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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Pope Francis pilgrim at the feet of Our Lady of Fatima

The plane with the pope left Rome and arrived in Fatima. This is the 19th apostolic journey of Pope Francis outside Italy. “I ask everyone to join me as pilgrims of hope and peace, and your hands in prayer continue to support me.” In a message addressed to the President of the Italian Republic, he wrote: “As I left Italy to go to Portugal for the centenary of the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Fatima, iI am happy to address to you, Mr. President, my deferential greeting and, while I am going to meet pilgrims and especially sick people from all over the world  that are going to that Marian sanctuary to find light and hope, I invoke the Lord’s blessing over the entire Italian nation, especially on those who suffer in body and spirit. “

Receiving a few days ago the Pontifical Portuguese College Pope Francis has explained the deep motive of his pilgrimage: “I will bring a wish of peace and hope to the world“.

“Our Lady of Fatima gave pastors a message against the tide – said Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin. We were in war time, in 1917, the prevalent thinking was hate, hostility and conflict; resumed as  ‘the useless blunder’ by Benedict XV. Our Lady instead speaks of love and forgiveness, of the ability to sacrifice oneself and to offer as gift for others. “

From the military base where he landed, the Pope will move by helicopter to the stadium of Fatima and then with the popemobile will reach the Marian Shrine where the major events will happen, culminating with the canonization of the two shepherds Francesco and Jacinta Marto. They are first children to become Saints without having suffered martyrdom. Tonight he will visit the Appearance’s Chapel, and after the vespers, we will do the blessing of the candles and the recitation of the Rosary. We too will be spiritually present in Fatima.

In the church of Saint Joseph protector of the carpenters at the Roman Forum, there is also a chapel in honour of “Our Lady of Fatima” (see photo).

image

The story of this devotion in the Roman Forum is singular. At the end of the 1950s, Brother Gino Burresi created a Marian movement of prayers devoted to the small statue of Our Lady of Fatima. The sincere prayers of the many faithful were granted many graces from the Virgin and various miracles, including one for a child,  daughter of a family friend of Pope Pius XII. The Pontiff wished to see this image, and he favored his veneration and wanted it to remain at the church of Saint Joseph’s carpenters. The Chapel is very simple and the silence inspires a deep prayer of conversion. Along with St. Joseph, the presence of Mary of Fatima helps to rediscover the family dimension of faith and the desire for peace.

Today, we will join the prayer that Pope Francis will make in Fatima for the entire humanity. Let us ask for the grace to love the Church with the same maternal love of Mary that illuminates the wonderful secret of the human life, the faith that reconciles. May the Centenary of the Appearances of Our Lady of Fatima give hope to everyone.

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Abraham went out, not knowing where he was to go

Monica Romano

The season of Lent is, more than any other, a period in which the Word of God invites us to set out on a journey.  An  “important time”- our deputy parish priest, Fr. Paolo reminded us when we were young – many years ago, when he prepared a true and proper “agenda” for Advent and Lent for every one of us, with references to Readings for each day.  He aimed to give us a useful tool to encourage us to read the Bible more often than at other times during the liturgical year.

The journey, the vocation to which God calls us, does not always seem straightforward.  On the contrary, it requires us to take a “ leap in the dark”. I have always been struck by Abraham’s experience; he went out leaving everything and everyone behind and, as the Letter to the Hebrews points out subsequently, “by faith” he obeyed God “and went out not knowing where he was to go”. Here a fundamental aspect of the journey into faith comes into play:  trust, confidence, in God. Many of us have no doubt that God exists and believe that Jesus Christ is His Son, the Saviour who came into this world to redeem us, the firstfruits of the Resurrection which we, too, will experience.   But there is a huge leap to be made from our faith in Jesus Christ to unconditional trust and confidence in Him.

This is often the weakness in our faith: to trust God and entrust ourselves unconditionally to Him. Trust which God mapped out from the minute he became flesh as a defenceless child, who could only live if cared for and loved by Mary and Joseph. God himself was the first to make an act of trust towards men and women, first creating them and then descending into the womb of Mary, entrusting himself into the hands of a family, “an ordinary family”, which in turn placed its trust in God and pursued the extraordinary vocation to which it had been called. Not without times of darkness and uncertainty, some of which emerge from the stories in the Gospels.

There is a beautiful image which I keep in my heart, painted by the Little Sisters of Charles de Foucault (see image below). Mary is holding  Jesus Child in her arms and, instead of  “cuddling ” in the safe arms of His Mother,  He is stretching  out His arms as if to be taken by the first passer-by who wishes to welcome Him. This original “iconography” reminds me again of the idea of the trust the Lord has placed in men and women, to the point of giving His own life for them, for each one of us and all of us together. Trust that He has asked us Christians to live, we that have believed “even though we have not seen”. Acts of trust which are not just asked of us once in our lives. Later, Abraham was even asked to sacrifice his son Isaac. The meaning of which is that, in addition to the “small”, “daily”, acts of trust in God which we Christians are asked to do in our day to day lives, there can be many larger ones during our lifetime.

Madonna-con-Bambino

The saints are a luminous mirror of this unconditional trust in the love of the Father and followed Him always and no matter what, often persevering when the paths are dark and unclear in their souls and in their everyday lives. For me,  saints are a great consolation because they have shown us that life’s bitter moments can be overcome humanly and lived in the way the Lord asks us to do, with the aid of grace. 

But we see that the temptation of  taking “shortcuts” , the alternative to the “leap” into the dark, appears  immediately in the hearts of men and women, even those who were closest to the Lord and who gave everything, his life, for Him.  In today’s Gospel which follows the First Reading on the vocation of Abraham, the liturgy proposes the story of the Transfiguration of Jesus.  The Lord, Peter, James and John are walking “up a high mountain”. Often, when the Lord is preparing something special as in this case, the Gospel tells us that we start walking, generally under difficult, hostile situations or circumstances. Climbing the mountain, as in this case; the environment of the shepherds – the marginalized ones at the time – or the Magi from the East deceived by Herod when Jesus was born…..Once Jesus and the disciples reached their destination, Peter proposed to prepare three shelters and stay there, just them alone.  “Let us leave everything behind us, abandon this world with its hardships” Peter seems to be wanting to say. Or even, perhaps: “Let the three of us enjoy the company of the Lord”.  It has happened to me on more than one occasion to experience or to meet people who have experienced this temptation.  “Give everything up”, to say it in everyday language and perhaps in a more effective manner; “keep our faith only for us”, within our parish or Christian group,  far from the world that “does not know” or even worse “refuses” the Lord…. The Liturgy of the Word which was wisely “put together” by the Second Vatican Council tells us in these Readings that instead we must not stop but –paraphrasing the words of Jesus in the Gospel today – we must “rise and not be afraid”, like Abraham did. We must walk on our pathway and, after enjoying the light of Jesus, we must, in turn, bring it to the world, to light those dark paths on which we often find ourselves and walk along during our lives.  The Christian vocation does not mean to live in shelters by ourselves, but, as Pope Francis would say, it means opening the doors, go out, and bring Jesus to the world and let anyone who so desires come in.

May this Season of Lent, which I have always considered a propitious gift in my faith pathway, help us to light  the small lamp of our faith and our trust in God, which already have not been disappointed, with the promise of Resurrection.


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Viet Nam: flowers for Mama Mary/Fiori per la Madonna 

We are so happy to post a first nice contribution from sister Mary Tran from Viet Nan. Sister Mary is a wonderful Catholic sister working to suppor poor children from ethnic minority groups. Through the help of the sisters, these children are able to receive  appropriate education and live in a boarding school where they receive the care and assistance of the sisters. The first two photos attached to the post refer to this year and the last two to May 2015.

Con grande gioia postiamo un primo blog di suor Mary Tran, dal Viet Nam. Suor Mary e’ una meravigliosa suora cattolica che lavora per favorire l’istruzione dei bambini appartamenti a famiglie povere delle minoranze etniche. Attraverso l’aiuto delle suore, questi bambini ricevono un’istruzione adeguata e vivono in una scuola dove ricevono cure e assistenza. Le prime due foto si riferiscono a quest’anno, le ultime due a maggio del 2015.
 

Sr. Mary Tran 

As usual, during the month of May which is dedicated to Mother Mary in a special way, there is a nice tradition in Viet Nam whereby  the children in most of the parish churches offer flowers to The blessed Virgin Mary.
This year the children of our boarding school were assigned to offer the flowers on the first Saturday of May at our parish church in Kontum diocese.

©Huong Tran, Francesco Pesce 

 

 

©Huong Tran, Francesco Pesce 

 

©Huong Tran, Francesco Pesce 

 

©Huong Tran, Francesco Pesce 

 

Come da tradizione, durante il mese di maggio che è dedicato alla Madonna in maniera speciale, in Viet Nam i bambini della maggior parte delle parrocchie offrono fiori alla Santa Vergine.

Quest’anno, ai bambini della nostra scuola e’ stato assegnato di portare i fiori il primo sabato di maggio, nella nostra parrocchia nella diocesi di Kontum.