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Greetings to each and everyone of you.


This section for English-speaking viewers –
and all those enjoying the culture –

has developed over the months and is now offering materials of all kinds:

texts, images, poems, videos, etc.

It will continue to provide you with rich contents week after week.

 

1st Sunday of ADVENT, C

When walking on the streets, I observe people around. Even on the move, some are busy keying in a texto! Others are hurrying, running to catch a bus or rushing to meet a deadline. Sad to say, many people are walking with stooped shoulders and sad faces. Their steps seem heavy, and their hearts even more so!… They move with their heads down seeming overwhelmed with negative feelings of all kinds.

As I read the gospel for this 1st SundGroup of multi racial business people looking up at copyspaceay of Advent (Lk.21:25-28,34-36), I thought of those people when I read the words: « Hold your heads high » (v.28). There is no denying that life can be hard at times – difficulties of all kinds keep coming at us: sickness, financial problems, strained relationships with the people we live and work with. Add to that the bitter regrets, dashed hopes, guilty feelings, lack of incentive, broken promises from those we love, and your list and mine could go on…

We really don’t feel like ‘lifting our heads high’ in such situations. We would be more inclined to bury our heads in the sand like the proverbial ostrich! How can we hold our heads high? We don’t feel the energy even to attempt doing that…

But the second part of verse 28 opens up a new perspective when it assures us: « Because your liberation is near at hand. »

People talk much of liberty, but liberation? Yet, is it not what we most need, all of us? Being freed from our fears and regrets, our obsessions, our tensions and frustrations – all that prevents us from being as God meant us to be. All too often, we find ourselves in a land of slavery – a slavery we may have grown accustomed to. This is what ADVENT is about: it is a time when we allow Someone to take over as he tells us: « I am coming, I am already here to free you from what is not your true self. » And it is the time to allow him to do so . . .

Einstein, a hundred years ago…

Einstein a.

 

While the scientific community celebrates this year the centenary of Einstein ‘Theory of Relativity’, this quote may lead us to reflection and meditation beyond what science can offer…

Not to be afraid…

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St. Francis de Sales was a ‘master’ of the spiritual life and was keen to help lay people find a simple and genuine way to relate to God in their daily life. He repeats Jesus’ message not to be afraid. He has this to say:

« Do not look forward to the misfortunes of this life in fear, but foresee them with a perfect hope that in the measure they happen, God to whom you belong, will rescue you from them. He has protected you up to the present. Do not think about what will happen tomorrow, for the same eternal Father who has care of you today, will have care of you both tomorrow and always. Either he will give you no evil at all, or if he does give it to you, he will give you and invincible courage to bear it. »

Terrorist attacks

Paris, Bamako, violence and terror: we wonder, we worry…

Awful, terrible, inhuman – we lack words to describe the reality. France, Mali, Syria, Iraq, Nigeria, Central African Republic, Libya, Yemen,  Afghanistan, Palestine… The litany could go on and on… Yes, we wonder, we worry and… and we search for answers.

The gospel does not speak of terrorism but on this Tuesday of the 34th week of the liturgical year, the message we read (Lk.21:5-11) describes situations of violence and terror and yet we are told: « Do not be frightened. »

People light candles while outside The Belle Equipe restaurant in Paris, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, a day after the attacks on Paris. French President Francois Hollande vowed to attack Islamic State without mercy as the jihadist group admitted responsibility Saturday for orchestrating the deadliest attacks inflicted on France since World War II. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)
People light candles while outside The Belle Equipe restaurant in Paris, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, a day after the attacks on Paris. (AP Photo/    Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

We wonder, we worry and… we pray:

Lord, in our world so many things happen every day;
the news bulletins bombard us with events
such as those we hear about in today’s gospel –
wars, earthquakes, plagues and famine.
We listen to facts and statistics that impress on us
a vivid picture of what is taking place.
Somehow, we get used to this kind of news,
but sometimes we feel uneasy, upset, anxious.
We need to hear anew your message: « Do not be frightened. »
We ask you: Help us to put our trust in your words
and not to be shaken by anything that may happen. AMEN.

World Bible Day – 24 November

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November 24th has been set aside – globally – as World Bible Day. One day a year assigned to the Word of God. Really ?
Is it not daily that we need to find there inspiration, strength, comfort, all that enables us to be and to live as we are meant to?

The Psalmist had understood this as he prayed with utter conviction: « Remember, Lord, the word you pledged your servant, on which you have built my hope. » « Your word is a lamp to my feet, Lord, a light on my path. »  (Ps.119:49,95)

 

World Day for prevention of abuse against children – November 19

305385_294924497190710_126698124_nTo make the Day a global call for action, WWSF launched in 2001 an international NGO coalition that marks the World Day with appropriate events and activities to focus on and increase prevention education.

In 2001, 150 NGOs joined an international coalition to mark the Day with public awareness campaigns and prevention education. More than 100 organizations sent reports of local and national events organized on 19 November. They are part of an emerging movement for the creation of a culture of prevention. The Republic of Costa Rica is the first country that declared by Presidential Decree 19 November a National Day.

From: WWSF website page: Women’s world Summit Foundation: Women and Children first

Seeing…

sun and earth
« A ‘new vision’ does not mean that things external to us have changed, but that we see things in a new and proper light. »  J. Peter Sartain

 

Peace…

globe peace

PEACE be yours, peace be ours.

« I know the plans I have in mind for you – it is the Lord who speaks – plans for peace, not disaster. »    (Jr.29:11)

Something to receive, something to share, something to build, something to care for, something to preserve.

Are we ready to receive, to share, to build, to care for, to preserve?

 

Don’t forget

dont forget

How often do we not speak these words? To make sure that we are indeed recalling certain things, remembering some events and . . . NOT forgetting people – those near to us, and those not so near. And what about… God?Shema Israel

He wants to be remembered, of course. Long ago, he gave his people, the people of Israel a special commandment telling them to use a practical means to remember him. This text – the most important one of the daily Jewish prayer – is called: « Shema Israel. Listen, Israel. » The Jews were to sew a special kind of fringe to the hem of their clothing as a visual reminder of their Covenant with God. « You shall look upon them (the threads of this fringe) and REMEMBER all the commandments of the Lord and fulfill them. » Numbers 15:37-41

memory of me

And we, Christians, are the followers of Him who, on the eve of his death, told us:

« DO THIS IN MEMORY OF ME. »

Are we forgetful?… Do we remember?