“Do Not Be Afraid”
1/ 2/ 2005
Faith teaches us that even in the most difficult and painful trials-stemma_jp_ii.jpg (10994 bytes)such as in the calamity that recently struck southeast Asia-God never abandons us: in the mystery of Christmas, He came to share our existence. The Child of Bethlehem is He who, on the eve of His redeeming death, would leave us the commandment to love one another as He loved us. This evangleical message provides a foundation for hope in a better world, so long as we walk in ‘His’ love. At the beginning of a new year, may the Mother of God help us make this programme of life our own.”
New Year’s Plea
“Do Not Be Overcome by Evil, but Overcome Evil with Good.”
“In the face of the many manifestations of evil, which unfortunately afflict the human family, the hight-priority demand is to promote peace, using consistent means, giving importance to dialogue, to works of justice, and educating in forgiveness.
Conquering evil with the wepons of love transforms the way in which each one can contriute to the peace of all. Christians and believers of diverse religions are called to walk by this path, together with those who accept the universal moral law.
Christians and believers of diverse religions are called to wal by this path, together with those who accept the universal moral law.
In assuring my prayer for the victims of the catastrophe and for their families. I note favorably the solidarity efforts which are developing in every part of the world. This sense of humane solidarity, in addition to being the help of God, raises the hope for better days during the year that begins today. violence will never resolve the problems of dignity, life and liberty of human beings.”
I would like to indicate two prayer intentions for this year which is dedicated to the Rosary: the family, whose fundamental principles and values are being seriously threatened unfortunately, and peace in the world, especially in the Holy Land. Despite the fierce violence which continues to rage, and which offends God and man, may the Lord reinforce the search for fair, negotiated solutions in order to ensure serenity and peace for all peoples.”
When the new “Rite of Penance, so rich in biblical, theological and liturgical references, the Church placed in our hands an opportune aid to live the Sacrament of pardon in the light of the Risen Christ.”
John Paul II noted that “the fruit of this sacrament is not only the remission of sins, necessary for who has sinned. It also performs an authentic “spiritual resurrection’, restores the dignity and the good of the life of the children of God, the most precious of which is friendship with God. It would be illusory to desire to reach holiness, according to the vocation that each one has received from God, without partaking frequently of this sacrament of conversion and sanctification,” that, together with the Eucharist, “accompanies the path of the Christian towards perfection.”
“Penance, by its nature, involves purification, in both the acts of the penitent who lays bare his conscience because of the deep need to be pardoned and reborn, and in the effusion of sacramental grace that purifies and renews.”
“Penance is a sacrament of enlightenment. Those who go to confession frequently and do so with the desire to make progress, know they have received in this sacrament, through pardon from God and grace from the Spirit, a precious light for the path of perfection.”
“Finally, the Sacrament of Penance achieves a ‘unifying encounter with Christ’. Progressively, from confession to confession, the faithful feel an ever deeper communion with the merciful Lord-up to fully identifying with Him-that one has in that perfect ‘life of Christ’ in which true holiness consists.
“This Sacrament is also a gift for us priests who, called to exercise the sacramental ministry, also ask to have our sins pardoned. The joy of pardoning and being pardoned go hand in hand. All confessors have the great responsibility to exercise this ministry with benevolence, wisdom and courage. Their duty is to make lovable and desirable this encounter which purifies and renews us on the path to Christian perfection and on our pilgrimage to our home.” 3/27/04 VIS
John Paul II
Again entrusts the World to Mary
At a time of “violence, terrorism and war, John Paul II again consecrated the world to the Blessed Virgin Mary. On March 24, 2004, the Pope renewed the 1984 act of consecration of humanity to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, “responding to what Our Lady had requested at Fatima.”
The Holy Father previously had asked bishops worldwide to carry out the 1984 act of consecration to Mary in their respective dioceses. Sister Lucia, one of the visionaries of the Marian apparitions, confirmed later that the solemn and universal consecration corresponded to the Blessed Virgin’s wishes.
“Humanity was then going through difficult times, of great concern and uncertainty. Twenty years later, the world continues to be fearfully marked by hatred, violence, terrorism and war. Among the numerous victims that the news records every day, there are so many defenseless people, stricken while carrying out their duty.”
“So much blood continues to be spilt in many regions of the world. The need is still urgent for people to open their hearts to a courageous effort of reciprocal understanding. The hope for justice and peace is ever greater in every part of the earth.”
“Mother of Christ, may the infinite salvific power of the Redemption be revealed once again in the history of the world: power of merciful Love! May it put a stop to evil! May it transform consciences! May the light of hope be revealed to all in your Immaculate Heart!”
. ZENIT 3/27/04
THE YEAR OF THE ROSARY
“I proclaim the year that goes from October 2002 to October 2003 the Year of the Rosary. ”
The Rosary takes on fresh perspectives and is charged with stronger and vaster intentions than in the past. It is not a question now of asking for great victories, as at Lepanto and Vienna, rather is it a question of asking Mary to provide us with valorous fighters against the spirit of error and evil, with the arms of the Gospel, that is, the Cross and God’s Word.