Wisdom from the Holy Father

Some thoughts by Pope Benedict XVI on evangelization:

“How many people also in our time are in search of God, in search of Jesus and of his Church, in search of divine mercy, and are waiting for a “sign” that will touch their minds and their hearts! Today, as then, the Evangelist reminds Pope_Benedict_XVIus that the only “sign” is Jesus raised on the cross: Jesus who died and rose is the absolutely sufficient sign. Through him we can understand the truth about life and obtain salvation.”

“[Evangelization] is not something optional, but the very vocation of the People of God, a duty that corresponds to it by the command of the Lord Jesus Christ himself”

“One of the promising indications of a renewal in the Church’s missionary consciousness in recent decades, has been the growing desire of many lay men and women [...] to cooperate generously in the ‘missio ad gentes.’ As Vatican Council II stressed, the work of evangelization is a fundamental duty incumbent upon the whole People of God.”

Pope says Church’s mission a duty of every Catholic (Catholic News Agency)

Pope_Benedict_XVICheck out this news article on Catholic News Agency on His Holiness’ “message prepared for the annual day of prayer and promotion of the Church’s missionary activity, to be celebrated this year on Oct. 24.”

In it, the Holy Father implores Christians to recognize and participate in the Church’s mission to evangelize all people.

“The Father calls us to be sons and daughters, loved in the beloved Son, and to recognize that we are all brothers and sisters in (Christ), who is the gift of salvation for humanity.”

Youth: The Future of Society and of the Church!

Our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI addressed the youth in his message for World Youth Day 2011, asking them to “strengthen their faith to counter the influence of secular society,” and telling the youth that the Church “needs your lively faith, your creative charity and the energy of your hope.”

Pope_Benedict_XVIIn the midst of an age of relativism and secularist thought, the Pope reminded his audience that “wherever individuals and nations accept God’s presence, worship him in truth and listen to his voice, then the civilization of love is being built, a civilization in which the dignity of all is respected, and communion increases, with all its benefits.”

Read more of the Holy Father’s words in this recent Catholic News Agency article!

Quick Reflection: Accepting the Gift of Love

sacred-heart-icon“From the point of view of the Christian faith, man comes in the profoundest sense to himself not through what he does but through what he accepts. He must wait for the gift of love, and love can only be received as a gift… One must wait for it, let it be given to one. And one cannot become wholly man in any other way than by being loved, by letting oneself be loved… If he declines to let himself be presented with the gift, then he destroys himself.” – Pope Benedict XVI

Are you accepting the gift of love that Christ is offering to you each day? Are you giving that gift to others?

“Our mission is to convey God’s love–not a dead God but a living God, a God of love.” -Blessed Mother Teresa

Advice for Dads

Happy Father’s Day!

Check out this article that provides good advice for fathers…it also includes audio clips!

Don’t forget to pray for all of the fathers in your life, living and deceased, and for our priestly fathers, who help nuture our spiritual lives.

“St. Joseph, guardian of Jesus and chaste husband of Mary, you passed your life in loving fulfillment of duty. You supported the holy family of Nazareth with the work of your hands. Kindly protect those who trustingly come to you. You know their aspirations, their hardships, their hopes. They look to you because they know you will understand and protect them. You too knew trial, labor and weariness. But amid the worries of material life your soul was full of deep peace and sang out in true joy through intimacy with God’s Son entrusted to you and with Mary, his tender Mother. Assure those you protect that they do not labor alone. Teach them to find Jesus near them and to watch over him faithfully as you have done.” -Prayer for Fathers by Pope John XXIII 

Strengthening Our Knowledge–and Love–of the Eucharist

Pope Benedict XVI recently spoke about the need for the Church to gain an even more profound knowledge of the magnificence of the Holy Eucharist.

“‘When we receive Christ,’ the Holy Father explained, ‘the love of God expands inside us, radically modifying our hearts and making us capable of gestures which, by the contagious power of goodness, can transform the lives of people around us.’” Read more of Our Holy Father’s comments here.

CCH Epic - MonstranceHow often are you receiving the Eucharist? How is the Eucharist changing your life? Are you making an effort to increase your love and adoration for Christ’s True Presence in the Holy Eucharist? Our Lord didn’t just give us His teachings but His very Self.

“The hidden treasure… is Jesus himself, the Kingdom in person.  In the Sacred Host, he is present, the true treasure, always waiting for us.  Only by adoring this presence do we learn how to receive him properly-we learn the reality of communion” (Pope Benedict XVI, from his homily in Altötting at the Basilica of St. Anne,  2006).

Year for Priests comes to an end…

The Church has spent the past year in prayer and thanksgiving for our holy bishops, priests, and seminarians around the world…and what a blessed year it has been! The Year for Priests comes to a close this Friday, when Our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI celebrates the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, at which time the clergy will renew their vows and St. John Vianney, the “Cure of Ars,” will be declared the Patron of all Priests!

Read more about the closing ceremonies for the Year for Priests here.

To continue the momentum of showing our prayers, love, and support for our holy priests, visit EncouragePriests.org. Our updated site will launch this coming Father’s Day, June 20…just days away! Make sure to submit your short testimonial or video greeting (like this one) to thank your priest!

The Priesthood Comes from Jesus!

Vatican City, May 26, 2010 (CNA/EWTN News).- In his last catechesis on the priesthood, Pope Benedict dedicated his Wednesday audience address to the authority that priests receive from Jesus, emphasizing that it must be used in service of people, not as an end in itself. He also asked for prayers to conclude the Year for Priests for all the ordained, including himself. Read more here.

Take time to encourage priests in celebration of the Year of the Priesthood! We need YOUR help in the lauch of our updated EncouragePriests.org website. Visit EncouragePriests.org to submit a short story testimonial about a priest who you are inspired by! We are also collecting your 60-second videos thanking your priests to share on our site…Thanks for praying for and encouraging our holy Catholic priests!

Mary, Mother of the Church

PopeBenedictXVIDid you hear about Our Holy Father’s beautiful words on Pentecost about the role of the Blessed Mother in our celebration of this holy day?

Pope Benedict XVI said that “there is no Church without Pentecost” and “there is no Pentecost without the Virgin Mary.” Read more here.

Let us all continue to call on the intercession of our Blessed Mother as we enter into Ordinary Time again.

Take time to grow in your faith this season; visit CatholicsComeHome.org.