Torch: April 21 – May 2, 2008

A weekly report on the Holy Father’s messages and activities
by Brother John Mullan, LC - Tran | Source:





The Christian mission leaves no room for laziness or cowardice: “To fulfill the mission that Jesus has given us, we mustn’t be either lazy or cowardly. May the generosity of the cardinal we mourn, multiplied in many works of charity especially benefiting children in various parts of the world, nourish us in spending all of our physical and spiritual resources for the cause of the Gospel; may it move us to act in defense of human life; may it help us to keep our eyes fixed constantly on the goal of our earthly pilgrimage.” (Homily at funeral of Cardinal Trujillo, Wednesday, Apr 23)



The secret to happiness is following God’s call: “Our ‘yes’ to God makes the font of true happiness gush forth. It frees the ‘I’ from everything that closes it in on itself. It brings the poverty of our lives into the richness and power of God’s plan, without restricting our freedom and our responsibility. [...] It conforms our lives to Christ's own life. […] I particularly invite you to take up the witness of your ancestors in the faith, and to learn to welcome the word of God – in silence and meditation – so that it can mould your hearts and produce generous fruits in you. This is also a good time to allow yourselves to be asked by Christ: ‘What do you want to do with your lives?’ May those among you who feel the call to follow him in the priesthood or in consecrated life – as have so many young participants in these pilgrimages – reply to the Lord’s call and put yourselves totally at the service of the Church, with a life completely dedicated to the Kingdom of heaven. You will never be disappointed.” (Letter to young people on pilgrimage in Lourdes, Saturday, Apr 26)



Priests are called to spread the joy of Christ: “What can be greater, more exciting, than working together to spread the Word of life in the world, than communicating the living water of the Spirit? […] If you are to be co-workers of the joy of others, of people who are often sad and negative, the fire of the Gospel must burn in you, the joy of the Lord must live in you. […] Where Christ is preached with the power of the Holy Spirit and he is accepted with an open soul, society, though it be full of problems, becomes a ‘city of joy’. This then is the wish I have for the newly ordained priests, for whom I invite all to pray: that where they are sent they may spread the joy and hope that flow from the Gospel.” (Homily at priestly ordination ceremony and address before reciting the Regina Caeli, Sunday, Apr 27)



Do not forget the tragedies and suffering of Africa: “The news from some African countries continues to cause profound suffering and much concern. I ask you not to forget about these tragic events and the brothers and sisters who are involved in them! I ask the local political authorities, the leaders of the international community and every person of goodwill not to give up on efforts to bring an end to the violence and to honor the commitments that have been made, in a way that will provide a solid basis for peace and development. We entrust our petitions to Mary, Queen of Africa.” (Message after praying the midday Regina Caeli, Sunday, Apr 27)



Teach young people about the beauty of marriage and the family: “Ensure that everyone, and especially the young, gains a better understanding of – and feels ever more attracted by – the beauty of the true values of marriage and the family. At the same time, it is necessary to encourage and offer the appropriate means so that families can exercise their responsibilities and their fundamental right to a religious and moral education for their children.” (Message to Cuban bishops visiting Rome, Friday, May 2)



Some activities of the Holy Father



Monday, Apr 21: Benedict XVI arrived to Rome in the morning from his trip to the United States. He wrote telegrams to the leaders of the countries he flew over during his return trip (United States, Canada, Ireland, France and Italy). The Pope also expressed his condolences at the death of Cardinal Alfonso López Trujillo, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, who died Saturday at the age of 72.



Wednesday, Apr 23: The Pope presided the funeral liturgy for Cardinal Trujillo and preached the homily.



Thursday, Apr 24: The Pope received bishops from Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan, who recently completed their five-yearly visit to the Vatican.



Friday, Apr 25: Benedict XVI sent his condolences to the archbishop of Mexico City upon the death of his predecessor, Cardinal Ernesto Corripio Ahumada, who died Thursday.



Saturday, Apr 26: The Pope published today a letter to young people who participated in a youth pilgrimage from Paris to Lourdes.



Sunday, Apr 27: The Pope ordained 29 priests from the Diocese of Rome. Following the ordination Mass, he prayed the midday Regina Caeli in St. Peter's Square.



Wednesday, Apr 30: The Pope held his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square, which he dedicated to recalling his recent trip to Washington DC and New York.



Friday, May 2: The Pope received bishops from Cuba, who recently completed their five-yearly visit to the Vatican.



A prayer for the Holy Father



Christ Jesus, King and Lord of the Church, in your presence I renew my unconditional loyalty to your Vicar on earth, the Pope. In him you have chosen to show us the safe and sure path that we must follow in the midst of confusion, uneasiness, and unrest. I firmly believe that through him you govern, teach, and sanctify us; with him as our shepherd, we form the true Church: one, holy, catholic, and apostolic. Grant me the grace to love, live, and spread faithfully our Holy Father’s teachings. Watch over his life, enlighten his mind, strengthen his spirit, defend him from calumny and evil. Calm the erosive winds of infidelity and disobedience. Hear our prayer and keep your Church united around him, firm in its belief and action, that it may truly be the instrument of your redemption. Amen.



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