"I am hard put to find any other popular medium that so effectively articulates Pope Francis’ recent exhortation to the Church to be a ‘convincing herald of mercy’ as that ballad Mercy Now. When I hear Mary Gauthier, a plain, unadorned woman with a plain, unaffected southern drawl, singing this plain, unembellished ballad recognising that every single one of us, from our father and brother to our Church and country to all living things, could use a little mercy now, I am thoroughly taken in. And sitting in the chapel on Holy Saturday night listening to the Easter Vigil readings, I am brought to mind of Mercy Now." (Karen Eliasen in Thinking Faith)
On sabbatical here in Berkeley since the end of August 2015 I have been drawn into a journey of discovery - both personal and cosmic. The road travelled has taken me out into the beautiful drought-stricken California countryside but also into the inner pathways of my own soul. Here I have met some of my fears, prejudices and longings....as we, sabbaticants, respond to the invitation to rest, to allow ourselves to be renewed, to be at peace with the Divine, ourselves and the rest of Creation.
Day of Resurrection HE IS RISEN! ALLELUIA! Resurrection Mural at Abdij Koningsoord, Arnhem, Holland
Our present world is fast changing and is challenged by violence, division, extremism, instability and persecution. The road ahead may appear uncertain, if not dangerous. The prologue of our Constitution and Directives states:
Holy Saturday is a 'tomb day' that brings home the desolation and finality of the Cross. We have to experience its stark reality, the silence of God, to be prepared for Good Friday and for Easter Morning.
'Eli, Eli, lamma sabachtani?' - 'My God, My God, why have you abandoned me?' Way of the Cross conceived by Hans Burgman mhm and installed at the chapel of the Catholic Community Centre at Nyalenda, Kisumu, Kenya.
The last SDG looks at the implementation of all others goals. It will be necessary to provide the requisite financial means and create effective structures and institution.
St. Joseph, as the gentle head of the Holy Family, is a much-honored and well-beloved saint. God has made St. Joseph a heavenly patron of family life because he sanctified himself as head of the Holy Family and the foster father of Jesus, Our Saviour and also by his beautiful example of sanctified family life. So there is no wonder and surprise in calling him the patron saint of families. Many Christian families admire the family of St. Joseph as the exemplary family to be imitated simply because it is an extraordinary family and at the same time a true family based on the simple yet profound values of human life. Although Jesus is the Son of God and the Saviour of the world, He chose to be born in the family of St. Joseph like any one of us but St. Joseph never bragged about it nor behaved proudly. Instead he exhibited simplicity and humility in accepting to be the foster father of Jesus our Saviour. As Jesus was always obedient to his heavenly Father, so too Joseph was always respective and obedient to his family. He did not merely tell Jesus and Mary that he loved them. He acted out his love. He lived it. That is the secret of true love. He never flinched back in fulfilling the will of God. Therefore every family has to learn a lot from the Holy Family. The qualities such as understanding, love and unity can only be nurtured and developed in a family. In fact Joseph was a descendant of the Royal family of David yet he lived in comparative obscurity and a ‘nobody’ in the world’s eyes. However, he too faced difficult family problems such as, Mary’s pregnancy, the threat to the life of the child, the exile to a foreign land, how to make ends meet by the work of his hands. But unlike St. Joseph, we often have an idealised understanding of family life. As the saying goes “unless one jumps into the well, one doesn’t know the real depth of the well”. This is where St. Joseph once again remains a true model for a true family life.
Examens are an enriching form of prayer and a great chance to reflect back on God's action in our lives.
John Allen suggests that Cardinal Newman would qualify to be given the title of 'patron saint of relevance'.