, as the Archbishop wrote a few months before his death, in one of his pastoral letters, “There is an institutionalized violence expressed in a political and economic system that believes progress is only possible through the use of the majority as a productive force conducted by a privileged minority.” Violence, he warned, would not end until such structural problems were addressed.
Not long before his assassination, Romero sent a letter to President Jimmy Carter, asking him to block a military-aid package for the Salvadoran Army. He made the case that the aid was only going to be used to inflict further harm on the Salvadoran people, that political power was in the hands of “the unscrupulous military who know how to repress the people and promote the interests of the Salvadoran oligarchy”. It would be unjust, he continued, “if the intrusion of foreign power were to frustrate the Salvadoran people, or to repress them and block their autonomous decision.”
One day after Romero’s assassination, the package was approved by the U.S. Congress. And the twelve-year war engulfed El Salvador.
In 1992, the U.N. brokered a peace agreement between the government and the F.M.L.N. guerrillas, which put an end to the war. It was considered an exemplary accord. By then, nearly a hundred thousand people had been killed. The F.M.L.N. became a political party and has governed El Salvador since 2009, when it put an end to twenty years of rule by Arena, the rightist party founded by D’Aubuisson.
Due to criminal violence, mostly related to gangs and drug cartels, El Salvador has one of the highest homicide rates on the planet. Poverty, one of the structural problems so frequently pointed to by Romero, has decreased only because a third of Salvadorans have left El Salvador, and many of them send money back. Corruption has been rampant under both rightists and leftists. It’s a good time, it seems, to reread the teachings of the now celebrated Archbishop.
“With certain societies,” Romero said in a sermon, “God feels he has failed.”
Carlos Dada is the founder and editor of El Faro, an online news site based in San Salvador. He is currently a fellow at the New York Public Library’s Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers.
Prayers for Peace
1 Timothy 2:1-3
"I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone-- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior..." (Compare NAB.)
"At times like these [when we are at war], we turn to God and ask for wisdom and perseverance, courage and compassion, faith and hope. We Christians are called to be "sentinels of peace," the Holy Father reminds us. We join with him in urging Catholics to dedicate [ourselves] to reflection, prayer and fasting that the trials and tragedy of war will soon be replaced by a just and lasting peace." Bishop Gregory's March 19, 2003 statement on the war with Iraq. See NCCB page on peace.
Prayer for World Peace
"Lord, we pray for the power to be gentle, the strength to be forgiving, the patience to be understanding, and the endurance to accept the consequences of holding to we believe to be right.
May we put our trust in the power of good to overcome evil and the power of love to overcome hatred. We pray for the vision to see and the faith to believe in a world emancipated from violence...
Help us to devote our whole life, thought and energy to the task of making peace, praying always for the inspiration and the power to fulfill the destiny for which we were created." Anonymous.
Call of Pope John Paul II
Interfaith Day of Prayer for Peace at Assisi,
January 24, 2002
Violence never again!
War never again!
Terrorism never again!
In God's name,
May all religions bring upon earth,
Justice and peace,
Forgiveness, life and love!
Pope Francis' Finance Minister....smh. Pray for direction, proper retribution and healing. What a stink!
I have to say Catholics have been stepping our game up in the visual promos.