The new edition of the Roman Missal, has been adopted by all the Italian dioceses, with the exception of Milan, which follows its own rite. It contains numerous prayer texts on the theme of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Above all is the Mass for the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Friday after the Second Sunday after Pentecost.
News in Spirituality
Spirituality occupies a primary role in the project of missionary reform promoted by Pope Francis. As early as in his first apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, in which he set out his priorities, he called attention to the urgent task of our time, namely, that the entire people of God prepare to undertake “in the Spirit” a new stage of evangelization.
For four centuries at least, the Society Ignatius founded, dominated the post-Tridentine Church, as a big fish in a rather small pond. But not just the Church, their myriad activities impinged upon the world at large.Their schools and methods of teaching were a template for the education of the young. Their missionary techniques — Ricci, De Nobili, Ruiz de Montoya — were so far ahead of their time that they invited censure and closure from the stodgy dicasteries in Rome.
The Catholic Church was shocked last month when an ornate golden artefact said to contain drops of Jesus's blood was stolen shortly before an annual celebration in northern France. For 1,000 years, pilgrims have headed to Fécamp abbey in Normandy to worship the "Precious Blood of Christ" relics.
The Bible teaches that “God created humans in his image” (Genesis 1:27). Commenting on this, Voltaire (1694-1778) said, “If God has made us in his image, we have returned him the favor.” Our ability and propensity to create, our capacity to love and accept love, our ability to forgive and to transcend self-centeredness — sin-marred though they be — all point to some affinity to divinity in us.
“In the desert we are never alone.” This affirmation comes from someone who loved the Sahara, Little Brother Charles of Jesus, Charles de Foucauld, and it embodies the essence of his life in the desert, where he lived in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament, his own “treasure.” It embodied the presence and humility of God, but was also the sacrament of love. He had chosen to “take his place as close as possible to Jesus of Nazareth, among the least, even if it meant being hidden and ‘useless’ in the immensity of the desert.”
This is our primary task as a believing community: to keep alive the cultural dimension of the Christian faith, and, in particular, the decisive value that biblical instruction has for some of the grave problems of our time. It is not by chance that Sacred Scripture has been studied and commented upon for centuries by the generations that preceded us, and has had a profound impact on every aspect of European history.
There is an urge to «return home», return to the vision that was our spiritual home, a anthropotheocosmic vision that allowed us to live for millennia as the beloved children of Mother Earth, incarnate body of the divine. As was said by EATWOT (The Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians): we will cease degrading nature only when we understand its divine character and our authentic natural character.
The “prosperity gospel” is a well-known theological current emerging from the neo-Pentecostal evangelical movements. At its heart is the belief that God wants his followers to have a prosperous life, that is, to be rich, healthy and happy.
A catastrophe can shape the way a generation thinks, as can be testified by children who are born after a war, mothers who see their children fleeing poverty, and the millions of refugees in the world today. In the history of humanity, wars, pandemics and famines, as recurring phenomena, require an adequate understanding of their causes and consequences, otherwise there is a high risk of repeating mistakes, losing our way and becoming shipwrecked again.
“Mysticism presents itself as the space where a speculative study of religious facts meets the need to live religious experience in the milieu of the advanced secularism of western society.”This does not mean that this culture of formal rationality, typical of the Enlightenment, is not today undermined by the return of the irrational and of individualism, or by the natural tendency of man toward the magic sense of things and to symbolic function. This is how secular analysts explain the current interest in mysticism.
Why pray? Let me suggest the first reason: God wants to be in a relationship with you. How can you know this? Because you want to pray. And how do I know that? Because you’re reading this. That may sound sarcastic, but it’s not. There’s a serious point here: your desire for prayer reveals something about how God created you. Deep within you is a natural desire to communicate with God.
Here we cannot fail to mention Ignatius of Loyola, who in his Spiritual Exercises wrote: “See Our Lady and Joseph and the handmaiden and child Jesus, after he is born, making myself the poor unworthy servant boy who looks at them, contemplates them and serves them in their needs as if I were present, with every possible respect and reverence” (ES 114).
It's a recurring question, but one that is badly formulated. Because every baptized person is called to live a life of holiness. Pope Francis reminds us that this is our vocation in his 2018 apostolic exhortation, Gaudete et exsultate,"on the call to holiness in today's world".
As parishes re-open to varying extents – and with a range of anti-viral measures from face-shields to people scattered by tape in near empty benches, many clergy note that the numbers have not returned to the pre-COVID-19 level. The preferred explanation seems to be that now is still not 'normality' and that many are fearful about a church gathering as a potential source of infection.
Putting the paschal mystery at the centre of our lives means feeling compassion towards the wounds of the crucified Christ present in the many innocent victims of wars, in attacks on life, from that of the unborn to that of the elderly, and various forms of violence. They are likewise present in environmental disasters, the unequal distribution of the earth’s goods, human trafficking in all its forms, and the unbridled thirst for profit, which is a form of idolatry.
The end of the seventh chapter of the Letter to the Romans contains an exclamation in which Saint Paul gives voice to a deep pain that permeates his entire existence: “Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?” (Rom 7:24). At first glance, it seems that the apostle is making a very severe judgment about his own body, as if he almost preferred to do away with it so as to live serenely the spiritual life. But this is not so.
"If families have an average number of five members, 50 million Filipinos have a chance to read, pray and share their insights of the Bible," said Bishop Bastes. "The Bible is indeed the most read book in our country. By the power of the Word of God, may the Philippines be transformed into a real Christian nation."
Ever since he was a boy in Norway, the son of a country vet, Erik Varden has felt a sense of longing – of homesickness “for a homeland I recall but have not seen”. There were decades of “rudderlessness, pain and questions” before he discovered where this was leading him: the enclosed Cistercian monastery of Mount Saint Bernard in Leicestershire, where he is now Abbot, and where he hopes to die.
Responses from young Catholics in East Africa and America to the survey published ahead of the Church’s Youth Synod give a fascinating insight into the concerns and hopes of a young generation of Christians.