Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Assisi Meeting Is Only a Beginning, Says Chiara Lubich

2002 interview with Focolare's foundress.
If having a Voodoo chief assist the 2002 Assisi prayer meeting (http://www.vatican.va/special/assisi-testimonianze_20020124_en.html#chef amadouGasseto), or having a statue of Buddha placed over a tabernacle, or having the Pope kiss the Koran (http://www.jimmyakin.org/2006/04/jp2_and_the_qur.html) shook you up a little, then maybe you better buckle your seatbelt!!! Assisi is "only a beginning" says Miss Lubich.....

>>>ROME, FEB. 19, 2002 (Zenit.org).- Chiara Lubich, founder of the Focolare Movement, addressed the question of ecumenism and progress in interreligious dialogue, following the World Day of Prayer in Assisi last month.Lubich has organized a series of initiatives for this year, such as a "Hindu Christian Seminar" (Castel Gandolfo, June 14-18), and an International Conference of Muslim Friends of the Focolare Movement (Nov. 1-3). Over the past few weeks Lubich has met with religious leaders who were in Assisi.Following are excerpts from an interview with Lubich, published in the Feb. 10 issue of Città Nuova magazine (http://www.cittanuova.it).

Q: What could help this event, and the solemn commitments taken by religious leaders, to have the greatest impact? Do you see a concrete contribution on the part of the Focolare Movement?

Lubich: As for the first question, we should see this gathering as the historic event that it was, and not as an isolated moment. It has already, and not just in the Christian world, sparked local prayer events and other moments for peace building. It is not an isolated event, because there should also be a follow-up to it in some way. That´s what we´re hoping for.After Sept. 11, we have yet another reason to meet and pray to God for peace. In reality, certain wars going on in different regions of the world are not just the result of hatred and resentment over injustices that have been inflicted, or built-up bitterness that then explodes.These are all negative factors, but perhaps simply human factors. With the emergence of widespread terrorism, we are facing what the Pope has called "forces of evil." To vanquish them, human efforts alone are not enough, nor it is sufficient to set the political world in motion.The religious world has to come to grips with the need to make good triumph over evil -- Good with a capital G -- through a common effort to create all across the planet that universal brotherhood in God that religions are called to bring to fulfillment. Only this brotherhood can be the soul of that world community which recent Popes have spoken of and which many Christians aspire to.The hope in our heart is that Assisi 2002 will mark the beginning of a series of well-planned initiatives prepared and carried out by those who have this responsibility so that the cry "war never again" becomes a reality.As for the Focolare Movement, since it is the fruit of a charism for our times, we feel we are already in tune through our different dialogues, activities and spirit, with the needs of today. However, the event in Assisi helped to speed up the movement. We´ll do our best to keep up and increase the pace. As with everything, we are always at the total service of what the Spirit and the Church may ask of us.

Q: Among some Christians there is a certain reluctance when it comes to interreligious dialogue. They are afraid of losing their identity or that syncretism might occur. What is your opinion on this? What would you say to someone who is hesitant about getting involved in this dialogue?

Lubich: It is definitely not wrong to fear losing one´s identity or to be wary of syncretism when it comes to approaching the faithful of other religions. If we think that any Christian is capable of getting involved in dialogue then we run a real risk. In fact, only those who are prepared for it, who have the vocation to it, should do so.On the other hand, in this day and age, in many different countries, persons of different religions live right next door to one another. So there must be a way to relate. I believe that as Christians we can do so by putting into practice the love that Jesus brought about on earth and this love has certain demands.It is a love that has to go out to everyone, not just to our relatives and friends, following the example of the love of the heavenly Father who sends the rain and the sun on the bad and the good alike, which means on our enemies, too. Furthermore, it is a love that urges us to take the initiative in loving, without expecting to be loved, just as Jesus did. Thus, when we were still sinners, when we were not loving, he gave his life for us.It is a love that urges one to see the other as oneself, to love the other as oneself. This love is not just a matter of words and feelings; it is concrete. It requires that we make ourselves one with the others, that we "live" the person we are with, in their pain and in their joy, so as to understand them and help them effectively.Finally, this love requires us to see Christ in the person we love. This means that even though we love a given individual, Christ takes whatever we do, whether good or bad, as having been done to himself. My advice to reluctant Christians, therefore, would be what I have just explained to you, so as to put them at peace and encourage them to love, too.

Q: You mentioned the golden rule in your talk, as did the Pope, Patriarch Bartholomew and Cardinal Kasper. How can this help dialogue?

Lubich: It is the basis upon which interreligious dialogue can be built. The sacred books of the world´s religions affirm that you should do to others what you would like others to do to you (see Matthew 7:12).Practically speaking, this rule asks everyone to love. It does it with the very voice of one´s religion through the presence of this sentence, which is none other than one of the "seeds of the Word," that is, principles of truth that are present in different faiths.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Get ready for Holy Thursday!!


The above 'Sector Catolico' webpage reported on 24 FEB that its 'sources' say the Holy Father will make a significant announcement!!

(they suggest it could involve Summorum Pontificum or hand Communion)

>>>>....Según han apuntado estas fuentes, que no han sabido concretar con exactitud en qué consistirá la medida, hablan, sin embargo, de dos posibles hitos. Por un lado, la supresión del indulto universal para recibir la Sagrada Comunión en la mano. La otra posibilidad es que, por fin, el Papa se anime a celebrar la Santa Misa in cena Domini según la "forma extraordinaria" del Rito Romano. .....<<<


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Ad Orientem worship returns to Corpus Christi Cathedral!

k.c. has it from reliable sources that Corpus Christi Cathedral (Corpus Christi diocese)
conducted all five of its Masses this weekend of March 7th 'ad orientem' http://www.goccn.org/mass.asp .

The reorientation of the altar was well received by the parishioners with many commenting both on the awe they felt and the extraordinary reverence with which the parish's priests celebrated the ordinary form of the Mass!!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Pope's Master of Ceremonies suggests that kneeling during Holy Communion may become universal norm

[by John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter, yesterday! March 3rd, 2010]

ROME -- For the better part of five years, plenty of experts on Catholic liturgy have been waiting for the “real” agenda of Pope Benedict XVI, known as a traditionalist on matters of worship, to emerge from beneath a façade of patience seemingly built on dropping hints rather than imposing sweeping new rules.

Now, however, the pope’s own liturgist insists that the patient façade is actually the agenda.

One month ago, that papal liturgist, Msgr. Guido Marini, sparked wide debate with his public call for a “reform of the reform,” suggesting to some a desire to roll back the clock on liturgical reforms associated with the Second Vatican Council (1962-65). However, Marini insists that no such rollback is underway, and no dramatic new rules are in the works.

When Benedict employs more traditional touches in his own liturgies, such as giving Communion on the tongue, those amount to “proposals,” Marini said, intended to gradually influence the church’s liturgical culture, and are not harbingers of forthcoming papal edicts.

“I don’t believe that the liturgy of the church needs any radical changes or distortions,” Marini said, saying he “fully” agrees with a comment from then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, that Catholic liturgy needs a “period of stability” after the wave of dramatic, and at times contentious, reforms that flowed from Vatican II.

Marini, the master of papal liturgical celebrations, spoke in an exclusive interview with NCR Feb. 9 in his Vatican office. (Read more of the interview here: Q & A with Msgr. Guido Marini, papal liturgist.)

When Marini addressed a Jan. 6 conference in Rome sponsored by the Australian Confraternity of Catholic Clergy and the U.S.-based Confraternity of Catholic Clergy, he seemed to call into question at least some of the reforms from Vatican II, such as active participation by laity in the liturgy and greater “inculturation,” meaning adjusting the church’s rites to reflect local cultures.

In his conversation with NCR, however, Marini said that undoing those reforms is not what he had in mind. Marini conceded that the liturgical winds are blowing in a traditional direction, but said any change should happen slowly and without new upheaval.

“I believe it’s a matter of consolidating what we already have, in a more authentic way, according to the true mind of the church,” Marini said. He said that’s what Benedict has in mind when he talks about “development in continuity.”

Marini, 44, has served as Benedict’s master of liturgical celebrations since October 2007. In that role, he is the chief organizer of the pope’s own celebrations; liturgical policy for the wider church is set by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, presently headed by Spanish Cardinal Antonio Cañizares.

Trying to turn back the clock on Vatican II “wouldn’t make any sense, because it’s not how the life of the church works,” Marini said. New developments, he said, should happen “organically,” and “the best way, the most correct way ... is certainly not to reject the reforms that were determined by the Second Vatican Council.”

In his Jan. 6 speech, Marini also pointed to certain specific practices that have been adopted in Benedict’s own liturgical celebrations. They included placing a cross on the altar during Mass, so that both priest and people are oriented toward God rather than one another, and the practice of administering Communion to people on the tongue while kneeling rather than taking it in the hand while standing.

Marini told NCR, however, that Benedict’s style is to “propose” these practices so that they may be slowly “welcomed” into the life of the church, rather than imposing them by authority.

“It’s the style of the current pope to move forward not by imposing things, but proposing them. The idea is that, slowly, all this may be welcomed, considering the true significance that certain decisions and certain orientations may have,” Marini said.

Marini did not rule out, however, that such practices might be made binding at some future point.

“Whether sometime down the line, in the future, what the pope is presenting should become more of a disciplinary norm [for the whole church], we don’t know and can’t say,” he said.

Marini said much the same spirit of preferring gradual evolution to dramatic exercises of authority applies to Benedict’s decision in 2007 to authorize wider celebration of the older Latin Mass, the so-called Tridentine rite. No one is compelled, he said, to worship according to that rite, but rather both now have “full legitimacy.”

“What’s important now is that both forms of the Roman rite look upon one another with great serenity,” he said, “realizing that both belong to the life of the church and that neither is the only true, authentic expression.”

In general, Marini suggested, anyone expecting a dramatic liturgical overhaul from Benedict is likely to be disappointed.

“The pope has a vision based on great faith in the life of the church,” he said. “The church has its own sense of time, its own rhythms. … Sometimes things can’t just be imposed. They have to slowly enter into the way of thinking of the church, its way of feeling, its climate.

“Within that,” Marini said, “maybe one can eventually arrive at providing a more precise disciplinary norm, but maybe first you have to shape a consensus.”

[John L. Allen Jr. is NCR senior correspondent. His e-mail address is jallen@ncronline.org.]

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Chiara Lubich's 2003 Mumbai address to Hindus

[from K.C. ... to my priest readers who have already condemned me:
Fathers! Help me! Please tell me why neither 'Jesus' nor 'Mary' are ever mentioned in Miss Lubich's address? ]
...from the 'youth for a United World' website>>>>>from: http://www.mondounito.net/spip.php?article243&lang=en&id_rubrique=17&parent=14

At the beginning of January, Chiara began her visit to India to strengthen the bonds of reciprocal love and fraternity with the Hindus she met on various occasions. Among the many meetings, we report the one with the Swadhyaya Movement whose leaders Chiara met during the Day of Prayer for Peace in Assisi in January 2002.

Close to Thane, a city with 500 thousands inhabitants to the north of Mumbai, there is a Cricket stadium which can sit 50 thousand people. On January 16 Dadaji Athawale’s Movement held the "Sports Festival". It involves 300 thousand young people in tournaments all around India. It finishes with this festival including the cricket and race finals and prize giving to all national winners. This activity involves six Indian States and the parade of all the representatives is accompanied by typical music and dances. Dadaji and his heir Didi arrived at the stage after going all around the stadium by car among the crowd that cheered to show their love and acknowledgment for this leader. Swadhyaya means self-awareness = to understand that God is in us.
The founder is called Shri Pandurang Shastri Athawale, and is well known as Dada (elder brother) o Dadaji (master Dada).
Dada teaches that God lives in every human being and that the fulfillment of the spiritual unit will bring in itself the solutions for all the world problems.
"Only those who see the invisible can do the impossible" (Dada). The Swadhyaya Movement has 8 million members and has widespread irradiation.
The "zones" parade has also been mixed with songs made with the writings and poems by Dadaji, also by choreographies and stage games. Other 20 thousand people followed the events from outside on two big screens. Many of those had had to travel 2800 kilometers by train!! There were also present civil and political authorities, also from the artistic and sports areas. A huge map of the world at the side of the stage turned slowly showing a Sanskrit writing: "We want to make the world a place in which God may be at home" During the speeches, they very often referred to their "ideal", as they call it, made of fraternity, listening to the Scriptures and application of them, friendship, forgiveness, love and unity.
A moment during the program was reserved for the presentation of the Focolare. First of all Didi wanted to introduce Chiara and Natalia: "Today we introduce -she said- a big Movement spread in more than a 150 countries with millions of members, just like ours. They work for the good of society and their ideal is based on what Chiara Lubich says. Today she is in Mumbai, she is not feeling well so the doctor would not let her come. But she is present among us, and has sent a representative. I met Chiara in Assisi, where only two women spoke during the big interreligious prayer: she and me. I was deeply touched by her, and I wanted to keep in contact. We have also been in touch with the Focolare in America. We have to be one human family: this is their ideal as well as ours. Dadaji was born in 1920, as well as Chiara, and like her, he began to spread this spirit in 1943".
After this introduction, Chiara’s message was read -we enclose it- and it was often interrupted by applause, especially when she made Hindi quotations or when she appealed to universal brotherhood.

[Miss Lubich's address follows...]

Mumbai, January 16th 2003

Dear Everyone,

It was with great joy that I had accepted the invitation to speak to you today, and for this reason I sincerely thank the well-deserving founder of your wonderful family, Reverend Dada Athavale.

You might ask me: you come from so far. How did you hear about us? I’ll tell you how it happened.
A year ago Mrs. Didi Talwalkar came to see me in Rome, in Italy, where I live. She spoke to me about you, about the Reverend Dada, about the high ideals that animate you and the many endeavors you are involved in. I really admired all that she told me.
Above all, I found in the words of Mrs. Didi a remarkable harmony between the spirit of your family and that of the Focolare Movement, which I represent. This made us experience an immediate and profound friendship with one another.

I remember that one of these similarities became evident when she told me that you see God in all people and therefore that you devote yourselves to your neighbors with much love. This has given rise to many social works that are flourishing everywhere in your family.
It is like this with us too: love of neighbor is fundamental in our Movement.
Indeed, like you, we are very committed to living its requirements, because it is a love that is directed to everyone, making no distinctions between those who are pleasant or unpleasant, beautiful or ugly, young or old, Hindu, Christian or Muslim, etc.
It is a love, which asks us to be the first to love, without waiting to be loved.
It asks us to love the other person as we love ourselves, sharing his or her sufferings, successes, joys....
It is also a concrete love; it is not expressed only with words but with facts.
And this can easily be seen in the many works that have begun in your family as in ours.
Moreover, this love is even ready to love enemies, to respond to offenses with forgiveness, as we find in a very beautiful image in your Hindu tradition: "While the axe chops the sandalwood, it in turn offers its virtue by scenting the axe with its fragrance."

Then if this love is lived by two or more persons together, it becomes mutual love, and I know that among you there is what you call "divine brotherhood".

Very well, my dear young people, you can understand that it is very important that we spread this love to as many people as possible. If we do, we will see portions of universal brotherhood rising up everywhere.
The destiny of humanity depends on it.

In fact, as you all know, today peace is being threatened more than ever before. After September 11th, with the crumbling of the towers in New York and with widespread terrorism, it is becoming increasingly clear that all this is not only the fruit of hatred among individuals or peoples, but that it is the effect also of the dark forces of Evil, of Darkness, as the Pope, John Paul II, also said.

Thus, the situation is such that it is not enough to oppose such danger solely with human forces, such as political or diplomatic ones. We need to engage the forces of Good.

And this was the reason for the meeting held a year ago in Assisi, in Italy, where Mrs. Didi and I met one another. At that time the representatives of the major religions of the world [including Amadou Gasseto an African Voodoo chief] gathered together to invoke peace from heaven.
But it is not even enough just to pray for peace. We must all do something to safeguard it.

We know that the imbalance in the world between rich countries and poor countries is one of the factors, perhaps the most decisive, that generates resentment, hostility, revenge, terrorism.
Therefore, we need to create greater equality, to bring about a kind of communion of goods.
However, we cannot move goods unless we move hearts.
Therefore, we need to spread love, that reciprocal love which generates brotherhood.

We are already doing this. But if we all do so more and more, universal brotherhood will spread, and as a consequence, solidarity will blossom, goods will be distributed more justly, and the rainbow of peace will shine over the world, the world which, in a few years, will be in your hands, my dear young people.

Chiara Lubich
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