Saturday, October 28, 2017

Pope Francis on Paradise

I was looking at our church bulletin and our Pastor published the following by Pope Francis on Paradise.  As a 73 year old, I am thinking more and more about "the last things".  This is very beautiful and profound... enjoy!

"Paradise is not a fantasy place, nor is it an enchanted garden. Paradise is the embrace of God, infinite Love, and we enter thanks to Jesus, Who died on the cross for us. Where there is Jesus, there is mercy and happiness; without Him there is cold and darkness. In the hour of death, the Christian repeats to Jesus, 'Remember me'. And even if there were noone to remind Him of us, Jesus is there, next to us. He wants to take us to the most beautiful place that exists. He wants to take us there with the good there has been in our life, great or small, because nothing is lost of what He had already redeemed. And in the house of the Father He will also take all that which in us still needs to be redeemed: the shortcomings and errors of an entire life. And this is the goal of our existence: that everything is fulfilled, and is transformed into love."
"If we believe this, we stop fearing death, and we can also hope to depart from this world in a serene and trustful way. He who has known Jesus no longer fears anything. And we too will be able to repeat the words of the elderly Simeon, also blessed by the encounter with Jesus, after an entire life consumed in expectation: “Lord, now you are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation” (Lk 2: 29-30)."
"And in that instant, finally, we will no longer need anything, we will no longer see in a confused way. We will no longer weep pointlessly, because everything is passed; even the prophecies, even knowledge. But love no, that remains. Because 'love abides' (cf 1 Cor 13: 8)."

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Be Not Afraid

From listening to folks talk (and even some clergy) I sense that people are very fearful, due to the tragedy in Las Vegas (among other violent events).  But are we forgetting something?

First, our world has always been very violent because humans are violent by nature, not necessarily because we are "evil" but due to ignorance that violence of any kind whether murdering adults, children, or unborn babies, will accomplish some type of "good" - things are not any more violent now than they ever were, throughout history - it's just that now, the news services quickly, tell us about all the violence in gory details... that's the only thing that's changed.

Second, those of us who are believers should not be afraid and there is a beautiful hymn to this message (actually that was something St John Paul told us repeatedly as well).

The hymn starts like this:

"You shall cross the barren desert, but you shall not die of thirst...
You shall wander far in safety though you do not know the way...
You shall speak your words in foreign lands and all will understand...
You shall see the Face of God and live!

Be not afraid, I go before you always
Come, follow Me and I will give you rest! (taken from the Words of Jesus).

So, be not afraid... God is there by our side and He has it covered.

Why does He allow us to live in an imperfect world? To make us stronger in our Faith!  So, be not afraid and remember that Jesus is right by our side and loves us, unconditionally and infinitely.