ConAltriOcchi blog – 以不同的眼光看世界-博客

"C'è un solo modo di vedere le cose finché qualcuno non ci mostra come guardare con altri occhi" – "There is only one way to see things, until someone shows us how to look at them with different eyes" (Picasso) – "人观察事物的方式只有一种,除非有人让我们学会怎样以不同的眼光看世界" (毕加索)


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On The Road towards Easter

don Enrico Ghezzi

What is paradise? It will be an awareness of our Inner Self. It is to become finally aware that our Inner Self was created in God’s image (Gen 1 27 :” So God created man in His own image…”). I shall see in myself the image of God the Creator. Everyone will see in himself a reflection of God; like a ray of sun born from the incandescent origin of God’s love. I will know I am part of God’s eternal love.

God will be present and known by billions of creatures who will live in the incandescence of His love, the Holy Spirit of God. The entire cosmos will be displayed in the sun of love.

Then paradise will be for each and all of us the enjoyment of God who created us in his image. I shall contemplate him in myself, immersed in His love; the love which unites us all in God.

cristo risorto

This was what John meant in his First Letter 3 1-2: “Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us that we should be called the sons of God.”  “Beloved, now we are the sons of God , and it doth not yet appear what we shall be. But we know that when He shall appear we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is”. In fact: “Love is God, and everyone who loveth is born of God and knoweth God. In this was manifested the love of God toward us because God sent his only begotten son into the world ”(1 John 4.7-10). Paradise will be to know and live in the likeness of god, the Father.

But there will be more: the Son sent by the Father, the Word of God has taken on and included in his ‘divinity’ , flesh similar to our flesh, to our body. “And the Word was made flesh ”(John 1 14). He is the “first-born” of the new creation, after the creation of Adam and Eve. The flesh of every man, in his suffering which penetrates the human experience and the entire cosmos has been absorbed and lived by the body of Christ.

In embracing all humanity, on the cross, Jesus leads us to descend into death to be resurrected with him on Easter Day. Paradise will be the glory of our resurrection in the resurrection of Jesus. We shall know each other and we shall love each other in the love of God with our body created for happiness. We shall live always in our love of the Spirit which lives eternally between the Father and the Word of God, the Son made man. Creation and Incarnation, these are the mystery of light and happiness.

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Pope Francis, a gift from Benedict XVI

Reflections on the Church of Francis five years on from the renunciation of Benedict XVI.

From 11th February until 13th March in the Year of Our Lord 2013, a strong wind of the Spirit blew over the Church and the Earth.

“Brothers and sisters, good evening! […]“First of all, I would like to say a prayer for our Bishop Emeritus, Benedict XVI. Let us all pray together for him, that the Lord bless him and Our Lady protect him ( the prayers Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory to the Father were then recited). And now let us begin this journey, the Bishop and people.”

Thus, Francis, the new Bishop of Rome, received the complex legacy of Benedict XVI’s papacy

«Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered…»(Heb5,8). We may say that as Pontiff, Benedict XVI also learned obedience from the things which he suffered.  For many things in life we can have masters of all kinds. How many masters there are for politics, science, literature! But when we enter into the shadow of suffering there is no master because all voices cease. It is then that we learn, in obedience, – and in particular five years ago in Poe Benedict’s obedience – what it means to serve and not to serve the Church, what it means to love and not use the Church. Only the experience of suffering, of betrayal, in a word, Gethsemane, leads us to listen humbly to the voice of a love which is stronger than death.

Risultato immagine per papa Francesco e papa Benedetto

On that particular 11th February, “Professor Ratzinger” gave the Church and the World a great lesson; his last act of love as the Universal Pastor.

By his renunciation, Benedict XVI also provided the Spirit with the space in which to present us with the gift of Pope Francis, who has opened up a new era for the Church.

We know from the Gospels that Peter’s profession of faith, the rock upon which Jesus wanted to build His Church, was immediately “denied by the facts”. Jesus reproached Peter with harsh words because he did not accept the annunciation of the cross. At first, the Apostle was blessed by the Father but immediately afterwards he even became an obstacle, a stumbling block on the path towards Jesus. Peter and the others still had a long way to go, many things to understand.

The temptation is to follow a Christ without a cross but Jesus reminds us that His path is that of love and there is no real love without sacrificing oneself.

Pope Francis has taken Christ’s cross on his shoulders and takes it everywhere with him in the world, not as an ensign but indicating it as an instrument of salvation for all men.

The Pope is swimming against the current, he has an uphill battle. He tells us that only the love of Christ gives meaning and happiness to life. Every day, by his example he shows us that if we organize our life on love as Jesus did, our life will not be sterile but fertile.   He tells us that in the Eucharist, Jesus loses himself in order to find all of us.

Notwithstanding his witness of a “Gospel without gloss” (or perhaps because of this), the opposition to the Church of Francis, the Church of the poor and the least, is very active, also on the web and on certain traditionalist blogs. Often in an inept way thus invalidatings it, today they accuse the Pope of having cast the Church into doctrinal, moral and pastoral confusion. Curiously, these blogs speak to each other, they quote one another, they gather mutual strength from creating groups which remain minority groups – although what they come out with is very serious. They pose almost as the new Fathers of the Church. In reality they weigh like dust particles on the scales. Their tones and their arguments discredit them, but they are responsible for generating doubt and confusion among the People, above all among simple people and the lowly. But as the Gospel says, scandals must occur so that the true believers are revealed.

Pope Francis who came “from the end of the world” has today turned his attention to the entire world, to Christians, to other religions and naturally to the entire Catholic Church, indicating the Gospel as the safe route for the Church’s ship to sail and giving witness to it in his dialogue with believers in other faiths as well as non-believers, focusing “on what unites rather than what divides”.


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In frozen and loveless isolation

Pope Francis’ message for Lent

This year in his message for Lent, Pope Francis addresses believers and the men of good will: “I would like my invitation to extend beyond the bounds of the Catholic Church and reach all of you, men and women of good will, who are open to hearing God’s voice”. The Holy Father is asking everyone to be very careful about what can get in our way along the path of faith and life, in particular, says the Pope, the danger of our love growing cold. Dante Aligheri’s beautiful image  picturing Satan seated on a throne of ice is very striking: “he lives in frozen and loveless isolation”. In fact, the title of the Pope’s message refers to the Gospel according to Matthew – Mt24,12: “Because of the increase of iniquity, the love of many will grow cold”.

lent 2018

What shall we do then, says the Pope? “Perhaps we see deep within ourselves and all about us the signs I have just described.  But the Church, our mother and teacher, with the often bitter medicine of the truth, offers us in this Lenten season the soothing remedy of prayer, almsgiving and fasting”.

The Prophet Habakkuk had already cried out: “Why do you show me iniquity and look upon oppression?” Habakkuk’s cry belongs to many.  In many instances of life we are often victims and witnesses of iniquity, injustice and oppression of all kinds. It is also true that at times we are accomplices, by our silence or by turning our heads and looking the other way. The Prophet then listens to God’s answer:“ write the vision,  for the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak and not lie and though it tarry, wait for it because it will surely come ”. He concludes: “the righteous man shall live by his faith”. What is faith then?  It is that faith which gives us the strength to fight while awaiting His return.  In fact, we are living the Eucharist “until He shall come again” “waiting for His coming”. Then we must always remember that faith was not born from memory of Jesus, from someone who only told us about it..

Faith was born from a presence, not from a remembrance (without disturbing the sleep of the traditionalists who are living a Church of remembrance not presence). Christ shall return and we are waiting for him, but he is already present in the gift of the Spirit.  He stood in the midst of those who tell us about the Risen one in the Gospels. Jesus becomes a presence within a community able to sustain the fear, the danger, but I would say, above all, for eight days we also bear on our shoulders the incredulity, Thomas’s unbelief, his lack of faith and who knows of how many others. Thomas doubts, he does not believe and yet he stays within the community and nobody even thinks of chasing him away: he stays in a group which does not exclude him, sustains and does not isolate anybody.  How beautiful is the Church which welcomes and does not exclude or isolate anybody. A Church which, just like Jesus, is always waiting for you with open arms, indeed it comes looking for you, respectful even of our little faith and our fears.

We must all be very careful about parting too quickly from faith, hope and charity because deep down they are one thing only. Throughout history we have known men of faith who destroyed so much hope, especially that of the poor. We have known men of faith without charity who have killed other men.  It is also not a good thing to distinguish too rigidly between believers and unbelievers.  There are some who say they believe in God but they do not believe in man; others say they do not believe but serve man, especially the weak and the undefended. Only the Spirit can distinguish among them while we wait for the Truth.

For this reason must we  begin the Lenten journey with so much faith. “If at times the flame of Charity seems to die in our own hearts, know that this is never the case in the heart of God! He always gives us a chance to begin loving anew”.


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Ever more rich ever more poor

Fr. Francesco Pesce

The British NGO Oxfam has recently published a new report on global wealth on the eve of the World Economic Forum taking place in Davos in the presence of many top world economists and politicians. «Reward work not wealth», is the title of the report using data prepared by Credit Suisse based on the latest information on the nouveau riche in China, Russia and India. The wealthiest 1% of the world population owns as much as the remaining 99% and their wealth continues to grow. Every day the arrival of a new billionaire is registered.

As Christians we have the duty, not only to give good witness but to speak out clearly. Riches are not the end the means in the hands of men; they have often become an iniquitous instrument because man has used wealth to dominate other men and subject entire populations to the power of the privileged few. We have even reached, in our history, the planned and calculated extermination of the poor, as the prophet Amos reminds us. Thanks to God the cultural progress of populations is increasing awareness about the need for a more equal distribution of global. Some international organizations and some of the more developed nations are fighting for new social equilibria but the battle is still a long and difficult one. Jesus invited his disciples to be “shrewd” in managing wealth. He asks each one of us to have a different relationship with riches both on an individual and community level. Indeed, it is for this reason that a personal charitable gesture is not enough, we must act to ensure that wealth becomes an instrument of liberation and reconciliation among peoples. This is the substance of the Gospel which is by its very nature a social reality. History teaches us that many have become estranged from the Church and the Faith because they have been shown a bad example in the use of money and wealth.   We have witnessed during the past years as Christians and citizens of the world two important facts. Pope Francis is showing us the concrete possibility of a poor Church for the poor; he is an extraordinary gift from the Lord, an example encouraging new conversion. Moreover, at the same time we are witnessing the fact that many poor people are – we could state it like this – going back to the Gospel, often hidden to them behind words of circumstance and humiliating charity. The poor today are aware that the Gospel is first and foremost for them and they are no longer willing to wait for their rights and their dignity. We have read and meditated carefully in this regard on the prophetical words of Father Mazzolari, a poor priest among the poor:”I have never counted the poor because the poor cannot be counted; the poor must be embraced, not counted. And yet there are those who keep statistics of the poor and are afraid of them; afraid of their patience which could also tire, afraid of their silence which could erupt into a scream, afraid of their complaints which could become a song, afraid of their rags which could become a flag, afraid of their tools which could become a barricade”. I believe this is already happening.


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Share the announcement of peace and hope.

Pope Francis pilgrim in Chile and Peru

Pope Francesco  landed in Chile for his one week pilgrimage to Chile first and then Peru. This was the twenty-second pilgrimage abroad and the sixth to Latin America.

At the welcome ceremony in Chile, the Pope will be received by the outgoing President of the Republic,  Michelle Bachelet.

In addition to the capital, in Chile Pope Francis will visit the city of Temuco in the South where he will meet the Mapuche Indians and then on to Iquique in the North, a large mining area with huge social problems. In Peru, starting Thursday, he will visit the capital, Lima, the city of Puerto Maldonado in Amazonia and Trujillo on the Pacific Coast. This will be the first time a pope has visited Amazonia. We should recall that a special Synod on Amazonia has been convened in Rome in 2019.

As usual, while flying over Argentina,  the Pope will send a message – defined as “interesting” by the Director of the Vatican Press Office, Greg Burke – to the President of his country, Mauricio Macri.

The topic of the journey will be to share the message of peace and hope.

In Peru, one of the major events on his journey in South America will be in Puerto Maldonado where Pope Francis will meet the Amazonian communities: after the welcome ceremony, at 10 o’clock on Friday, 19th January the Pope will receive an expression of affection from the missionary children and the indigenous people’s leaders. About 11 a.m. there will be the long-awaited meeting with the native communities. Pope Francis will listen to what they have to say and give them a message of encouragement, solidarity and hope.


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Migrants and refugees, our brothers

 

World Day of migrants and refugees in 2018

“Welcoming, protecting, promoting and integrating migrants and refugees” is the title of the Holy Father’s message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees to be celebrated on 14th January 2018. There are four, very clear verbs which commit the Church, National and International Institutions and all men of good faith to make urgent and daily efforts. At the beginning of his message, the Pope reminds us that the Book of Leviticus states : «You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God» ( Lv 19,34). Then Francis goes on to say: “Every stranger who knocks at our  door is an opportunity  to meet Jesus Christ who identifies with the welcomed and rejected strangers of every age” (see Mt 25,35-43).

The encounter with Jesus today occurs in communion with our migrant and refugee brothers and sisters.     Our world, as we can clearly see, is invaded by people; they are sons and daughters, not foreigners; they are sons and daughters, not immigrants.

The presence of the Lord occurs more and more in the joint presence of all peoples; they do not arrive with empty hands but bring gifts, individual gifts obviously: they bring spirituality, culture, tradition and humanity. When talking about migration, people often speak of the Biblical Exodus.  Instead, it is an Epiphany, a manifestation  of the Lord who is coming.

The Pope also writes in his message “Integration is not assimilation that leads migrants to suppress or forget their own cultural identity. Rather contact with others leads to discovering their “secret”, to open towards them, to welcome their valid aspects and thus contributing to a greater mutual awareness. This is a lengthy process which aims to shape societies and cultures,  rendering them more and more a reflection of the multi-faceted gifts of God to men”.

The Lord Jesus witnesses to us the paternity of God, who sent his Only Son to build the world according to the measures of love, where the lost sheep, the stone cast aside and the prodigal son are the objects of care, attention and charity of the Father. A father who desires that all shall be saved and  the dignity of all shall be recognized.

To be converted also means overcoming an antithesis between those inside and those outside, between those born in a territory and those who arrive there, and turn it into a synthesis which is that of love, in which we  go beyond ourselves and understand the sense of loss and bewilderment of many men and women.

International institutions continue to become more aware of the migratory phenomenon. The United Nations Summit which took place in New York on 19th September 2016, demonstrated the wish to intensify efforts in favor of migrants and refugees, to save their lives and protect their rights by sharing this responsibility on a global level.  For such purposes, the Member States undertook to draft and approve two Global Compacts by the end of2018, one dedicated to refugees and one to migrants.

The Church which has always reflected on the problem of migrants and refugees, most recently through the Migrants and Refugees Section (headed personally by the Pope) in the Vatican Department of Integral Human Development, has, after consulting various episcopal conferences and catholic NGO’s, drafted Twenty Points of Action  based on the so-called “good practices” , a concrete and implementable answer.

We must learn and understand and welcome all those who are suffering from war and hunger. We must seek out with courage among our “virtues” also that side of our character which  often takes after that of the Pharisees, in order to enter into another dimension of human fraternity based on reconciliation. It is not enough to use the Gospels as the basis of a strange etiquette: this is hypocrisy. We must eliminate all obstacles on the path to fraternity and make the House of the Father the house of all comers, no-one excluded.


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The caress that changed history

The absurd choice of proclaiming Saint John XXIII as the Patron Saint of the Italian Army

The choice of naming Saint John XXIII as Patron Saint of the Italian Army leaves us more than a little perplexed. Even today if we go into Italian homes – and not only Italian ones – just inside the entrance we find a somewhat faded photograph of Pope John, with his serene and assuring face. In the collective conscience, Pope John is associated with his goodness, with his historic encyclical on peace, which bore not only his name but was a banner, Pacem in Terris; he is associated with his visits to the Regina Coeli prison in Rome as well as the Bambino Gesù Hospital. His is a daily holiness that penetrates all homes. The whole world still remembers his caress to be given to children in that unforgettable speech at the opening ceremony of the Second Vatican Council. What should we say today when we get home: “ give your children a helmet and a rifle “?

This choice, made some time ago, at least since 1966, although formally motivated, has a musty, old Curia flavour. It seems out of place, stretching a point, the flick of a tail of past history, a choice against conciliation. The People of God doesn’t appear to need a patron saint of the army but urgently needs men of peace.
Roncalli ,Patriarch of Venice, wrote to his successor, Montini: “the Pope desires the presence of this priest in Rome; to grant this request is a grave sacrifice for Venice, but I grant it because it is ‘necessary to look far and wide’ in the Church”. There is no question at all that throughout his life, Pope John XXIII contributed to bringing the Church out of the shallows of time and enabling it to sail to the ends of the earth, starting it off on that great adventure of the Spirit that was the Council. In contrast, the choice of making him the Patron Saint of the Italian Army appears to be inappropriate and short-sighted.
Pope John XXIII witnessed that the Word of God does not make war but is a Word of love that God announced to us, to the world, to history and that caress was like a gentle breeze on our life. . He witnessed that the Word of God is an effective Word that performs what it was sent to do. He witnessed that the Word of God bears within it the lament of all flesh and all humankind on the road towards the fullness of God. .
The posthumous involvement of Mons Loris Capovilla , the Pope’s personal secretary also appears to be in bad taste. If it hadn’t been him that evening when the Council opened, to convince the Pope, with his intelligence and bonhomie, to appear at the window once again after a long and tiring day, children, sick people, old people and men of peace all over the world would today be lacking that caress. The caress that changed History.
Many authoritative voices have been raised against the title of Patron Saint of the Italian Army for John XXIII. The Bishop of Pescara- Penne Valentinetti “it is disrespectful to name him as Patron Saint of the Armed Forces ”. “Pope John XXIII is in all hearts as the Good Pope, the Peace Pope, not the Pope of armies” declared Mons. Giovanni Ricchiuti, Bishop of Altamura-Gravina-Acquaviva delle Fonti and President of Pax Christi Italia. «I don’t want to go into the matter because unfortunately I was only informed about it this morning» declared the Chairman of the Italian Episcopal Conference, Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti .