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Sep 202017

God seeks true worshipers

Being a worshiper is something that requires so much fidelity, so much dedication, so much consecration that, sadly, there are few worshipers and even less true worshipers. “The spirit of the Lord rests upon me, because the Lord hath anointed me; he sent me to carry the glad tidings to the humble, to heal the sorrowful hearts, to proclaim redemption to the captives , and to the prisoners to liberty “(Isaiah 61: 1). The Spirit of the Lord rests upon us to do the same thing as the Holy Spirit did there at the beginning of creation, where everything was chaos; and as he landed there, He broughtpeace, and beauty. Where death was, life reigned. Creation emerged from there.

Photo: Daniel Mafra /
Often, we are in chaos and we live in this chaos, because we are human creatures made of clay. We are not yet the image and likeness of God. We are all being made still in the image and likeness of God, we are coming out of chaos to become God’s image and likeness. Our life is a time of transformation, and this brings suffering. Each of us has a part, and even in God’s design, each one of us is part of it.

You are unique and God is acting just for this, to make you unique, because only He knows how you are. We are so foolish, we want to be what we think we are, and worse, we want to be equal to everyone. God wants to make us the part he needs, it is no use to want to be like the others, we have to be the one that God wants us to be. For this piece to be formed, much suffering is needed.

The great truth is that as the Spirit hovered over that chaos, in the beginning, now also He hovers over us, for our work is not finished. We ask God to walk with us, but we are so ignorant that we do not even know which is the way. God is so merciful that He invites us to walk with Him, because He is the way. Faced with what the Word is telling us, the Lord requires, within us, an unconditional surrender. His will is not like our will, God’s will is the best for us. It was he who created us, it was not us who created us. It was He who loved us, and because He loved us, He chose us, He made us come to life and He made us unique. The Lord knows who we are and where we should go, where we will be placed. So, the smartest thing is to surrender unconditionally to Him. As Mary said, let’s also say, “Let Me be made according to Your word.” So that the Word may become flesh in us and from there, the Word may dwell among us.

God bless you!

Your brother,

Monsignor Jonas Abib
Founder of the Canção Nova Community

Sep 192017

It is Mary who will overcome the wicked, the blessed among women!

“Our Lady is here, I see her, yes, I see her walking through the corridors of her house,” said St. John Bosco.

The Blessed Virgin Mary is our Mother! And even when we do not recognize her, she looks after our needs. The greater the need, the more Mary becomes present in our life. If your home and your family are suffering from great problems, Our Lady is much more present in it than you think. Mary is constantly walking the rooms of her house; and God may work wonders, it is enough that one should believe in Him and have faith. She is our great example of this. We are in times of struggle between the Woman and the dragon (see Revelation 12: 1-18). That’s why we need to be with Mary, next to her. We need to be under her mantel. Even more: we must be in her womb, as Jesus was, right under her heart. She is the one who will overcome the evil one, the blessed among women! God bless you!

Your brother, Monsignor Jonas Abib
Founder of the Canção Nova Community

 Posted by at 01:01
Sep 182017



Forgiveness is essential for a lighter life

“… forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us …”

We pray this prayer every day, but are we practicing it? Jesus left us the prescription for the diseases of the soul, but we do not even realize it! Forgiveness is such a well-known word, but difficult to put into practice! Do you know how to forgive? Can you forgive?

Photo: KatarzynaBialasiewicz

I believe it is unnecessary to talk about forgiveness; but talking about what one lacks he or she is capable of doing better, though it is a common problem as well. However, it’s worth it. Forgiveness is an action, a decision, a choice, a true remedy for the soul. A feeling provoked by an issue in an interpersonal relationship, with the name of hurt, disgust, bitterness and resentment.

Relating is a demanding activity! It requires a stepping out of itself, constantly, because when we come into conflict with each other and even with ourselves, we can leave wounded, traumatized. Such traumas can produce unpleasant feelings that are hidden; and when they arise, they control the human being, making him angryangry and bitter with life and the people around him.

These feelings have the power of destruction. They are capable of developing psychosomatic illnesses that we can not even imagine. Heart problems, ulcer, depression, nodules and even tumors. These are physical illnesses, which can be caused by the difficulty of forgiving. It is as if the person imploded, that is, exploded into him/herself, for not being able to release the forgiveness.

Ask for and grant forgiveness

It is so interesting that we can speak of the need to ask for forgiveness and also the need to give forgiveness. Often we have difficulty receiving forgiveness. The person humbles himself, repents of what he has done, asks for forgiveness, but the other, so trapped in his emotions, bitterness, wounds and hurt, cannot forgive. This is also destructive, because the issue is not being able to overcome the feeling produced. If I hurt the other and can make the move to ask for forgiveness, I may be overcoming my harmful feelings. So it is with him who is able to forgive those who ask him.

Whatever destroys us are the feelings of hurt and resentment, not the acts of forgiving. And forgiving is our remedy, it is the way of liberation, for sorrow and resentment are feelings so harmful that they have the capacity for destruction, paralysis and regression. Let’s take the following path:

– Recognition: look at your feelings and recognize that you feel hurt, and this has paralyzed, sickened you;
– Decision: in the face of my paralysis and illness, I decide to leave this place;
– Action: take the initiative to ask for or receive forgiveness.

There is no way to live these three steps at the same time. However, one must strive to win one at a time by looking at the current situation and focusing on the place you want to reach, the release of the feelings that chafe and fall ill.

Why is it so important to forgive?

Forgiveness has the power of deliverance. It makes us leave ourselves, our pride, vanity and self-sufficiency; leads us to a path that makes us recognize that we are imperfect and human, but that we can always start over. Are you willing to ask for and give forgiveness, or are you going to cultivate feelings that can bring death? The choice will always be ours, for to forgive is to have the ability to free yourself from your worst feeling!

Aline Rodrigues

Aline Rodrigues is a missionary of the Canção Nova Community, in the segundo elo. She has been a psychologist since 2005, with specializations in the clinical and business areas. She has professional experience in clinical, business and teaching.

Sep 172017

What is the most anti-Christian thing you can say? You may think it is some form of blasphemy, or even some form denying that Christ exists and those would be anti-Christian. But I said what is the most anti-Christian thing you can say? What can you say that goes against the total core of Christianity?


What is the most anti-Christian thing you can say? You may think it is some form of blasphemy, or even some form denying that Christ exists and those would be anti-Christian. But I said what is the most anti-Christian thing you can say? What can you say that goes against the total core of Christianity?


It is this sentence. You offended me and I will not forgive you.


Forgiveness is the essence of Christianity. It is what Christ does for each and every one of us and demands that we do for others. It is the reason why he died on the cross so that your sins may be forgiven. In fact, as we see in the Gospel today it is the sine qua non of our salvation. If we do not forgive, we cannot be forgiven. This means forgiveness in all its forms.


It reminds me of the comedian who tells the story of giving a toll taker a twenty-dollar bill to pay a one dollar toll. The toll taker complained until the comedian pointed out that making change is what toll takers do, so how can he complain.


Forgiveness is what we do. It is the core of everything we do as Christians.


If you want to see how essential forgiveness is to the mission of the Church. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that forgiveness of sins is such a great power that priests and bishops have that not even angels have that power. It is the central ministry. Jesus died that all may be saved and they can only be saved through forgiveness. If we are to be Christlike, we are not just be nice to others, we must not just act in social justice, we must be in a ministry of forgiveness even of the one who did what we consider unforgivable.


You see, we often teach people that God forgives all sins, so if we are going to be Christlike, we must forgive all sins against us as well.


Here is how it goes with us. According to the law, anyone who violates so much as one modicum of the law is guilty of breaking the entire law of God. So unless one is sinless, he or she has no recourse but to be condemned to Hell. That is the spiritual law of the universe. Jesus, through his death and resurrection, is able to forgive our sins. He does not deny that they happened, but he releases us from the sentence that is incurred through our sins, provided we repent against them. This is what forgiveness is, it is not something that denies the offense occurs, but after someone repents of that offense, the punishment is suspended. We may ask for restitution in justice, but we do not demand our will in retribution. So when Aunt Mary says that the gift you give her is the stupidest thing she ever received and later she apologizes for being so callous you can ask for it back, or maybe encourage her to exchange the gift, but you cannot choose to never speak to her again. You are punishing her in your demand for your justice to fall upon her head.


The Catechism also teaches that this is a central ministry of families. It is in families when children are being brought up and even when couples are starting out that they learn the skill of forgiveness of each other so that they can be forgiving. Meanwhile the family grows in love, for forgiveness also helps us to grow in love. It is in fact a loving choice.


These are strong indications of what it means to be a Christian. Knowing the forgiveness of God through the sacrament and being forgiving of others.


We can be the most active Catholic on the planet, we can go to Church two three times a weekend. We can be involved in every ministry. We can fight against every injustice and speak up for every marginalized person in the world. However, if we are not forgiving offenses, then we are not being Catholic and we are not a shoe-in for salvation.


The parable speaks it well.


The first man who owes a huge amount of money, he actually owes in today’s dollars $8,077,800,000 which despite the servant promising to pay back it all is actually forgiven of the entire debt. You know and I know that there is no way anyone could pay back that debt.  Bill Gates could not even pay back that amount of money. I mention Bill Gates for a reason. He is the richest man in the world with over eighty six billion dollars. Taking all the money he has, according to Forbes Magazine, if he earned all that same amount of money every year, used it to pay the debt, all of it. It would take him 93 years to pay the king back. Obviously, we are talking about an amount of money that is more than anyone could pay back. This is what the king forgave the man who then owed nothing.


He then throttles the next servant who in today’s money would have owed a significant amount but even manageable. Basically in today’s money the cost would be a low model car: $13,346.


Each of our offenses against God are beyond our ability to make restitution, but He forgives our offenses completely, on the condition that we treat others the same way. If we do not forgive others, He will not forgive us, but if we do forgive others, He will forgive us.


How do we forgive when we find it virtually impossible. We pray for them to God, even offer the hurt they make against us as an offering to God. In time we will forgive, because even if the action is difficult the intention is there and the intention when we work with it, will give way to the action.  


Notice what Jesus also says, if we were to act like the first servant, we would be punished until we paid back the last penny, at the amount of money we are talking about, you can see that this is an eternity.


Forgiveness is the core of our faith; if we are not forgiving then we are in graver sin than anyone who has sinned against us. The exception is of those who do not want to be forgiven, then, as the gospel teaches, we still do not act in retribution, we just treat them like an outsider.



God bless you, 

Fr. Bob Carr

 Posted by at 06:41
Sep 152017

Saint Peter's Square from the dome v2.jpg
CC BY-SA 3.0,

Saint Irenaeus (dead 202 A.D.) has been teaching us where to find God’s Truth since the Second Century of existence of the Church:


“Being our trials of such big proportions, it is vain to look for the Truth elsewhere if you can easily find it in the Church, for the Apostles deposited the plenitude of the Truth in the Church, like in a rich big barn, so that everyone who yearns for the Truth can drink from the Source of Life in the Church. In Her you shall find the open door to Life; all other pathways are full of thieves and way layers. That is the reason why it is necessary to avoid these dangerous paths and to love dearly everything that belongs to the Church, thus keeping the sound heritage of the Truth (Against the heresies, book III, 1, 1-2, 1-3; 4-1).


Saint Irenaeus fiercely combated the Gnostic heretics. He often talked about the misfortune of those who forsake the Church:

“The preaching of the Church is firm and solid from all standpoints; it never changes and has the benefit of the testimony of Prophets, Apostles and Disciples. Their testimony comprehends beginning, middle and end, in other words, the totality of God’s economy and action, the foundation of our faith, which infallibly targets human salvation. That is the reason why we keep with zeal and care the faith we received from the Church, like a most precious treasure deposited in a most exquisite vessel. Under the influx of the Holy Spirit of God, this faith is incessantly renewed and incessantly renews its containing vessel.  For as the Divine breath was entrusted to the moulded clay, the same way “God’s Gift” (John 4, 10) was entrusted to the Church so that all Her members could share it and be revivified by this Gift. God put the communion with the Christ in the hands of the Church, in other words, God gave the Holy Spirit to the Church, a guarantee of incorruptibility, confirmation of our faith and the stairway of our ascension towards God:  ‘Some people God has designated in the church to be, first, apostles; second, prophets; third, teachers; then, mighty deeds; then, gifts of healing, assistance, administration, and varieties of tongues’ (The First Letter to the Corinthians 12, 28). The Church received from God everything She needs to co-operate with the action of the Holy Spirit. Those who refuse to join the Church are excluding themselves from the Holy Spirit and thus blocking real Life to nourish them through their false doctrines and depraved actions. For where the Church is, the Spirit of God is there as well and where the Spirit of God is, the Church and all the grace are there as well. Indeed, the Spirit is also the Truth. Consequently, those who do not participate in it are not being nourished and vivified by the breast of the Mother; those who cannot drink from the pure Source that springs from the Body of Christ ‘have dug themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that hold no water’ (Jeremiah 2, 13); they dig holes on the ground and they drink polluted water from the swamps.  They run away from the Church because they fear being unmasked and they reject the Spirit because they do not want to be instructed. They have become strangers to the Truth and therefore they are doomed to thrust themselves into all kinds of mistake: their mistakes will cause their downfall. They make the fatal mistake of having a different idea at each new moment about major issues and they lack a solid unchangeable doctrine. Rather than Disciples of the truth, they are sophists of words. They did not build their foundations on the Rock, but on sand, and sand full of brittle” (Against the Heresies, Book III, 24, 1).


Saint Epiphany (dead on 403 A.D.), great combatant against the heresies, follows the same line of Saint Irinaeus:


“There is One Real Pathway, the Catholic Church and only one pathway to the Truth. On the other hand, heresies have left the real pathways because they took wrong turns to the left or to the right: therefore they are abandoned to themselves and they gradually drown in their mistakes.

Alas, then, o servants of God and children of God’s Holy Church, who know the safe rules of faith! Do not allow the voices of strangers to lead you astray from the Church and do not allow them to mislead you with  false assumptions of the so-called sciences (Haer. 59, c. 12s).

Also Saint Vincent of Lerins (dead on 450 A.D.) also combated the Pelagian heresy and he affirms that:

“Asking diligently and attentively to numerous eminent authorities on sanctity and doctrine which safe norm I could use, as regular and generic as possible, to tell the truth of Catholic faith from the falsehood of heresy, that is the uniform answer they all gave me: those who want to find out the emerging fraud of the heretic, avoid their traps and stay safe and sound in faith, should shelter their own faith under double Divine protection: first under the authority of the Divine Law and second under the Tradition of the Church” (Commonitorium).

Professor Felipe Aquino


Professor Felipe Aquino is a widower, father of five children. On TV Canção Nova he presents the program “Escola da Fé” [School of faith] and “Pergunte e Responderemos” [Ask and respond], on Radio he presents the program “in the heart of the Church”. On weekends he preaches deepening meetings throughout Brazil and abroad. He wrote 73 books of Catholic background by publishers, Loyola and Cleopas and Canção Nova. His teacher’s Twitter: @pfelipeaquino

 Posted by at 01:01
Sep 142017

Simon Marmion David in prayer.jpg
graphic by Simon, Public Domain, Link

In times when we feel alone, God calls us into intimacy with Him

Psalm 141 is the hymn composed by David, when he was praying in the cave, to take refuge from the pursuit of King Saul. Often, we need to stop and, even on our own, know that God is with us. We must ask and beg for the Lord’s mercy.

The name of this Psalm is “Hour of the Testing”. What is the ordeal you go through? What is your greatest need? Give it now to God, whatever it is. Maybe you, like David, have to run. David had to take refuge in the cave because Saul wanted to kill him.

David felt abandoned, but there in the cave was his refuge, his assurance. There are moments in our lives when we feel lonely, without anybody, abandoned. At such times, God calls us into intimacy with Him.

The inner desert is the total stripping of oneself.

your brother,

Wellington Garden (Eto)
Co-founder of the Canção Nova Community and administrator of the FJPII

 Posted by at 01:01
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