First Friday of Lent

  FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD First Friday of Lent, February 23, 2018 WORD of the DAY   Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court with him.  (Matthew 5, 26) How shall I live this Word? Disagreement is an ugly evil that sows division at the personal level and from which come many troubles in the family, in associations, in peoples.  The motives for dissent in ideas, expectations, ways of considering and using money and things, are the order of the day.  Sometimes and often, they are so banal that common sense or daily wisdom, should be able to counsel agreement. This is what the Word is counseling today to those who are walking with someone who at a certain point, reveals to be an adversary.  There is the JOURNEY that should persuade me to come to an agreement with the person. Yes, I am on the journey of life that will end here.  But if I then want my life to continue for eternal happiness, I do well to remind myself that only by working toward communion do I anticipate and prepare for what I will live forever: the chords of a sublime music that is loving in the infinite Love of God…with Him and in Him. Lord Jesus, I ask You for this: dissipate the fog that provokes my egotistical demands and grant that I may daily practice loving everyone, without excluding anyone, and without fear of the sacrifice this implies. The Message of Tonino Bello, Pastor and Author Jesus is the hidden Guest.  He comes in the guise of the addict, of... read more

First Thursday of Lent

  FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD First Thursday of Lent, February 22, 2018 WORD of the DAY   When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”  They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”  Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16, 13-16)) How shall I live this Word? Caesarea Philippi was a city built along the sources of the Jordan River, in honor of Augustus at the initiative of Herod Philippi in 2 AC.  Even this historical date seems to express the background of a key moment in the history of Christianity.  Jesus does not like to drop pseudo truth into the funnel of a set of prefabricated doctrines. On the contrary, it is an extremely positive provocation, because it educates people to think, to seek first of all what, inwardly, asks to be explained to obtain fundamental answers. Jesus asks who people think He is.  The answers are varying and not one hits the mark.  Then Jesus turns to His disciples who had shared days, fatigue, and joys with Him.  Peter responds and seems to grasp in a moment of interior light, the deep conviction of the heart. “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God”. This confirmation of Jesus is precise and illuminating even for us today.  It was not the instinct of Peter the fisherman, but the Father of... read more

First Wednesday of Lent

  FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD First Wednesday of Lent, February 21, 2018 WORD of the DAY   At the judgment the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation and she will condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and there is something greater than Solomon here.   (Luke 11: 31) How shall I live this Word? This text is very interesting in which Jesus reveals His complete awareness of His identity as a Divine Person (the Person of the Word!).  Thus, He can compare Himself to Solomon, the wisest king who was so popular with his people of Israel. Jesus reminds His contemporaries, and especially His bitter opponents, that the Queen of the South did not hesitate to make a long voyage that was certainly dangerous as well, to consult Solomon, the Sovereign who at that time was synonymous with wisdom personified. The Queen of Sheba is therefore the strongest paradigm to alert those people about the identity of the Rabbi whose divine identity they did not understand (or want to understand), which was not separated from His full humanity. Lord, You are the greatest Person of all time and all places.  If now You would hide the radiance of Your divinity, it is only because we would not be able to support its omnipotence or its splendor.  Keep this alive in our memory so that our life may be daily exposed to the light of Your being the Master of that life which from You is redemption and salvation. The Message of St.... read more

austraLasia – 4644_MHC Smiling at the Salesian Family

Salesian Family Fellowship Day 2018 By Cl. April Jerome Quinto, SDB Calamba City, the Philippines, 10 February 2018 — A festive atmosphere, a celebration of colors, talents, and most of all, family of Don Bosco. The Salesian Family Fellowship Day this year was hosted by the Salesian Sisters (FMA) in the Mary Help of Christians College—Canlubang. The members of the Salesian Family coming from the different parts of Luzon, as far north as Tarlac, were warmly welcomed in the venue by Our Lady Help of Christians through a big backdrop on stage and the smiles and cordial greeting of the Sisters and their formands—sporting their bright yellow shirts. One would not be in wont in remembering the remark of Don Bosco when he visited one house of the sisters, ‘Mary walks among you here.” No less than the animator of the Salesian Family in the Philippines North Province, the Provincial Superior, Fr. Anthony Paul Bicomong SDB began the day-long event with the sacrifice of the Holy Mass. “I would like to begin by say to everyone of you, ‘We are Family!’”, was the greeting of Fr Paul at the fore of his homily alluding to the last year’s strenna. It immediately endeared the members of the Salesian Family who came in color-coded shirt, each representing their districts. Fr. Paul, presented a Salesian reading of the Gospel (Mark 8:1-10). He remarks that “Our Lord continues to multiply the loaves and the fish for us.” The Salesian family, at the care of St. John Bosco and under the mantle of Our Lady, is a testimony to the love of God. “He is... read more

RMG – Relocation of Salesian Historical Institute and Association of Salesian History Buffs, ie “Cultori di Storia”

20 February 2018 (ANS – Rome) – The Rector Major of the Salesians, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, with the consensus of the General Council, has arranged to relocate the headquarters of the Salesian Historical Institute (ISS), with its library, and the Association of the Cultori di Storia Salesiana (ACS, ie scholars/enthusiasts of Salesian history) inside the complex of the “Maria Sede della Sapienza” Vice Province of Rome and the Salesian Pontifical University (UPS). The decision of the Rector Major and his Council came after a consultation with the Superior of the UPS Vice Province, Fr Eugenio Riva, with Fr Mauro Mantovani, Rector Magnifico of UPS, and with members of ISS and ACS. Both ISS and ACS will remain under the responsibility of the Rector Major and the General Council for what concerns Salesian and lay personnel, the guidelines for historical and archival projects and work, and economic management. A special agreement remains to be stipulated to formalize various aspects related to this decision. The Salesian Historical Institute (ISS) is a scientific service organized by the Salesian Congregation for purposes of study and research on the rich spiritual and educational heritage left by Don Bosco and developed by his followers. ACSSA gathers history enthusiasts engaged in research activities of Salesian interest. According to its own statute, ACSSA programs and implements its plans in close cooperation with ISS. RELATED ARTICLE(S) RMG – New “San Giuseppe” community of Salesian HQ established (General Council) RMG – Salesian Historical Research Issue n. 69 RMG – “Giulio Barberis’ Pedagogy Notebook” A critical edition Italy – Salesian Works in Europe presented at Bologna International Conference Italy – Don... read more

First Tuesday of Lent

  FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD First Tuesday of Lent, February 20, 2018 WORD of the DAY   Yet just as from the heavens the rain and snow come down And do not return there till they have watered the earth, making it fertile and fruitful, Giving seed to the one who sows and bread to the one who eats, So shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; It shall not return to me empty, but shall do what pleases me, achieving the end for which I sent it.  (Isaiah 55: 10-11) How shall I live this Word? Isaiah is a prophet and also a poet and a painter.  Without brushes or water colors, he presents a picture that inspires peace and hope.  It is like when, in advanced winter, we contemplate a snow scene from our window, or the whisper of the rain of the roof tiles.  We know, although we may not be farmers, that the snow and the rain are a promise of golden stalks after the process of germination and growth in their rhythm.  It is bread, in the cottage, it is a sure bet won.  Thus – says Isaiah – it is of the WORD OF GOD. If you welcome it, read it and re-read it with the attention of your mind; if you meditate on it in your heart, it will not disappoint you, provided you never disregard the beauty and goodness God has dreamed for us. The Word of God then becomes spiritual BREAD for our sustenance and it strengthens us on the journey of salvation, just as the... read more

Vatican – #Synod2018, pre-Synodal meeting: all young people are invited to participate through social networks

19 February 2018 (ANS – Vatican City) – From 19 to 24 March, 300 young people shall be meeting in Rome for the so-called “Pre-Synodal Meeting”: a pre-synod of young people in view of the Synod of Bishops on young people. On Friday, 16 February, there was a press conference to present the forthcoming event. “We want young people to be listened to and be the first to speak,” said card. Lorenzo Baldisseri, General Secretary of the Synod of Bishops. And they are not words of circumstance: “the pre-Synodal Meeting will come to elaborate a shared document that will be delivered to the Pope on Sunday, 25 March, and will be integrated, with other contributions, into the Instrumentum laboris, the document on which the Synodal Fathers will meet in October.” Moreover, “aware that young people express themselves more easily with new digital technologies … a video will be produced together with the document: a further way to help them express what they feel they want to say,” added Msgr. Fabio Fabene, Under-Secretary of the Synod of Bishops, who also illustrated the Meeting’s work program. Of great importance is the Meeting’s support material, which includes a “Work Guideline” to facilitate exchanges between participants on several specific topics and an “Invitation Letter” written by some young people to their peers urging them to participate in the Meeting through social networks. How? To participate “at a distance”, young people around the world are asked to go to the website www.synod2018.va, where they will find the link to register for the Facebook Group of one of the 6 languages available (Italian, English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and German). Within these Groups, members will have the opportunity... read more

First Monday of Lent

  FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD First Monday of Lent, February 19, 2018 WORD of the DAY   You shall not hate any of your kindred in your heart. Reprove your neighbor openly so that you do not incur sin because of that person.   Take no revenge and cherish no grudge against your own people. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.    (Leviticus 19: 17-18) How shall I live this Word? Leviticus is a Book of the Bible and belongs to the Old Testament.  The name LEVITICUS, expresses that it has been written especially for the Levites who formed the priestly class of the people of Israel.  It was a class entirely occupied with teaching how to live the Law of God in all its details of interior attitudes and of behaviors. It is lovely to grasp here a precise will of God regarding the CARE of what is in the full light of truth outside of the ‘fetid swamp’ which is worrying about ‘appearing’ like good people rather than truly being so. It is this absolute opposition between the truth of being and the lie of appearing that Jesus Himself will denounce with the strongest and harshest words of the whole Gospel.  If you are in authority or even if you hold the affection or consent of a loved one, a reproof can seem hard and unseemly. Yet life often requires it. Lord, grant me the light of the Holy Spirit so that I will not fear to reprove someone when it is for their good.  However, grant that I may do so without... read more

First Sunday of Lent

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD First Sunday of Lent, February 18, 2018 WORD of the DAY God said: This is the sign of the covenant that I am making between me and you and every living creature with you for all ages to come: I set my bow in the clouds to serve as a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. (Genesis 9: 12) How shall I live this Word? The page of Genesis the Liturgy offers us today as we begin Lent is very beautiful. The Word of God is in the rainbow, a natural phenomenon that marks the passage of a period of tempest to a serene quiet. This is how the great LOVE of God is expressed. In fact, it regards that pact of Eternal Love that God desires to make with His people – the Covenant – and with each one of us. In times like ours, marked by the deterioration of many of the earth’s elements, not only for climactic cataclysms, but also due to our abuses and neglect, this Bible page is very encouraging. Lord, the Old and New Covenants throughout sacred history tell us how You have our good at heart. The gift of the rainbow of seven colors shines like a sign-promise that You love us with a strong and tender love that will never change. Yes, Lord, the rainbow as a meteorological phenomenon shines when the sky is ending the struggle with lightning and wind. We ask ourselves if it is perhaps also necessary that our heart shine with the rainbow of a faith that generates... read more
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