Let the Word of God take root in your heart : Pope Said

Catholics should listen to the scripture readings at Mass with an open heart, so that the Word of God can take root in their lives and bear good fruit, Pope said on Sunday.
“Let’s do an examination of conscience to see how we welcome the Word of God. On Sunday we listen to it in the Mass. If we listen to it in a distracted or superficial way, it will not help us much,” the pope Francis said it,on Sept. 2.
“Instead, we must welcome the Word with open mind and heart, as a good ground, so that it is assimilated and bears fruit in concrete life.”

Speaking before the Angelus,the Pope Francis reflected on when Jesus said that the Word of God is like a grain of wheat: “it is a seed that must grow in concrete works. So that the Word itself purifies our heart and our actions and our relationship with God and with others and it is freed from hypocrisy.”
In the day's Gospel, Jesus addresses authenticity of obedience to the Word of God and hypocrisy, which he said, “is one of the strongest adjectives that Jesus uses in the Gospel.”
The Gospel passage opens with the scribes and Pharisees objecting to Jesus that his disciples do not follow the ritual precepts. But Jesus replies to them, and saying, “This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines human precepts.”
With these words, Jesus is trying to “shake” the scribes and Pharisees from the mistake of neglecting God’s commandments in favor of observing human traditions. If his reaction seems severe, it is because something important is at stake, Pope said that: “The truth of the relationship between man and God.”
The pope said the Lord invites each person today for “flee the danger of giving more importance to form than to substance.”
“He calls us to recognize it, again and again, what is the true center of the experience of faith, that is, the love of God and love of neighbor, purifying it from the hypocrisy of legalism and ritualism,” he said.
By telling Christians to visit orphans and widows, the Lord is saying to practice charity beginning with the neediest, with the most fragile,Pope Francis said.
“‘Do not let yourself be contaminated by this world’ does not mean isolating oneself and closing oneself to reality,” he continued. “No. Here too it should not be an external but interior attitude, of substance: it means to be vigilant so that our way of thinking and acting is not polluted by the worldly mentality, that is, by vanity, greed, pride.”
He concluded by asking for the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary to help people to always honor the Lord with their heart, “bearing witness to our love for him in concrete choices for the good of our brothers and sisters.”
After reciting the Angelus, the pope noted that on Saturday’s beatification of Bl. Anna Kolesárová, virgin and martyr, who was killed “for resisting those who wanted to violate her dignity and her chastity.”
Comparing her to St. Maria Goretti, he said that the courageous girl “helps young Christians to remain steadfast in fidelity to the Gospel, even when it requires going against the current.”
The Pope Francis also renewed his prayers for Syria and asked those in leadership in the country to use “diplomacy, dialogue and negotiations,” to safeguard human lives.

Vatican Observatory hosts conference on:Fr Secchi

Angelo Secchi was an Italian Jesuit and scientist from northern Italy. He dedicated his life to the study of the stars and planets, making huge advances in various branches of science. After 200 years his birth, the Vatican Observatory is celebrating his life and work.

Before Angelo Secchi, the main focus on astronomers was to find out the precise location of each star and planet. Their main aim was to unveil the mysteries of navigation in order to use them in daily life. Secchi had a different aim in his mind. His curiosity was not roused by the question of where the planets were but rather why the planets were. Through his innovative thoughts, which went hand in hand with his new tools, he applied his knowledge for the study of stars. 200 years later, much of the work we see today, related to meteorology, astrophysics and earth sciences can be linked back to Secchi’s research.

What’s the weather like?
Jesuit Father Corbally, a researcher for the Vatican Observatory spoke to Vatican News about the conference, focusing on the science and legacy of  Fr Secchi and looking at what his work leads to today.

According to Fr Corbally, much of what we take for granted today is the product of Angelo Secchi’s discoveries. The weather, for example, checked daily for agricultural purposes, dress purposes, planning a holiday, the weather has entire television channels dedicated to it. Secchi was part of the developing and understanding of weather patterns. He was the prime mover in producing the first weather maps. Those we now see on our television did not exist before him.

Fr Corbally speaks about the link between Secchi’s innovative questions and his faith. For Secchi, science is a gift from God. Fr Corbally compares this with the work done at the Vatican Observatory: enjoying this gift of God in using science to find out about the world. Adding Secchi’s work to their findings has enabled wonderful things to happen, such as predicting the weather. Some of these lessons learnt from Secchi have also affected studies regarding climate change.

Faithful scientist

Fr Corbally believes there is absolutely no difference in the way religious and non-religious scientists approach their research. The tools are the same, the mathematical equations are the same, and they both try to develop observations that stem from consistent theories. The spirit with which it is done is what makes it different.

 For the person of faith, it is a way to connect with the Creator, to join in with the light and the enjoyment of creation. Chapter 8 of the Book of Proverbs talks about how the Creator found joy in creation, and Fr Corbally believes that faith-filled scientist shares this joy.

Tourism should glorify God, promote human dignity

The Prefect for the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development, Cardinal Peter Turkson, has penned a Message for World Tourism Day, which takes place each year on 27 September.

In his Message, Cardinal Turkson reflected on the theme for this year’s observance: “Tourism and Digital Transformation.” This theme, he said, focuses on how digital technology has transformed our age and our behaviours.

Because of this, he said that, The World Tourism Day, “invites us to reflect on the contribution of technological progress not only to improve tourist products and services, but also because this progress is part of tourism’s sustainable and responsible development, towards which the growth of the sector should be oriented.”

The Church, he continued that, “has always paid particular attention to the pastoral care of tourism, leisure and holidays,” which allow to men and women to share their values and ideals, and to grow as individuals.

Tourism is also an important way to share our resources, but also to “educate people on the shared responsibility towards our “common home.”

Cardinal Turkson also had a “special thought” for young people, who are at the centre of the upcoming General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops. The working document, he noted that, discusses how “it is necessary to offer them paths for formation and anthropological education, so that they may live their ‘digital life’ without separating online and offline behavior, nor allowing themselves to be deceived by the virtual world.”

Finally, Cardinal Turkson Concluded that, “The hope that this Dicastery formulates for all, tourists and vacationers, is ‘that tourism will contribute to glorifying God, and to increasingly validating human dignity, mutual knowledge, spiritual brotherhood, refreshment of body and soul.’”

Dialogue with China: more fully Catholic, authentically Chinese

According to international practice, the negotiations between States take place confidentially, and normally only the final results are made by the public. For this reason, the particulars of the dialogue between the Holy See and the Chinese Authorities are not known. Nonetheless, if there is to be an understanding, we can imagine that it would permit the Church both to rebuild the unity of the pastoral leadership of the Dioceses that see the presence of two communities; and to provide for the numerous Dioceses that are currently without a Bishop, so that each one of them might be a Pastor admitted and recognized by both the Church and the State.

One cannot expect such an operation to be painless. There will be necessarily be unhappiness, suffering, sacrifices, resentments, and even the possibility of new tensions. But this kind of “threading the needle,” to which the Catholic Church in China is called, we all hope that it would be both purifying and a harbinger of good things: there will not be winners and losers, but the contribution of each side would be valued. As Cardinal Pietro Parolin has said, “It is not a matter of wiping the slate clean, ignoring or, almost magically erasing the painful path of so many faithful and pastors, but of investing the human and spiritual capital of so many trials to build a more and serene and fraternal future, with the help of God.”
If there is to be a new beginning that, while respecting different sensibilities, is both more fraternal and more unifying for the CC in China, this will, in the first place, have positive effects for the sacramental and spiritual life of the faithful, who are working towards being ever more fully Catholic and more authentically Chinese.

Moreover, it could free up new energies for the activities of the Church and for a greater harmony within Chinese society. But much depends on the commitment and good will of everyone involved. The Catholic presence in China, considered purely in numerical terms as a part of the total population and, seems meagre, but is nonetheless always alive. A renewed work of evangelisation could bear great fruit in spite of so many limits and controls that might yet remain, in great part due to the fear that religion could be used by “external forces” which foster social insecurities.

If the path to civil recognition for a Bishop is a question that concerns the State, with its laws and procedures, the path to canonical legitimacy concerns the Church. In order to understand this, it is necessary to recognise what the Church is. Already as far back as the second century, St Irenaeus defined the Church as the spiritual communion that proclaims and transmits the Tradition that comes from the Apostles through the uninterrupted succession of the Bishops. This apostolic succession of the Bishops as the guarantee of Tradition will constitutive of the Church herself. At the same time, it is the Church that guarantees the apostolic succession and the authenticity of the episcopate, whether through the free nomination of the Pope or by means of his confirmation of the legitimate election of a Bishop.

Even if he is validly ordained, a Bishop cannot legitimately exercise his ministry if he is not in communion with the Successor of Peter and the other Bishops working throughout the whole world. It is up to the Bishop of Rome, the Vicar of Christ and universal Pastor of the Church, to legitimate and re-admit into full Catholic communion those he judges worthy, and to whom he entrusts a pastoral charge. With regard to China, one begins with this certainty: the new episcopal consecrations that have taken place in China without a pontifical mandate were illicit but valid with or without the exception of very specific cases. Despite these sorrowful situations of irregularity, the Catholic Church in China has always remained “one” because it has never formally established itself as “separate” from Rome; and further, because it has never elaborated a doctrinal position repudiating the primacy of jurisdiction.

But there is another piece of evidence which must be considered, namely, that the living desire to be in union with the Pope has always been present in those Chinese Bishops ordained in an illegitimate manner. The irregular condition of these Bishops notwithstanding: those who believe the illegitimate Bishops to be sincere accept their repentance,the recognition of their desire to be in union with the Supreme Pontiff makes the difference between two conflicting opinions that have emerged in recent years (although not condoning the inappropriate behaviour of some of them); while those who do not believe their sincerity have often condemned them.