For those who are on up their Catholic networks, we have a network in Canada called Salt and Light Media (similar to EWTN in the US). I picked up a free copy of their magazine today; it was a special issue to commemorate the election of Pope Francis earlier this year. I was reading the article about where Francis came from before his election, etc. One pericope caught my attention in particular:
. . . the Pope is Peter’s successor, the Church’s shepherd and a living example of charity, the guardian of a treasure that does not belong to him: the depositum fidei which it is responsibility to pass on to others . . .
I thought this was such a great description, that I rewrote it to make it apply more generally to all Christians:
Christians are called to be living examples of charity, guardians of a treasure that does not belong to them: the depositum fidei (deposit of the faith) which it is their responsibility to pass on to others.
That’s a fantastic description of our responsibility and a wonderful reminder that the Gospel we hold so dear, that is so precious, is not ours to hold onto, but it is a gift to be shared, given away; it is the greatest responsibility we can ever take upon ourselves.
Pope Francis released the first encyclical of his Pontificate today. Sources say this was actually started by Benedict XVI. The former Pontiff’s 3 previous encyclicals had covered the virtues of “Love, Hope, and Charity” and this current release covers the topic of faith.
Read it here
The light of Faith: this is how the Church’s tradition speaks of the great gift brought by Jesus. In John’s Gospel, Christ says of himself: “I have come as light into the world, that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness” (Jn 12:46). Saint Paul uses the same image: “God who said ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts” (2 Cor 4:6). The pagan world, which hungered for light, had seen the growth of the cult of the sun god, Sol Invictus, invoked each day at sunrise. Yet though the sun was born anew each morning, it was clearly incapable of casting its light on all of human existence. The sun does not illumine all reality; its rays cannot penetrate to the shadow of death, the place where men’s eyes are closed to its light. “No one — Saint Justin Martyr writes — has ever been ready to die for his faith in the sun”.1] Conscious of the immense horizon which their faith opened before them, Christians invoked Jesus as the true sun “whose rays bestow life”.2] To Martha, weeping for the death of her brother Lazarus, Jesus said: “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” (Jn 11:40). Those who believe, see; they see with a light that illumines their entire journey, for it comes from the risen Christ, the morning star which never sets.
It’s not my intention to make this a “news” site, but this isn’t the kind of news you keep to yourself.
For first time since schism, the Ecumenical Patriarch will attend a pope’s installation Mass.
This is really quite big if you know your history.
Tuesday will be a landmark day in the history of Christianity and ecumenical relations: the Ecumenical Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople will attend Pope Francis’ installation Mass, celebrating the Eucharist with him.
As if that wasn’t enough, three other Orthodox bishops are coming with him! – Dr. Michael Barber
This is surely due to the work of Pope John Paul II and especially Pope Benedict XVI who made ecumenical relations between east and west a top priority for his pontificate. Pope John Paul II when referring to the east west schism said that the Catholic and Orthodox Church’s are like two lungs that need to be brought back together. I can only hope that this is a sign of good things to come. Imagine: east and west reuniting. Simply incredible. Maybe it will take years and still more years or perhaps it will never happen, but this is a pretty incredible development that will be exciting to watch. Especially because as archbishop Pope Francis was Ordinary of Eastern-rite Catholics in Argentina when they were without an ordinary.
A short little video commemorating the election of Pope Francis.
When speaking of the sensitive topic of end of life issues, we must remember to make a distinction between euthanasia and accepting “the human condition in the face of death”.
Bl. John Paul II wrote in his 1995 encyclical “Evangelium Vitae” (Gospel of Life) that:
Naturally, of course, one purpose of our catechesis must be to make children understand that Communion, First Communion is not a ‘fixed’ event, but requires a continuity of friendship with Jesus, a journey with Jesus.
Read the whole article here.
I just thought this was kind of cool. John Paul II and his immediate successors, Benedict XVI and Francis. (HT to First Things for posting this photo)
Pope Benedict XVI has officially left the Chair of St. Peter. We now enter the period of time known as Sede Vacante (time of the empty throne). The next step is for the College of Cardinals to begin Conclave to pick the next Pope.