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Aug 152018
 

Celibacy and marriage are two different but not opposed vocations.

The sixth commandment of God’s Law is to keep chastity in words and deeds. Its scope also includes the discovery of the meaning and value of consecrated celibacy, and it implies living by those who have received such a divine gift. 

There is, however, another phenomenon in our society that makes it difficult to recognize the value of consecrated celibacy: the growing number of people, men and women living unmarried for reasons of personal independence or dedication to a cause for which they are passionate and it absords them. Disinterest in marriage may also be motivated by a lack of attraction to the other sex, not believing in marriage, some immaturity, or fear of making definite commitments. In these motivations comes the increasing difficulty of establishing mature and stable affective relationships on the part of many people.

What difference is there between the Christian life in celibacy and these human situations, chosen or involuntary? The outer form of life may be similar, but the motivation, the spirit, and the purpose are very different.

The vocation to celibacy is an option of Christ-oriented love

Illustrative photo: Paula Dizaró / cancaonova.com

We can distinguish three ways of living celibacy by Christian believers:

When the Christian faithful discover in their status as a celibate a vocation to God and accept it of their own free will, their celibate life can become an assumed and valued vocation. One can then, as the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) says,live “his situation in the spirit of the beatitudes, serving God and his neighbor in an exemplary way” (no. 1658). This form of life may not be definitive, and the person can be called to marriage at any age.

They definitively assume celibacy for the Kingdom of Heaven, those who consecrate their lives totally to God and, therefore, renounce marriage. This choice results from the perception of the love of Christ and his call, positively reciprocated in a growing relationship of love for him. In this case, the motivation for celibacy is theological and charismatic, it is a divine grace that the person has received and which freely corresponds with the total surrender of oneself to God.

Another form is priestly celibacy. This, in a sense, unites the two previous forms: on the one hand, it results from the fact that the person feels the vocation for the sacred ministry; on the other hand, corresponds to a surrender of oneself to the service of the Kingdom of God. The motivation is markedly apostolic, but based on theological and charismatic reasons. The Catechism says: sacred ministers “Called to consecrate themselves with undivided heart to the Lord and to “the affairs of the Lord,” they give themselves entirely to God and to men. Celibacy is a sign of this new life to the service of which the Church’s minister is consecrated; accepted with a joyous heart celibacy radiantly proclaims the Reign of God “(No. 1579, cf. 1599).

Vocation to love and communion

Like marriage, celibate life is also the fulfillment of the vocation to love and the communion to which all are called. Responding to such a vocation inscribed in his own being, the human person realizes his condition and dignity of image and likeness of God, that “it is love and lives in itself a mystery of personal communion of love” (CCC, 2331). There can be no celibate option that is not motivated by love of God and neighbor. Even in the first way outlined above, if a person assumes his condition as God’s will, he can not but direct his life by love, opening himself to an ever deeper relationship of communion and service.

Being a response to the vocation to love, celibate life does not mean disdain or a negative view of sexuality. This, as the Catechism states, “affects all aspects of the human person, in the unity of his body and his soul. It concerns, in particular, affection, the capacity to love and to procreate, and, more generally, the ability to create bonds of communion with others “(CCC, 2332). By choosing celibacy, one renounces a way of living sexuality , to surrender to God “with an undivided heart” (CCC, 2349). It redirects the sexual drive and energy, giving it another meaning and purpose, for a spiritual fecundity. Like Christ, the celibate also delivers his body, and his whole being, out of love for God and for humanity. In this total gift, through an oblative love, he lives the chastity proper to his condition.

Love option

Celibacy, like marriage, implies a life of relationship with others and not of solitude, it is a path to maturity and not deprivation. It is the expression of a freely given self-giving and not the result of any frustration or disappointment in the affective relationship. It also implies a certain experience of sexuality: not in physical union, nor in narcissistic self-satisfaction or in the search for reciprocal pleasure and expression of mutual affection, but in its spiritual sublimation through self-control. This personal liberty is a condition for making a total and definitive gift to God, raised by the grace received from Him. The celibate renounces: “to physical intimacy in order to a more perfect availability”; “To the human warmth of a family , to become the father or mother of humanity”; “To the continuation of life in their own children for a life that has no end, the life of God in people” (E. Pepe).

Life in celibacy is an option of love.

Life in celibacy is therefore also an option of love, but Christ-oriented. The person gives to himself, not to a person of the other sex with whom he has established bonds of affection, but to the Christ in whom he believes and for whom he believes to be loved. His surrender means taking over a life that is renewed by Christ and pierced by the power of the Spirit. The person donates himself in all his being, also in the physical dimension, but he does it in a different way from the one that is lived in the matrimony.

There is a text by Chiara Lubich that speaks of chastity as “to dilate the heart according to the measure of the heart of Jesus”. By doing so, one strives to love each brother ‘as Jesus loves him’. The author calls this the “chastity of God.” By choosing celibacy for having felt the great love of Christ for him, the faithful Christian strives to live the love according to the measure and measure of Christ. For him, love for Christ and for his brothers is one and the same love. And it is always about loving for Jesus, for a grace that comes from Him. It is a love to all, universal, but lived in the bestowal one by one, that is, to the one I meet, who passes through my life. Here is the originality of love in the celibate person, which is different, therefore, from conjugal love. This always passes through the human expressions of sexuality and tenderness.

Read more: 
:: How can parents help their children discover their vocation? 
:: Young doctor confirms professional vocation at Canção Nova 
:: God calls every man to holiness 
:: What can I do to become a member of the Canção Nova Community?

Links above are translated from Portuguese through Google translate

Generate life in the spiritual dimension

Giving freely of oneself to the other, faithfully, as Jesus loves, is what makes love pure and chaste, both in married and celibate life. In the first, the physical expressions of love do not degrade it; in the second, you do not have to choke your heart or repress love, for you will always find beautiful expressions to love your neighbor in a concrete and sensitive way. In the first case, love always unites those who live it and narrows the bonds between people. It is lived in mutual giving and welcoming. In the celibate, love does not hold, but it liberates, it is lived in generosity and detachment, it makes the person gift to others without waiting for compensation.

The love of the celibate is also to be fruitful, to generate life not in the physical sense, but in the spiritual dimension. Through love, celibacy generates the life of Jesus in the souls he meets, creates spiritual bonds with people and can even exercise a spiritual fatherhood, making them feel regenerated, receiving a new life: that of God. In this way, it also enriches humanity , contributes to its qualitative and spiritual growth.

Whoever is called to celibacy, consecrating his life to God, renounces married life. It almost fulfills the word of Jesus: “Whosoever shall not forsake all that he has, can not be my disciple” (Lk. 14:33). He renounces genital sexuality, the relation of affection with another person, to fatherhood or biological maternity, to constituting his family, to detach himself from everything and from every person, to follow Christ more closely and to live a special communion with him. From this relationship, in the Holy Spirit, through love, a new family, the Christian fraternity, which can take on multiple forms and which translates into the life of the Christian community and its variety, will emerge. If you do not generate the community of the sons and daughters of God, celibacy becomes unhealthy. Without paternity or spiritual motherhood, the celibate runs the risk of becoming sterile and experiencing the sense of loss, frustration, incompleteness, failure to reach fullness.

Personal freedom

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Mt 5, 8). The celibate, who assumes his vocation freely and lives it faithfully in an unconditional gift to God, in love and generous service to his brothers, truly experiences happiness and truly “sees” God in his life. He left everything for the Lord and nothing is lacking. He renounced constituting a family and lives surrounded by brothers and brothers, of sons and daughters, in a great spiritual family reunited in the love of Christ.

His life is very different from that of many fashionable singles, centering on themselves and their pleasures, generating and managing solitude, which produces a void of soul and boredom. Living in celibacy, preserving the chastity of the heart, requires effort to correspond to the grace of one’s own vocation. First and foremost, care must be taken to maintain and consolidate personal liberty, to love ever more, and to maintain vigilance over all situations that may call into question. And, in the face of limits and failures, the celibate will embrace the cross and begin again in the commitment for fidelity in love. The relationship with God, ever deeper, cultivated in prayer, and a healthy fraternal communion, helps us to remain faithful in the very giving of love.

Celibacy and marriage are two different but uncontested vocations. Celibate and married, happy in their vocation, should be a stimulus and help to each other, sharing their own gift, recognizing and cherishing that of others, in an ecclesial communion operated by the Holy Spirit .

Father Jorge Manuel Faria Guarda

Jul 232018
 

The Lord is speaking, but we do not want to hear Him
Today, young peopleare like sheep without a shepherd . But this is not because of lack of pastors in the Church, because we have many bishops and priests.

When we think of a flock of sheep, we soon imagine a beautiful field, where the sheep graze, and a shepherd is sitting in the shade of the trees tending them.

In the time of Christ, He presented Himself as the “Good Shepherd”, because He had compassion on the people, since the ones the Jews considered shepherds, the chief priests and the lawyers, were not caring for the flock. Thus the flock suffered attacks from the wolves and, Jesus, was willing to lay down His life for His “sheep.”

Listen to the Good Shepherd
My brethren, if we do not hear the voice of the Good Shepherd, we will be carried by the wolf, that is, by Satan.

The failure to listen to the Good Shepherd began from the lie told to Eve in Paradise. One fine day, Eve talked to the serpent in the Garden of Eden. The serpent advised Eve to eat the forbidden fruit, but God had already instructed her not to eat it. Eve believed the serpent’s lie and this was because she would not listen to the Lord.

Disobedience to God
According to Sacred Scripture, Satan is the father of lies. Therefore, when we listen to Him and fail to hear the Word of God, out of pure rebelliousness, we fall into the serpent’s lie. This lie leads us from death to death, from disgrace to disgrace.

The herd without a shepherd
God is speaking, but the servants do not want to listen to Him. They prefer to listen to wolves and therefore become sheep without a shepherd. Often, it is only with the experience of bad situations that we come to hear the Lord.

Jesus the Good Shepherd
To hear the voice of Christ, we must stop running from the voice that sounds in our heart.

Just as the Father is love, we must love and be loved. Only really loves those who do not give up on each other.

We need to help each other to go to Heaven.

Fr. Paulo Ricardo Azevedo

Aug 312017
 

The Lord’s gaze is upon those who fear Him and wait on Him

Waiting and trusting is our salvation!

Today I want to begin with the Word of God: “The eye of the Lord watches over him who fears him, on whom he expects in his grace” (Psalm 33:18). This is a word of hope that comes from God, because He is wonderful and will change everything that is wrong in our life. But we have to be intimate with Him, and for that to happen, we need to pray. Have you been praying lately?

Before God, we can not keep our heads down, as if we were defeated. When we have a garden, we can plant beautiful roses or dig a grave, it will depend on us. The optimist plants the roses; The pessimist, without hope, digs his own grave and looks at it every day.

We trust in the Lord, so we need to assume our identity as children of God and wait on Him, the Lord’s gaze is upon those who fear Him and wait on Him. My brother, the Lord is looking at your pain, at your life, your problem, so decide today to plant roses in your garden and wait with confidence in the Lord.

His brother,

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

Portuguese version

Aug 302017
 

Monsenhor Jonas Abib celebra missa em comemoração aos 35 anos da Fundação João Paulo II

“Whosoever believeth in him shall not be ashamed” (Rom 10:11)

Each day, the Lord points the way for our lives, and we need to be attentive to it. One day is never the same as the other, even if we want it.

How good it is to wake up and then deliver our day to the Lord in prayer so that He will lead us! When we put our trust in God, we are never disoriented and confused because He takes our heart’s desires seriously. The Word of God assures us of this. Yes, whoever trusts in Him will not fail.Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

We need not be afraid to give Jesus our life, because it is from Him comes what hope. Let us say many times on this day: “Jesus is my victory!”

Jesus I trust in you!

Luzia Santiago

Co-founder of the Canção Nova Community

Portuguese version

Aug 282017
 

Monsenhor Jonas Abib celebra missa em comemoração aos 35 anos da Fundação João Paulo II

In the freedom we have, we set the example and do not follow the bad inclinations of this world

“Jesus asked, ‘Simon, what do you think: The kings of the earth charge taxes or fees from whom? From the children or from the strangers? Peter answered, ‘Of strangers!’ Then Jesus said, ‘Then the children live in freedom’ “(Matthew 17: 25-26).

When we listen to this Gospel today, the connotation may seem strange, because if, in fact, the children are free, they owe nothing to anyone. We owe nothing to this world, because we are not children of it, we are children of Heaven and we must live in the freedom of children of God. We understand the contrary, we think that “the free” are those who live for the world, do what they want and what they can. It is an illusion and a mistake, for whoever does what he wants, does what he should not, and then he loses himself, and gets corrupted.

God does not deprive us of anything, on the contrary, He gives us the grace to have access to the Kingdom that He has prepared for us, who believe in Him, who are His children and want to live as His children.

The kingdom of God is not deprivation of the world, but it is deprivation of the depravity of the world, of the feeling of wickedness and malice in the world, that we may be kept and preserved from evil to live the good. Then, as children, we can not behave like slaves.

There are people who feel annihilated: “I am of God, what sorrow! Who is of God can not do anything.Who is of God lives deprived of everything. Whoever is of God does not drink, does not smoke. “ But since when is it to drink and smoke is freedom? What we have more are people slaves of the drink, the cigarette and all the evils of this world. Freedom is knowing that we can drink and do not drink; We can smoke, but let’s not smoke. Freedom is the power to make choices.

Freedom is not to surrender, and then we can no longer free ourselves from these evils. We are children, and children are free, and not to scandalize, children do even what they should not do. I will be clear, just as the Word is by telling Peter to throw the hook and open the fish’s mouth to get coins.

Paying taxes is one of the most unjust things in the world that we should not pay, but we pay. And why do we pay? To be examples, lest we cause scandal to the world.

The disciples of Jesus do not follow the orders of the Law. We must be the first to obey the orders and the laws of the world, we must be the first to set an example, to obey the traffic laws, to pay taxes, tolls of life , Fulfill our obligations.

We are free, and in the freedom we have, we set an example. We do not follow the evil inclinations of this world.

God bless you!

Father Roger Araújo

Priest of the Canção Nova Community, journalist and collaborator of the Portal Canção Nova. Contact: mailto: padrerogercn@gmail.com

Portuguese version

Aug 242017
 

Seven-tips-to-pray-fruitfully-the-rosary-second-John-Paul-II-

Praying the rosary requires dedication

From the youth, the rosary prayer had an important place in the life of St. John Paul II. He himself testifies: “The Rosary accompanied me in times of joy and trials. I entrusted it with so many worries;In it I always found comfort.” The favorite prayer of St. John Paul was the Rosary.

Photo: Wesley Almeida / cancaonova.com

In his encyclical, the Rosary of the Virgin Mary ( Rosarium Virginis Mariae ), he shows that this simple and deep prayer of the rosary has great meaning, as well as bearing fruits of holiness, for, although its characteristic is Marian, at its core is a Christological prayer. Thus, in order to better contemplate the face of Christ with Mary, let us see some tips that the saint himself presents to us in his encyclical, so that we can pray the rosary better:

1- Peaceful rhythm and a certain delay to think of the mystery

Many people pray the rosary in a hurry, agitated, impatient, that is, let the reflection of the immediate world take care of this prayer. The rosary is contemplative and requires a quiet rhythm of prayers and reflection on each mystery that is being prayed. Each well-meditated mystery illuminates the mystery of man.

2- You can fix an icon or other visible and figurative element

To enunciate the mystery with the possibility of fixing an icon or other visible and figurative element that represents it is like opening a scenario on which attention is concentrated. It facilitates the concentration of the spirit in the mystery, especially when the Rosary is recited in particular moments of prolonged silence.

3- Read a Bible passage

To give biblical grounding and depth to meditation, it is helpful for the enunciation of the mystery to be accompanied by the proclamation of a biblical allusion, which, depending on the circumstances, may be more or less long. This helps to hear the voice of God and, even on certain occasions, this Scripture passage may come with a later comment.

4- Mute

After the enunciation of the mystery and the proclamation of the Word, it is convenient to pause for a while and fix your gaze on the meditated mystery before beginning vocal prayer.

5. To emphasize the name of Christ by adding a clause evocative of the mystery

Adding to the name of Jesus a clause evocative of the mystery intensifies the Christological faith, especially in public recitation. For example, if we contemplate the mystery of the birth of Jesus, we can pray: “Hail Mary … fruit of your womb Jesus”, “born in Bethlehem.” Holy Mary … In every mystery contemplated, a clause is added to help with meditation.

6- Highlight the “Glory”

The trinitarian glorification of every decade is the apogee of contemplation, for we are continually in the presence of the mystery of the three divine Persons to praise, worship and thank them. In the public recitation, one can sing to give greater prominence to “Gloria”.

7- Finish each of the mysteries with a prayer

In this way, the contemplation of the mysteries can better manifest all its fruitfulness, since it will have more connection with the Christian life and the specific fruits of the meditation of this mystery will be obtained. St. John Paul teaches that to walk with Mary in the scenes of the Rosary is like attending Mary’s “school” to read Christ, to penetrate her secrets, to understand her message. Of all human beings, no one like her knows Christ better. Therefore, it is necessary to pray properly the rosary, because thus Christ is formed in the disciple fully.

Ricardo Cordeiro

Candidate for the Sacred Orders in the Canção Nova Community. Graduate in Philosophy at Canção Nova College, Cachoeira Paulista (SP). Bachelor of Theology from Dehoniana College, Taubaté (SP) and post-graduate in Bioethics at Canção Nova College. He works in the Internet Department of Canção Nova, in the Father’s Shrine of Mercy and Confessionals.

Portuguese version

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