Vatican City, Sep 23, 2007 / 01:29 pm (CNA).- From Castelgandolfo today, the Holy Father encouraged Christians to look out for the needy and homeless, to use worldly goods wisely, and to guard against an improper use of money that leads to a “blind selfishness”.
“Dear brothers and sisters!” the Holy Father began, “this morning I visited the diocese of Velletri…during the Eucharistic Celebration I had the chance to reflect on the correct use of worldly goods, which Luke the Evanglist has proposed for us.”
“It is Christ who teaches us the right use of money and worldly riches”, the Pope affirmed, “and that is to share them with the poor, thus obtaining their friendship, in sight of the Kingdom of heaven.”
Benedict was careful to point out that money is not dishonest in itself, “but more than anything else it is capable of closing man in a blind selfishness.”
Thus, the Holy Father noted that we need a kind of conversion with respect to money: “We must effect a type of ‘conversion’ of economic goods: instead of using them solely for our own interest, we must think also of the needs of the poor, imitating Christ himself.”
Christ’s gift of himself to man is a paradox: “as St. Paul writes—‘rich though he was, he became poor to enrich us with his poverty’(2 Cor 8:9). It seems a paradox: Christ has not enriched us with his richness, but with his poverty, that is with his love that has impelled him to give himself completely to us.”
Benedict affirmed that in the world we find two economic mentalities: “the logic of profit and that of the just distribution of goods, which are not in contradiction with one another, as long as there relationship is ordered correctly.”
This correct relationship consists in giving priority to the equitable distribution of goods: “The Catholic social doctrine has always sustained that the equitable distribution of goods has priority. Profit is naturally legitimate, and, in the right measure, necessary for economic development.”
Benedict cited his predecessor John Paul II’s Encyclical Centesimus annus: “the emergency of famine and the ecological emergency denounce, with growing evidence, that the logic of profit, if it prevails, increases the disproportion between rich and poor in a a ruinous misuse of the planet. When, instead, the logic of sharing and of solidarity prevails, it is possible to correct our course and orient it towards an equitable and sustainable development.”
Lastly the Holy Father invoked the help of Most Holy Mary, “who in the Magnificat proclaims: the Lord “has filled the hungry with good things and has sent the rich away empty-handed”(Lk 1:53).
“May she help Christians to use with evangelic wisdom, that is with generous solidarity, their worldly goods, and inspire leaders and economists with far-seeing strategies that favor the authentic progress of all peoples.”
Naples, Sep 20, 2007 / 10:39 am (CNA).- As has occurred every year for the last 400 years, the liquefaction of the blood of St. Januarius took place in the city of Naples on the martyr’s feast day of September 19.
Upon witnessing the miracle, Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, Archbishop of Naples, called it “a prodigious sign that manifests the closeness and fondness of the Lord for our beloved and suffering land which, blessed by God, strives to move forward amidst many difficulties in order to show her pure and transparent faith in Jesus Christ.”
Cardinal Sepe, who presided at the ceremony in the Cathedral of Naples, also mentioned the upcoming visit of Pope Benedict XVI on October 21. “This will be a providential occasion to give new encouragement to a land John Paul II put at the center of his unforgettable pilgrimage.”
“From one Pope to the next, Naples is called to take the lead role again in a future of justice, peace and freedom. There is no hurt that is incurable: Naples is ready to take its history and its future by the hand. The only thing that is incurable in this city is its capacity to love,” the cardinal stated.
NEW ORLEANS, La. (The Clarion Herald) - A committed crowd of approximately 400 turned out in the heat to pray for four hours Sept. 8 at the first Greater New Orleans Rosary Bowl held in Audubon Park.
“We are a city living in darkness; that’s why we are praying here for the conversion (of the city),” Josephite Father Joseph Doyle said. “It’s for all of us to see the light of Christ and pray for our conversion.”
The event began with a procession of organizations carrying symbols of the saints who, throughout New Orleans’ history, have protected the city from fire, war and disease. Represented were Joan of Arc, the city’s patron Our Lady of Prompt Succor, St. Louis King of France, Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos and St. Katharine Drexel.
Priests and seminarians participated in each of the mysteries of the rosary. Father Joseph Cazenavette moved the event along as spiritual director, and Kitty Cleveland provided musical interludes.
Highlighting the morning was an animated talk by guest speaker Father James Kelleher, director of mission development for the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity and leader of the Russian Mission Team. He implored children and adults alike to be prayer warriors who build a spiritual army.
“You came for more than a suntan,” Kelleher told attendees. “You came because you believe. The city of New Orleans will not be same after today. You believe that a son of a carpenter can rebuild New Orleans. He’s going to do it, he is doing it, and you’re doing it.”
Kelleher revealed how he answered God’s call to further Christianity in Russia and establish eucharistic family crusades in 2003 in Rome at the beatification of Mother Teresa. He has since worked tirelessly to make a difference by promoting the rosary.
“The building block of the army is the American family,” Kelleher said. “The Virgin Mary is going to save America, and she’s going to do it with prayer of the daily rosary as a family.”
He sees praying the rosary as a solution to many of today’s problems.
“If you pray every day, prayer becomes deep in the spirit,” Kelleher said. “In the rosary, we contemplate the face of Jesus through the eyes of Mary.”
He lauded New Orleanian Nancy Albert for having the fortitude to launch the local rosary event because it fulfills Our Lady of Fatima’s request to pray the daily rosary for world peace. He encouraged families to pray the rosary together daily and challenged New Orleanians to organize a rosary bowl in the Superdome for 80,000 by 2009.
Unless the Lord rebuilds…Kelleher left the groundwork to achieve this by assigning homework to seminarians and nuns who are “spiritual dynamos” to form rosary prayer partners. He mentioned how prayer teams solicit participation by going door-to-door encouraging prayer and distributing miraculous medals. He invited everyone to see a global rosary of 40,000 in action in Kansas City in May 2008.
“Unless the Lord rebuilds the house, it will not be rebuilt,” Kelleher said, referring to the devastation left by Hurricane Katrina. He encouraged praying for each other and to not wait for the government to do everything.
“Who can do it? You can,” he said. “Let the Lord rebuild the house. Let the Lord rebuild New Orleans and do it under the mantel of the Blessed Virgin.”
The New Orleans event, modeled after a successful rally in May 2007 that drew 40,000 to California, was the result of the determination of Albert and the St. Joan of Arc Prayer Warriors that meet monthly at St. Patrick Church in New Orleans. She planned it specifically on the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin, Sept. 8.
“I decided it needed to be done in New Orleans, for the rebuilding of New Orleans according to God’s moral and holy laws,” Albert said. “We had been praying (St. Joan of Arc Prayer Warriors) for New Orleans for the past 15 or 16 years. We no longer wanted to be known as sin city, and we thought to bring the people together and let the people pray. Our Lady says the rosary is the way to salvation. It could be a way to save our city and save our soul. If they could have a rosary bowl in California, we could have a rosary bowl here. Public prayer is so important especially now (after Katrina). We want people to come out and pray.”
Kenner residents JoAnn Malter and Denise and Michael Kearney were among those who braved the heat to attend the rally. They were glad they did.
“It was beautiful,” Malter said, adding that she was glad to see this first effort so well attended. “I loved the priest (Father Kelleher’s) sermon mentioning the pope.”