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Apr 042018
 

Translation: Faith Makes Us Stronger

God acts in all situations of our life, in fact, He takes care of us!

When we decide to follow Jesus, many persecute us. We do not need to fear those who persecute us, those who are against God, for these, as we know, are our declared “enemies.”

We must fear those who sit at table with us, go to Mass and spend all our time with us as “friends”, but they are false, the “false masters”, who poison us little by little.

It is good to know that a simple book can be a great richness for our life. Books God uses himself to prepare us well in every aspect of our life. They prepare us and enable us to live the way of thegood. Alone we can not do it; with our family and with our friends we will not be able to, but with the Word of God it is possible. Let’s make a proposal on this day. Take a Bible passage and meditate on it during the day. You will see that wonderful experience bears fruit. May the Lord bless you!
Your brother, Wellington Jardim (Eto)
Co-founder of the Canção Nova Community and administrator of the FJPII

 Posted by at 01:01
Apr 032018
 

VALINHOS-LOCA DO ANJOIn the most difficult hours I call out to Mary
Nothing we put in prayer is unanswered, for “the eyes of the Lord are turned to the righteous, his ears are attentive to his cry for help” (Ps 34:16).

Every child, at the time of difficulty, has the inclination to run to the mother or call her. I do the exercise of calling the name of Jesus many times during the day and, I confess, in the most difficult hours I call for Mary. I have become accustomed to asking: “Mary, go ahead of the situations that I have no control over, and of what I do not know how to take care of.”

I see Our Lady passing on to my problems and solving all situations. Let’s pray together that day: “Mary, go ahead to solve what I am unable to solve. Take care of what is not within my reach. You have the power to do this. Who can say that he was disappointed by you after he called you? ”

Luzia Santiago

Jesus I trust in you!
Co-founder of the Canção Nova Community

 Posted by at 01:01
Apr 022018
 

Missa da Vigília Pascal

A whole new life is possible. 

When Scripture tells us not to remember the “things of old,” it is not really a matter of forgetting, but of not living as slaves of events that are no longer there. We must stay with what was good and take advantage of even the mistakes made for our growth and maturity. It is, in fact, a new chance to start over and be born again by the grace of God. Yes! It is possible to have a whole new life, full of peace, courage and joy. A new beginning is possible at this very moment, because God is with us, because Jesus is alive and gives us His strength to start over. The difference is precisely here: if we used to rely on our energies, we can now begin again with the “power of God”, “by the power from on High,” which is the Holy Spirit. It is from this certainty that our hope springs; and hope renews the heart.

God bless you!

Your brother,

Monsignor Jonas Abib

Founder of the Canção Nova Community

 Posted by at 01:01
Apr 012018
 

Benção do Fogo e Santa Missa da Vigília Pascal

 

EASTER IS THE INVITATION TO RENEW OUR FAITH IN THE RESURRECTION SAYS ARCHBISHOP

Bishop Murilo Sebastião Ramos Krieger / Photo: CNBB

Salvador, Bahia, Brazil–In an Easter message, the Archbishop of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil affirms that the resurrection of Christ requires the act of faith of mankind
From the Canção Nova newsroom, with CNBB

In an Easter message, Archbishop Murilo Sebastião Ramos Krieger, archbishop of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil and vice-president of the National Conference of Brazilian Bishops (CNBB), invites Christians to renew their faith in the Risen One. According to the archbishop, Christ’s resurrection demands of mankind an act of faith. “Jesus called us to be privileged witnesses of his resurrection,” 

“We turned our gaze to the morning of the Passover and heard the words spoken to the pious women who had come to the Lord’s tomb addressed to us: ‘Do not be frightened! Do you seek Jesus from Nazareth, who was crucified? He is risen! “(Mark 16: 6). Our announcement of the resurrection becomes all the more alive as we approach these words, marked by simplicity: “He is risen!” Said Bishop Murilo.

In his reflection, the archbishop of Salvador emphasized that the resurrection of Christ, a fundamental event in Christian history, is the mark that God the Father placed on life and death. “It is his” Amen, “his” yes. ” By obeying and assuming death, Jesus said yes to the Father; raising him up, the Father said yes to the Son, constituting him Lord, “observed Bishop Murilo, who went on to affirm that just as God accepted the sacrifice of Jesus, so man can be saved as long as he accepts Jesus as Lord.

Finally, Archbishop Murilo prayed for the renewal of humanity’s faith in the Risen Jesus and recalled that the resurrection of Christ is the guarantee of the resurrection of those who give their lives to the Church, to the work and the effort to bring the Gospel to the world.

 Posted by at 01:01
Mar 302018
 

Quinta-feira Santa // AdoraçãoTHE PENITENTIAL RITE

Is every sin forgiven at Mass?

The sin confessed at the Mass helps us to celebrate the Eucharist better.
The Eucharist is the apex of the Christian life, for it is the memorial of Jesus’ sacrifice of love. Therefore, the man, who only finds his fulfillment in God, must celebrate this memorial with all love and zeal. For this, the penitential act collaborates and makes him or her recognize who s/he really is: a child who has sinned and needs love.

Illustrative photo: Wesley Almeida / cancaonova.com

Mass: union with Christ and forgiveness of sin
When the Christian participates in the Mass, he shares two tables: the table of the Word and the Eucharist. But just as before we do any meal we wash our hands for reasons of hygiene, the Christian is also called to “wash his hands” before attending this banquet, and this “washing his hands” is in the sense of asking forgiveness for his sins in the penitential act.

There is a motivation of the priest who says, “Let us therefore prepare ourselves to honor these holy mysteries with dignity, recognizing that we are sinners.” Thus, when the Christian recognizes that he is a sinner and asks for forgiveness, he washes the soul, celebrating with more dignity the mysteries of the Lord.

In the Mass the Christian is invited to join Christ more and to progress in his friendship with him. He is not destined to forgive sins, nor should it be confused with the sacrament of reconciliation (cf. CIC 1396). At Mass, God forgives our venial sins. Not that He is not able to forgive mortals, but as a father who does not give everything easy to the child, in order to educate him to true values, we must turn to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. For the Church teaches that “those who are conscious of a grave sin must receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation before receiving communion” (CCC 1386).

Sin: venial and mortal
Sin is a failure against true love for God and neighbor, because of a perverse attachment to certain goods (cf. CIC 1850). Venial sin is that act that does not deprive man of total friendship with God. Mortal sin, however, is the act by which man, with freedom and warning, rejects God. But “Christ instituted the sacrament of Penance for all sinful members of his Church, first of all for those who, after baptism, committed grave sin and thereby lost their baptismal grace and wounded the ecclesial communion. It is to them that the sacrament of Penance offers a new possibility of conversion and of recovering the grace of justification. The Fathers of the Church present this sacrament as the second tablet (of salvation) after the shipwreck which is the loss of grace “(CCC 1446).

Concerning mortal sin, St. John Paul II’s Encyclical “The Splendor of Truth” mentions the following: “Separating the fundamental option from concrete behavior means to contradict the substantial integrity or personal unity of the moral agent in his body and soul “(67). From this, John Paul II adds that some theologians say that “mortal sin, which separates man from God, would occur only in the rejection of God, made on a level of freedom that is not identifiable with an act of choice, nor reachable with reflex consciousness. In this sense, they add, it is difficult, at least psychologically, to accept the fact that a Christian, who wants to remain united to Jesus Christ and His Church, can commit mortal sins so easily and repeatedly, as would sometimes indicate the same matter of their acts “(69).

 

The meaning of the penitential rite
The Christian is invited to recognize his smallness, his limitation, his sinfulness in the penitential rite of the Mass. So God can come to meet you with His grace, for man is called to be the son of light. Saint Augustine affirms that “the confession of evil works is the beginning of good works, contributes to the truth and you can reach the light.”

In the Eucharist, man is raised to God and communion with him and with his brothers. The unity of the Mystical Body overcomes all human divisions: “All of you, being baptized into Christ, have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus “(Gal 3: 27-28).

 

Let’s not be afraid
There is also a rite of water sprinkling that replaces the penitential rite, because it recalls the baptismal covenant that is renewed at each Mass and recalls our commitment to baptized, accentuating our identity as a priestly people.

In the end,  in the course of history with sin, we always get our hands dirty; but do not be afraid to wash our hands, that is, our soul. Let us turn to the mercy of God, because at Mass we are forgiven of our venial sins and especially in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we are forgiven of all our sins. Thus, we partake worthily of the Banquet which He has prepared for us from the beginning.

Ricardo Cordeiro

 

Ricardo is a member of the Canção Nova Community. He Graduated in Philosophy from Canção Nova College, Cachoeira Paulista, São Paulo(SP). Bachelor of Theology from Dehoniana College, Taubaté (SP) and post-graduate in Bioethics at Canção Nova College.

 Posted by at 01:01
Mar 292018
 

Cardinal Seán O’Malley giving the homily to the soon to be new priests of the Archdiocese of Boston. Photo George Martell/Pilot Media Group. Creative Commons License some rights reserved.

When I was studying at Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen Seminary, there were of course no computers or internet. In fact there were no televisions or radios and very seldom was a seminarian allowed to make a telephone call. The one concession to modernity was the practice of showing a movie on the eve of big feast days, in part because we would not have to rise at 4:30 the next day. All the movies had something in common: John Wayne. The Dean of students was a very strict censor and was not about to let any worldly films corrupt his seminarians. John Wayne films were considered safe and appropriate.

Father Maurice’s diligence in screening the films puts me in mind of the pastor in the movie, Cinema Paradiso, which takes place in a village in Sicily a few decades ago. In Italy there are still many communities where the venue for the local cinema is the parish hall and is under the supervision of the priest. In Cinema Paradiso, the pastor would review the films ahead of time, and when he rang a little bell, that was a signal to the projectionist to stop the film and edit out the love scenes, which in those days consisted of a kiss. When the pictures were shown, the parishioners would routinely boo every time one of these spliced and edited scenes would be projected on the screen.

Father Maurice did not have to cut out any scenes, because in John Wayne movies there were no kisses. In contrast to John Wayne, the Catholic priest in the performance of his duties is called upon by the church to kiss on various significant occasions. Today as we gather to celebrate priesthood, I would like to reflect on some of the priests’ kisses. There are four kisses of the Catholic priest. The priest kisses the altar. The priest kisses the Gospel. The priest gives a kiss of peace to his people. The priest kisses the cross.

One of the principles of Catholic theology is lex orandi lex credendi. Literally: the law of praying is the law of believing. In other words, the liturgy reveals a lot about what we believe. Looking at the kiss in the liturgy helps us to discover those loves that define the heart of a priest.

The Altar

The celebration of Mass always begins with a priest drawing near to kiss the altar. This liturgical custom dates from the first centuries of the Church.

In our tradition the altar is a symbol of Christ, who is the rock, the cornerstone on which our Church is built. We describe Christ as being the priest, the victim, and the altar.

Hence, when the priest is about to kiss the altar, he is kissing Christ. The same gesture is repeated at the conclusion of the Eucharist.

The priest must be the friend of the Bridegroom, John the Baptist said: “I am not the Messiah, I am but the friend of the Bridegroom.” Yes, Jesus is the Bridegroom, never the widower. He does not exist separate from his Bride, the Church. Like John the Baptist, the priest must be the friend of the Bridegroom.

 

Photo credit: George Martell/Archdiocese of Boston

The basis for our ministry in life has to be our friendship with Christ. Kissing the altar cannot be a formalistic or empty gesture. It must betoken our attachment to Christ, our loyalty to him, our friendship.

In the liturgy of St. John Chrysostom before receiving Communion, the priest prays: “Of thy mystic supper receive me today, O Son of God, as a partaker; for I will not speak of the mystery to thine enemies; I will not kiss Thee as did Judas; but as the thief, I will confess Thee: “Lord, remember me in thy kingdom.”

Judas’s kiss was a lie. It did not betoken friendship and love for Christ, but rather love of power and money. The authentic priestly kiss is one that betokens self-emptying and renunciation for the sake of the Beloved. I always like to say that poverty does not always lead to love. But love always leads to poverty. Our love of Christ must lead us to embrace his kenosis.

As we renew our priestly vows today, let us be mindful of how these promises can deepen our friendship with Jesus. Our fidelity to prayer and to our commitment to celibacy can draw us closer to Christ, the High Priest and Bridegroom. Ironically enough, in today’s world where fewer people are getting married, more people attack the Church’s practice of celibacy.

Often times in our culture the avoidance of marriage is based on a will to live for oneself and therefore is a no to the bond of marriage. Celibacy is meant to be the opposite: it is a definitive yes. It is to give oneself into the hands of the Lord. And therefore, it is an act of loyalty and trust, and that also implies the fidelity of marriage. Celibacy is a sign of the presence of God in the world, a reminder that God is to be loved above all else. The pastoral life of the Church has benefited greatly from the generous availability of men and women who have embraced a vocation of celibacy.

I know of a wonderful, faith-filled, young couple who are both doctors and want to be missionaries. They asked me to suggest different missions where they might go to offer their gifts and serve the poor. I put them in touch with bishops in Papua New Guinea and in Paraguay. In the end they came to me and said it would be impossible for them to go to those countries because they want to have children and they worried about zika. I certainly understand the logic.

When I was in seminary and three of my classmates left for Papua New Guinea, they were told: “you are going to get malaria, dengue, leeches, and fleas. Not necessarily in that order, but you will get them all.” I daresay if my classmates had wives and children, they would have had to think long and hard before answering the call to go to Papua New Guinea.

Our celibacy is to make us even more available to love Christ and service people. Theologically it is meant to be the sign of Jonah, the sign of the Resurrection. That we are all called to live forever and therefore it is not necessary for everyone to have children in order to live on in their posterity.

A priest is above all, a friend of Christ. Our love for Him is what draws us to our vocation and allows us to find meaning and purpose in our ministry. We kiss the altar as we approach and we kiss it as we leave, just as a husband kisses his wife when he comes home and kisses her when he leaves.

In the Maronite liturgy there is a beautiful apostrophe the priest addresses to the altar before leaving at the end of Mass. The priest says:

“Remain in peace, O holy altar of God. I hope to return to you in peace. May the offering I have received from you forgive me my sins and prepare me to stand blameless before the throne of Christ. I know not whether I shall be able to return to you again to offer sacrifice. Guard me, O Lord, and protect your Holy Church, that she may be the way to salvation and the light of the world. Amen.”

And when a Maronite priest dies, his brother priests carry the coffin, walking around the altar praying this prayer of farewell to the altar.

Gospel Book

The next kiss a priest bestows is after the proclamation of the Gospel. He kisses the Word of God as he prays: “Per evangelica dicta deleantur nostra delicta.” “May the reading of the Gospel cleanse me of my sins.”

The priest is a man of the Gospel. Jesus’ words and actions are what must mold the priest’s heart so that he may become an icon of the Good Shepherd.

In today’s Gospel Jesus tells us that He has been anointed to announce the Gospel to the poor and the downtrodden. We priests are also anointed to be heralds of the same Gospel. We are ordained to be missionaries on fire with the desire to share the good news with everyone. Christ has called us to be fishers of men and too often we are keepers of the aquarium.

We must meditate on the Gospels frequently so that the words and the inflections of the voice of the Good Shepherd become our own. Our role as preacher and teacher is crucial. We must be constantly preparing for this responsibility by our life of prayer, study, and reflection. Everything a priest does should teach the Gospel. Our words, our actions, our attitudes. Being a missionary is born of a constant struggle to deepen our own conversion; so that like the Baptist we can say, I must decrease, He must increase.

Kiss of Peace

Having kissed the Altar, and the Gospels, the next kiss is bestowed on the Bride of Christ, the People of God, our brothers and sisters whom we are called to serve. We must love our people and share their life. It is not a matter of being popular, but of being a spiritual father.

In the film Ryan’s Daughter, there is a touching portrayal of a parish Priest, Father Hugh Collins, who demonstrates such concern for his people in an Irish village during the uprising. His constant companion is a man who is developmentally challenged, Michael. When the village rises up against Rosy Ryan, accusing her of being a collaborator with the British, they beat her and cut off her hair. It is her pastor who protects and consoles her. As priests we need to have a special love for those on the margins, on the periphery as Pope Francis is wont to say.

We need to love our people and help them find meaning in life, to discover their purpose and embrace their mission. We must emulate the Curé of Ars who used to pray to the Lord: “Grant me the conversion of my parish, and I accept to suffer all you wish for the rest of my life.” St. John Vianney did everything he could to pull people away from their own lukewarm attitude in order to lead them back to love.

The Kiss of Peace is part of the liturgy from the earliest centuries and is a stark reminder that we are priests not for ourselves, but for our people. We must love them as the Good Shepherd who lays down His life. It is only when they know that we love them that they be willing to listen to us and accept our message.

Yes, even the message of the Gospel can be rejected because of the messenger who does not know how to communicate the Gospel with love, with a kiss.

The Cross

The last kiss is at the veneration of the Cross which is part of the Good Friday service.

We live in a culture that sees pain and suffering as the greatest evil. This attitude has helped spur the opiate crisis. We are often like Peter who tries to keep Jesus from even talking about the Cross. Jesus rebukes St. Peter: “Get behind me Satan. Thou savorest of the things of men and not of God.” And like Peter we often flee from Gethsemane and Calvary.

To savor the Cross is to savor the things of God. At our ordinations we all received the chalice and paten as the Bishop said: “Understand what you do, imitate what you celebrate, and conform your life to the mystery of the Lord’s Cross.”

On the Cross Jesus is offering Himself with the very compassion that transforms the suffering of the world into a cry to the Father. We must learn to accept more profoundly the sufferings of pastoral life which is entering into the mystery of Christ. Rejection of the cross breeds mediocrity.

On Good Friday the Bishop and Priests are invited to kiss the Cross first, to give our people an example of faithful discipleship that takes up the Cross each day to follow Christ our Master.

I am also mindful that when a man is installed as a bishop, the first thing the Church demands of him is to kiss the Cross.  Indeed when I think of my own installation here in the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, everything is kind of a blur. On that fateful day, I entered the Church passing through demonstrators and a crowd of reporters. Then, following the ancient ritual, I banged on the door with the crosier and stepped into a packed Cathedral. I was in a daze. However, I can still hear plainly the voice of a Master of Ceremonies, trying to rouse me from a state of stupor, saying in a stage whisper: “Kiss the Cross!” Outside there was so much turmoil. The love and faith of the people in the cathedral gave me the courage to kiss the cross.  

Jesus didn’t suffer and die so that we wouldn’t have to. He suffered and died in order to endow our sufferings with the redemptive value, something they would never possess on their own. He suffered and died in order to invest his love with us. He did this so that our love, while not diminishing our suffering or sparing us from pain, will transform pain into holy passion, suffering into sacrifice. 

 

Yet it is not the magnitude of Christ’s suffering that saved us, but rather the magnitude of His love. Love turned His suffering into an offering at the Last Supper, and that love is the Eucharist. It is the Eucharist that transforms Calvary into a sacrifice rather than merely an execution. There the Cross of Jesus turned death upside down. Death is the moment we usually associate with loss of life, but Jesus made it the occasion of giving life. Jesus gave His life freely and fully. He transformed it into a gift, a prayer, and a sacrifice.

As we continue to kiss the Altar, the Gospel, the People of God and the Cross, let us not allow our kisses to be routine or perfunctory, but rather let our kiss be a striking gesture of the profound loves that define us as Catholic priests. 

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Photo credit: George Martell/Archdiocese of Boston

Photo credit: George Martell/Archdiocese of Boston

About the Archdiocese of Boston: The Diocese of Boston was founded on April 8, 1808 and was elevated to Archdiocese in 1875. Currently serving the needs of 1.8 million Catholics, the Archdiocese of Boston is an ethnically diverse and spiritually enriching faith community consisting of 286 parishes, across 144 communities, educating approximately 36,000 students in its Catholic schools and 156,000 in religious education classes each year, ministering to the needs of 200,000 individuals through its pastoral and social service outreach.  Mass is celebrated in nearly twenty different languages each week. For more information, please visit  www.BostonCatholic.org.

 
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