2cornucopias

Posts Tagged ‘Friendship’

The Church is God’s Call to Be Part of His Family

In Uncategorized on 2014/09/05 at 12:00 AM

 “A mystery,” Pope Francis said, “that we all live and in which we all take part.” The Pope, who will discuss this topic in light of Vatican Council II texts, began from the parable of the prodigal son that illustrates God’s plan for humanity.

In spite of the rain that suddenly fell on Rome this morning, Francis followed his custom of winding through St. Peter’s Square in the Popemobile, greeting the tens of thousands of people present and, before beginning his catechesis, he joked with them, praising their endurance in spite of the inclement weather.

In his teaching, the Holy Father explained that God’s plan is “to make of all of us one family of his children, [a family] in which each one feels close to and loved by him … feels the warmth of being the family of God. The Church—not an organization born out of an agreement between some persons but … the work of God, born of this love and progressively built in history—has her origin in this great plan.”

The Church, the pontiff explained, “is born of God’s desire to call all men and women to communion with him, to friendship with him, even further, to participate as his children in his very divinity. The word ‘Church’ itself, from the Greek ‘ekklesia’, means ‘convocation’. God calls us, urges us to leave selfishness behind, the tendency to be wrapped up in oneself, and calls us to be part of his family. This call has its origins in creation itself. God created us so that we might live a relationship of profound friendship with him and, when sin cut off that relationship with him, with others, and with creation, God did not abandon us. The entire story of salvation is the story of God seeking humans, offering us his love, gathering us to him. He called Abraham to be the father of many; He chose the people of Israel to forge a covenant that embraces all peoples; and he sent, in the fullness of time, his Son so that his plan of love and salvation might be fulfilled in a new and eternal covenant with all of humanity.”

“When we read the Gospel we see that Jesus gathers a small community around him that welcomes his word, follows it, shares his journey, becomes his family. And with this community He prepares and builds his Church.” It is a Church whose origin lies in the “supreme act of love on the Cross, in Jesus’ opened side from which flow blood and water, symbol of the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Baptism. In the family of God, in the Church, the lifeblood is God’s love that is made concrete in loving him and others, all, without distinction or limits. The Church is a family in which we love and are loved.” The Church is made manifest, as on Pentecost, “when the gift of the Holy Spirit fills the hearts of the Apostles and compels them to go out and begin the journey to proclaim the Gospel, to spread God’s love.”

The Pope observed that, even today, “there are some who say: ‘Christ yes, the Church no’. Like those who say: ‘I believe in God, but not in the priests’. But it is precisely the Church that brings us Christ and brings us to God. The Church is the great family of the children of God. Of course it also has human aspects. there are defects, imperfections, and sins in those who make her up, pastors and faithful. Even the Pope has them, and many. But what is beautiful is that, when we realize that we are sinners we encounter the mercy of God who always forgives. He never forgets us. He gathers us up in his love of forgiveness and mercy. Some say that sin is an offence against God, but it is also an opportunity for the humility to realize that there is something better: God’s mercy. Let’s think about this.”

“How much do I love the Church? Do I pray for her? Do I feel part of the family of the Church? What am I doing to make it a community in which everyone feels welcomed and understood, feels God’s mercy and love that renews life? Faith is a gift and an act that has to do with us personally, but God calls us to live our faith together, as a family, as the Church.”

“Let us ask the Lord, particularly in this Year of Faith, that our communities, that all the Church, be ever more truly families that live and bring the warmth of God,” the Holy Father concluded.

VIS 130529

Advertisements

“It’s not enough to be good; you need to show it”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2012/02/21 at 9:11 AM

It’s not enough to be good; you need to show it. What would you say of a rose bush which produced only thorns? (Furrow, 735)

You understood the meaning of friendship when you began to feel that you were like the shepherd of a little flock which you had left abandoned, but were now trying to gather together again, taking it upon yourself to serve each one of them. (Furrow, 730)

You cannot just be passive. You have to become a real friend of your friends. You can help them first with the example of your behavior and then with your advice and with the influence that a close friendship provides. (Furrow, 731)

Meditate upon this carefully and act accordingly: people who think you are unpleasant will stop thinking that when they realize that you really like them. It is up to you. (Furrow, 734)

You consider yourself a friend because you say nothing bad. That is true, but I see in you no sign of giving good example or service. This kind make the worst friends. (Furrow, 740)

“The great Friend who never lets you down”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2011/12/06 at 11:09 PM
You seek the company of friends who, with their conversation and affection, with their friendship, make the exile of this world more bearable for you. There is nothing wrong with that, although friends sometimes let you down. But how is it you don’t frequent daily with greater intensity the company, the conversation, of the great Friend, who never lets you down? (The Way, 88)

Our life belongs to God. We are here to spend it in his service, concerning ourselves generously with souls, showing, through our words and our example, the extent of the Christian dedication that is expected of us.

Jesus expects us to nourish the desire to acquire this knowledge, so that he can repeat to us: “If anyone thirst, let him come to me and drink” [1]. And we answer: teach us to forget ourselves, so that we may concern ourselves with you and with all souls. In this way, our Lord will lead us forward with his grace, just as when we were learning to write. Do you remember that childish scrawl, guided by the teacher’s hand? And we will begin to taste the joy of showing our faith, which is yet another gift from God, and showing it with clear strokes of Christian conduct, in which all will be able to read the wonders of God.

He is our friend, the Friend: “I have called you friends” [2], he says. He calls us his friends; and he is the one who took the first step, because he loved us first. Still, he does not impose his love — he offers it. He shows it with the clearest possible sign: “Greater love than this no one has, that one lay down his life for his friends” [3]. He was Lazarus’ friend. He wept for him when he saw him dead, and he raised him from the dead. If he sees us cold, unwilling, rigid perhaps with the stiffness of a dying interior life, his tears will be our life — ”I say to you, my friend, arise and walk” [4], leave that narrow life which is no life at all. (Christ is passing by, 93)

[1] John 7:37
[2] John 15:15: Vos autem dixi amicos
[3] John 15:13
[4] Cf John 11:43; Luke 5:24 [Top]

“May I never cease to practice charity”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2011/11/16 at 9:11 AM

It is impossible to love God with perfection, and at the same time to let yourself be ruled by selfishness – or by apathy – in your dealings with your neighbor. (Furrow, 745)

True friendship also means making a heartfelt effort to understand the convictions of our friends, even though we may never come to share them or accept them. (Furrow, 746)

Never allow weeds to grow on the path of friendship. Be loyal. (Furrow, 747)

Let us make a firm resolution about our friendships. In my thoughts, words and deeds towards my neighbor, whoever he may be, may I not behave as I have done up to now. That is to say, may I never cease to practice charity, or allow indifference to enter my soul. (Furrow, 748)

Your charity must be adapted and tailored to the needs of others, not to yours. (Furrow, 749)

Being children of God transforms us into something that goes far beyond our being people who merely put up with each other. Listen to what the Lord says:  We are friends who, like him, give our lives for each other, when heroism is needed and throughout our ordinary lives. (Furrow, 750)