Injustice is the Root of Poverty

via Pope Francis:

Jesus heard the cry of Peter. Let us ask for the grace to hear the cry of all those tossed by the waves of life. The cry of the poor: it is the stifled cry of the unborn, of starving children, of young people more used to the explosion of bombs than happy shouts of the playground. It is the cry of the elderly, cast off and abandoned to themselves. It is the cry of all those who face the storms of life without the presence of a friend. It is the cry of all those forced to flee their homes and native land for an uncertain future. It is the cry of entire peoples, deprived even of the great natural resources at their disposal. It is the cry of every Lazarus who weeps while the wealthy few feast on what, in justice, belongs to all. Injustice is the perverse root of poverty. The cry of the poor daily grows louder but is heard less and less. Every day that cry gets louder, but every day heard less, drowned out by the din of the rich few, who grow ever fewer and more rich.

In the face of contempt for human dignity, we often remain with arms folded or stretched out as a sign of our frustration before the grim power of evil. Yet we Christians cannot stand with arms folded in indifference, or with arms outstretched in helplessness. No. As believers, we must stretch out our hands, as Jesus does with us.



Pope Francis: Rouse Us from Calm, Comfortable Lives

via Pope Francis:

We do not live to accumulate; our glory lies in leaving behind the things that pass away in order to hold on to those that last. Let us ask God to make us like the Church described in the first reading: always on the move, good at leaving and faithful in serving (cf. Acts 28:11-14). Rouse us, Lord, from our idle calm, from the quiet lull of our safe harbours. Set us free from the moorings of self-absorption that weigh life down; free us from constantly seeking success. Teach us, Lord, to know how to “leave” in order to set out on the road you have shown us: to God and to our neighbour.


Pope Francis: Don’t Be Vain Peacocks

via Zenit:

The scribe represents important, rich and influential people. The other, the widow, represents the least, the poor and the weak. In reality Jesus’ resolute judgment in dealing with the scribes, doesn’t concern the whole category, but refers to those that exhibit their social position, who are proud of their title “Rabbi,’ that is, teacher, who love to be waited on and occupy the first places (Cf. vv. 38-39). What is worse is that their ostentation is especially of a religious nature because they pray — says Jesus —  “long prayers to be seen” (v. 40) and make use of God to credit themselves as defenders of His law. And this attitude of superiority and vanity leads them to have contempt for those that count little and are in a disadvantaged economic position, such as the widow….

Brothers and sisters, the Lord’s scales are different from ours. He weights differently persons and their gestures: God doesn’t measure the quantity but the quality, scrutinizes the heart and looks at the purity of the intentions. This means that our “giving” to God in prayer and to others in charity must always shun ritualism and formality, as well as the logic of calculation, and be an expression of gratuitousness, as Jesus has done with us: He has saved us for free. And we must do things as an expression of gratuitousness….

When we are tempted by the desire to appear and to be taken into account for our altruistic gestures, when we are too interested in other’s look and — allow me the word — when we are like “peacocks,” let us think of this woman. It will do us good: it will help us to strip ourselves of the superfluous to go to what really counts, and to remain humble.


USCCB: Exercise ‘Extreme Caution’ Before Giving Credence to Alt-Catholic Groups

via NBC News:

Websites like Church Militant, LifeSite News and the Lepanto Institute are ratcheting up the rhetoric while replacing polite and prayerful discourse with personal attacks on supporters of gay Catholics, they say….

“They inject fear, hatred and homophobia into religious discourse,” said the Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest and author of “Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion and Sensitivity.”

“They use the same tactics as the political alt-right: lies, personal vilification and demonization of minority groups,” he said….

In response to repeated requests for comment from NBC News, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops released the following response from their spokesman Bishop Christopher Coyne of Burlington, Vermont:

“The promotion and defense of the faith should invite an encounter with the merciful love of Christ and contribute to a more civil and peaceful dialogue in our church and society,” he said. “I urge my brothers and sisters to exercise extreme caution before giving credence to anyone who instigates shameful, digital stoning as a way to defend the Church. Catholic participation in the public square should be marked by both fidelity to the Gospel and to charity toward all our fellow citizens.”