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“How shall freedom be defended? By arms when it is attacked by arms, by truth when it is attacked by lies, by faith when it is attacked by authoritarian dogma. Always, in the final act, by determination and faith.” ― Archibald MacLeish

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“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it--always.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

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“How shall freedom be defended? By arms when it is attacked by arms, by truth when it is attacked by lies, by faith when it is attacked by authoritarian dogma. Always, in the final act, by determination and faith.”

― Archibald MacLeish

Monday, October 13, 2014

Pope Francis: The Repair Man of the Church!

"Pope Francis, repair the Church in the Philippines"
Papal Visit 2015
We urgently need your leadership to make the Catholic Church in the Philippines the haven of the poor, the neglected and the young. Help repair the Church and make Her the true window of God's mercy for our country.
EQ POST's Repair Man of the Church
Porziuncola, also called Portiuncula (in Latin) or Porzioncula, Porciúncula (in Spanish and Portuguese) is a small church located within the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli in the frazione of Santa Maria degli Angeli, situated about 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) from Assisi, Umbria (central Italy). It is the place from where the Franciscan movement started.
From Catholic Online:
St Francis' search for conversion led him to the ancient church at San Damiano. While he was praying there, he heard Christ on the crucifix speak to him, "Francis, repair my church." Francis assumed this meant church with a small c -- the crumbling building he was in. Acting again in his impetuous way, he took fabric from his father's shop and sold it to get money to repair the church. His father saw this as an act of theft -- and put together with Francis' cowardice, waste of money, and his growing disinterest in money made Francis seem more like a madman than his son. Pietro dragged Francis before the bishop and in front of the whole town demanded that Francis return the money and renounce all rights as his heir.
The bishop was very kind to Francis; he told him to return the money and said God would provide. That was all Francis needed to hear. He not only gave back the money but stripped off all his clothes -- the clothes his father had given him -- until he was wearing only a hair shirt. In front of the crowd that had gathered he said, "Pietro Bernardone is no longer my father. From now on I can say with complete freedom, 'Our Father who art in heaven.'" Wearing nothing but castoff rags, he went off into the freezing woods -- singing. And when robbers beat him later and took his clothes, he climbed out of the ditch and went off singing again. From then on Francis had nothing...and everything.
Francis went back to what he considered God's call. He begged for stones and rebuilt the San Damiano church with his own hands, not realizing that it was the Church with a capital C that God wanted repaired. Scandal and avarice were working on the Church from the inside while outside heresies flourished by appealing to those longing for something different or adventurous.

"I wish to express my closeness to the people of the Philippines and of that region. Unfortunately there are many victims and the damage is enormous. We pray now in silence ... for our brothers and sisters, and we will seek to also send concrete help."
 Pope Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is discord, harmony;
Where there is error, truth;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Dear young people, do not bury your talents, the gifts that God has given you!  Do not be afraid to dream of great things!
Pope Francis
Pope Francis takes the bus.
By Paul Vallely, www.independent.co.uk
The Vatican has been turned upside down, but can he ensure that his radical changes to the Church will last?

Radical change has become the new norm in Rome under the first 12 months of the pontificate of Pope Francis. The first Pope from the Americas has brought with him – “from the ends of the earth”, as he put it – a fundamentally new perspective.

Pope Francis caused a stir from the outset by eschewing the monarchical trappings of the papacy and presenting himself as an icon of assertive humility.
But there has been much more to him than a Pope who rejects the papal palace, eats at the refectory table in his hostel, carries his own bags and makes impromptu calls on his mobile to a variety of ordinary people in response to letters whose envelopes were address only to “Pope Francis, The Vatican, Rome”.

He has also been radical in his pronouncements on Church teaching. On the plane back to Rome from World Youth Day in Brazil – where his final Mass had attracted three million worshippers – Francis spoke freely in answer to reporters’ questions on a wide range of topics. His softening of Rome’s attitudes to gay people – “Who am I to judge?” – grabbed the headlines. But in 80 minutes of Q&As the new Pope signalled change in many areas.

That was a message reinforced this month when he gave a 12,000-word interview to a Jesuit publication. It sent shock waves through the Catholic Church.

He criticised it for putting dogma before love, and doctrine before serving the poor. It had grown “obsessed” with abortion, gay marriage and contraception and become a church of “small-minded rules”. Where his predecessor, Benedict XVI, wanted a smaller, purer church, Francis wanted  an inclusive one which was a “home for all”.

“We have to find a new balance,” Pope Francis concluded, “otherwise even the moral edifice of the Church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel.”

Conservative Catholics have struggled with all this, stuttering that the new Pope was changing no doctrine but merely offering a different style. Many of his comments could have been made by Pope Benedict, they said – it was only Francis’s tone that was different.


Liberal Catholics, by contrast, who had felt out in the cold during the 35 years during which John Paul II and Benedict XVI occupied the papacy, were optimistic that there would be substance to match the style.

But it is now becoming clear that the new Pope is bent on real change. To some extent, style and substance have been interwoven. When Francis visited the southern Italian island of Lampedusa in July – to show solidarity with the African refugees whose flimsy boats find it the easiest part of Europe for them to reach – he ruffled feathers in the Vatican. First, he did not consult the Vatican equivalent of the prime minister’s office, the Secretariat of State. And he tried to book his own flight on Alitalia, until the airline’s people rumbled him.

Symbol and substance have gone hand in hand elsewhere. At the scandal-hit Vatican Bank he first told all the cardinals on its supervisory board that they must forgo their €25,000 annual stipend. But then he set up a five-person commission of outsiders, including a Harvard law professor, to investigate the bank which has been accused of money laundering. In a handwritten document he gave them powers to summon any documents and data they deemed necessary and told them to report directly to him.
National Prayer For The Papal Visit To the Philippines
God of mercy and compassion, we come to you in our need and lift up to you our nation as we prepare for the apostolic visit of Pope Francis.

After every invocation we say together: Bless your Church Lord!

L: That we may be faithful to the Pope, the Vicar of Christ on earth
All: Bless your Church Lord!

L: That we may be eager to meet and listen to Pope Francis
A: Bless your Church Lord!

L: That we may be compassionate with the poor and the needy
A: Bless your Church Lord!

L: That we may be merciful with the weak and the lost
A: Bless your Church Lord!

L: That we may humbly confess our sins and return to God
A: Bless your Church Lord!

L: That we may frequently and devoutly receive Holy Communion
A: Bless your Church Lord!

L: Let us pray
God our Father, we are all your children. Make of us a nation of mercy and compassion eager to meet Pope Francis. Make us a nation of holiness and heroism through Christ our Lord. Amen.”