Gaudate et Exsultate: On the Call for Holiness in our Modern World


Gaudete et esusltate

Gaudate et Exsultate: On the Call for Holiness in our Modern World was published today, April 9, 2018,  marking Pope Francis’ 3rd Apostolic Exhortation after Evangelii Gaudium and Amoris Laetitia.

The five-chapter, 98-page document can be considered somewhat of a practical handbook on how to help us achieve holiness in the circumstances of our ordinary lives. The chapters include: 1) The Call to Holiness 2) Two Subtle Enemies of Holiness 3) In the Light of the Master 4) Signs of Holiness in Today’s World 5) Spiritual Combat, Vigilance and Discernment.

Reflecting on saints, the Pope speaks specifically of the saints ‘next door:’ “Nor need we think of those already beatified and canonized,” but, he stressed, “I like to contemplate the holiness present in the patience of God’s people: In their daily perseverance, I see the holiness of the Church militant. A holiness found in our next-door neighbors, the middle class of holiness.”

The document which stresses the need for discernment acknowledges that the Christian life is a battle. It notes that the devil tries to “poison with the venom of hatred, desolation and vice.”

Our call to holiness, it also asserts, is a constant battle. If we do not realize this, it warns, we “will be prey to failure or mediocrity.” Yet, it suggests, we can count on “the powerful weapons” God has given us, including prayer, meditation, Mass, Confession, Eucharistic adoration, charitable acts and community outreach.

While recalling some of the saints’ great examples, including St Francis of Assisi, St John Paul II, and Edith Stein, the Pope provides advice on how we can be good Christians.

The answer is clear, he says: “We have to do, each in our own way, what Jesus told us in the Sermon on the Mount.”

The life of a Christian, the text also stresses, is a constant battle, noting we need strength and courage to reject the devil’s temptations–those “dangers and limitations that distract and debilitate”– and to proclaim the Gospel. Pope Francis also warns against that which impedes our call to holiness, such as hedonism and consumerism, noting they “can prove our downfall.”

Pope Francis concludes the work, stating: “It is my hope that these pages will prove helpful by enabling the whole Church to devote herself anew to promoting the desire for holines


Strategies for peace integration into one’s daily life

The first observance of the World Day of Peace was on January 1, 1968. In his address for that first observance, Paul VI established the day as a mandate for the Church to recognize its social mission and call faithful men and women to their duty to work for integral human development.
Every pope since — St. John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Francis — has issued a new World Day of Peace message annually. And these messages have included major ideas and teaching from these popes. In 1972, Paul VI coined his famous axiom, “If you want peace, work for justice”; John Paul II turned attention to the environment in 1990, a time when environmental ethics was not nearly as prominent of a topic as today; and in 2006 Benedict XVI offered a nuanced theological preview of his 2009 encyclical Caritas in Veritate in a message entitled “In Truth, Peace.” And now, Pope Francis continues this legacy, and has even augmented it.

mother earth 1

Pope Francis has defined his pontificate with his urging of the Church to go to the margins of society, he has been in many ways a pope of peace and justice. In his pastoral visit recently in Chile reminded the people to work for it. “Do you want peace? Then work for peace. A peacemaker knows that it is not enough simply to say: ‘I am not hurting anybody.’ As St. Alberto Hurtado used to say, ‘It is very good not to do wrong, but very bad not to do good.’” Pope Francis said that peace and justice will not come to those who are compliant.
Our Constitutions remind us that as Servites: our ideal is to reach the perfect stature of Christ, we shall have only relationships of peace, mercy, justice and constructive love toward creatures. (Cost 299). In our community gatherings, parish meetings and apostolic ministries I encourage every member of the Servite family to use these four strategies by which you can integrate peace building in one’s daily life:
1. Learn. Read the World Day of Peace message. There are numerous websites to learn about Catholic efforts for peace and justice. Visit the website, scan their news updates, and read about their work..
2. Inform. Start a conversation about the World Day of Peace message on social media about creating a better world.
3. Act. Visit the Catholic website on Peace and read their toolkit for action. Affiliate with Peace organizations and movements.
4. Pray. Join Pope Francis in praying for peace. Pope Francis has launched a special Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace on February 23, 2018 for war-torn nations, in particular for the Democratic Republic of Congo and for South Sudan that are suffering protracted conflict, and he has invited all men and women, regardless of their religious denomination, to join.


Migrants and Refugees: interesting facts, then and now

Every year, a Pontifical Message is published on the occasion of the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, an event that originates from the circular letter “Pain and Concerns”, which the Sacred Congregation sent on December 6, 1914 to the Italian Diocesan Ordinaries. It is in this letter  recalls for the first time it was asked to set up an annual day to raise awareness on the phenomenon of migration and also to promote a collection in favor of pastoral work for Italian emigrants and for the preparation of emigration missionaries. As a consequence of that letter, on 21st February 1915 the first celebration of this Day took place.


Migrants and refugees challenge us. Every day the dramatic situation of many men and women, forced to abandon their land continues to question us. We must not forget, for example, the current tragedies of the sea that have migrants as victims. According to the dramatic calculation reported by the International Organization for Migration, there are more than 3,000 migrants and refugees who lost their lives in 2017 in an attempt to cross the Mediterranean from the beginning of 2017. From the tragedy of Lampedusa in October 2013 – a shipwreck which cost the lives of 360 people – migrants dead in the Mediterranean were over 15,000.



Pope Francis presided the Eucharistic celebration for the 104th World Day of Migrants and Refugees on Sunday January 4, 2018.  About 10, 000 people from the world over attended the service in St Peter’s Basilica, including migrants and refugees who are now part of the Diocese of Rome. He reminded the catholic faithful to treat newcomers with respect and dignity. In his homily, Francis quoted a line from his message for the day, published Aug. 2, 2017: “Every stranger who knocks on our door is an opportunity to meet Jesus Christ, who identifies himself with the foreigner who has been accepted or rejected in every age (cf. Mt 25:35-43).” The Pope asked governments and society to keep four things in mind – migrants and refugees need to be welcomed, protected, integrated and have their development promoted.

Welcoming means, above all, offering broader options for migrants and refugees to enter destination countries safely and legally. This calls for a concrete commitment to increase and simplify the process for granting humanitarian visas and for reunifying families. Special temporary visas should be granted to people fleeing conflicts in neighboring countries.  Collective and arbitrary expulsions of migrants and refugees are not suitable solutions, particularly where people are returned to countries which cannot guarantee respect for human dignity and fundamental rights

Protecting may be understood as a series of steps intended to defend the rights and dignity of migrants and refugees, independent of their legal status. Such protection begins in the country of origin, and consists in offering reliable and verified information before departure, and in providing safety from illegal recruitment practices

Promoting essentially means a determined effort to ensure that all migrants and refugees – as well as the communities which welcome them – are empowered to achieve their potential as human beings in all the dimensions: human, social, professional, religious

Integrating concerns the opportunities for intercultural enrichment brought about by the presence of migrants and refugees.  Integration is not “an assimilation that leads migrants to suppress or to forget their own cultural identity. Rather, contact with others leads to discovering their ‘secret’, to being open to them in order to welcome their valid aspects and thus contribute to knowing each one better.

In line with her pastoral tradition, the Church is ready to commit herself to realizing all the initiatives proposed above.  Yet in order to achieve the desired outcome, the contribution of political communities and civil societies is indispensable, each according to their own responsibilities.

Geoengineering (Climate Engineering)- a solution for climate change?

(S. Vincent Anesthasiar,CMF)

Secretariat for JPIC , E mail:

Curia Generalizia, 00197 Roma.


The invention of steam engine by James Watt in 1784 accelerated the use of gas, oil and coal(fossil fuel). The burning of fuel causes emission of carbon dioxide(CO2) . The CO2 increases the global temperature. At the era of industrial revolution( 1784-1800) the temperature of the planet was 0.8 °C lesser than the present temperature. For example the temperature of Chennai( India) was 28 °C then and whereas now it is 29.5°C.


The Paris Climate agreement (came into force in November 2016) aims to limit the global temperature rise between 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius above the preindustrial levels. To achieve this the CO2 emission has to be reduced. To control the temperature, the allowed carbon budget till the year 2100 is 2860 Giga Tonnes (Gt). But now the annual global CO2 emission is 40 Gt. At this rate, the global carbon in 2100 will be 3320 Gt. This is a very alarming stage.

After the Paris agreement the nations have not taken any initiative to reduce the CO2 emission; the worst is that the US has withdrawn its support for Paris Agreement on June 1, 2017. At this stage to address this climate problem the scientists have come out with Geoengineering/Climate engineering, to fix mechanically, the climate issue.


Geoengineering(Climate Engineering)?:

The volcanic eruptions, pump the soot and Sulphur dioxide into the upper atmosphere. These prevent the sun rays coming to the earth. So the earth becomes cool. So volcanic eruptions are natural efforts of the earth to save itself. The scientists say that the humans can play the volcano; the aerosol particles and sulphur dioxide can be injected into the atmosphere mechanically to prevent the sun rays reaching the earth. This method is called Solar Radiation



The nose filters the carbon in the air that is breathed. Similarly, study is also underway, to filter the  carbon which is in the air and to store them in the ground. Ocean fertilization is another method to remove the existing atmospheric carbon. In this method nutrients are spread in certain parts of ocean to increase the algal growth. In turn the algal will intake the CO2. When algal die and reach the sea bottom, the carbon in the algal gets deposited in the sea bed. To reduce the carbon going into the atmosphere, experimentation is on to capture the carbon from the emitted smoke, before it goes into atmosphere. Another method under study is to burn the firewood(biomass) in low oxygen condition. So that the biomass becomes charcoal which can be powdered and mixed with soil.


Critique of Geoengineering:

There are diverse opinions, on the utility of geoengineering to tackle the climate question. It is said that the SRM method is very expensive; it might require 100 billion euros yearly. Once these methods are employed they  cannot be stopped; stopping would adversely raise the temperature. Because of these manipulations, the oceans will become more acidic, and the skies will become subtly darker; rainfall patterns could be affected; the ozone layer can be affected; the use of these techniques is like using umbrella; umbrella does not cancel the rain, it only makes the water fall away from the head; similarly the solar rays prevented in one part of the globe affects the other parts, causing drought etc. The rich nations and people can use the geoengineering to threaten and sanction other nations. Like economic sanctions there can be climate sanctions in the future.


Climate Geoengineering cannot provide a “quick fix” for the climate change problem. One cannot eat the cake and keep it; so also without changing the consumeristic pattern of life we ca not keep the planet healthy. The atmosphere is common for all and for all the generations to come. How can this generation decide for the generations to come? Even to conduct the research on geoengineering methods and to use them, global consent is needed. So questions are raised on ‘ who can make the decisions related to the research and the use? When these methods used, who will take care of the people affected by these methods? So there are moral, spiritual, economic, environmental and governance questions related to geoengineering. So a broad dialogue is needed, involving the participation of scientists, religious persons, economists, political scientists, environmentalists and philosophers. We are not sure whether there was a chance for public to debate when Genetic engineering was under study. But now Genetic modification(GM) on species and plants/food have made the life forms chemical dependent; GM has spoiled the health of the body, food crops, water, fishery, sea, soil and atmosphere. So now we have to initiate public discussion on geoengineering. The scientists welcome the public views. So we can take this to people and give feed back to scientific community.



La Prima Giornata Mondiale dei Poveri e i Servi di Maria

  1. La Prima Giornata Mondiale dei Poveri

 Giornata dei poveri 2

La Giornata mondiale dei poveri, che si è celebrato per la prima volta il 19 novembre, è stata istituita da Papa Francesco al termine del Giubileo della misericordia, nella lettera apostolica “Misericordia et misera”. “Alla luce del Giubileo delle persone socialmente escluse, mentre in tutte le cattedrali e nei santuari del mondo si chiudevano le Porte della Misericordia, ho intuito che, come ulteriore segno concreto di questo Anno Santo straordinario, si debba celebrare in tutta la Chiesa, nella ricorrenza della XXXIII Domenica del Tempo Ordinario, la Giornata mondiale dei poveri”, scrive Francesco a conclusione della lettera apostolica. È lui stesso, così, a rivelare la genesi della sua iniziativa, pensata in uno dei momenti più inediti, commoventi ed eloquenti del Giubileo, in una piazza San Pietro popolata da migliaia di senza tetto, poveri ed emarginati per la giornata dell’Anno della Misericordia a loro dedicata.

L’indizione della Giornata mondiale dei poveri, che si aggiunge alle altre giornate mondiali indette dai Pontefici su svariate tematiche sociali, come la pace, le immigrazioni, ecc., ha la particolarità questa volta di non trattare una tematica. In primo luogo al centro della giornata , con il richiamo alla concretezza: «Figlioli, non amiamo a parole né con la lingua, ma con i fatti e nella verità» (1 Gv 3,18) Non è la Giornata mondiale della povertà , ma la Giornata dei poveri , cioè di persone concrete; è la giornata dell’invito a incontrare il povero, a condividere con lui anzitutto il tempo dell’accoglienza e dell’ascolto, la mensa e i suoi bisogni. Papa Francesco per primo ci ha indirizzato a viverla in questo senso pranzando in quel giorno con 1.500 poveri in sala Paolo VI.

Chi sono è poveri?

L’elenco dei “mille volti” della povertà è al centro del Messaggio per la Giornata mondiale dei poveri: dolore, emarginazione, sopruso, violenza, torture, prigionia e guerra, privazione della libertà e della dignità, ignoranza e analfabetismo, emergenza sanitaria e mancanza di lavoro, tratta e schiavitù, esilio e miseria. Verso di loro, spesso alziamo muri e recinti, pur di non vederli e non toccarli, dall’altro della nostra “ricchezza sfacciata”. Sono i poveri gli invitati in piazza San Pietro, insieme a tutti noi, chiamati da Papa Francesco alla “condivisione” per non amare a parole ma con i fatti, come Francesco d’Assisi con il lebbroso. I poveri, ammonisce il Papa nel Messaggio, non sono i semplici destinatari di una buona pratica di volontariato. Non si può restare indifferenti “alla povertà che inibisce lo spirito di iniziativa di tanti giovani, impedendo loro di trovare un lavoro; alla povertà che anestetizza il senso di responsabilità inducendo a preferire la delega e la ricerca di favoritismi; alla povertà che avvelena i pozzi della partecipazione e restringe gli spazi della professionalità umiliando così il merito di chi lavora e produce; a tutto questo occorre rispondere con una nuova visione della vita e della società”. L’invito alla prima Giornata mondiale dei poveri è rivolto a tutti, indipendentemente dall’appartenenza religiosa.

  Continue reading ‘La Prima Giornata Mondiale dei Poveri e i Servi di Maria’


By Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis will celebrate the Catholic Church’s first World Day of the Poor Nov. 19 by celebrating a morning Mass with people in need and those who assist them. After Mass, he will offer lunch to 500 people in the Vatican audience hall.

As the Year of Mercy was ending in November 2016, Pope Francis told people he wanted to set one day aside each year to underline everyone’s responsibility “to care for the true riches, which are the poor.”

The result was the World Day of the Poor, which is to be marked annually on the 33rd Sunday of ordinary time on the church’s liturgical calendar.

An admonition from St. John Chrysostom “remains ever timely,” Pope Francis said in a message for the 2017 celebration. He quoted the fifth-century theologian: “If you want to honor the body of Christ, do not scorn it when it is naked; do not honor the eucharistic Christ with silk vestments and then, leaving the church, neglect the other Christ suffering from cold and nakedness.”

The pope chose “Love not in word, but in deed” as the theme for 2017.

The Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization is coordinating the celebration and issued a resource book — available online at — that includes Scripture meditations, sample prayer services and suggestions for parishes and dioceses.

An obvious starting place, the council said, is to reach out “to places such as soup kitchens, shelters, prisons, hospitals, nursing homes, treatment centers, etc., so that the words of the pope could arrive to everyone at the same time on this day.”

Every parish and Catholic group, it said, should organize at least one practical initiative, such as “taking groceries to a needy family, offering a meal for the poor, purchasing equipment for elderly persons who are not self-sufficient, donating a vehicle to a family, or making a contribution to the Caritas fund for families.”

One of the primary goals of the day, the council said, is to help Catholics answer the question, “Who are ‘the poor’ today, and where are they around me, in the area in which I live?” and then to find ways to share and create relationships with them.

The resource book also offered 18 “saints and blesseds of charity of the 20th and 21st centuries” as examples. The list is led by St. Teresa of Kolkata, but also includes Blessed Oscar Romero of San Salvador and U.S. St. Katharine Drexel and Blessed Stanley Rother.


November 2018
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