18 Notes & Comments

posted Aug 1, 2018, 8:59 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Aug 1, 2018, 8:59 AM ]

Pope: 'Don't waste food, don't be indifferent to the world's cry of hunger'


Pope Francis' Angelus address to the crowds gathered in the stifling St Peter's Square on July 29 stemmed from his reflection on the Gospel reading of the day that tells the story of the multiplication of the loaves and fish.

Jesus and His apostles possessed but a few coins, the Pope said, while a great crowd had followed them up the mountain near the shores of the Sea of Galilee. It was there that a young man, led by Andrew, came forward and offered all he had: five loaves and two fish.

"He was a courageous boy," the Pope said, moved by compassion and the need to do something for others.

"Young people are like that; they have courage; we must help them to continue being courageous.

Commenting on how, despite the difficulties, "Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them and also as much of the fish as they wanted," Pope Francis said this shows "Jesus is attentive to the primary needs of people."

The episode, he said, stems from a concrete fact: the people are hungry, and Jesus involves His disciples so that this hunger may be satisfied.


Pope: Ask 'What have I done or should do for Christ?'


What have I done for Christ? What am I doing or should I do for Him? We ought to ask ourselves this often, reminded Pope Francis on July 29, 2018, in a message of greetings to the President of the Christian Life Community Executive Council (Christian Life Community–CVX-CLC), Mauricio López Oropeza, and to all the participants in the XVII World Assembly held in Buenos Aires from July 22-31, 2018, on the theme 'CLC, a gift for the Church and for the world', for the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the association.

"To be guided by a Christian way of life, with a strong spiritual life and working for the Kingdom, means letting oneself be shaped by the love of Jesus," the Pope told them.

One must ask oneself continuously, Pope Francis said: "What have I done for Christ? What am I doing for Christ? What ought I to do for Christ?"

For this reason, the Pope told them to pray and reflect together, so that the Lord may grant them a greater depth in the living out of their charism, and in doing so, may they continue to be a gift for the Church and for the world.

"The recognition of the gift and the grace that the Lord has given you over these years shall lead you, firstly, into a humble act of thanksgiving, because Jesus has looked at you beyond your qualities and virtues. At the same time," he continued, "this entails a call to responsibility, to leave yourselves behind and go forth to encounter others, to nourish them with the only bread capable of satisfying the human heart: the love of Christ."

The Jesuit Pope recalled that at the centre of their Ignatian spirituality is this desire to be contemplatives in action.


Despite broken hearts, prisoners dare to smile


Despite broken hearts, prisoners in Raipur Central Jail smile, says a Catholic nun.

"My idea of prisoners was changed by visiting them regularly. Formerly, I thought they have done mistakes and they are punished. And they deserve it. But now I feel compassion for them. They are also just like me. I found some are guilty, and some others are innocent. Though they are with broken hearts, they try to smile," said Sr Elsy Jose of the Salesian Missionaries of Mary Immaculate (SMMI) congregation. SMMI nuns and their associates have been working as volunteers with jail inmates in Raipur, Chhattisgarh for the last 25 years. Three other Catholic women religious orders—Holy Cross Sisters, Franciscan Missionaries and Missionaries of Charity Sisters founded by St Mother Teresa of Calcutta— collaborate with SMMI sisters, bringing hope and joy, visiting the jail inmates and interacting with them at least once a week for two to three hours. At present, there are about 260 women and 25 children, besides hundreds of men. The number is never steady.