It is Jesus that you seek when you dream of happiness; He is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you; He is the beauty to which you are so attracted; it is He who provoked you with that thirst for fullness that will not let you settle for compromise; it is He who urges you to shed that masks of a false life; it is He who reads in your heart your most genuine choices, the choices that others try to stifle. It is Jesus who stirs in you the desire to do something great with your lives, the will to follow an ideal, the refusal to allow yourselves to be ground down by mediocrity, the courage to commit yourselves humbly and patiently to improving yourselves and society, making the world more human and more fraternal.
In our own day, fasting seems to have lost something of its spiritual meaning, and has taken on, in a culture characterised by the search of material well-being, a therapeutic value for the care of one’s body.
Fasting certainly brings benefits to physical well-being, but for believers, it is, in the first place, a “therapy” to heal all that prevents them from conformity to the will of God. Through fasting and praying, we allow Him to come and satisfy the deepest hunger that we experience in the depths of our being: the hunger and thirst for God.
Pope Benedict XVI
With what hymns of praise shall we magnify the divinely-wise teachers: Cyril, who chose to live with wisdom in his youth, and multiplied his talents to the glory of God: and Methodius who renounced the things of this world for love of Christ? He strove like an angel for the Kingdom of heaven. Through them, we have come to know God, the eternal Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, receiving from Christ our God great mercy. From a Russian Orthodox Hymn
From November to March each year, 15 churches, including our own, participate in providing shelter to homeless people in Worthing. As we mark Homelessness Sunday, it is sobering to reflect that there has been a 173% increase in referrals to night shelters in the town since 2014. The guests attending the centres are offered a chance to understand the causes of their homelessness and attempt to overcome them.
The unity of all divided humanity is the will of God. For this reason he sent his Son, so that by dying and rising for us he might bestow on us the Spirit of love. On the eve of his sacrifice on the Cross, Jesus himself prayed to the Father for his disciples and for all those who believe in him, that they might be one, a living communion. This is the basis not only of the duty, but also of the responsibility before God and his plan, which falls to those who through Baptism become members of the Body of Christ, a Body in which the fullness of reconciliation and communion must be made present.
Ut unum sint, Pope St John Paul II, 1995
This week is the Week of prayer for Christian Unity
During prayer time, if the heart wanders or is distracted, bring it back to the point quite gently and replace it, again, tenderly in its Master’s presence. Even if you did nothing during the whole of your hour but bring your heart back and place it again in Our Lord’s presence, though it went away every time you brought it back, your hour would be very well employed.
Saint Francis de Sales (1567 – 1622)
Dear brothers and sisters, let us today contemplate Mary, ever-virgin Mother of the Only-Begotten Son of the Father; let us learn from her to welcome the Child who was born for us in Bethlehem. If we recognize in the Child born of her the Eternal Son of God and accept him as our one Saviour, we can be called and we really are children of God: sons and daughters in the Son.Pope Benedict XVI, 2008
St. Joseph’s mission is certainly unique and unrepeatable, as Jesus is absolutely unique. In
protecting Jesus, in teaching him how to grow in age, wisdom and grace, he is a model for
every educator, and in particular for every father. … I ask for you the grace to be ever
closer to your children: allow them to grow, but be close, close! They need you, your
presence, your closeness, your love. Be, for them, like St. Joseph: protectors of their
growth in age, wisdom and grace; guardians of their path, and educators: walk alongside
them.Pope Francis, 2014
“The liturgy of Advent … helps us to understand fully the value and meaning of the mystery of Christmas. It is not just about commemorating an historical event, which occurred some 2,000 years ago … Instead, it is necessary to understand that the whole of our life must be an ‘advent,’ a vigilant awaiting of the final coming of Christ. To predispose our minds to welcome the Lord … we must learn to recognize him as present in the events of daily life. Therefore, Advent is, so to speak, an intense training that directs us decisively toward him who already came, who will come, and who comes continuously.”
Pope St John Paul II, 2002
“It is by the path of love, which is charity, that God draws near to men and women, and men and women to God. But where charity is not found, God cannot dwell. If, then, we possess charity, we possess God, for ‘God is love’.” (1 John 4:8)
St Albert the Great, d.1280