Sunday, 22 April 2007

2 lovely and cheerful visitors

Last week, I had the great joy of knowing 2 lovely young women who visited our media center. I was arranging the shelves when I heard a sweet voice asking: who is St. Rita, what makes her a saint? This started our conversation. Chihiro from Japan, and to my surprised, Francesca from........Singapore. Both are studying in York and were in Rome for a real short visit. I am inspired by the desire of Chihiro--the desire to be a catholic. She has been going to Church, for Mass and I believe involves in Church activities. She is just waiting for her parents to give the "go-ahead" signal to be baptized. I can sense her conviction and her faith in our Lord. Francesca, active catholic in Church of Holy Family, very joyful and sensible. She does not want to make a decision for religious life now because she wants to be free from the "pressure" of the expectations of others, meaning, those around her encourage her to be religious, and would not be surprised if she does. So, she wants to be sure that it is not because of their expectations, but her free choice.

Talking to young women always give me great inspirations and encourage me even more to share with them of the faith and religious life. We believe definitely that meeting each other here in Rome is not a mere coincidence. So, do keep both of them in your prayers.

Friday, 20 April 2007

Gesù di Nazaret

The Pope's new book Gesù di Nazaret was released in Italian, German and Polish on his 80th birthday, 16 April 2007. At our Paoline Multimedia International Book Center, people were already waiting anxiously outside the center before 9 am, the opening hour. However, the book did not arrive on time, so many people seemed to be rather disappointed. Many made their reservations instead and collect it later. The reporter and crews from CNN were also waiting patiently outside, hoping to capture the first moment of the arrival. Much to our disappointment, the truck did not arrive until almost 11 am. before that, our employee and one of our sisters managed to get 2 boxes on a trolley from the Vatican book center. This shows their collaboration with us too.

Once the book arrived, people just couldn't wait to be the first to grab the book. Many bought more than 1 copy. This shows not only their support and love for the Pope but their thirst in reading and knowing more about God.

Monday, 16 April 2007

Auguri, Papa Benedetto XVI

Tomorrow is the 80th birthday of the Holy Father, Benedict XVI. Today, St. Peter's Square was filled with well-wishers attending the Eucharistic celebration with him. I was able to get to the Square while it was not so packed and managed to get to the center. Though it was not very near, I still could see him at the altar pretty clearly. I met a Lutheran couple from Denmark , who managed to get into the Square by chance. They were here 3 days but have not been able to go into the Basillica because it was always packed. Today, they decided to go to the Vatican Musuem, arriving only to realize that it is closed on Sunday. When they turn to the Square, a group of Germans offered them the tickets for the Mass. They were very happy about it. I was glad to share with them a bit of our Catholic Teachings and to hear from their experience. In front of me also there was a couple from North Italy and at the back--from Argentina. It is always amazing to see the crowd from all over the world, even of different faith gathering at St. Peter's.

Happy Birthday, Papa Benedetto

Sunday, 8 April 2007

Christ is Risen! Alleluia!

Come and See:
Life has won over death, evil is defeated by Mercy!

Saturday, 7 April 2007

14th Station -- Jesus Is Laid in the Tomb

The world showed little hospitality to our Blessed Lord, who is Master of life and death. For His birth, there was available only a rough-and-ready shelter for animals. For death, He was given the hard bed of the cross, with a crown of thorns as a pillow; and His hands and feet were tucked into that bed with nails. The glory of His birth was hidden in the least of the cities of Israel. The meaning of His death was hidden from human eyes in the greatest city of this world. Born in a stranger's cave, buried in a stranger's grave: thus did Christ teach us that human birth and human death were equally foreign to Him. For those things are foreign to God.
(Fulton Sheen)

Friday, 6 April 2007

13th Station -- Jesus is Lowered from the Cross

Hands of Abandonment
It is infinitely easier to suffer obeying to a command of others than not in the full liberty of one’s personal choice. It is infinitely easier to suffer together with others than to be alone. It is infinitely easier to suffer in public and with honor than in private and with dishonor. It is infinitely easier to suffer in one’s own physical plight than under the motion of the Spirit. Christ has suffered in full liberty, alone, away from the looks of the others and in disgrace, in body and in spirit.

Mani di Abbandono
È infinitamente più facile soffrire obbedendo a un comando di altri che non nella piena libertà di una scelta personale. È infinitamente più facile soffrire insieme ad altri che non da soli. È infinitamente più facile soffrire in pubblico e con onore che non in privato e con disonore. È infinitamente più facile soffrire nell’impegno del proprio essere fisico che non sotto la mozione dello Spirito. Cristo ha sofferto in piena libertà, da solo, lontano dagli sguardi degli altri e nell’infamia, nel corpo e nello spirito, e alla stessa stregua hanno sofferto molti cristiani con lui.

(Dietrich Bohoeffer)

12th Station -- Jesus Dies Upon the Cross

The great funeral pyre of suffering gradually burns itself out, and the blood of the God-man dries on the wood of the cross, as a sign of His passing. His garments are consigned to His executioners, His blood to the earth, His body to the grave, His mother to John, and His soul to His Heavenly Father. Having finished the last word of His testament, He bows His head and dies. His spirit descends into Limbo, and His escort there is a thief. All is finished now. God has had His revenge on Satan and sin.

Three things cooperated in the fall of the human race from grace: the disobedient man, Adam; the proud woman, Eve; and the tree. To restore that grace to us, God relied on the obedient man, Christ; the humble woman, Mary; and the tree of the cross. But at the moment of Christ's death, His triumph was still hidden from human eyes. A mocking voice cried out, "Others He saved. Himself He cannot save."
(Fulton Sheen)

11th Station -- Jesus is Nailed to the Cross

Hands of Pardon
Let us learn from Jesus not to become angry, not to lose the patience with anybody, not to feed in our heart aversions for those that, we believe have hurt us. Learn to sympathize each other, because all of us have our defects. Do we learn to care for all; you understand me? To everyone, even those who hurt us. Learn to forgive, to also pray for them, that perhaps in front of God they are better than us.
(Blessed Pope John XXIII)

Impariamo da Gesù a non arrabbiarci, a non perdere la pazienza con nessuno, a non nutrire nel nostro cuore avversioni per quelli che, crediamo, ci abbiano fatto del male. Impariamo a compatirci l’un l’altro, perché tutti abbiamo i nostri difetti, e chi non ne ha uno, ne ha un altro. Impariamo a volere bene a tutti; mi capite? A tutti, anche a quelli che ci fanno del male o ce ne hanno fatto. Impariamo a perdonare, a pregare anche per loro, che forse dinanzi a Dio sono più buoni di noi.
(Beato Papa Giovanni XXIII)

Thursday, 5 April 2007

10th Station -- Jesus is Stripped of His Garments

On the hill called Calvary, Jesus willed not only to empty Himself of His divine glory, but to abandon His claim to any earthly possissions. He, the Heavenly Vagabond who had nowhere to lay His head, was stripped of His garments, so that in death He might have nothing, but give all.
(Fulton Sheen)

Wednesday, 4 April 2007

9° Station -- Jesus Falls the Third Time

Hands of Fortitude

The man is fallen and falls again always: how many times he becomes the caricatures of himself, no more the image of God but something that puts the Creator in ridicule. In Jesus's fall under the weight of the cross, his whole journey appears: his voluntary lowering so as to lift us from our pride. At the same time, the nature of our pride emerges: the pride with which we want to emancipate ourselves from God to give form to our life on our own.
(Pope Benedict XVI)

Mani di Fortezza

L’uomo è caduto e cade sempre di nuovo: quante volte egli diventa la caricature di se stesso, non più immagine di Dio, ma qualcosa che mette in ridicolo il Creatore. Nella caduta di Gesù sotto il peso della croce appare l’intero suo percorso: il suo volontario abbassamento per sollevarci dal nostro orgoglio. E nello stesso tempo emerge la natura del nostro orgoglio: la superbia con cui vogliamo emanciparci da Dio per dar forma alla nostra vita da soli.

Papa Benedetto XVI

8° Station -- Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem

I have a Dream!
I have a dream. I dream that one day all men will rise up and understand that they are created equal. I dream that one day justice will flow like the water and the rectitude like an impetuous river. I dream that one day the war will cease and all men will turn their swords into plows, the lances into scythes; the nations will not be divided against one another and they will not plan anymore wars. That will be a marvelous day! The stars of the morning will sing together and the children of God will shout for joy!
(cf. Martin Luther King)

Tuesday, 3 April 2007

7° Station -- Jesus Fallls the Second Time

The Hands of Courage

Reflection of Edith Stein
To give our contribution to carry the cross of Christ is the source of a strong and pure joy. Those to which it is granted and who did so, the builders of the Kingdom of God, are children of God in the truest and fullest sense. To have a predilection for the way of the cross does not mean to deny that Holy Friday has passed and that the work of redemption is finished. The cross is the way that leads from the earth to heaven. Whoever embraces it with faith, love and hope is brought aloft, up to the bosom of the Trinity.

Dare il nostro contributo a portare la croce di Cristo è fonte di una letizia forte e pure, e coloro ai quali è concesso e che lo fanno, i costruttori del Regno di Dio, sono figli di Dio nel senso piu vero e piu pieno. Avere perciò una predilezione per la via della croce non significa affatto rinnegare che il venerdì santo è passato e che l’opera della redenzione è compiuta. La croce è la via che dalla terra conduce al cielo. Chi l’abbraccia con fede, amore e speranza viene portato in alto, fino al seno della Trinità.

6° Station -- Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus

The Redeemer of the world presents Veronica with an authentic image of His face. The veil upon which the face of Christ remains imprinted becomes a message for us: This is how every act of goodness, every gesture of true love toward one's neighbour, strengthens the likeness of the Redeemer of the world in the one who acts that way. Acts of love do not pass away. Every act of goodness, of understanding, of service leaves on people's hearts an indelible imprint and makes us ever more like the One who "emptied himself, taking the form of a servant" (Phil. 2: 7). This is what shapes our identity and gives us our true name.
(Pope John Paul II)

Monday, 2 April 2007

Palm Sunday--22° World Youth Day

Today, had the privilege to join many youths from all over in the procession for the celebration of Palm Sunday with the Pope. With huge palms in our hands at St. Peter's Square, we recalled the triumphant entry of our Lord into Jerusalem 2,000 years ago. It is just amazing and touching to see the many young people gathering together. Around me, there were a group of students from France and 2 from Brazil. During the Mass, they really participate with all their hearts. Just being with them, clapping and calling out "Benedetto" makes me feel younger and full of hope and enthusiasm.

Today is also the 22° World Youth Day and the Pope invites us to reflect with the theme: “Just as I have loved you, you alsoshould love one another” (Jn 13:34).

With his message, the Pope emphasized that Love is possible and encourage the youth, the future and hope of humanity, to trust in a love that is true, faithful and strong, love that generates peace and joy; a love that binds people together and allows them to feel free in respect for one another. He reminds us that God is the only source of true love.

Sunday, 1 April 2007

5° Station -- Simon helped carrying the Cross

Jesus needs the help of another man to continue his journey. In that slow journey beside that man, Simon received that face, serene in his pain, a grateful silent look that transform him profoundly. Our God needs our help. It is not easy to recognize concretely how to give, how to set our lives in relation with others that, without us knowing, they are in need of us, how to discover the profound experience of Simon of Cyrene.
(P. David Turoldo)