Issues Vol. 63‎ > ‎

Vol. 63 No. 19 • MAY 11 - 17, 2019

01 Cover

posted May 8, 2019, 8:49 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated May 9, 2019, 11:26 AM ]


03 Index

posted May 8, 2019, 8:48 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated May 8, 2019, 8:48 AM ]


04 Official

posted May 8, 2019, 8:47 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated May 9, 2019, 11:54 PM ]


05 Engagements

posted May 8, 2019, 8:46 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated May 8, 2019, 8:47 AM ]


07 Editorial - Rhythm  of Rest and Recreation - Fr. Anthony Charanghat

posted May 8, 2019, 8:41 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated May 8, 2019, 8:42 AM ]

Like the unchanging rise and ebb of night and day in time, the periodical rhythm of rest and recreation to the routine of work and study is integral to holistic human development. Come summer and it is no surprise that fun-filled holidays and vacations are on the minds of children and adults. But alas with not much thought about the significance and intrinsic value to the individual, society and its adverse impact on ecology. Many, because of a flawed approach to the mad rush for exorbitant stereotyped packaged travel and tourism deals, are left more jaded and with burn out.

For others, such a break from work happens rarely. Many do not have the opportunity to rest because of penury or the patterns of their lives. Some find all their time consumed by the need to earn a pay check, care for children or aging parents, and fulfil others’ needs and expectations of them. With the dizzying advance of technology, people can work anywhere and anytime. The use of smartphones today connect them to the office round the clock. Over-worked, they find it increasingly difficult to experience the kind of life-restoring, humanising rest that they need.

The cascading consequences of a rest deficiency are borne out by research. First, lack of rest can compromise health and the quality of work. Heavy workloads and long hours are a significant source of stress in the work place. According to a Psychological Association survey, more than a third of workers experience chronic work stress, which can lead to anxiety, insomnia, muscle pain, increased blood pressure, as well as a weakened immune system. This kind of stress can also increase chances of heart disease, diabetes, and depression.

When people lack rest they suffer physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Physical and mental exhaustion can often lead to emotional volatility, as a poorly rested individual becomes easily irritated and/or anxious. This lack of rest can escalate into larger issues. Relationships become strained. Over time a person’s spiritual life—a connection to God and the deepest meaning and joy in life—becomes diminished too.

Both those who are over-worked and those who are under-worked may find it hard to connect with God in a rhythm of work and rest. Yet by God’s grace it is still possible to integrate rest and work into the pattern of life that God intends. We do not have to indulge in destructive splurge and reckless time-consuming travel and five-star ecologically damaging luxury tourism to find fulfilment, we could find it anywhere at any time in the leisure of God’s wonderful creation and in His gift of human relationships.

Human beings need a rhythm of work and rest in order to live up to their God-given potential. Just as God gives people important work to do, God also asks people to rest periodically from their labour. Work gives each individual the opportunity to partner with God in his goals for creation, while rest lets that person enter into communion with God in enjoyment of creation. Ideally, all people would work and rest in comfortable alternation, leaving humanity physically healthy, mentally stimulated, socially bonded and spiritually fulfilled.

Many people have ceased to attempt to balance work with rest which is the underlying spirituality demanded by the sanctity of the Sabbath rest. It is important to note that the spirituality of rest in no way undervalues the importance or dignity of work. Rather, the opening chapters of Genesis establish a pattern of work and rest; to do one without the other is a deviation from God’s created order. In fact, the fourth commandment combines both a command to work and to rest: “Six days you shall labour and do all your work and rest on the day of the Sabbath.” God affirms the sacredness of rest and work, with the two beautifully woven together.

08 Mining for the Common Good

posted May 8, 2019, 8:39 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated May 8, 2019, 8:40 AM ]

(Pope’s address to participants meeting on Integral Human Development)

(Vatican, May 2-3, 2019)

I extend my warm welcome to all of you for having come to the Vatican to engage in this dialogue on the theme of "Mining for the Common Good".

In my Encyclical Letter Laudato Si', concerned about the Planet, I underlined how important it is "to enter into dialogue with all people about our common home" (n. 3). We need a dialogue that responds effectively to the "cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor" (ibid., 49). I am particularly appreciative that in your meeting, representatives of communities affected by mining activities and leaders of mining companies have come together around the same table. It is laudable; and it is an essential step on the way forward. We should encourage this dialogue to continue and become the norm, rather than the exception. I congratulate you for embarking on the path of mutual dialogue in the spirit of honesty, courage and fraternity.

The precarious condition of our common home has been the result largely of a fallacious economic model that has been followed for too long. It is a voracious model, profit-oriented, shortsighted, and based on the misconception of unlimited economic growth. Although we frequently see its disastrous impacts on the natural world and in the lives of people, we are still resistant to change. "Economic powers continue to justify the current global system where priority tends to be given to […] the pursuit of financial gain, which fail to take the context into account, let alone the effects on human dignity and the natural environment" (ibid., 56).

We are aware that "by itself, the market cannot guarantee integral human development and social inclusion" (ibid., 109) and that "environmental protection cannot be assured solely on the basis of financial calculations of costs and benefits" (ibid., 190). We need a paradigm shift in all our economic activities, including mining.

In this context, the title for your meeting - 'Mining for the Common Good' - is very appropriate. What does it concretely imply? Please allow me to articulate a few reflections in this regard which could assist you in your dialogue.

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09 The Relevance of Fatima - Faith D’Souza

posted May 8, 2019, 8:37 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated May 8, 2019, 8:37 AM ]

The memorial of the feast of Our Lady of Fatima recalls the apparitions of Mary to three peasant children in Fatima, Portugal in the year 1917. In the course of these apparitions, Mary spoke to the children, and through them to the world about the importance of prayer and penance to reverse the disastrous moral slide of the world towards war.

In the course of these apparitions, Mary entrusted messages to the children about the sufferings which the Church and the world would endure through war and communism. Through the power of prayer and penance, however, Mary's Immaculate Heart and our continuing fidelity to Christ would triumph.

The messages of Fatima are often portrayed as messages of apocalypse and future disaster. They are really messages of hope that the power of prayer is greater than the powers of evil.

Communism has, in large part, gone from the world stage. Other forces that oppose the Gospel of life and of justice remain. As damaging as communism was to people years ago, human dignity today is being destroyed by the abortion industry, the pornography industry, the drug industry, the weapons industry and corporations that place the size of their profit above the value of people. All of these are formidable forces larger than any one person, which can destroy the bodies and souls of millions.

The message of Fatima and its call to live in Christ's love as Jesus commands in the Gospel is as relevant today as it was in 1917. The players on the world stage have changed. The shape of evil has taken on forms different and more ominous than atheistic communism, because they are not external to, but within, our own society.

But the power of prayer, described with such drama to Lucia dos Santos and Francisco and Jacinta Marto by Mary remains a formidable counter force to evil.

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10 Nurses' Day and Week! - Dr Hazel Colaso

posted May 8, 2019, 8:36 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated May 8, 2019, 8:36 AM ]

International Nurses Day is celebrated every year on May 12 - the birthday of Florence Nightingale, and also to mark the nurses' contribution towards people's health! The Week starts on May 6 and culminates on May 12.

However, since 1967, and always beginning on Mother's Day, second Sunday of May, which coincidentally falls on May 12, 2019, the NSNCW – National Skilled Nursing Care Center Week also observes it, but from May 12 to 18. It is sponsored by the American Healthcare Association, and recognises the role of skilled nurses, both females and males, in nursing care centres, for caring for American soldiers, seniors, and individuals with disabilities. Besides, the month of May is dedicated to Mother Mary, the Nurse par excellence, who 'nursed' Jesus!

Florence Nightingale

(May 12, 1820 - August 13, 1910) was an English social reformer, and founder of modern nursing. She was the first woman to have a great influence over nursing in India; although she came to prominence while serving as a manager and trainer during the Crimean War (1853-1856), during which she organised care for wounded soldiers.

In 1865, Nightingale drew up detailed "suggestions on a system of nursing for hospitals in India." Graduates were sent out from the Nightingale School of Nurses at St Thomas Hospital, England, to start similar schools in India. St Stephen's Hospital, Delhi, was the first to begin training Indian women as nurses in 1867.

But the acceptance of nursing as a profession in India was hampered by the low status of women, the caste system, illiteracy and political unrest. In fact, there was a shortage of 2.5 million nurses in India in 2010, according to data from the Indian Nursing Council, and the World Health Organization (WHO). In that year, India had only 1.23 million registered nurses and midwives; but matters improved in 2014, as the number reached 1.79 million. And note that in the USA, there are nearly 4 million, which include Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses, of which about three lakhs identify as Asian.

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11 The Hidden Connection between Mary and Divine Mercy - Carrie Gress

posted May 8, 2019, 8:34 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated May 8, 2019, 8:34 AM ]

For many years, I've marvelled about the "coincidence" of three highly influential saints living in Krakow at roughly the same moment in history: St Faustina Kowalska, St Maximilian Kolbe, and Pope St John Paul II.

George Weigel has pointed out in the book we co-authored - City of Saints - that Poland was the place where the 20th century happened — the place where Nazism and Communism would run their violent course, one after the other. The antidote to these, Weigel added, was also found in Poland, particularly in the work, prayer and sacrifices of these three related, but marvelously different, saints.

Although there is little evidence that Wojtyla knew either of the other future saints personally, despite the close proximity in which they all lived, the more direct connections between them came about posthumously. As Pope, John Paul II was a promoter of Fr Maximilian, the Mariologist and Martyr – canonising him in 1982, and calling him an "apostle of a new Marian era." The Polish Pope was also the promulgator of St Faustina's Diaries and the Divine Mercy devotion, adding the Divine Mercy Feast to the Church calendar. Their relationship seemed to come full circle when Pope John Paul II was canonised on Divine Mercy Sunday, 2014.

While working on my book, The Marian Option, it occurred to me that there does seem to be a missing link, however, between Saints Faustina and Maximilian. What is the connection between Divine Mercy and Mary? I was intrigued by this seemingly missing piece, and thought there might be something worth investigating. I had a hunch that there had to be a deeper link between Mercy and Mary somewhere.

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13 The Female Disciples - Paul De Marco

posted May 8, 2019, 8:32 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated May 8, 2019, 8:32 AM ]

A band of pioneering women—the Daughters of Jerusalem

Today, we take for granted that there should be equality between men and women, and yet, historically speaking, this is a recent phenomenon. It took female trailblazers like the suffragettes, Millicent Fawcett, Emmeline Pankhurst and Emily Davison to fight for the rights of women and to galvanise public opinion. It was Emily who ran in front of King George V's horse, Anmer, at the Epsom Derby on June 4, 1913, and who subsequently died of her injuries four days later. Women in Britain over the age of thirty were finally allowed to vote in November 1918.

Other notable women who were prepared to risk their lives and break the protocols of their day were the nurses of the Crimean War (1853- 1856), such as Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole, the Jamaican-born nurse nicknamed 'The Black Florence Nightingale'. Florence trained 38 female volunteers, and along with 15 Catholic nuns, left England for the Selimiye Barracks in Istanbul. Here, the women cared for the wounded and the dying under atrocious conditions, and Florence successfully raised public awareness of the plight of these forgotten soldiers. After the war, she established the Nightingale Training School for nurses at St Thomas' Hospital, and in so doing, she revolutionised nursing forever.

Women such as these were outstanding, and would have been so in any generation, but if we rewind the clock of history back to the time of Jesus, we find another group of brave women. They've been overlooked by authors writing on the history of the early Church, and yet, they gave up their lives to support Jesus throughout His ministry, often travelling with Him and the apostles. By taking responsibility for their needs, these women freed up valuable time for Jesus and a large number of disciples, to preach to the ever growing crowds and to heal the sick. In a patriarchal Jewish society, they had to rise above prejudice and bigotry every day in order to carry out this vital role. 

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