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Jul 202018

Lucidity in the choices

Choices, when done with lucidity, can promote the qualification of personal life and the integral development of society. Freedom of choice is a right, but it is necessary to know the consequences of each decision. For this reason, it is not advisable that the choices should be made simply by 
conveniences. Neither should they be determined by the psychic and affective dynamics of individuals, as they impact on socio-political and cultural contexts. Thus, only the lucidity in the choices, fruit of the indispensable exercise of discernment, is capable of generating the necessary balance to the decisions directed towards the common good.

To ensure lucidity in choices, we need to cultivate discernment

Illustrative photo: XtockImages by Getty Images

And every process of discernment is complex. It reveals individual weaknesses, regardless of social, academic and economic conditions. Thus, the secret of good discernment lies in the human and spiritual competence to articulate concepts, information and to see, with greater clarity, reality. But in many situations, people are not able to discern well. Even more troubling is when individuals with large responsibilities are unprepared. Managers who have a duty to represent the people make inadequate choices, causing devastating impacts on society.

For this reason, it is necessary to choose these managers, specifically in the electoral process. Many submit their names to the suffrage of the ballot boxes moved exclusively by vanity. Worse, the presence in politics of people who seek to occupy positions only to serve private interests, or 
satisfy the desire to have the “power in the hands”. After all, the manager is expected to have a competent government in discernment and choices, prioritizing effectiveness in solving different problems without delays and losses. But, unfortunately, it is often found that they occupy strategic places without the slightest 
perception of their own responsibilities. Instead of presenting results, a prevailing gossip prevails with endless justifications.

New Leaders

This scenario is especially worrying nowadays, when institutions are challenged to remodel, adapting to contemporary reality. And in instances of power, those who represent the people, rather than offering solutions to the many problems, are more concerned with maintaining positions and privileges. They do not even dedicate themselves to the necessary exercise of self-criticism, essential for not repeating mistakes. Lack of lucidity. A pathology that threatens different institutions, submits to the disconnections and idiosyncrasies of its leaders.

Urgent is the emergence of new leaders, capable of leading processes with detachment and intelligence. Particularly, this is an unquestionable necessity for Brazil , which needs to rearticulate the course of democracy, so weakened by the management of those who have followed the paths of pettiness, instead of prioritizing the common good. In this sense, the Brazilian citizen is challenged to choose his representatives well in this year’s elections. Managers and legislators capable of perceiving the complex reality of the country must be sought.

Among the many challenges to be faced is, therefore, the qualification of the political community. The unique opportunity for this is voting at the polls. In order not to lose it, each person must choose his candidate lucidly, considering the proposals that really seek the good of society. Of the politicians, a clear understanding of the real importance of the people is expected, as the Social Doctrine of the Church teaches: people are not an amorphous multitude, an inert mass to be manipulated and instrumentalized, but a set of people with the right to form its own opinion about the public issues, to express its political sensibility and to assert it in a manner consistent with the common good.

It is not enough for politicians to ambitiously to take places in governance processes. We must intuit new ways. The starting point will always be cultivation-learning of discernment, to ensure lucidity in choices.

Translation: Subscribe to the Canção Nova YouTube channel


Archbishop Walmor Oliveira de Azevedo

The Metropolitan Archbishop of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Bishop Walmor Oliveira de Azevedo, holds a PhD in Biblical Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University. Current member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Congregation for the Eastern Churches. In Brazil, he is a reference bishop for the Catholic faithful of the Eastern Rite.

This is not an official translation, to see the original Portuguese column please click here

 Posted by at 01:01
Jul 132018

“I counted my years and I discovered that I will have less time to live from what I have lived until now.” (Mário de Andrade)

Since we do not know how much time we still have is how we come across time, increasingly lacking it .So the question, how inviolable is your time?

We have urgency in so many things, in solving problems, in finding people, in making money, in being recognized, in being promoted, in being understood, that we end up being threatened by a feeling of being without time for anything.

Are we aware that right now we can be investing in our time, or simply passing through it? Today, in this time that is ours, our future is being planted.

We need to allow healthy choices for our lives, for the time we have. Our life is a very brief second , said St. Therese of the babyChild Jesus. We only have today to love, to read a good book, to forgive, to listen to a good song, to tell the truth, to embrace whom we love, to love, to let ourselves be loved and to let ourselves be found by God: He who is the Lord of time .

Living is a challenge and we can not violate this wonderful gift. God has given us time for every thing and we need to enjoy it in the best possible way. We must not lose sight of the fact that our life on this earth is always the time to sow good seeds.

Photo Wesley Almeida

Today, you and I are called to do as in GPS, recalculate the route, give a new time for our time, for our life.

We cannot let life simply roll, we can ot let them throw seeds at us that destroy the “earth” of our heart, our existence. The world today is loaded with quick alternatives, but I have understood, it is necessary to live in time. How long have you been living today? They say that shortcuts do not always lead us somewhere.

Jesus in the gospel says, “If any of you want to build a tower, do you not sit first to calculate the expenses, to see if you have enough to finish?” (Luke 14:28).

We need to learn from Jesus, we must do the calculations, recalculate the route, sometimes have the courage to go back. Sometimes, to take a step forward and so on, successively. What is important, as my Father Founder Msgr. Jonas Abib says, is not to park.

For you who are a Christian, the cross that has been given to redemption is the cross of each day, we can not resist it. However, we can make it a way of life, truly fulfilled and happy. Without neglecting the challenges, the tribulations, the humiliations, the misunderstandings, but seeking to make of these times a strong time of encounter with the same people and with the God that takes care of us.

Let’s recalculate the route together? We still have time, this moment!

God bless you!

A hug,

Daniele Santos.

 Posted by at 01:01
Jul 112018

Jim Murphy prega durante o Encontro Nacional de Formação (ENF)

It is in Jesus, first of all, that our accomplishments are for a happy walk

Happiness is Jesus Christ.

Jesus says, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life” (Jn 14: 6). The Lord, today and always, is the way we must follow, the truth we must take and the life that gives us life. It is in Jesus, first, that our accomplishments are for a happy walk.

Thus, to walk happy is to walk with Jesus, because He is the fullness of everything that we seek in our life. If you are sad, depressed, discouraged, distressed, lost or even desperate today, the solution is to redirect your vision to Jesus. Now, if you are already in Christ and still remain meaningless and disoriented in your life, know that nothing and no one has the power to make you unhappy when there is a decision in you every moment for the true happiness that is Jesus.

Decide yourself, walk happily. On this journey, persevere in truth and in life, for to be in Jesus Christ, day after day, is to follow in happiness towards the heavenly homeland: Heaven.

God bless you 
Márcio Leandro

 Posted by at 01:01
Jul 092018

The love that heals me is the love I give

We were created to love! What often holds us back and leaves us in crisis is that we spend most of our time wanting to be loved, waiting for the love of people. The most interesting thing is that we want to be loved in the way we want. For this reason, we can not perceive people’s love for us; and with that we suffer.

Illustrative photo: martin-dm by Getty Images

That was how I behaved, and I lost a lot of my time wanting to be loved in my own way and in my own way. With that, I was frustrated. One day, I tried to change my strategy and I said to myself: “Everything I want to receive from people, everything I want people to do with me, I will do for them.”Then, I began to show people that I love them; and to show this love I used many concrete gestures. I have assumed this attitude in my life , and I have touched a different reality. Today, I always like to use the expression, “May the best of me be for my brother.”

With this theory, I have realized that the more I love, the more I show love, the more I am cured of my needs and I am becoming more and more a free person to love. I realize that God heals me every time I leave to go to meet the other, every time I leave my selfish world to be with the other, to manifest a gesture of love, presence and fellowship.

Let’s be open to love

This is an experience I make of healing love. It is this love that I give without expecting anything in return, of the love of which St. Paul speaks: everything believes, everything hopes, everything bears. A love that is patient and knows how to wait for the time of the other, that does not stop in the weaknesses and limitations of the other. That is how I am being healed, as I put myself to love.

Do not be afraid to leave yourself, to go to meet the other. God knows what you need, and He’s the one who loved us first. So rejoice when you open yourself to love, and loving to be healed to love more.

God bless you!

Ritinha, missionary of the Canção Nova Community

 Posted by at 01:01
Jul 062018

The human sciences and faith

We are living an intense moment of reflection on subjects related to human life, scientific research, biotechnologies, etc. A period of the advent of the humanities. Scientific advances, in many areas, give rise to ethical, religious and legal debates. The various sectors of public, judicial, religious, scientific and private power are mobilized in this debate. The human sciences continually increase the knowledge of individuals and human societies. This situation brings with it great problems and also great possibilities for coexistence and human survival.

Within this scenario of the great advance of the sciences, in the various fields, the questions that confront the scientifically possible and the ethically permissible will be more and more frequent.“Science and technology, precious resources of man when placed in his service and promote his integral development for the benefit of all, can not indicate alone the meaning of human existence and progress.” A key point highlighted by the Donum Vitae instruction , in the beginning, is the danger of “taking possession of one’s own destiny” and yielding to “the temptation to go beyond the limits of a reasonable domain of nature.” 1

What is the relation of the Word of God to the human sciences?

Illustrative photo: Wesley Almeida /

Faith and reason

The public debate is of great importance because the Church herself understands the need for clarification on the relation of the Word of God (the Bible) with the various sciences, that is, of faith with reason . The competence of the community to decide on the directions of the sciences should not be left only to scientists and politicians. The whole humanity must have its instances of participation.

One of the sectors most involved in this debate, and which receives more criticism is the Catholic Church. The Church is criticized by people and sectors of the community claiming dogmatism, imposition, arbitrariness, disrespect for freedom, intention to dominate the state. Many claim that the state is secular, so the Church should not “intrude”, and the Bible has nothing to say. After all, does the Bible say anything?

The Bible is not a science book, but it presents us with ethical-religious principles that illuminate the activities of the sciences. The Church in the light of the Word of God defends what we call the “natural law,” a law established by God by the order of creation, inscribed in the heart of man and always saying “do good and avoid evil .” Regardless of culture or the historical epoch, any action or law that contradicts God’s will written in the Bible is never lawful. The English philosopher Francis Bacon (1561-1626) went so far as to say, “A little science drives a man from God, but a great deal of science leads to God.” Science that is in dialogue with the Word of God manages to acquire the truth of knowledge with honest and lawful conclusions about life.

The sciences are at the service of humanity

When the Bible reports some “seemingly scientific” facts, it is not in its interest to be science, but to value reason, the intelligence of man. It will always give directions for actions in defense of the person and creation. It is necessary, on the part of the sciences, to have an attitude of humility to dialogue with the Bible and to recognize its limits. As the Catholic Magisterium points out, “not everything that is technically possible or achievable is ethically acceptable.” 2 The Church, inspired by the Word of God , has always expressed appreciation for the sciences and seeks in these, rational grounds for one’s faith, in the desire to integrate rational “evidences” and believing “convictions”.

Focusing on the relationship between the Bible and the sciences is to understand salvation in its entirety according to the Second Vatican Council: “It is the human person who must be saved. It is human society that must be renewed. It is, therefore, man considered in his unity and totality, body and soul, heart and consciousness, intelligence and will. “ 3

We affirm that scientific and technological progress serves the good of all mankind and its benefits can not be placed in favor of only a few. The sciences are at the service of humanity . Through the progress of the sciences and conformity to the plan of God, man contributes to the work of creation.As Pope John Paul II says, in order to avoid a “tragic division” between “humanist-literary-theological and scientific culture” and “encourage a greater dialogue between the Church, community of believers and the scientific community,” underlines the “pressing need for humanism”.

God entrusted man with the care of His creation

God created the world, also having consequently created human beings capable of participating in His creation. Thomas Aquinas states: “Since it is said that human beings were made in the image of God by virtue of having a nature that includes an intellect, such nature is in the image of God above all by virtue of being the one who can most imitate God “(ST Ia q 93, 4). The sciences, in respect to the natural law, law established by God, enables the human being this participation.

In the beginning of the Bible, God presents Himself as the Supreme Creator: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1: 1) revealing the biblical idea of ​​creationex nihilo (from nothing) and the actions developed by the Creator, to prepare the earth to produce and sustain life, entrusting to man the continuation of His creative work. For this reason, the Church has always had a great appreciation for the sciences, because the human being, “the only creature that God desired for himself”, 4 is the image and likeness of a God who created the world out of love and entrusted to man the care of creation in a responsible way, in the logic of gratuitousness, of love, of service, and not of dominion and arrogance.

The Catholic Magisterium affirms: “The man of today, considered both individually and collectively, is confronted each day with delicate moral problems that the development of the human sciences on the one hand and the globalization of communications, on the other hand, they constantly put into question, to the point that convicted believers also have the impression that some certainties of old are nullified. Think only of the different ways of approaching the ethics of violence , terrorism, war, immigration, sharing of wealth, respect for natural resources, life, work, sexuality, research in the genetic field, family or community life. Faced with this complex problem, in recent decades there may have been a temptation in moral theology to marginalize, in whole or in part, Scripture. What to do when the Bible does not give complete answers? And how to integrate the biblical data, when to elaborate a moral discourse on such questions it is necessary to resort to the lights of theological reflection, reason and science? This will now be our project. “ 5

Defend Life

The Church must not judge a priori the possible developments of the advances of the sciences, but maintain a constant dialogue with the scientific world in order to find out the possibilities, dangers and limits of this new stage that unfolds in the history of humanity. Therefore, there must be a kind of ethical surveillance in the technical-scientific sphere, with the intention of inhibiting any science that threatens or violates human dignity.

This does not mean, however, to impede scientific advancement in areas that will bring clear benefits to humanity. The Church, in the light of the Bible, must be attentive to the need to defend life in general and also the individualized life of each human being, with its own characteristics; to fight any and all science that directly injures life.

It is up to the Church to ensure that the benefits derived from the various sciences are not limited to a small portion of the privileged, but are within the reach of all humanity. The attitude of the Church is, and must always be, grounded in the Bible, to denounce with courage, frankness (parresia) every threat to life, everything contrary to the law established by God. The Church, aware of the Divine plan present in the Bible and conscious of her mission, is committed to defending the life that is hurt, attacked by a society that threatens it.


1 CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF FAITH. Donum Vitae: On the Respect to the nascent human life and the dignity of the procreation. Petrópolis: Vozes, 1987, Intr., 1. 
2 CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF FAITH. Donum Vitae: On the Respect to the nascent human life and the dignity of the procreation. Petrópolis: Vozes, 1987, p.16. 
3 CONC. ECUM. VATICAN II, Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et spes, n. 3. 
4 Cf. CONC. ECUM. VATICAN II, Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et spes, n. 24. 
5 PONTIFICAL BIBLICAL COMMISSION. Bible and Moral: Biblical Roots of Christian Action. São Paulo: Paulinas, 2009, n. 92.

 Posted by at 01:01
Jul 032018

Humanity is called to rely entirely on Divine Providence

Of course, you have heard that God sustains and guides all creation, accomplishing His will through Divine Providence. Thus, to live a life of holiness, it is necessary to rely entirely on it. But many still have doubts about what it is and how to live by it.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) defines Divine Providence as the dispositions by which God leads His creation in order to that perfection: “God guards and governs, by His providence, all that He created, striking with strength, from one end to the other. and everything else “(Wis. 8: 1), because” everything is naked and clear in their eyes “(Heb 4:13), even what” depends on the future free action of creatures “(CCC 302).

Illustrative photo: Wesley Almeida /

In this way, the Lord created man for holiness and, therefore, He never forsakes him; so it leads him, at every instant, to a final perfection still to be reached by the paths which only he knows.

On the other hand, even leading everything, He never removes the freedom of man, since he is not a puppet. “In God we live, move and exist” (Acts 17:28). He is present in all situations, even in painful occurrences and seemingly senseless events. He also writes right through the crooked lines of our life;what takes us and what gives us, all constitute occasions and signs of His will, affirms the Youcat (49).

To recognize, to trust in this total dependence on the Lord is a source of wisdom and freedom, of joy and trust (Wis. 11: 24-26). Jesus Himself recommended total abandonment to the heavenly providence, and He Himself witnesses with His life that the Lord cares for all things: “Do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ ‘What shall we drink?’ […] Well know your heavenly Father that you need all this. Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all the more shall be added unto you “(Mt 6, 31-33).

Why does not God avoid evil?

If God leads all things, then the question arises: Why does He not avoid evil?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “To this question, as pressing as it is inevitable, as painful as it is mysterious, it is not possible to give a quick and satisfactory answer. It is the Christian faith as a whole which is the answer to this question: the goodness of creation, the drama of sin, the patient love of God, who comes to mankind through his covenants, through the redemptive Incarnation of his Son, through the gift of the Spirit , by the union with the Church, by the force of the sacraments, by the call to the blessed life, to which the free creatures are invited beforehand, but which they can also deny by a terrible mystery. There is no detail of the Christian message which is not partly a response to the problem of evil “(CCC 309).

St. Thomas Aquinas affirmed, “God only allows evil to bring forth something better from him.” Now evil in the world is a dark and painful mystery, so incomprehensible; but we are sure that the Lord is one hundred percent good, He is never the author of something bad. He created the good world, though not yet perfected.

Read more: 

Looking at history, it is possible to discover that the Lord in his providence took a good from the consequences of an evil (even moral) caused by creatures: “No, it was not you,” says Joseph to his brethren, “that you have made me come on here. It was God. […] Thou hast preached against me evil: God’s purpose hath profited him for good … and a great nation was saved “(Gen 45,8; 50,20).

“From the greatest moral evil ever committed, as was the repudiation and death of the Son of God, caused by the sins of all men, God, by the superabundance of his grace, took away the greatest of possessions: the glorification of Christ and our redemption . But even so, evil does not turn into good. “(CIC 314).

Relying fully on Divine Providence

What is certain is that “everything works for the good of those who love God” (Rom 8:28). The testimony of the saints does not cease to confirm this truth: Saint Catherine of Siena said: “Everything proceeds from love, everything is ordered for the salvation of man and not for any other purpose.” St. Thomas Morus, shortly before his martyrdom, said these words: “Nothing can happen to me that God does not want. And whatever He wants, however bad it may seem to us, is indeed very good “(CCC 315).

Therefore, man is called to rely entirely on Divine Providence, for this is the means by which He leads, with wisdom and love, all creatures to their ultimate end, which is holiness, even though they know that paths of his providence are unknown. The answer to one who wishes to live a life in the will of the Lord is abandonment, for this is the command of God: “Cast all your troubles on the Lord, because He watches over you” (1 Pet.

Ricardo Gaiotti 
Lawyer, Ecclesiastical Judge and Master in Canon Law by the University of Salamanca (Spain) and Master in Civil Law by PUC-SP

 Posted by at 01:01
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