Monday, December 31, 2018

World Day of Peace Message 2019: Peace Be to this House!

As we celebrate the 52nd World Day of Peace on January 1, 2019, let us reflect on the message of  Pope Francis (available here):

"In sending his disciples forth on mission, Jesus told them, 'Whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace be to this house!' And if a son of peace is there, your peace shall rest upon him; but if not, it shall return to you' (Lk 10:5-6).

"Bringing peace is central to the mission of Christ's disciples.  That peace is offered to all those men and women who long for peace amid the tragedies and violence that mark human history.  The 'house' of which Jesus speaks is every family, community, country and continent in all their diversity and history.  It is first and foremost each individual person, without distinction or discrimination.  But it is also our 'common home': the world in which God has placed us and which we are called to care for and cultivate.

"So let this be my greeting at the beginning of the New Year: 'Peace be to this house!'"
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"[Peace] entails a conversion of heart and soul; it is both interior and communal; and it has three inseparable aspects:
  - peace with oneself, rejecting inflexibility, anger and impatience; in the words of St. Francis de Sales, showing 'a bit of sweetness toward oneself' in order to offer 'a bit of sweetness to others';
  - peace with others: family members, friends, strangers, the poor and suffering, being unafraid to encounter them and listen to what they have to say;
  - peace with all creation, rediscovering the grandeur of God's gift and our individual and shared responsibility as inhabitants of this world, citizens and builders of the future.

"The politics of peace, conscious of and deeply concerned for every situation of human vulnerability, can always draw inspiration from the Magnificat, the hymn that Mary, the Mother of Christ the Savior and Queen of Peace, sang in the name of all mankind: 'He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation.  He has shown the strength of his arm; he has scattered the proud in their conceit.  He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly; . . . for he has remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children forever' (Lk 1:50-55)."

Happy new year and blessed World Day of Peace to all!

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Let Us Go Now to Bethlehem

In his homily for Christmas Eve 2018 (available here), Pope Francis prayed, "'Let us go now to Bethlehem' (Lk 2:15).  With these words, the shepherds set out.  We too, Lord, want to go to Bethlehem.  Today too, the road is uphill: the heights of our selfishness need to be surmounted, and we must not lose our footing or slide into worldliness and consumerism.  I want to come to Bethlehem, Lord, because there you await me.  I want to realize that you, lying in a manger, are the bread of my life.  I need the tender fragrance of your love so that I, in turn, can be bread broken for the world.  Take me upon your shoulders, Good Shepherd; loved by you, I will be able to love my brothers and sisters and to take them by the hand.  Then it will be Christmas, when I can say to you: 'Lord you know everything; you know that I love you' (cf. Jn 21:17)."

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

The Strength of a Vocation

Pope Francis' new book, The Strength of a Vocation: Consecrated Life Today is now available in English! According to this report from Vatican News, among the themes in this book-length interview, "Pope Francis tackles above all the theme of vocation and the missions of consecrated persons, taking into account the difficulties the Church is facing in this day and age." 

Monday, December 3, 2018

December Issue of Stop Traffickig

The December 2018 issue of the Stop Trafficking newsletter is available here.  This month's issue focuses on the vulnerability of those forced to migrate.

Sunday, December 2, 2018


Today, we remember in a special way the four women -- often called "the four churchwomen" -- who were murdered in El Salvador on December 2, 1980:  Sister Maura Clarke, Sister Ita Ford, Sister Dorothy Kazel and Jean Donovan.  Last year, Global Sisters Report ran this story on these four women. It's worth taking a few minutes to read this in their memory and in honor of those who continue to serve God's people in El Salvador.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Daily Reflections for the Season of Advent

Click here to access Daily Reflections for the Season of Advent 2018, published by the West Virginia Institute for Spirituality.  This booklet includes a reflection written by our very own Sister Mary Irene Sorber, SCC (see December 8).