Issues Vol. 169‎ > ‎

Vol. 169 No. 18 • MAY 05 - 11, 2018

01 Cover

posted May 3, 2018, 1:19 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated May 4, 2018, 12:18 AM ]


03 Index

posted May 3, 2018, 1:18 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated May 3, 2018, 1:18 AM ]


04 Official

posted May 3, 2018, 1:16 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated May 4, 2018, 12:19 AM ]


05 Engagements

posted May 3, 2018, 1:15 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated May 3, 2018, 1:16 AM ]


07 Editorial - Recreation is Restoration - Fr Anthony Charanghat

posted May 2, 2018, 11:49 PM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated May 4, 2018, 12:20 AM ]

This summer vacation, the hustle and bustle of travel and tourism will peak once again, resulting more in dissipation, rather than recreation and restoration. This occurs because modern holiday packages persuade us that vacation is a vacant time to escape from work, indulge in sleazy entertainment and go on extravagant trips to exotic destinations, leaving us in debt, burnt out and too jaded to be productive of the purpose and direction of the Christian vision of rest and leisure.

Vacations, or 'holidays', are not mentioned in the Bible, but specific times of rest are discussed, as is stewardship of time and money, the importance of work and relationship with God. The importance of rest to be viewed as a spiritual practice finds its origin in our Creation story. That rest has a meaningful goal is rooted in the biblical ideas of stewardship and rest.

Scripture portrays work as dignified, a part of God's good Creation before the fall, and no one should avoid it. God Himself is portrayed as a worker (Genesis 1) — planning, deciding, ordering, doing, and evaluating repeatedly in creating the world, and He calls us to share in this mission.

Scripture also depicts vacation as a time of rest, and God set the example of rest in Genesis 2:2-3 when He ceased from creating. In Exodus 20:8-11, God tells His people that they are to rest from their labour on the seventh day.

We rest every day through sleep. We have rhythms of work and rest. It is not that rest is our goal, but finding a balance of work and rest gives us a harmony with God's intentions (Psalm 90:12) and re-energises us to be at the service of efficient work to participate in God's ongoing creation.

The Sabbath was intended to be a time to worship, rest, and find restoration. We show trust in God's providence, when we work as well as rest. We rely upon Him to re-energise our bodies, minds and spirits; we worship Him, and we receive His refreshment. Vacation can be a means of experiencing this presence and restoring grace.

We are also exhorted to be wise stewards of our finances and time. It is not godly to pay for a vacation by going into debt (Romans 13:8), and we should strive to create affordable, restorative vacations for ourselves and our family. Vacations help us to build on important relationships, be restored and rested, and experience new venues to God and our fellow beings.

The Church encourages us to take a vacation, not because it is directly commanded in Scripture, but because it is a means by which we are prepared to do what God calls us to. Whether laying a cable or optical fibre in the ocean, our fingers flying vigorously over the key board, teaching in a classroom, making a sale, or building a house, work is something good for which God has made us.

The real reason that work is experienced as drudgery is because we do not see how it relates to our calling, and how, through it, we can glorify and enjoy God. Our work, our job, is not simply to make money or pay bills; it enables us to fulfil what God wants as our unique vocation in the world.

God calls us to rest, so that our bodies and minds can be refreshed, enabling us to get back to more efficient work. Rest is not the end. Rest is not the goal. Rest is an interval, to stop so that we can get back on track, to do what God has called us to do with our lives. We must rest to be at the service of individual and communal work.

08 Regina Cœli  (Queen of Heaven)

posted May 2, 2018, 11:47 PM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated May 2, 2018, 11:47 PM ]

The Regina Cæli or Regina Cœli (Queen of Heaven, in Ecclesiastical Latin) is an ancient Latin Marian hymn of the Christian Church. It is one of the four seasonal Marian Antiphons of the Blessed Virgin Mary, prescribed to be sung or recited in the Liturgy of the Hours at the conclusion of the last of the hours to be prayed in common that day, typically Night prayer (Compline or Vespers). The four Marian Antiphons are Alma Redemptoris Mater, Ave Regina Coelorum, the Salve Regina and the Regina Cœli takes the place of the 'Angelus' during the Paschal Time.

The opening words of the Eastertide anthem of the Blessed Virgin, the recitation of which is prescribed in the Roman Breviary from Compline of Holy Saturday until noon of the Saturday after Pentecost inclusively. It goes as follows:

Regina cæli, lætare, alleluia,
Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia,
Resurrexit, sicut dixit, alleluia,
Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.
Gaude et lætare, Virgo Maria, alleluia.
Quia surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia.

The English translation is given below:
Queen of Heaven, rejoice, alleluia:
The Son whom you merited to bear, alleluia.
Has risen, as He said, alleluia.
Pray for us to God, alleluia.
Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia.
For the Lord has truly risen, alleluia.

Let us pray: O God, who through the resurrection of your Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ gave rejoicing to the world, grant, we pray, that through his Mother, the Virgin Mary, we may obtain the joys of everlasting life, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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09 My ROSARY by my Pillow - Fr Cedric Prakash sj

posted May 2, 2018, 11:45 PM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated May 2, 2018, 11:46 PM ]

As one grows older, one tends to develop certain 'tics' — a kind of a 'prop' for the journey ahead! These 'tics' are sometimes really good: a habit which one has been nurturing over the years, and at one stage, one realises that one can really not do without it!

Since I was a little child, my mother taught me and my siblings that one should never go to bed without saying the Rosary. Come what may, however late one was, or tired or sleepy—the family Rosary had to be said! It was another matter that sometimes we rattled it out with a speed that would put a 'Rajdhani' to shame. It was a duty, a discipline which became part of one's life; but without realising, it also helped nurture, enrichen and deepen one's faith! The Rosary had come to stay!

Over the years, my Rosary became an 'essential' in my 'carry-ons'; I have found it difficult to go anywhere without the Rosary in my pocket! I have often wondered if it is just a 'superstition' like the charms or amulets that people wear for 'good luck' or to ward off evil. No, for me, it is much deeper—a sign of my faith! The fact that Mary my mother accompanies me in this journey of life, in the very same way she accompanied her son Jesus in the Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful and Glorious stages of His life on earth.

Of late, together with my little crucifix, I need to have my Rosary by my pillow. It has become another absolute necessity for me. It is my WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter accounts all rolled in one! Completely synced! As I touch the beads, I remember the people I encountered during the day: my colleagues, my collaborators, my companions; the refugees and the displaced; my family, my close friends, my other near and dear ones; those with whom I communicated during the day; the many who have asked for my prayers: those sick with cancer, the lonely, the old; those gone before me…

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10 Mary and the revolutionary Nature of Love - Christopher Lamb

posted May 2, 2018, 11:44 PM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated May 2, 2018, 11:44 PM ]

As we reflect on the Fatima devotion in the month of May this year, we recall what Pope Francis said on his visit last year to the shrine of Fatima in Portugal, that Mary is not a remote "plaster statue" figure restraining a vengeful God, but someone who shows the "revolutionary nature" of love and tenderness. Speaking to tens of thousands gathered for a night time prayer vigil and recitation of the Rosary, Pope Francis defined Marian devotion as humility and tenderness, and not the false piety created by the "Mary of our own making."

The Pope who was in Fatima for the canonisation of the two shepherd children Jacinta (7) and Francisco Marto (9), who reported seeing a series of Marian apparitions exactly a century ago, and witnessing the visions along with their cousin, and the prophecies made known as the 'three secrets of Fatima'. The first was a vision of hell, while the second was about the prediction of the Virgin Mary of a second World War "if people do not cease offending God."

The Fatima devotion underlines Mary's call for penance, as well as the prayer of the Rosary that asks: "Forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who have the most need of your mercy." Commenting on the forgiveness element of the Fatima prophecies, the Pope stressed that it was a serious mistake to put judgment ahead of mercy: "Great injustice is done to God's grace whenever we say that sins are punished by His judgment, without first saying – as the Gospel clearly does – that they are forgiven by His mercy!"

"Mercy has to be put before judgment, and in any case, God's judgment will always be rendered in the light of His mercy," Pope Francis continued. "Obviously, God's mercy does not deny justice, for Jesus took upon Himself the consequences of our sin, together with its due punishment. He did not deny sin, but redeemed it on the Cross."

The Pope also underlined: "With Mary, may each of us become a sign and sacrament of the mercy of God, who pardons always and pardons everything." And then, quoting from the key text of his pontificate, Evangelii Gaudium, he added: "Whenever we look to Mary, we come to believe once again in the revolutionary nature of love and tenderness."

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11 Holy See at the UN: Integrated Approach to Peace

posted May 2, 2018, 11:42 PM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated May 2, 2018, 11:43 PM ]

Statements at Plenary Session on Peace building and Sustaining Peace

On April 25 and 26, the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations gave a statement during the Plenary Session of the High-Level Meeting on Peace building and Sustaining Peace and another statement during the fourth interactive session of the Meeting that was dedicated to the "UN's Comprehensive and Integrated Approach to Peace."

Peace building is one of the most important activities of the United Nations, and thus it deserves the full attention of the international community. The Holy See, therefore, believes that the concept of 'Sustaining Peace' should be at the core of our efforts at the United Nations to prevent conflicts and sustain peace. It encompasses all the dimensions of prevention and peace, namely, conflict prevention, effective peace building, addressing the root causes of conflicts, and ensuring non-recurrence if conflict has erupted. If prevention is the priority, we must commit ourselves wholeheartedly to sustaining peace.

In its remarks at the Plenary Session, the Holy See said that peace building is one of the most important activities of the United Nations and underlined five priorities: that the UN should recommit itself and scale up its peace building efforts; focus on institutional and capacity building in situations of potential or impending conflicts; address effectively the illicit flow and accumulation of weapons; involve all sectors of the society, particularly men, in conflict resolution and peace building processes; and ensure justice and accountability for those responsible for atrocity crimes.

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12 Multi-pronged mission of Caritas - Nirmala Carvalho

posted May 2, 2018, 11:41 PM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated May 2, 2018, 11:41 PM ]

An interview with the outgoing Director of Caritas India

As Fr Frederick D'Souza ends his tenure as the head of Caritas India, he says the Christian perspective of volunteering or giving ourself in selfless service stems from Diakonia - "one of the subtle expressions of the life of the Church in society."

Caritas India is the official development arm of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI), and is especially committed to serving the underprivileged sections of Indian society, especially those coming from socially excluded communities, including those at the bottom of India's caste system, its indigenous Tribal community, and religious minorities.

Caritas India is associated with Caritas Internationalis, the Church's main international charitable arm.

Fr Frederick D'Souza noted that the work of Caritas corresponds with the April prayer intention of Pope Francis: "Let us raise our voices together, asking that economists may have the courage to reject an economy of exclusion and know how to open new paths."

This is a particular problem in India, where the country's historic caste system leaves many at the bottom of society, especially the Dalits, who were once known as 'Untouchables'. Religious minorities and members of India's indigenous tribal communities also often face discrimination and prejudice.

"Social exclusion is very painful, as it discriminates against an individual in every way. Economic exclusion is the heart of social exclusion, as it denies a person his or her dignity. One needs to make both ends meet," Fr D'Souza told Crux.

"Most crimes are committed against the poor, and minors from poor and minority communities are the most vulnerable. This social exclusion also leads to political exclusion, as it makes people voiceless," he said.

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