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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All Saints Day And The Remenbrance of our dead in Diocese of Natitingou

Fr Igor KASSAH, Parish Administrator 

Saint  Martin of Tours,

Natitingou

Every year the church invites us to celebrate on the 1st and 2nd November, the mystery of our Redemption by means of the festivity of All Saints  (1st November) and the Commemoration of All Faithful Departed (2nd November).  By means of these devout celebrations, the liturgy opens our eyes to the church and its triple theological dimension: the Church Militant, the Church Suffering and the Church Triumphant.  During these celebrations, God’s people, still in pilgrimage on this earth, lift their prayers to the Lord on behalf of all the faithful departed in order to praise Him and invoke His mercy.

The church of the Diocese of Natitingou, tigether with the universal Church, has not failed to celebrate these different feast days. It recalled, in addition to all the recognized saints, all its Christian sisters and brothers who have led an exemplary life of faith based on the Gospel.  Among the latter, we can surely mention the many missionaries of the Society of African Missions (S.M.A) thanks to whom we received the first evangelical announcement, those priests, those brothers and sisters, those catechists  who devoted their life to ensure the deeply rooted establishment of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Many of them, by means of their pastoral activities, also devoted themselves to peace, to the fight against poverty, to the fight against the extreme poverty still present in certain villages and towns, to the fight against the exploitation of children. Many are those who have sought to protect and assist  married couples often threatened by masonic ideologies.  All those who make up the procession of saints whom we call  «our anonymous saints» who also, indubitably, intercede forcefully for us as they experienced our human condition.

On the afternoon of 1st November, all the  faithful from the parishes of the city  assembled at the Catholic cemetery to pray during the commemoration of the departed and blessing of the tombs. With this gesture, we recommend all our Christian departed to the Divine Mercy.

On 2nd November, devoted to the commemoration of the departed, the faithful formulated their requests which were all read out before the Holy Communion; in order to avoid that the reading of the long list of request prolong the duration of the Holy Mass,  we  started the celebration earlier (by about 15 to 30 minutes).

In my Parish, Saint Martin of Tours, there is a prayer group which goes to the homes of the faithful who so wish; this group prays with the families and implores the intercession of the Virgin Mary, our Lady of Sorrows, that God may save the souls in Purgatory.

In Christ

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A fragile but already eternal reality

A spiritual reflection after the tragic earthquake in central Italy.

Fr. Francesco Pesce

An unending list of names. The Bishop of Rieti began the Funeral Mass for the earthquake victims from Amatrice and Accumoli by reading the names of the dead, one by one.  Names, stories, faces, families whose lives have been shattered.  It made me remember the episode on the Sea of Tiberias, in Galilee, described in Chapter 21 of the Gospel according to St. John. In that passage, at the end of the Gospel account, after the crucifixion of Jesus, no-one spoke and no-one knew what to do or to say. The atmosphere was oppressive. Jesus was already dead and hope was dying. Peter took the initiative to rid himself and the others of discomfort  and said “I go a-fishing” (Jn. 21,3) and in this way their former life seemed to be returning but “ that night they caught nothing” (Jn. 21,3).

So many nights in the Bible, in life, during our own times; so much fragility in our lives, in our families.  This is a natural weakness the nature of which is corrupted by the mystery of evil and sin. Jesus asks us to cast the net again, to continue to live and hope. The net of our life is destined to be filled because it is cast upon the Word of the Resurrected Christ, even though the Apostles had not recognized Him, even if sometimes, when faced with tragedies, we struggle because life isn’t a principle to be defended but a great adventure to go through with the aid of Grace. We believe that there will always be a new dawn where we can cry out “it is the Lord ” (Jn. 21,7) –John’s cry of love, or as in the Song of Solomon “my beloved” (Song 2,8). An Easter cry, of love which conquers the shadow of death. While I was watching the Funeral Service on the television, I was struck by the fact that nearly everybody took Communion, not something common these days, even during important celebrations.  There was an almost urgent and compelling desire for the Bread of Heaven, the real one, which we all need, “Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them: I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger and he who believeth in me shall never thirst” (Jn. 6,34-35). In fact, we celebrate the Eucharist “Awaiting His return”, because we believe that a love that dies, a love that is destroyed finds the gift of the God of life.

Today we are celebrating together throughout Italy the body and the flesh. The word flesh in the Bible, indicates all that is corruptible, fragile, mortal. The entire Christian faith is a rapport between carnality and spirituality. The expression “flesh and blood” is a typically Hebrew expression to denote  “fragile life” When Jesus is “flesh and blood” he becomes weak, limited and therefore accessible because he takes on our weakness through which he gives us His eternal life. Today in Amatrice and Accumoli we have yet again celebrated a fragile reality, but an already eternal one.. We have celebrated the “bread and wine”, simple food from the table of the poor, signs of the solemn poverty of men and God. “Give us this day our daily bread” is still the cry reaching us from the towns and villages devastated by the earthquake, these places where Saint Francis and Saint Benedict trod.  It is a cry already listened to by Him who conquered death through love. “Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. So I prophesied as he commanded and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.”(Ez. 37,9-10)