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Prayer is a way of life for Lay Carmelites By MATT McDoNALD ANCHOR STAFF

MASHPEE - In a little chapel on Cape Cod this Sunday, a Lay Cannelite will be praying for you. And not only for you, but for the Church and the world. At least one member of the Cape Cod chapter goes to St. Jude's Chapel at Christ the King Parish in Mashpee to pray almost every Sunday of the year. It's one aspect of the constant communing with God that members

and affiliates of the Order promise to do when they join. As St. Francis ofAssisi once said about preaching, Cannelites seek to pray always, and only sometimes do they use words. "What attracted me particularly to the Cannelites was the charism of prayer," said Sue Pumphrey, 54, a nurse and East Falmouth resident who joined the local chapter about nine years ago and now serves as director of it. "Our charism is prayer. It's a deepening of your knowledge Tum to page 14 - Carmelites

SENIOR SERVICE - Five retired religious of the Fall River Diocese in residence at the Catholic Memorial Home are among many who will benefit from the annual appeal for the Retirement Fund for Religious to be taken up in area parishes December 8 a~d 9. From left"Dominican Sister Catherine Mary O'Brien, Brother Normand Simoneau, Sacred Hea'rts Sister Marian Storjohann, Mercy Sister Mary Florita Souza, and Holy Union Sister Eugenia Marie!~Arsenault. (Photo courtesy of Mercy Sister . _, .. Catherine Donovan) •

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°Religious'Retirem'enl Appeal shows timely gratitude to those who served By DEACON JAMES

Bill advocating ethical cord blood research introduced By GAIL BESSE ANCHOR CORRESPONDENT

AMHERST, Mass. - Little Diego Lara would not be alive today if it weren't for the mother who donated her baby's umbilical cord blood to a public cord blood bank four years ago. Diego had acute leukemia; chemotherapy didn't work and a marrow transplant match could not be found. What saved the toddler's life was a unit of cord blood stem cells - a byproduct of childbirth that's often

discarded and goes to waste if it isn't collected and stored. The match between Diego's blood and that of the donor was made by the' National Marrow Donor Program Registry. Cord blood is what remains in the umbilical cord and placenta after birth. It's rich in stem cells, which can be coaxed into growing into different types of tissue or blood cells. It has been used successfully to treat about 70 diseases, Tum to page 11 - Cord Blood

Pope Benedict XVI's latest encyclical letter, 'Spe' Salvi" (Saved in Hope) special pullout section.

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NORTH DARTMOUTH They spent their youth as our inspired role models, our teachers of faith, our compassionate allies in good times and in bad, these now aging retired religious Sisters, Brothers and priests. Gratitude for what they have done - and in many instances continue to do in their ministries and especially through their prayers can be realistically expressed this weekend, in panshes across the Fall River Diocese when the 20th annual Appeal by the National Religious Retirement Office takes place. "As the new episcopal representative for religious, I wish to express gratitude to you and your parishioners for your generous response to this Appeal in the past," said Mercy Sister Catherine Donovan in a November 19 letter to pastors. "The parishioners of our diocese have given abundantly to assist religious congregations of men and women ... and this aid has enabled the religious to continue their service to the people .. , while caring for their elderly and retired members," Sister Donovan added. Currently there are approximately 307 religious Brothers and

Sisters and p'riests within the diocese. ' The brea~down lists 189 Sisters, 97 Brothers, and 21 priests representing 25 religious congregations, many of whom are retired, most of them elderly and some in poor health, They are among thousands currently struggling under a crisis in the unfunded retirement for Catholic men and women religious nearing $9 billion and growing. The crisis became evident in the early 1970s, when Catholic schools operated primarily by religious orders were educating more than 10 percent of the student population in the United States. Catholic hospitals. were becoming the largest group of not-for-profit hospitals in the nation. But the salari~s and stipends to

religious were eannarked primarily for good works, new ministries and training and education that prepared . them for their work, For generations, the care of elderly members had been carried out by those entering religious life. But in recent decades, however, elderly religious far outnumber wage-earning religious.. At the same time health care costs have skyrocketed and the numbers in assisted living or nursing facilities have risen dramatically. The situation is such that retired religious today receive on average just one-third of the Social Security benefit paid to the average Social'Security ~ecipient. In 2003, for example, the combined Social Security benefits for Tum to page 14 - Religious

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Pope invites Muslim scholars to meet with him, dialogue council 'VATICAN CITY (CNS) - Pope ars that signed the letterare theologians Benedict XVI has responded to a let- and jurists; they see the pope not just ter from 138 Muslim scholars by in- as the leader of one billion Catholics, viting a group of them to meet with but as a scholar in his own right." him and with the Pontifical Council Ali Nayed said he hoped the two for Interreligious Oialogue. meetings would be occasions for "a The papal response, released No- deep theological reflection on many vember 29,cameinalettertoJordan's matters which we can build upon for Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad bin the future." Talal, president of the Royal Aal alWriting to the prince, Cardinal Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought in Bertone said, "Without ignoring or Amman and architect of the Muslim downplaying our differences as Christians and Muslims, we can and, therescholars' project. The letter, signed by Cardinal fore, should look to what unites us, Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican secretary of namely, belief in the one God, the state, said the pope wanted ''to express provident creator and universaljudge, his deep appreciation" for the state- who at the end of time will deal with ment of the Muslim scholars, ''for the each person according to his or her positive spirit which inspired the text actions." and for the call for a common comThe cardinal said Pope Benedict mitment to promoting peace in the ''was particularly impressed by the atworld" tention given in the letter to the twoThe statement, originally signed by fold commandment to love God and 138 Muslim scholars but later en- one's neighbor." dorsed by dozens of others, was adAt the beginning ofhis pontificate, dressed to Pope Benedict and the Pope Benedict said there was ''plenty heads of other Christian churches. of scope for us to act together in the TItled "A CommonWord Between service offundamental moral values," Us and You:' the text was released in the cardinal wrote. early October and ~ed for new ef"Such common ground allows us forts at Christian-Muslim dialogue to base dialogue on effective respect based on the shared beliefin the exist- for the dignity of every human perence of one God, in God's love for son, on objective knowledge of the humanity and in people's obligation religion ofthe other, on the sharing of religious experience and, finally, on to love one another. In theVatican's response, Cardinal common commitment to promoting Bertone said Pope Benedict wanted to mutual respect and acceptance among meet the prince and a representative the younger generation," Cardinal . group of the signatories. At the same Bertone wrote. time, it said, there could be a meeting When Christians and Muslims between the Muslim scholars and of- know and respect one another, he said, ficials ofthe council for dialogue with they can begin to wOlk together to pr0the assistance ofrepresentatives from motejustice and peace throughout the the Pontifical Institute for Arabic and world Islamic Studies and the Pontifical Some commentators have said Gregorian University. Pope Benedict believes the primary Dates for the meetings still must topics for Christian-Muslim dialogue be detennined must be religious freedom andreciAref Ali Nayed;aprime promoter procity, in recOgnizing the rights of ofthe Muslimscholars'letter and one Christians and Muslitris. in countries of its original 'signers;.tOld Catholic where they.are a'minority News Service he had no doubt the Ali Nayed said he was pleased papal invitation would be accepted. Cardinal Bertone's letter did not f~ ''There is a theological and moral cus on religious freedom and reciprocprinciple in Islam that according to the ity; in fact, the letter did not mention Prophet Mohammed, peace be upon either topic. him, when you are invited to someThe scholar said the papal response thing you should go," he said. and invitation are particularly impor''It should not be a photo opportu- tant for letting Catholics know that dianity, but a real discussion with the pope logue with Muslims is important for and our scholars," he said. ''The schol- him and for the Church.

ATTENTIVE AUDIENCE - Archbishop Demetrios, primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, engages in a small discussion with Fairfield University students in a studio at the Jesuit-run university's media center after a rE!cent interview. The same day the archbishop received an honorary doctor of laws degree from the university in Fairfield, Conn., before delivering his remarks on the need for greater understanding among religions. (CNS photo/Jean Santopatre, Fairfield University)

Prelate says world faiths thirsting for reconciliation and healing By CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

are offered in a genuine spirit of love anything resembling a genuine rapFAIRFIELD, Conn. - Interfaith with the aim of understanding and prochement, and even more toward dialogue has become increasingly rapprochement." anything resembling a genuine recimportant in a world "thirsting for a Next, Archbishop Demetrios onciliation?" genuine reconciliation and healing" said, it must be remembered that Archbishop Demetrios next of age-old injuries resulting from "gaining knowledge in an interfaith talked about the "sacredness and people's misunderstanding of their dialogue might be painful." power of the human language." differences, especially when it Quoting from the first chapter of Quoting again from Scripture, comes to religion, said the head of . the Book of Ecclesiastes, that "he this time the 12th chapter of Matthe Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of that increases knowledge will in- thew, he said: "Jesus Christ offered America. a statement of tremendous imIn a talk at Jesuit-run portance. He said, 'I tell you, He said dialogue participants o~ the day ofjudgment, people Fairfield University on the need for greater understanding must unlearn in order to learn; brace will render account o~ every among believers, Archbishop themselves for some levels of pain' careless word the~ utte~, f~r by d ' ' your words you will beJustified Demetrios offered five sugges-· tions for developing' dialogue see,k f"st. to understan ; recogmz~ and by your words you will be among adherents of various re- the sanctity andpower of language, condemned.'" . ligions, "namely Judaism, and focus on truth. 'In interfaith dialogue, .the archbishop said, there should be ' Christianity and Islam." . . He said dialogue participants crease p~," he added.that "in ac- "adeep~derstandingofthesacred­ must unlearn in order to learn; brace knowledging the need for reconcili- ness and power of language. It themselves for some levels of pain; ation via dialogue, there follows the should not be taken lightly." seek first to understand; recognize implication that at some point in hisThe fifth suggestion offered by the sanctity and power of language; tory there has been a breach in a re- Archbishop Demetrios is that "our lationship'which must be restored. interfaith dialogue must always be and foclis on truth. Before his mid-November ad-. But the pain will not be debilitating." focused on truth." dress, the archbishop received an His third suggestion - that par"Truth is not something to be honorary doctor oflaws degree from ticipants "prepare for interfaith dia- feared," he said. "We enter into diaFairfield. The spiritual leader of 1.5 logue by honestly trying to under- logue knowing that the conse--''-.~~.~W" 'I million Greek Orthodox Christians, stand the religion of the other" quences .of searching for the truth ...j... OFfiCIAL NEWSPAPER OF TH~ I who is a leader in the ecumenical may seem to be an obviou~ principle, will ultimately be liberating as Christ RIVER i movement, also was celebrating his he said. himself said, 'If you continue in my' 40th anniversary in the episcopacy. But "examples of interfaith diaword, you are truly my disciples; and Member; Catholic Press Association, Catholic News ServiCe Published weekly except for two weeks in the summer and the week after About his first suggestion - "the logue in history," Archbishop you will know the truth, and the truth Christmas by the catholic Press of the Diocese of Fall RiVer, 887 Highland'Avetlue, Demetrios said, "show that the very will set you free,'" he said. need to unlearn in order to learn" Fall River, MA 02720. Telephone 508-675-7151 __ FAX 508-675-7048, email; . he said that often people enter interpurpose of encounters between Archbishop Demetrios said that i theanchor@anchomews,org. Subscription price by mall, postpaid $14.00 peryeaJ: I faith dialogues believing "they know people of different religions frehe offered each of his suggestions Send address changes to P.O. Box 7, Fall.Rlve.~.' MA, call or use . .email address i PUBLISHER - Most Reverend George W. Coleman I well the people ofother religions and quently was to disprove the validity "in the hope that we may all con! EXECUTIVE EDITOR Father Roger J. Landry "fattIetTogertandry@anchomews,org I their beliefs." of the other faith, with the view to- tinue to grow in our understanding I EDITOR David B. Jollvet davejollvet@anchomews;org'" ~. I He said that the need to relinquish ward convincing the other party of of one another, and as Christians I NEWS EDITOR Deac:on~N.Dunbarllmdunbar~ancl!omews.()rg, I one's preconceptions "implies hon- the superiority of the religious faith work for the realization ofthe Lord's I REPORTER "'''''''''Id esty, consideration, frankness, a across the table." will that 'we may all be one' ... and prayerful disposition and even the He added, "In such an adversarial at the same time enhance our relawillingness to accept truths which context, how could constructive en- tionship with the non-Christians, no POSlMASTERS send address changes to The Anchor, P.O. B<ix 7,'PaIlRivet, MA 02722.I mE ANCHOR (USPS-545..()2() Periodiea1 ~ Paid. at Fail Rivet, Mllss" . may in fact feel hurtful when they counters ever begin to move toward matter what their religion is." , - _.._ - _

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COMFORT ON THE BATTLE FIELD - Maryknoll Father Vincent Capodanno, who was a Navy chaplain, is pictured addressing troops in Vietnam in this Defense Department photo from Sept. 11, 1966. He was fatally wounded by enemy sniper fire Sept. 4, 1967. (CNS photo/courtesy Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers)

Students hear of life, death of chaplain, a sainthood candidate SOUTH HUNTINGTON, N.Y. (CNS) - Father Vmcent Capodanno was killed on the battlefield in Viet-' nam a little more than 40 years ago. On that day, retired U.S. Marine John Scafidi was close to the age of the football players from St. Anthony's High School who listened attentively as he recalled crouching in a foxhole and hearing the machine-gun fire which would eventually take Father Capodanno's life Sept. 4,1967. Scafidi spoke as part of a special

Veterans' Day presentation, following , A tribunal set up by the U.S. Archthe team's regularly scheduled Friday diocese for the Military Services is Mass before a home game. Veterans gathering information about the from the local community were also priest's life and virtues and is looking invited to the Mass and to hear Scafidi for firsthand accounts of his intercesspeak about Father Capodanno, a sion in people's lives. The material Maryknoll missioner and Medal of eventually is to be presented to the Honor winner known for his extraor- Vatican Congregation for Saints' dinary service as a chaplain during the Causes., Vietnam War. If the congregation makes a declam June 2006 his canonization ration of Father Capodanno's heroic cause was' formally opened and he virtues, the Church will give him the now has the title servant of God.

title venerable. The next step is beatification, after which he wouldbe called blessed; this step requires ~rtification of a miracle attributed to his intercession. The final step is c~onization, which requires certification of a sec. ond miracle attributed to him and occurring after his beatification. Father Gerard Gordon, the school's chaplain, organized the event after readiilg about Father Capodanno in 'The Grunt Padre," a biogrophy written by Father Daniel Mode, who currently is the postulator for Father Capodanno's cause. Father Capodanno ''was'an incredible American, a veteran, an incredible humanitarian, a Christian, a Catholic, a martyr," Father Gordon said. He wanted to share this story with the football team because "this is what men are called to do - to be good Christians." St. Anthony's High Scnool has a special connection to¡ Father Capodanno. Science teacher Mark Capodanno is a distant cbusin, although he never met the chaplain. He was excited to meet Scafidi,"someone who actually knew his relative. Mark Capodanno's mother, Ann; also attended the Mass. " Scafidi said he carne to fiillc to the St. Anthony students because "I want you to understand what this 'man (Father Capodanno) sacrificed tb be there with us." ': While working in a Hohg Kong

school, Father Capodanno, a native of Staten Island, requested an assignment as a U.S. Navy chaplain, according to his biography on the official Website of his cause for canonization, vincentcapodanno.org. He reported to a Marine unit in Vietnam iIi 1966. When his first tour was complete, he requested an extension. Scafidi said he first met Father Cap6danno in April or May 1967 and was instantly impressed by the priest's great compassion. ''When he spoke to us about being soldiers, it was like he reached right inside me;' he said 'The other Marines and I never experienced someone like this. It was unusual to find someone who cared about us the way he did." Father Capodanno was a reassuring presence to the young soldiers who were surrounded daily by so much violence, Scafidi said. "It was extremely comforting to know he was there." The Marines in Vietnam ''were 18, 19, 20 years old. The chaplain was 38. I thought that was old then;' he told the football team. The chaplain endured the same tough conditions the soldiers did. "He carried at least 50 pounds on his back," said Scafidi. 'There were no vacation days. "I can't describe the love that the Marines still have for him," he added. "I don't know of any Marine who wouldn't have died in his place."

How many children in our lives give us a hug when we'll ask for one - or when they know we need one? . Throughout the Missions, there are many children in need; abandoned and alone, some are , even living on the streets, without food, shelter sometimes without hope and love as well. Religious Sisters r~ach out to these little ones, with practical help and always with the love of our Lord. Says one mission Sister: "Each of these children I would like to hug in a warm embrace."

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This Christmas, will you add Sisters in tlte Missions to your Christmas gift-giving list? 111 this way, wit It your support through tlte Society for the Propagation of the Faith, yOlL are with these Sisters as tltey reach OlLt with tile love ofJesus' to the poor of tile Missions, especially;' the cJzildren.

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Good news about the healthI ofour. community.

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Saint Anne's Hospital welcomes Mary Sherlock, D.O. and James Quinn, M.D., M.S.

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Saint Anne's Hospit~1 is pleased to announce the opening of Saint Anne's Hospital Medical Associates. This new practice is located across from Saint Anne's Hospital, with free on-site parking, and offers patients the experienced care and services of Dr. James Quinn and Dr. Mary Sherlock. Dr. Quinn is board certified in internal medicine and specializes in the prevention and treatment of adult diseases. Dr. Sherlo~k is a board-certified physician specialiZing in family medicine. Both are accepting I new patients.

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4 To all the lay faithful On November 30, Pope Benedict published his second encyclical letter, Spe Salvi, which means "Saved in Hope." He addressed the letter not just to a s~lect few Catholics across the globe, but rather "to the bishops, priests and deacons, men and women religious, and all the lay faithfu1." He sent it, in other words, to every Catholic in the world who knows how to read. Most of us, when we receive a letter, normally open and read it. When the letter is from a close family member, we generally open it right away. And most of us do not seem to mind when, during the Christmas season for example, the letter we receive is identical to those that other family and friends receive. The only mail we generally do not read is what we classify as junk mai1. Well, last Friday, each of us received a letter from the man God has chosen to be our Holy Father in the faith. For sure, it was a form letter, sent not uniquely to one of us, but to all the members of our family. It was his second such letter to us, and for reasons ofthat rarity, is an even more important missive. In it, he describes for us the reasons for the hope Christians are called to have, and how we grow and radiate hope within a world in which so many so often lack it. We print that letter in its entirety in this edition. The question for each of us is whether we will treat that letter as we do one from a loving father or as we do junk mail from strangers, which we ignore and discard. Without a doubt our Holy Father is brilliant and he can't hide it in his letter. And even though he tries to simplify complex topics, some things he says will still be over the heads of many of us. But he writes nevertheless to all the members of his family - bishops, priests, deacons;religious and "all the lay faithful" - in the hope that all will do the best they can with it, knowing that they do not have to master every detail in order to profit from it. . In future editorials this month, we will consider some of the letter's most important insights. But like movie critics who do not want to give away the plot before others have had a chance to view the film, we will wait so that you can form your own opinions on the letter before you read ours. As with movies, however, we do want to provide a "trailer," advertising why you should be attracted to it. Pope Benedict did it for us in his Angelus address on Sunday, when he said that the theme of Spe SaLvi is the nucleus of the Advent season. He released it on the cusp of Advent precisely so that it might help. Catholics live Advent well. "t-dvent," he said, "is the propitious time to reawaken in our hearts the expectation of him 'who is, who was and who is coming' (Rev 1:8). The Son of God already came to Bethlehem 20 centuries ago, he is coming in every moment into the soul and the community that is disposed to receive him, and he will come again at the end of time, 'to judge the living and the dead.' Thus, the believer is always vigilant, animated by the intimate hope of meeting the Lord. "This [first Sunday of Advent], therefore, is a most appropriate day to offer to the whole Church and all men of good will my second encyclical, which I wanted to dedicate to the theme of Christian hope." Hope, he said, "is a gift that change~ the life of those who receive it, as the experience of so many saints demonstrates.... It consists in the knowledge of God, in the discovery of his heart as a good and merciful Father. Jesus, with his death on the cross and his resurrection, has revealed to us . the Father's countenance, the countenance of a God so great in love as to communicate to us an indestructible hope, a hope that not even death can crack, because the life of those who entrust themselves to this Father always opens up to the perspective of eternal beatitude. "Because of this, the great, full and definitive hope is guaranteed by God who is love, who has visited us in Jesus and given his life to us, and in Jesus he will return at the end of time. It is in Christ that we hope and it is him that we await! With Mary, his Mother, the Church goes out to meet the Bridegroom: She does this with works of charity, because hope, like fai.th, is demonstrated in l.ove. A good Advent to all!" Advent is the season when we, as we pray at Mass, "wait with joyful hope for the [three-fold] coming ofour Savior, Jesus Christ." Hope is the means by which we go out to meet the bridegroom who is coming for us. Pope Benedict's encyclical letter is a great pre-Christmas present to nourish our Advent hope and prepare us spiritually for a profoundly joyous Christmas. The Holy Father's greatest teacher was St. Augustine of Hippo, whose conversion happened when he overheard a voice, which he later determined was an angel's, chanting repeatedly concerning the Bible, "tolie et Legge," Latin for "take and read." He picked up the Bible, began to read it, and his life was forever changed. Those angels are now close by, announcing good news of.great joy and gently prodding us - tolie et Legge -,to take up and read our Holy Father's letter on how that good news is meant to fill us with new hope.

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the living word

St. Bernadette Soubirous is depicted in an undated photo of a stained-glass window at the Church of the Epiphany in Coon Rapids, Minn. People around the world can identify with St. Bernadette's poverty and illiteracy and the message of conversation of the Marian apparitions at Lourdes in France, said Bishop Jacques Perrier of Tarbes and Lourdes at ceremonies in Washington, D.C., marking the 150th anniversary of the apparitions. (CNS photo/Cosiers)

"Listen, my beloved brothers. Did not God choose those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that he promised to those who love him?" (Jas 2:5) '.

The right man for the job God has always called unlikely ness, but basically, despite Juan peated, with fervor and tears, the mescandidates to great missions. Abraham Diego's obvious sincerity, as a little sageof Our Lady entrusted to him. The was too old to be a dad and David and deluded. Juan Diego left feeling like a bishop asked some questions. Though moved by Juan Diego's sincerity, he Jeremiah too young to be heroes. complete failure. Moses and St. Paul both had speech . Returning at once to Our Lady on wasn't going to build a church in a impediments and were guilty of TepeyacHilI,hesaidthathehadstruck desolate spot on the basis of one other's blood. Peter was a sinful fish- out. ''I beg you, Noble Lady," he im- native's unsubstantiated word. To test erman and Matthew a hated tax col- plored, "to entrust this message to the message, the bishop asked him for lector. Gideon was the least ofhis fam- someone of importance, someone a special secret sign from Our Lady. ily and his family was the least in his well-known and respected, so that Juan Diego left at once to ask for the tribe. The list goes on. None of the your wish will be accomplished. For I sign. Arriving back at Tepeyac, the Virprophets or Apostles had the paper am only a lowly peasant and you, my qualifications for the tasks for which Lady, have sent me to a place where I gin told him' to return the following the Lord called them, but the Lord have no standing. Forgive me iflhave day to receive the sign to bring the chose them anyway, because it was disappointed you for having failed in bishop. That sign turned out to be ""!I!\I. . ._ _..... Castillian roses, which had through them that his own not yet been introduced to divine power could shine Mexico, growing on the top most clearly. As we pray in the Preface for Martyrs, the of a stony hill in frigid December temperatures. Juan Lord repeatedly chooses the Diego was instructed to bring Weak and makes them strong in bearing witness to him. them back to the bishop in his . On Sunday, we celebrate tilma, or outer parka. When one of the most lovable exhe returned to the bishop, as amples ofthis divine pattern, 路he opened up his tilma, the St. Juan Diego. bishop saw the roses from his When the Blessed Mother ap- my mission." native Castilla, the sign he was seekThe Virgin smiled tenderly on him. ing. He and everyone else also saw peared to him on Tepeyac Hill on Dec. 9, 1531, he was a simple, humble, 57- and said, ''Listen to me, my dearest something even more miraculous: year-old widower known for walking son, and understand that I have many' some of the roses had melted into the with his head down and shuffling his servants and messengers whom I tilma and produced the miraculous feet. He had been baptized only seven .could charge with the delivery of my image ofOur Lady ofGuadalupe: our years before by the Franciscan mis- message. But it is altogether necessary Lady, dressed like a pregnant Aztec sionaries who had arrived in Mexico that you should be the one to under- princess, was giving witness that she with Cortes in 1521 and was a fervent take this mission and that it be through was ready to give birth to Christ among believer. Every Saturday and Sunday your mediation and aSsistance that my the Mexican people. Until that moment, there had he would walk 15 miles each way to wish should be accomplished. I urge Mass. As he was joumeying one cold you to go to the bishop again tomor- been relatively few conversions Saturday moming, he heard a voice row. Tell him in my name and make among the Mexican people, who calling from the top ofa hill, "Juanito," him fully understand my disposition, associated Christianity more wit~ "Dieguito," "Come here!" He scaled that he should undertake the erection the conquistadors than the the rocky slope, where at the top he ofthe teocalli (temple) for which I ask. Franciscans. But in the decade after saw the Blessed VIrgin Mary arrayed And repeat to him that it is I in person, the appearance of the Blessed the ever Virgin Mary, the. Mother of Mother as one of them, more than in splendor. 10 million Mexicans were baptized. Our Lady announced she was on a God, who send you." With trepidation, Juan Diego went Juan Diego thought there were othmission of mercy and wanted him to be her emissary to Bishop Juan de again. He feared what the bishop's ers who would have been more fitting Zumarraga of Mexico City to have overprotective servants might do to emissaries to bring such an important him build a church on Tepeyac Hill. him. They greeted him with iII-con- message from sci important a person, Obeying simply and immediately, he cealed exasperation. He was told the but the BlesSed Mother chose him and headed in his simple peasant's outfit bishop was busy with more important she helped him fulfill the mission. She to the' episcopal residence, where he matters. He told them he was willing will also help each of us fulfill ours in was forced to wait for hours in an out- to wait and did, for several hours in her Son's plan of salvation. door courtyard. Eyentually the bishop the frigid outdoor courtyard. When he Father Landry is.pastoy of St. received him, treated him with kind- finally met the bishop again, he re- Anthony's Parish in New Bedford.

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The Holy Grail.of reprogramming: A new era for stem cells? convert into plUripotent stem cells. It The recent discovery that regular .has been called ''biological alold garden-variety skin cells can be chemy:' something like turning lead converted into highly flexible into gold. Many are hailing "cellular (pluripotent) stem cells has rocked the scientific world. rwo papers, one by a Japanese group, and another by an American group, have _~ I) announced a genetic technique that produces 0'" /-' ", stem cells without destroyBy Fath~~ Tad/ / ing (or using) any human PacholczYk . embryos. In other words, the kind of stem cell usually obtained by reprogramming" as a breakthrough destroying embryos appears to be of epic proportions, the stuff that available another way. All that is required is to transfer four genes into -NObel prizes are made of, a kind of Holy Grail in biomedical research. the skin cells, triggering them to

iMaking Sense Out of Bioethics

As important as this advance may prove to be scientifically, it may be even more important to the ethical discussion. It offers a possible solution to a long-standing ethical impasse and a unique opportunity to declare a pause, maybe even a truce in the stem cell wars, given that the source of these cells is ethically pristine and uncomplicated. As one stem-cell researcher put it recently, if the new method produces equally potent cells, as it has been touted to do, ''the whole field is going to completely change. People working on ethics will have to find something

Taoism sickness, constaiIcy and change, etc. Neither makes Taoism takes its name and inspiration from the sense without the other.' "Tao-te Ching:' ("The Book of the Way and Its Whereas Confucianism focuses on the individual Power") a collection of Chinese verse traditionally attributed to Lao-tzu, (''Old Master") who was possibly as a member of society, Taoism would have us turn away from society and seek freedom in the wordless a contemporary of Confucius. Its 81 short, numbered contemplation of nature's wonders. The Taoist ideal is stanzas contain many paradoxes, such as "He who to live naturally, allowing things to exist and develop knows does not speak, and he who'speaks does not without interference or conflict. And the way to do know" (56), and ''Truly, one may gain by losing; and this is wu-wei ("not one may lose by gaining" doing"), which means (42). First translated into something like letting Latin by Jesuit missionarthings take their course. ies in 1788, no other book This is not to suggest that except the Bible has been people should spend translated so often. their time doing nothing, Because Taoism is often By Father in idle meditation, but entwined with Buddhism Thomas M. Kocik rather that their activities and traditional folk should fit into the natural religions, it is hard to pattern of things and not be driven by ambition, know the number of its adherents. excessive desire, or pride. Central to Taoism is a belief in Tao (pronounced Taoists often use the example of a river as a lesson "dow"), usually translated as "the Way." Eternal, for how to live. A river is constant yet ever changing, invisible, and unfathomable, Tao is the origin of all and over time can wear down the mightiest rocks; so creation, the force that lies behind the functions and too should people seek out those things that are changes of nature. All things are connected and eternal, yet always be open to spontaneity and change. unified in Tao. It is tempting to equate Tao, so . described, with the "immortal, invisible, only God" (l In other words, go with the flow. Although Taoism does not recognize an omnipoTim 1: 17) in whom "all ~gs hold together" (Col tent being beyond the cosmos, it nevertheless has 1: 17). But Tao is more like Hinduism's Brahman: an impersonal "it" that cannot be prayed to. The opening 路many gods, most of them borrowed from other cultures. These deities are within this line of the Tao-te Ching warns the reader universe and are themselves subject to Tao, off any attempt to pin down the Supreme the impersonal "mother of all things." At Reality with human concepts and language: the heart of Taoist ritual is the attempt to ''The Tao that can be expressed is not the bring order and harmony to nature, society, eternal Tao," reminiscent of St. John and individuals. Recognizing that physical Chrysostom's maxim that "a comprehended actions have spiritual effects, Taoism God is no God." regards activities such as yoga, meditation, Tao generates ch'i ("breath"), the The Taoist symbol and martial arts as important. constantly moving energy found in all of yin/yang Temple rituals are used to regulate ch 'i things, as well as the two opposite but and balance the flow of yin/yang both for individuals complementary forces of yin andyang.Ym is the and the wider community. One such ritual involves feminine, dark, earthly, and passive principle in each household in a village bringing an offering for nature; yang is the masculine, light, heavenly, and active principle. Lao-tzu advised a preference for yin: the local deiti~s. A Taoist priest dedicates the offerings on behalf of the families, asks the gods to bring peace "Know the masculine but keep to the feminine ... and prosperity to the village, and performs an Know the white but keep to the black ... Know' the elaborate rite of cosmic renewal. glorious but keep to the lowly" (28). Because Taoism thrives on paradox.and mystificaHarmony results when yin an~ yang form a whole. tion, it is not easy for practical Western minds to Taoism's most recognized emblem, a circle encasing comprehend. Yet, as we'll see, the enigmatic sayings rolling waves of black and white~ represents the of Lao-tzu, especially those concerning the mystery of i~ealized harmony of these two forces: within the Tao, afford fascinating glimpses of the fullness of black wave rides a white dot, and, conversely, the truth revealed in Jesus Christ. white wave contains a black dot. The intertwined Father Kocik is a parochial vicar at Santo Christo halves within the yin-yang circle represent all Parish in FaU River. opposites: hot and cold, loss and gain, health and

The Fullness of the Truth

5 new to worry about." Thus, science itself may have devised a clever way to heal the wound it oJened back in 1998 when hUman empryos began to be sought out and destroyed for their stem cells. Dr. James Thomson, whose 1998 work ignited the controversy, and who :iIso published one of the new breakthrough papers, . acknowledged just such a possibility in comments to reporters: ''Ten years of turmoil and now this nice ending." Whether this hice ending will actually play out rymains to be seen, but a discovery of this magnitude, coupled w~th a strong ethical vision, certainly has the potential to move us beyond the contentious moral quagmire of destroying human embryos. Change never comt1s easily, however, and before we can really change, we need to see'ithe reasons why we should change. Each of us is, incredibly, an embryo who has grown up. This biologii::al fact stares researchers in the face every time they choose to "disaggiegate" a human embryo with their own bare hands. It makes many ksearchers edgy, touching them oq some deeper level of their being. It makes many Americans queasy and ,pager to find alternatives. Thomson, who has overseen the destructioil of numerous embryonic humans himself, had the honesty to acknowledge this fact in comments he made to the New York TImes recently: human ,embryonic stem-cell re~earch does not make you at least a little bit uncomfortable,. you haJe not thought about it enougl),." , II Reprogramming eliminates these ethical concerns even as it offers a highly practical and straightforward technique for obtainingl:pluripotent stem cells. As Thomso" himself put it, "Any basic microbiology lab can do it, and it's cheap and;lquick." Reprogramming is also important because it provides an *ernative approach to ''therapeutic cloning:' a .complex and immoral procedure used to obtain patient-specific stem cells. Reprogramming Provides patient-specific stem cells well, but without using wom~n's eggs, without killing embryos', and without crossing moral lines. The sheer practicalitY of the new reprogramming approach, coupled with its ethical advantagbs, really make it a no-bramer. yet despite all these advantages, a number of voices can be heard argJrng that the bio-industrial-complex emerging I' around destructive human embryo research must be safegu!;lfded and expanded. There are at least three reasons for this. First, the financial investment that has already been made ih this arena is significant, especially Fonsidering . certain state initiatives like Proposition 71 in California which devote large sums of state taxp~yer money to pursue research that ctepends on human embryo destruction. Once I' large sums of money are involved, ethics often becomes the first "

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casualty. Second, some of the scientists who advocate the destruction of human embryos have never really taken the moral concerns very seriously because the creed they subscribe to is the so-called "scientific imperative:' namely, that science must go forward, as if it were the highest good. It must be able to do whatever it wants, wherever it wants, whenever it wants, and nobody should be pushing ethical viewpoints to limit what researchers do. That, of course, is a completely untenable position because we regulate what scientists do all the time. The very mechanism by which we disperse federal money puts all kinds of checks and balances on what researchers can do and there are certain types of research like germ warfare studies or nuclear bomb development that the government strictly regulates already. Other kinds of research are criminal, such as performing medical experiments on patients who don't give their consent. The idea that we have to allow science to do whatever it wants is little more than "pie-in-the-sky" wishful

thinking. The third reason embryo destructive research will still likely be promoted has to do with abortion. Several astute commentators have noted recently how the whole field of embryonic stem-cell research seems to serve as a kind of "hedge" for abortion. In the same way that a garden gets a hedge placed around it in order to protect it, embryonic stem cells are becoming a place holder for abortion. If embryo killing becomes incorporated into the way ~e cure illnesses and maintain our health as a society, then abortion on demand will be more likely to curry favor in our culture as well. If those trying to protect embryos carry the day, proabortionists fear that the same ethical arguments will prevail against abortion. Several factors will therefore influence how this major new stem cell discovery plays out in the future. One thing is clear, however: those renegade researchers, lawmakers and Hollywood personalities who have long dismissed ethical concerns and advocated human embryo destruction now find themselves at an imr,ortant juncture because of this breakthrough. We can only hope that in the wake of this discovery, the siren call of harvesting human embryos will cease ringing in their ears and allow for a new era of ethical science in our society. Father Pacholc'lSk earned his doctorate in neurosciencefrom Yale and did post-doctoral work at lfarvard. He is a priest ofthe Diocese ofFaU River and serves as the director ofEducation at The National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia. See www.ncbcenter.org


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How do we live Advent repentance ever, John the Baptist Last week in our parish , presence of the Advent we started a six-week Wreath, the music and the demanded evidence of their repentance: he knew' repentance. Yes, I said Bible study course on "Finding God in Our Busy repentance. It is someof their hypercritical Lives," and how busy they behavior. This passage of times hard for us to really are not only this imagine that Advent time of the year but is a penitential ,'{ 'r:-::-:~ throughout. Before the season. This mes'Homily of the" e sage of repentance session began I discussed Second Sunday proclaimed in some ideas for the Church of Advent Christmas decorations and today's Gospel of a person asked, "And Matthew opens the By Father when do you plan to do all final prophetic door Michael Racine of this?" My response for the coming of was, "just a few days the Kingdom of God Scripture graciously before Christmas," so we through the birth of the reminds us that we are can keep the season of Messiah. Many sincere all sinners and even in people participated in Advent in our minds and John's ritual of baptism as ,Advent we must continue thoughts before the "busy to repent for our wrong but holy day in our life." they repented and acdoings. Finding our knowledged their sins. Advent is so full of When'it came to the wrong-doings is somebeauty, the anticipation, religious leaders, howtimes hard, but hopefully the simple but symbolic

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we remember that Jesus is present in our lives all the time and eagerly awaits to forgive us. As we journey through these four weeks, it gives us a chance to look into our "busy lives" and remind ourselves that in the beauty of this season, we can forget the basics of forgiveness and charity towards others as we stand in long lines, wait in traffic and deal with the hustle and bustle of commercialism. But this is a great opportunity to stop and think what is this season about.

Maybe we can stop and think of the fruits of the Holy Spirit in our lives, turning from sinfulness and finding God in everything we say and do. Do we practice, charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, and chastity? All are signs of forgiveness, all are very special gifts to share with路 each other. Are we living them this season of Advent? Repentance, what a great gift to give to ourselves and others in our lives. Father Racine is pastor of St. Bernard Parish in Assonet.

Upcoming Daily Readings: Sat. Dec. 08, The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Gn 3:9-15,20; Ps 98:1-4; Eph 1:3-6,11-12; Lk 1:26-38.8un. Dec., 09, Second Sunday of Advent,Is 11:1-10; Ps 72:1-2,7-8,12-13,17; Rom 15:4-9; Mt 3:1-12. Mon. Dec. 10, Is 35:1-10; Ps 85:9ab-14; Lk 5:17-26. The. Dec. 11, Is 40:1-11; Ps 96:1-3,1013; Mt 18:12-14. Wed. Dec.U, Zec 2:14-17; Jdt 13:18bc, 19; Lk 1:26-38. Thu. Dec. 13,Is 41:13-20; Ps 145:1,9-13ab; Mt 11:11-15. Fri. Dec. 14, Is 48:17-19; Ps 1:1-4,6; Mt 11:16-19.

Among the fallen VALLE DE LOS CAIDOS, Spain - Judged by the standards of a century replete with political' slaughter, the Spanish Civil War of 1936路39 can seem a relatively tame affair, Tens of millions died in Stalin's Ukrainian hunger famine, the Holocaust, Mao's Great Leap Forward, and Pol Pot's Cambodian killing fields; the civil war in Spain managed a mere 500,000 killed. In the time, however, and for decades afterwards, the Spanish Civil War was a 20th-century political Rorschach blot: whether you stood with the Spanish Republicans or with the Spanish Nationalists was a pretty good indicator of where you stood on other classic leftl right divides. The Spanish Civil War accelerated the development of an anti-totalitarian Left in the

Bulgaria after World War II - a West, George Orwell being a prime example; conversely, many Soviet dependency, freed only by the Revolution of 1989. European and American conserAs the recent beatification of vatives thought the Nationalists 498' martyrs of that period were fighting a kind of antisuggests, the Catholic Church ' modem crusade. The truth is that just about everyone behaved badly during I.. ." ,:' , the Spanish Civil War, f ~, '.~~' ' , ' and there are atrocity Y" " "il.O.IC-~-~. stories to spare on both 'Ii . sides. The victory of .IA ", t,,' I,'. " v '~ ..I>,:-oi, '<'~; u, r-, Francisco Franco's :,. By CWlrg~\,eigei Nationalists was '\ ., ._ 1:;掳, 1 : ' \u l2 f:J;~. frequently portrayed, at the time, as a preview. suffered terribly during the offascist ascendancy. Yet AnSpanish Civil War; the new beati thony Beevor, a British historian join hundreds beatified in the not terribly sympathetic to 1980s and 1990s and the nine Franco, argued recently that, had Martyrs of Asturias canonized in the Republicans won with the aid 1999. Yet the beatified and of the USSR, Spain would have become like Romania and canonized are a fraction of the

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total - some 7,000 bishops, priests, seminarians, monks, and nuns were killed simply because of who they were; no one knows how many thousands of lay Catholics were dispatched for the same reason. Some of the killings were beyond grotesque, as priests and , seminarians were treated like bulls in the ring: stabbed, flayed, their ears cut off, and so forth, before the coup de grace. Entire monasteries, seminaries, and convents were wiped out; the dead bodies of nuns were' exhumed and desecrated. There was little, some say no, apostasy. On a clear, crisp mid-November morning, lethal wic.kedness seems far away as one approaches the Benedictine Abbey of the Holy Cross, the spiritual center of the Valley of the Fallen, the Valle de los Caidos, Spain's national memorial to its civil war dead. Located about 40 minutes outside Madrid, the complex consists of a national park, in , which 40,000 Nationalist and Republican dead are buried; a colossal basilica hewn out of a , granite mountain, atop which is the world's largest cross (some 150 meters high); and behind the memorial cross, a classic monastic grid composed of a monastery, a choir school, a research library, and a center for social studies. Critics carp that the Valley of

the Fallen' is a monument to one side of the civil war - Franco's - and reflects Nationalist sensibilities. The abbot, Father Anselmo Alvarez, OSB, has a different view; as he put it to me after Sunday Mass, "This is a place reconciliation." Reconciliation was preached at Mass; reconciliation is what the monks teach the visitors who come in large numbers every day. The great mosaic in the basilica's dome, a dome, carved inside a mountain, is dedicated to Christ the King, who is surrounded by angels, martyrs, confessors - and the dead of the civil war. There, in the true Kingdom, there is neither Left nor Right, for the "former things" have "passed away" (Rev. 21 :4). Another fair-minded British historian, Hugh Thomas, wrote of the anti-Catholicism of the Spanish Civil War that "at no time in the history of Europe, or even perhaps of the world, has so passionate a hatred of religion and all its works been shown." Spain's aggressively secularist government is now trying to rewrite the history of the 1930s in order to eliminate that truth. In dealing with the contentions and savagery of the past, the monks of the Valley of the Fallen have, I suggest, found the more excellent way. George Weigel is a senior fellow ofthe Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C.

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DECEMBER

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Fat geese season. Fat geese were once Thursday 29 November 2007 associated with the traditional - on the Cape Cod Canal English Christmas feast, but have William Berkley Enos birth since gone out of fashion; charity anniversary (better known as has not. Bus~y Berkley, the director of Back when we diocesan stage extravaganzas) priests made ihe same annual Once upon a time, in those retreat together, I remember care-free days before cholesterol was discovered, fat geese were considered delicious fair game. I know this from the lyrics of an Reflections of a old English nursery Parish.,PnestrJ rhyme, later sung as a . ~:'. ; y ,,~J / .1',. round: "Christmas is ·-13y;Fatber::r.ffit···~'y;,· coming, the geese are Goldrick getting fat; please put a penny in the old man's hat." As is the case with many, ;.) , sit_t~ng in a hard pew at Cathedral children's songs, it was designed Camp's chapel. I don't remember to teach a lesson. In this particuwho the retreat master was on lar case, the message is charithat occasion, but I do remember table giving during the Christmas something he said. He suggested

The Ship's Log

that we priests evaluate how we spend our time. He recommended a balanced approach. Besides time for self and for our parish communities, priests should also allot time to the diocesan Church and to the civic community. He guaranteed that this would make us wellrounded individuals. I'm talking here about distribution of time, not, eating fat geese although the latter also makes us "well-rounded" in a different way. I thought it was a good idea and I have attempted to live by that principle, more or less. I try to give some of my time to civic activities. Well, to make a long story short, in the Town of Bourne on

Choosing goodness, choosing grace In Webster's "New World' Dictionary," goodness is defined as ''the state or quality of being good; virtue, kindness ...." Grace is defined in a spiritual sense as "the love and favor of God toward human beings." In the "Catechism of the Catholic Church," these concepts and their relationship to each other are further clarified under the subject of "The virtues of grace," in paragraph 1810; "Human virtues acquired by education, by deliberate acts and by a perseverance ever-re~ewed in repeated efforts are purified and elevated by divine grace. With God's help, they forge character and give facility in the practice of the good. The virtuous man is happy I3Y to practice them." Although we cannot control the gift of grace that God bestows upon us, we find that our acts of goodness "are purified and elevated by . divine grace." By our acts of goodness, we create a "fertile ground" for God to work in o~ lives. In our choice of goodness, we have done our part. And God may do his. In this way, by choosing goodness, we may be continually strengthened by God's loving kindness and divine grace. It is an on-going relationship as we journey in faith. Each week in The Anchor, we have the opportunity to read many stories about people who have chosen to put their faith into action, who have chosen a path of goodness, and who make the effort to live "grace-filled" lives. I especially enjoy the Anchor "Person of the Week" columns, which week after week feature

the faith, the goodness and the ministries of individuals young and old. The Youth Pages are filled with photos, stories and columns of the good actions and ministries of young people in our diocese. I would like to share a story about a group of young people who chose goodness, and who, by their exemplary behavior, brought grace and inspiration to their entire school community. The students are seventh-graders at 8t. Francis Xavier Preparatory School in Hyannis, in Mrs.

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Journey of Faith.. ,. I

Greta MacKoul William's Homeroom class, 7W. One day this fall, the students were to have a substitute teacher for their u.s. History class. When the teacher did not arrive at the. beginning of class, the students were gi~en the opportunity to make a choice. They could have sat there and done nothing. They could have chatted quietly or noisily among themselves. They could have .chosen to "play" or "amuse themselves." They chose none of the above. As a group they decided to conduct themselves in the manner in which they had been taught. First, they said a prayer together to begin the class. Then, they assigned themselves sections of the chapter they were working on to read aloud. When the teacher finally did arrive, the class was already on task and

well under way. When asked why they did not notify the teacher next door that the substitute had not arrived, the students said that they did not want to disturb him as he was busy, and besides, they "knew what to do." Now those who are responsible for guiding young people, parents, teachers and those who work with youth,know that is the kind of exemplary behavior that is hoped for and in ~hich efforts are made to achieve. It is this internalization of good values, of good behavior, of good choices that lead to a "grace-filled" life. It. is what we do when no one is looking, that shows our true character. When St. Francis Xavier Preparatory School Headmaster Robert H. Deburro heard of the good behavior of the students in 7W, he praised them for their actions. In an unprecedented event, the students in 7W were named coStudents of the Week for their exemplary behavior and the special kindness of this class. During the season of Advent, . as individuals and as a community of faith, we make every effort to prepare our hearts for the coming of our Lord through acts of kindness, of generosity and of goodness. For we have found that by these actions, we may better understand and embrace the gift of Jesus. May we continue to allow Jesus to teach us the ways of goodness that we may lead fully abundant "grace-filled" lives. Greta riiul her husband George, with their children are members ofChrist the King Parish in Mashpee.

this

Cape Cod, the townsfolk get Sheen had an assistant named together every year for a civil George? Well, so do I. It only celebration of the Advent! took three hours or so. We've got Christmas season. They don't it down to a system. II call me Father Christmas for But wait - there's more! I was back at the Briggsnothing. Sounded like just my cup of eggnog. I dec1ded to McDermott House today to set volunteer my time. up the Christmas trees. I brought . the ornaments with me in my This brought me to the truck - lots of ornaments. Yes, Briggs-McDermott House in dear readers, not only am I Old Bourne Village'i!owned and operated by the Bourne SoCiety obsessive about Christmas for Historic Preservation. Old mangers and miniature villages, Bourne Village was the town's but also about Christmas tree center before the Ca~e Cod ornaments. We had enough to do Canal was constructed. The seven trees, with some left over. Briggs-McDermott House is in . In the parlor is the Victorian the Greek revival style, furtree, and in the formal dining nished to reflect the years 1840- room the Japanese tree. The 1910. Not only am I obsessed music room features the Ukraiwith Christmas, but I am also nian tree coveredwith spider very fond of local h~story. webs and the kitchen/informal Although I haven't lived in dining room has a Swedish Bourne since the 1970s, at St. theme. Upstairs is the German Margaret,Church, I ~sked them children's tree and the USA tree, to count me in as one of their World War II period. Seven trees volunteers. The committee must took four hours to decorate. Not have been desperate for help. bad. They accepted. I: The Briggs-McDermott House One day last sumrher I rented is ready for this year's commua truck. Paul Ouimet, Bob nity event. On 'other sites, there Adams, George Dubois and I will be a performance of the filled the U-haul wit~ crates Tanglewood Marionettes, containing my table-top Christbreakfast with Santa, clam mas village. Off we went to the chowder with the Historical Briggs-McDerm'ott I-J.ouse to Society, and a concert by the unload our treasures.!i Paul Saints and Sinners Singers. I'll Gately from the lc;>ca} newspaper, be there on December 7, standing TJ,ze Bour:ne,Cqflri~r,FYe.p: :.~" ',' n~((qo.the Yi~torian tree. No one show~dup' to. take ,pijpws,0Hhfl', 4 w;iU I:epogniz~ me. I wilJ be in event - a bunch of people out costume as Old Father Christhatless too long in the hot sun mas. Ho. Ho. Ho. and consequently coJtemplating So, there you have it. I have a Christmas display ih the middle taken the advice of my retreat of August. It made the newspamaster to heart. I distribute my per. time. I spend most of my time in The week before Thanksgivparish work. I take time for ing, George and I agJin visited myself. I write for the diocesan the historic house - this time to newspaper. I play Santa in Old set up the miniature ~illage. Bourne Village. Call me wellrounded.. George and I set up the display with the help of Society PresiI don't know about you, dear dent Jay Jenkins, his wife readers,.but I'm ready for Margot, and Society!members Easter. Mary Fuller and retired EpiscoFather Goldrick is pastor of pal priest Father Alan Swain. St. Joseph's Parish in North Remember how Bishop Fulton Dighton. I:

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$ The Anchor $ What every parent should know about 'The Golden Compass'

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INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, (Zenit.org) - The film "The Golden Compass," scheduled to debut in theaters today, isn't simply about using fairy-tale magic to tell a good story; it corrupts the imagery of Lewis and Tollien to undennine children's faith in God and the Church, says Catholic author Pete Vere. Vere and Sandra Miesel discuss the movie adaptation of the fantasy novels written by Philip Pullman. The film stars Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig. Vere and Miesel are co-authors of the booklet "Pied Piper of Atheism: Philip Pullman and Children's Fantasy," to be published by Ignatius Press this month on the topic of'The Golden Compass." Q: The first movie of "The Golden Compass" trilogy is being released at Christmas. For those unfamiliar with the series, what kind of books are these and to whom do they appeal? Vere: To begin, the books are marketed for nine-12 year olds as children's fantasy literature in the tradition of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, andJ.K. Rowling. "If you're a fan of 'Lord of the Rings,' 'Narnia , or 'Harry Potter,''' the critics tell us, "you'll love Pullman." Personally, Ijust can't see a child pic~g up these books and reading them. I see theql more as books that adults give kids to read. Having said that, 'The Golden Compass" (1995) is the first book in Pullman's trilogy. The second book is titled "The Subtle Knife" (1997) and it is followed by 'The Amber Spyglass" (2000). Collectively, the trilogy is known as "His Dark Materials," a phrase taken from John Milton's "Paradise Lost." This is appropriately titled in my opinion, since each book gets progressively darker - both in the intensity with which Pullman attacks the Catholic Church and the JudeoChristian concept of God, as well as the stridency with which he promotes atheism. For eXlj1Ilple, one of the main supporting characters, Dr. Mary Malone, is a former Catholic nun

who abandoned her vocation to pursue sex and science. The reader does not meet her until the second book, by which time the young reader is already engrossed in the story. By the third book, Dr. Malone is engaging in occult practices to lead the two main characters, a 12-year-old boy and girl, to sleep in the same bed and

Authority's name. When the chil- tal. It is not appropriate for children dren find the jewel and accidentally to read books in which the heroine release the Authority, he falls apart is the product of adultery and murder; priests act as professional hit and dies. Additionally, Pullman uses the im- . men, torturers and authorize occult agery of C.S. Lewis' "Narnia" experimentation on young children; chronicles. "His Dark Materials" an ex-nun engages in occult pracopens with the young heroine stuck tices and promiscuous behavior, and in a wardrobe belonging to an old aca- speaks of it openly with a 12-year-

Nicole Kidman and Dakota Blue Richards star in a scene from the movie "The Golden Compass." (CNS photo/New Line)

"A void both the movie and the books. It would be best if people didn't picket or make a public fuss because that's just free publicity. If the movie fails at the box office, the second and third books won't be filmed." engage in - at the very least heavy kissing. This is the act through which they renew the multiple universes created by Pullman. Another example is Pullman's portrayal of the Judeo-Christian God. Pullman refers to him as 'The Authority," although a number of passages make clear that this is the God of the Bible. The Authority is a liar and a mere angel, and as we discover in the third book, senile as well. He was locked in some sort of jewel and held prisoner by the patriarch Enoch, who is now called Metatron and who rules in' the

Diocese of Fall River TV Mass on WLNE Channel 6 Sunday, December 9 at 11:00 a.m. Second Sunday ofAdvent Scheduled celebrant is La Salette Father Andre A. Patenaude ("Father Pat") from the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette

dernic, conversing with a talking ani- old couple; and the angels who rebel mal, when she discovers multiple against God are good, while those worlds. So the young reader is lulled who fight on God's side are eVil. This early on with the familiar feel ofLewis. is wrong. And while it's been softNevertheless, Pullman's work ened in the movie - or at least that's isn't simply about using fairy-tale what Hollywood is telling us - it's magic to tell a good story. He openly still there in the books. proselytizes for atheism, corrupting Miesel: Furthermore, there's a the im~gery of Lewis and Tollien to great deal of cruelty and gore in the undermine children's faith in God books, not just battles but deliberate and the Church. murder, sadism, mutilation, suicide, Q: Many Catholics, including euthanasia and even cannibalism. William Donohue of the Catholic , . There are also passages of disturbLeague, are speaking out against the ing sensuality and homosexual anmovie. What should parents know gels who are "platonic lovers." before they let their children watch I agree with Pete. Avoid both the this film? movie and the books. It would be Vere: I don't recommend any par- best if people didn't picket or make ent allow their children to view the a public fuss because that's just free film. While the movie has reportedly publicity. If the movie fail~ at the box been sanitized of its more anti-Chris- office, the second and third books tian and anti-religious elements, it won't be filmed. will do nothing but pique children's Q: The author, Philip Pullman, is curiosity about the books. I'm a par- tin outspoken atheist. Does this come ent myself. My children would think across in the hooks and the movie as it hypocritical if I told them it was a seculnrist position or more in the OK to see the movie, but not to read fonn ofanti-Catholicism? the books. And they would be right. Vere: It's not an "either/or" situIt's not OK for children - im- ation. What begins as a rebellion pressionable as they are - to read against the Church turns into a restories in which the plot revolves bellion against God. This then leads around the supreme blasphemy, to the discovery that God - and namely, that God is a liar and a mor- Christianity - are a fraud.

DECEMBER

7, 2007

The 12-year-old protagonists Lyra and BiIl- discover there is no immortal soul, no heaven or hell. All that awaits us in the afterlife is some gloomy Hades-type afterlife where the soul goes to wait until it completely dissolves. Thus Pullman uses anti-Catholicism as the gateway to promoting atheism. Q: The trilogy is being compared to "Harry Potter" and "The Lord of the Rings." Is there a comparison to be made with either? Vere: On the surface, yes. You've got wizards,heroines, strange creatures, alternate worlds, etc. Although for reasons already stated, the real comparison - by way of inverted imagery - is to C.S. Lewis' "Narnia" chronicles. Pullman, who has called 'The Lord of the Rings" "infantile," has a particular dislike for Lewis and "Narnia." This is reflected in Pi.l1lman taking Lewis' literary, devices and inverting them to attac~ Christianity and promote atheism. Vere: Thus what we see here is more contrast and corruption than comparison. Also, the work of Tolkien, Lewis and Rowling is primarily driven by the audience. It is the average reader who purchases these works, reads them, and makes them popular. Pullman's work, on the other hand, appears to be driven by the critics. The only people I know recommending Pullman's work are English majors and university professors. I don't know a single electrician, hairdresser or accountant who recommends Pullman's work by word of mouth. Thus the books haven't resonated with the average person to the same degree as "Lord of the Rings," "Narnia" and "Harry Potter." Q: Nicole Kidman, a Catholic who stars in thefilm, has saidshe wouldn't have taken the role if she thought the movie was anti-Catholic. What do you make ofthis response? Vere: The film has not yet been released, so I cannot comment on it. However, Christ asks very pointedly in the Gospels: Can a good tree bear rotten fruit? The movie is the fruit of the books and Pullman's imagination. These are anti-Christian and atheistic at their core. How does one sanitize this from the movie without completely gutting Pullman from his story? But let's suppose it is possible. Let's suppose Kidman is right and that the movie has been sanitized of its anti-Catholicism. The books remain saturated with bitter anti-Christian polemic. So why promote a movie that will only generate interest in the books among impressionable young children? For the Christian parent, the movie cannot be anything but spiritual poison to their children - for the movie is the fruit of the book.


SPE SALVI (SAVED IN HOPE)

~ The Anchor ~

POPE BENEDICf XVI

SPESALVI ENCYCLICAL LETTER OF THE SUPREME PONTIFF BENEDICT XVI TO THE BISHOPS, PRIESTS AND DEACONS, MEN AND WOMEN RELIGIOUS, AND ALL THE LAY EAITHFUL ON CHRISTIAN HOPE ,

Introduction" 1. "SPESALVIfacti sumus" - in hope we were saved, says Saint Paul to the Romans, and likewise to us (Rom 8:24). According to the Christian faith, "redemption" - salvation - is not simply a given. Redemption is offered to us in the sense that we have been given hope, trustworthy hope, by vinue of which we can face our present: the present, even if it is arduous, can be lived and accepted if it leads towards a goal, if we can be sure of this goal, and if this goal is great enough to justifY the effort of the journey. Now the question immediately arises: what sort of hope could ever justifY the statement that, on the basis of that hope and simply because it exists, we are redeemed? And what sort ofcertainty is involved here?

in the phrase from the Letter to the Ephesians quoted above: the Ephesians, before their encounter with Christ, were without hope because they were "without God in the world." To come to know God - the true God - means to receive hope. We who have always lived with the Christian concept ofGod, and have grown accustomed to it, have almost ceased to notice that we possess the hope that ensues from a real encounter with this God. The example ofasaint ofour time can to some degree help ~ under-

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for the living God, the God ofJesus Christ. Up to that time she had known only masters who despised and maltreated her, or at best consiqered her a useful slave. Now, however, she heard . a "paron"b ~ljI a ove,all masters, me that there IS Lord of all lords, and that this Lord is gooq, goodness in person. She came to know that this Lord even knew her, that he had created her - that he actually loved her. She too was loved, and by none other than the supreme "Paron," before whom all other masters are themselv~

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ceived her first Holy Communion from the hands ofthe Patriarch ofVenice. On 8 Decem,ber 1896, in Verona, she took her vows in the Congregation ofthe Canossian Sisters and from that time onwards, besides her work in the sacristy and in the porter's lodge at the convent, she made several journeys round Italy in order to promote the missions: the liberation that she had received through her encounter with the God ofJesus Christ, she felt she had to extend, it had to be handed on to others, to the greatest possible number of people. The hope born in her which had "redeemed" her she could not keep to herself; this hope had to reach many, to reach everybody.

i

The conceptoffaith-basedhope in th~ New Testament and the early Church

4. We have raised the question: can our encounter with the God who in Christ has shown 2. Before turning our attention to these timely us his face and opened his heart be for us too questions, we must listen a little more closely not JUSt "informative" but "performative" to the Bible's testimony on hope. "Hope," in that is to say, can it change our lives, so that we fact, is a key word in Biblical faith - so much know we are redeemed through the hope that so that inseveral passages the words "faith" and it expresses? Before attempting to answer the "hope" seem interchangeable. Thus the Letter question, let us return once more to the early to the Hebrews closely links the "fullness offaith" Church. It is not difficult to realize that the (10:22) to "the confession ofour hope without experience ofthe Mrican slave-girl Bakhita was wavering" (10:23). Likewise, when the First also the experience of many in the period of Letter ofPeter exhorts Christians ,to be always - nascent Christianity who were beaten and conready to give an answer concerning the logosdemned to slavery. Christianity did not bring a the meaning and the reason - of their hope (c£ 3:15), "hope'~ is equivalent to "faith." We message ofsocial revolution like that of the illfated Spaitacus, whose struggle led to so much see how decisively the self-understanding ofthe bloodshed. Jesus was not Spartacus, he was not early Christians was shaped by their having reengaged in a fight for political liberation like ceived the gift ofa trustworthy hope, when we Barabbas or Bar-Kochba. Jesus, who himself compare the Christian life with life prior to faith, died'on the Cross, brought something totally or with the situation ofthe followers of other different: an encounter with the Lord of all religions. Paul reminds the Ephesians that belords, an encounter with the living God and fore their encounter with Christ they were thus an encounter with a hope stronger than "without hope and without God in the world" the sufferings of slavery, a hope which there(Eph 2:12). Of course he knew they had had fore transformed life and the world from within. . gods, he knew they had had a religion, but their What was new here can be seen with the utgods had proved questionable, and no hope most clarity in Saint Paul's Letter to Philemon. emerged from their contradictory myths. NotThis is a very personal letter, which Paul wrote withstanding their gods, they were "without from prison and entrusted to the runaway slave God" and consequently found themselves in a Onesimus for his master, Philemon. Yes, Paul dark world, facing a dark future. In nihil ab is sending the slave back to the master from nihiloquam dto recidimus (How quickly we fall whom he had fled, not ordering but asking: "I back from nothing to nothing): I so says an epiappeal to you for my child ... whose father I taph ofthat period. In this phrase we see in no have become in my imprisonment ... I am senduncertain terms the point Paul was making. In ing him back to you, sending my very heart ... the same vein he says to the Thessalonians: you must not "grieve as others do who have no Pope Benedict XVI signs his encyclical, "Spe SalvI," at the Vatican November l perhaps this is why he was parted from you for 30. Archbishop Fernando Filoni, Vatican assistant secretary of state, is at right.' a while, that you might have him back for ever, hope" (J Th 4: 13). Here too we see as a distinI (eNS photolL'Osservatore Romano via Reuters) no longer as a slave but more than a slave, as a guishing mark of Christians the fact that they have a future: it is not that they know the de- stand what it means to have a real encounter no more than lowly servants. She Wa.!! known Ii beloved brother ..." (Philem 10-16). Those who, 'tails of what awaits them, but they know in with this God for the first time. I am thinking and loved and she was awaited. What is more,i as far as their civil starus is concerned, stand ,in general terms that their life will not end in ofthe African Josephine Bakhita, canonized by this master had himselfaccepted the destiny ofI, rdation to one an other as masters and slaves, emptiness. Only when the future is certain as a Pope John Paul II. She was born around 1869 being flogged and now he was waiting for her· inasmuch as 'they are members of the one positive reality does it become possible to live - she herselfdid not know the precise date- "at the Father's right hand." Now she hadi~ Church have ~ecome brothers and sisters the present as well. So now we can say: Chris- in Darfur in Sudan. At the age ofnine, she was "hope" - no longer simply the modest hope this is how Christians addressed one another. tianity was not only "good news" - the com- kidnapped by slave-traders, beaten till she bled, offinding masters who would be less cruel, but !! By virtue of their Baptism they had been remunication ofa hitherto unknown content. In , and sold five times in the slave-markets of the great hope: "I am definitively loved and born, they had beengiven to drink ofthe same our language we would say: the Christian mes- Sudan. Eventually she found herself working whatever happens to me - I am awaited by Spirit and they received the Body of the Lord sage was not only "informative" but as a slave for the mother and the wife ofa gen- this Love. And so my life is good." Through Ii together, alongside one another. Even if exter"performative." That means: the Gospel is not eral, and there she was flogged every day till she the knowledge of this hope she was "redeemed,"· nal structures remained unaltered, this changed merely a communication of things that can be bled; as a result of this she bore 144 scars no longer a slave, but a free child of God. She I society from within. When the Letter to the Heknown - it is one that makes things happen throughou~ her life. Finally, in 1882, she was understood what Paul meant when he reminded brews says that Christians here on earth do not and is life-changing. The dark door ofi:ime, of bought by an Italian merchant for the Italian the Ephesians that previously they were with- I have a permanent homeland, but seek one which lies in the future (c£ Heb 11:13-16; Phil the future, has been thrown open. The one who consul Callisto Legnani, who returned to Italy out hope and without God in the world has hope lives differently; the one who hopes as the Mahdists advanced. Here, after the terri- without hope because without God. Hence, " 3:20), this does not mean for one moment that has been granted the gift of a new lif~. fYing "masters" who had owned her up to that when she was about to be taken back to Sudan,! they live only for the future: present society is 3. Yet at this point a question arises: in what point, Bakhita came to know a totally different Bakhita refused; she did not wish to be sepa- recognized by Christians as an exile; they bedoes this hope consist which, as hope, is "re- kind of"master" - in Venetian dialect, which rated again from her "Paron." On 9 January. long to a new society which is the goal of their demption"? The essence of the answer is given she was now learning, she used the name "paron" 1890, she was baptized and confirmed and re-!I common pilgrimage and which is anticipated

Faith is Hope

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SPE SALVI (SAVED IN HOPE) in the course of that pilgrimage. 5. We must add a funher point of view. The First Letter to the Corinthians (1 :18-31) tells us that many of the early Christians belonged to the lower social strata, and precisely for this reason were open to the experience of new hope, as we saw in the example ofBakhita. Yet from the beginning there were also conversions in the aristocratic and cultured circles, since they too were living "without hope and without God in the world." Myth had lost its credibility; the Roman State religion had become fossilized into simple ceremony which was scrupulously carried out, but by then it was merely "political religion." Philosophical rationalism had confined the gods within the realm of unreality. The Divine was seen in various ways in cosmic forces, but a God to whom one could pray did not exist. Paul illustrates the essential problem ofthe religion ofthat time quite accurately when he contrasts life "according to Christ" with life under the dominion of the "elemental spirits of the universe" (Col 2:8). In this regard a text by Saint Gregory Nazianzen is enlightening. 'He says that at the very moment when the Magi, guided by the star, adored Christ the new king, astrology came to an end, because the stars were now moving in the orbit determined by Christ.2 This scene, in fact, overturns the worldview ofthat time, which in a different way has become fashionable once again today. It is not the elemental spirits ofthe universe, the laws of matter, which ultimately govern the world and mankind, l ut a personal God governs the stars, that is, the universe; it is not the laws ofmatter and of evolution that have the final say, but reason, will, love - a Person. And ifwe know this Person and he knows us, then truly the inexorable power ofmaterial elements no longer has the last word; we are not slaves of the universe and of its laws, we are free., In: ancient times, honest enquiri~g ''!linds were ~~are of this. Heaven is not empty. Life is not a simple product oflaws and the randomness ofmatter, but within everything and at the same time above everything, there is a personal will, there . is a Spirit who in Jesus has revealed himself as Love. 3 6. The sarcophagi of the early Christian era illustrate this concept visually-in the context ofdeath, in the face ofwhich the question concerning life's meaning becomes unavoidable. The figure of Christ is interpreted on ancient sarcophagi principally by two images: the philosopher and the shepherd. Philosophy at that time was not generally seen as a difficult academic discipline, as it is today. Rather; the philosopherwas someone who knew how to teach the essential art: the art of being authentically human - the art of living and dying. To be sure, it had long since been realized that many of the people who went around pretending to be philosophers, teachers oflife, were just charlatans who made money through their words, while having nothing to say about real life. All the more, then, the true philosopher who really did know how to point out the path oflife was highly sought afrer. Towards the end ofthe third century, on the sarcophagus ofa child in Rome, we find for the first time, in the context of the resurrection of Lazarus, the figure of Christ as the true philosopher, holding the Gospel in one hand and the philosopher's travelling staffin the other. With his staff, he conquers death; the Gospel brings the truth that itinerant philosophers had searched for in vain. In this image, which then became a common feature of sarcophagus art for a long time, we see clearly what both educated and simple people found in Christ: he tells us who man truly is and what a man must do in order to be truly human. He shows us the way, and this way is the truth. He himself is both the way and the truth, and therefore he is also the life

~ The Anchor ~ which all of us are seeking. He also shows us .Aquinas,4 using the terminology of the philothe way beyond death; only someone able to sophical tradition to which he belonged, exdo this is a true teacher oflife. The same thing plains it as follows: faith is a habitus, that is, a becomes visible in the image of the shepherd. stable disposition of the spirit, through which As in the representation of the philosopher, so eternal life takes root in us and reason is led to tOO through the figure ofthe shepherd the early consent to what it does not see. The concept of Church could identifY with existing models of "substance" is therefore modified in the sense Roman an. There the shepherd was generally that through faith, in a tentative way, or as we an expression of the dream of a tranquil and might say "in embryo" - and thus according simple life, for which the people, amid the con- to the "substance" - there are already present fusion of the big cities, felt a certain longing. in us the things that are hoped for: the whole, true life: And precisely because the thing itself is already present, this presence of what is to come also creates certainty: this "thing" which must come is not yet visible in the external world. (it does not "appear"), but because of the fact that, as an initial and dynamic reality, we carry it within us, a certain perception ofit has even now come into existence. To Luther, who was not particularly fond of the Letter to the Hebrews, the concept of "substance," in the context of his view of faith, meant nothing. For this reason he understood the term hypostasis/ substance not in the objective sense (ofa reality present within us), but in the subjective sense, as an expression ofan interior attitude, and so, naturally, he also had to understand the term argumentum as a disposition of the subject. In the twentieth century this interpretation became prevalent - at least in Germany - in Catholic exegesis too, so that the ecumenical translation into German ofthe NewTestament, approved by the Bishops, reads as follows: Glaube aber ist: Feststehen in dem, was man erhoffi, Oberzeugtsein von dem, was man nicht sieht (faith is: standing firm in what one hopes, The story of St. Josephine Bakhita, a 19th-century African slave, figures being convinced ofwhat one does not see). This prominently in "Spe SalvI," the second in itselfis not incorrect, but it is not the meanencyclical of Pope Benedict XVI. He ing of the text, because the Greek term used said she found the "great hope" that (elenchos) does not have the subjective sense of liberated and redeemed her. (CNS "conviction" but the objective sense of"proof." Rightly, therefore, recent Protestant exegesis has photo, Catholic Press Photo) arrived at a different interpretation: "Yet there Now the image was read as part of a new sce- can be no question but that this classical Protnario which gave it a deeper content: "The Lord estant understanding is untenable."5 Faith is not is my shepherd: I shall not want ... Even though merely a personal reaching out towards things Iwalk through the valley ofthe shadow ofdeath, to come that are still totally absent: it gives us 1fear no evil, because you are with me ..." (Ps something. It gives us even now something of 23 [22]:1, 4). The true shepherd is one who the reality we are waiting for, and this present knows even the path that passes through the reality constitutes for us a "proof' ofthe things valley of death; one who walks with me even that are still unseen. Faith draws the future into on the path offinal solitude, where no one can the present, so that it is no longer simply a "not accompany me, guiding me through: he him- yet." The fact that this future exists changes selfhas walked this path, he has descended into the present; the present is touched by the futhe kingdom ofdeath, he has conquered death, ture reality, and thus the things of the future and he has returned to accompany us now and spill over into those ofthe present and those of to give us the certainty that, together with him, the present into those ofthe future. we can find away through. The realization that 8. This explanation is further strengthened and there is One who even in death accompanies related to daily life if we consider verse' 34 of me, and with his "rod and his staff comforts the tenth chapter of the Letter to the Hebrews, me," so that "I fear no evil" (cÂŁ Ps 23 [22]:4) which is linked by vocabulary and content to - this was the new "hope" that arose over the this definition ofhope-filled faith and prepares life ofbelievers. the way for it. Here the author speaks to be7. We must return once more to the NewTes- lievers who have undergone the experience of tament. In the eleventh chapter ofthe Letter to persecution and he says to them: "you had comthe Hebrews (v. 1) we find a kind ofdefinition passion on the prisoners, and you joyfully acoffaith which closelylinks this virtue with hope. cepted the plundering of your property Ever since the Reformation there has been a (hyparr:honton- Vg. bonorum), since you knew dispute among exegetes over the central word that you yourselves had a better possession ofthis phrase, but today a way towards a com- (hyparxin- Vg. substantiam) and an abiding mon interpretation seems to be opening up once one." Hyparchonta refers to property, to what more. For the time being 1shall leave this cen- in earthly life constitutes the meaf!.s ofsupport, tral word untranslated. The sentence therefore indeed the basis, the "subStance" for life, what reads as follows: "Faith is the hypostasis ofthings we depend upon. This "substance," life's norhoped for; the proof of things not seen." For mal source ofsecurity, has been taken away from the Fathers and for the theologians of the Christians in the course of persecution. They Middle Ages, it was clear that the Greek word have stood firm, though, because they considhypostasis was to be rendered in Latin with the ered this material substance to be of little acterm substantia. The Latin translation of the count. Theycould abandon it because theyhad text produced at the time of the early Church found a better "basis" for their existence - a therefore reads: Est autem fides sperantlarum basis that abides, thai: no one can take away. substantia rerum, argumentum non apparentium We must not overlook the link between these - faith is the "substance" of things hoped for; two types of "substance," between means of the proof of things not seen. Saint Thomas support or material basis and the word offaith

POPE BENEDICT XVI

as the "basis," the "substan~" that endures. Faith gives life a new basis, a new foundation on which we can stand, one which relativizes the habitual foundation, the reliability of material income. A new freedom is created with regard to this habitual foundation oflife, which only appears to be capable of providing support, although this is obviously not to deny its normal meaning. This new freedom, the awareness ofthe new "substance" which we have been given, is revealed not only in martyrdom, in which people resist the overbearing power of ideology and its political organs and, by their death, renew the world. Above all, it is seen in the great acts of renunciation, from the monks of ancient times to Saint Francis of Assisi and those of our contemporaries who enter modern religious Institutes and movements and leave everything for love of Christ, so as to bring to men and women the faith and love of Christ, and to help those who are suffering in body and spirit. In their case, the new "substance" has proved to be a genuine "substance"; from the hope ofthese people who have been touched by Christ, hope has arisen'for others who were living in darkness and without hope. In their case, it has been demonstrated that this new life truly possesses and is "substance" that calls forth life for others. For us who contemplate these figures, their way of acting and living is defacto a "proof" that the things to come, the promise ofChrist, are not only a reality that we await, but a real presence: he is truly the "philosopher" and the "shepherd" who shows us what life is and where it is to be found. 9. In order to understand more deeply this reflection on the two types of substance - hypostasis and hyparr:honta - and on the two approaches to life expressed by these terms, we must continue with a briefconsideration oftwo words pertinent to the discussion which can be found in the tenth chapter of the Letter to the Hebrews. I refer to the words hypomone (10:36) and hypostole (10:39). Hypomone is normally translated as "patience" - perseverance, constancy. Knowing how to wait, while patiently enduring trials, is necessary for the believer to be able to "receive what is promised" (10:36). In the religious context ofancientJudaism, this word was used expressly for the expectation of God which was characteristic ofIsrael, for their persevering faithfulness to God on the basis of the certainty ofthe Covenant in a world which contradiCts God. Thus the word indicates a lived hope, a life based on the certainty of hope. In the New Testament this expectation of God, this standing with God, takes on a new significance: in Christ, God has revealed himself. He has already communicated to us the "substance" of things to come, and thus the expectation of God acquires a new certainty. It is the expectation ofthings to come from the perspective ofa present that is already given. It is a looking-forward in Christ's presence, with Christ who is present, to the perfecting of his Body, to his definitive coming. The word .hyposiole, on the other hand, means shrinking back through lack of courage to speak openly and frankly a truth that may be dangerous. Hiding through a spirit of fear leads to "destruction" (Heb 10:39). "God did not give us aspirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control" - that, by contrast, is the beauti.ful way in which the Second Letter to Timothy (1: 7) describes the fun<ianlental attitude ofthe Christian.

Eternal life - what is it? 10. We have spoken thus far of faith and hope in the New Testament and in early Christianity; yet it has always been clear that we are referring not only to the past: the entire reflection concerns living and dying in general, and therefore it also concerns us here and now. So


SPE SALVI (SAVED IN HOPE)

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The Anchor $

POPE BENEDICT XVI

now we must ask explicitly: is the Christian faith there is nothing else that we ask for in prayer. taking refuge in a private form ofeternal salva- come agricultural labourers - laborantes also for us today a life-changing and life-sus- Our journey has no other goal - it is about . tion. Henri de Lubac, in the introduction to he says. The nobility ofwork, which Christianthis alone. But then Augustine also says: look- his seminal book Catholicisme. Aspects sociaux ity inherited from Judaism, had already been taining hope? Is it "performative" for us - is it a message ing more closely, we have no idea what we ulti- du dogme, assembled some characteristic articu- expressed in the monastic rules of Augustine which shapes our life in a new way, or is it just mately desire, what we would really like. We lations of this viewpoint, one ofwhich is worth and Benedict. Bernard takes up this idea again. "information" which, in the meantime, we have do not know this reality at all; even in those quoting: "Should I have found joy? No ... only The young noblemen who flocked to his monset aside and which now seems to us to have moments when we think we can reach out and my joy, and that is something wildly different asteries had to engage in manual labour. In fact been superseded by more recent information? touch it, it eludes us. "We do not know what ... The joy ofJesus can be personal. It can be- Bernard explicitly states that not even the monIn the search for an answer, I would like to be- we should pray for as we ought," he says, quot- long to a single man and he is saved. He is at astery can restore Paradise, but he maintains gin with the classical form ofthe dialogue with ing Saint Paul (Rom 8:26). All we know is that peace ... now and always, but he is alone. The that, as a place ofpractical and spiritual "tilling which the rite of Baptism expressed the recep- it is not this. Yet in not knowing, we know that isolation of this joy does not trouble him. On the soil," it must prepare the new Paradise. A tion ofan infant into the community ofbeliev- this reality must exist. "There is therefore in us the contrary: he is the chosen one! In his bless- wild plot of forest land is rendered fertile ers and the infant's rebirth in Christ. First ofall a certain learned ignorance (dacta ignorantia), edness he passes through the battlefields with a and in the process, the trees ofpride are felled, whatever weeds may be growing inside souls the priest asked what name the parents had cho- so to speak," he writes. We do not know what rose in his hand." 10 sen for the child, and then he continued with we would really like; we do not know this "true 14. Against this, drawing upon the vast range are pulled up, and the ground is thereby prethe question: "What do you ask ofthe Church?" life"; and yet we know that there must be some- ofpatristic theology, de Lubac was able to dem- pared so that bread for body and soul can flourAnswer: "Faith." ''And what does faith give thing we do not know towards which we feel onstrate that salvation has always been consid- ish. 13 Are we not perhaps seeing once again, in ered a "social" reality. Indeed, the Letter to the the light of current history, that no positive you?" "Eternal life."According to this dialogue, driven. s Hebrewsspeaksofa "city" (cf.ll:lO, 16; 12:22; world order can prosper where souls are over12. I think that in this very precise and permathe parents were seeking access to the faith for their child, communion with believers, because nently valid way, Augustine is describing man's 13: 14) and therefore of communal salvation. grown? they saw in faith the key to "eternal life."Today essential situation, the situation that gives rise Consistently with this view, sin is understood as in the past, this is what being bap~d, ,~~足 to all his contradictions and hopes. In some by the Fathers as the destruction ofthe unity of The transfonnation o/Christianfaith - hope coming Christians, is all about: it is not just an waywewantlife itself, true life, untouched even the human race, as fragmentation and division. in the modern age act ofsocialization within the community, not by death; yet at the same time we do not know Babel, the place where languages were confused, 16. How could the idea have developed that simply a welcome into the Church. The par- the thing towards which we feel driven. We can- the place ofseparation, is seen to be an expres- Jesus's message is narrowly individualistic and ents expect more for the one to be baptized: not stop reaching out for it, and yet we know sion of what sin fundamentally is. Hence "re- .aimed only at each person singly? How did we they expect that faith, which includes the cor- that all we can experience or accomplish is not demption" appears as the reestablishment of arrive at this interpretation of the "salvation of poreal nature ofthe Church and her sacraments, what we yearn for. This unknown "thing" is unity,. in which we come together once more the soul" as a flight from responsibility for the will give life to their child - eternal life. Faith the true "hope" which drives us, and at the same in a union that begins to take shape in the w9rld whole, and how did we come to conceive the is the substance ofhope. But then the question time the fact that it is unknown is the cause of community ofbelievers. We need not concern Christian project as a selfish search for salvaarises: do we really want this - to live eter- all forms of despair and also of all efforts, ourselves here with all the texts in which the tion which rejects the idea ofserving others? In nally? Perhaps many people reject the faith to- whether positive or destructive, directed towards social character of hope appears. Let us con- order to find an answer to this we must take a day simply because they do not find the pros- worldly authenticity and human authenticity. centrate on the Letter to Proba in which Augus- look at the foundations of the modern age. pect of eternal life attractive. What they desire The term "eternal life" is intended to give a name tine tries to illustrate to some degree this "known These appear with particular clarity in the is not eternal life at all, but this present life, for to this known "unknown." Inevitably it is an unknown" that we seek. His point of depar- thought of Francis Bacon. That a new era which faith in eternal life seems something of inadequate term that creates confusion. "Eter- ture is simply the expression "blessed life." Then emerged - through the discovery ofAmerica an impediment. To continue living for ever- nal," in fact, suggests to us the idea of some- he quotes Psalm 144 [143]:15: "Blessed is the and the new technical achievements that had endlessly - appears more like a curse than a thing interminable, and this frightens us; "life" people whose God is the Lord." And he con- made this development possible - is undenigift. Death, admittedly, one would wish to post- makes us think of the life that we know and tinues: "In order to be numbered among this able. But what is the basis of this new era? It is pone for as long as possible. But to live always, love and do not want to lose, even though very people and attain to ... everlasting life with God, the new correlation ofexperiment and method without end - this, all things considered, can often it brings more toil than satisfaction, so . 'the end pf the commandment is charity-"iliat , that'enables man to arrive at an interpretation only be monotonous and ultimately unbear- that while on the one hand we desire it, on the issues from pure h~artand a gciodcO~sci~n"ee ,.ofri.itiJ.re iri cririformit}- with its laws and thus able. This is precisely the point made, for ex- . other hand we do not want it. To imagine our- and sincere faith' (J Tim 1:5)." 11 This real life, finally to achieve "the triumph of art over naample, by Saint Ambrose, one of the Church selves outside the temporality that imprisons towards which we try to reach out again and ture" (victoria cursus artis super naturam). 14 The Fathers, in the funeral discourse for his deceased us and in some way to sense that eternity is not again, is linked to a lived union with a "people," novelty - according to Bacon's vision -lies brother Satyrus: "Death was not part of na- an unending succession of days in the calen- and for each individual it can only be attained in a new correlation between science and praxis. ture; it became part of nature. God did not dar, but something more like the supreme mo- within this "we." It presupposes that we escape This is also given a theological application: the decree death from the beginning; he prescribed ment ofsatisfaction, in which totality embraces from the prison ofour "I," because only in the new correlation between science and praxis it as a remedy. Human life, because of sin ... us and we embrace totality - this we can only openness ofthis universal subject does our gaze would mean that the dominion over creation began to experience the burden of wretched- attempt. It would be like plunging into the open out to the source ofjoy, to love itself-to - given to man by God and lost through original sin - would be reestablished. IS ness in unremitting labour and unbearable sor- ocean ofinfinite love, a moment in which time God. row. There had to be a limit to its evils; death - the before and after - no longer exists. We 15. While this community-oriented vision of 17. Anyone who reads and reflects on these had to restore what life had forfeited. Without can only attempt to grasp the idea that such a the "blessed life" is certainly directed beyond statements attentively will recognize that a disthe assistance ofgrace, immortality is more ofa moment is life in the fUll sense, a plunging ever the present world, as such it also has to do with turbing step has been taken: up to that time, burden than a blessing." 6 A little earlier, anew into the vasmess of being, in which we the building up ofthis world - in very differ- the recovery ofwhat man had lost through the Ambrose had said: "Death is, then, no cause are simply overwhelmed with joy. This is how ent ways, according to the historical context expulsion from Paradise was expected from faith for mourning, for it is the cause of mankind's Jesus expresses it in SaintJohn's ~spel: "I will and the possibilities offered or excluded thereby. in Jesus Christ: herein lay "redemption." Now, salvation." 7 see you again and your hearts will rejoice, and At the time ofAugustine, the incursions ofnew this "redemption," the restoration of the lost 11. Whatever preciselySaintAmbrose may have no one will take your joy from you" (l6:22). peoples were threatening the cohesion of the "Paradise" is no longer expected from faith, but meant by these words, it is true that to elimi- We must think along these lines ifwe want to world, where hitherto there had been a certain from the newly discovered link between science nate death or to postpone it more or less in- understand the object ofChristian hope, to un- guarantee of law and of living in a juridically and praxis. It is not that faith is simply denied; definitely would place the earth and humanity derstand what it is that our faith, our being ordered society; at that time, then, it was a mat- rather it is displaced onto another level- that ter of strengthening the basic foundations of of purely private and other-worldly affairs in an impossible situation, and even for the in- with Christ, leads us to expect. 9 this peaceful societal existence, in order to sur- and at the same time it becomes somehow irdividual would bring no benefit. Obviously Is Christian hope individualistic? vive in a changed world. Let us now consider a relevant for the world. This programmatic vithere is a contradiction in our attitude, which 13. In the course of their history, Christians more or less randomly chosen episode from the sion has determined the trajectory of modern points to an inner contradiction in our very existence. On the one hand, we do not want to have tried to express this "knowing without Middle Ages, that serves in many respects to times and it also shapes the present-day crisis die; above all, those who love us do not want us knowing" by means offigures that can be rep- illustrate what we have been saying. It was com- offaith which is essentially a crisis ofChristian to die. Yet on the other hand, neither do we resented, and they have developed images of monly thought that monasteries were places of hope. Thus hope too, in Bacon, acquires a new want to continue living indefinitely, nor was "Heaven" which remain far removed from what, flight from the world (contemptus mundz) and form. Now it is called: faith inprogress. For Bathe earth created with that in view. So what do after all, can only be known negatively, via un- ofwithdrawal from responsibility for the world, con, it is dear that the recent spate ofdiscoverwe really want? Our paradoxical attitude gives knowing. All these attempts at the representa- in search of private salvation. Bernard of ies and inventions is just the beginning; through rise to a deeper question: what in fact is "life"? tion ofhope have given to many people, down Clairvaux, who inspired a multitude ofyoung the interplay ofscience and praxis, totally new And what does "eternity" really mean? There the centuries, the incentive to live by faith and people to enter the monasteries ofhis reformed discoveries will follow, a totally new world will 16 are moments when it suddenly seems clear to hence also to abandon their hyparchonta, the Order, had quite a different perspective on this. emerge, the kingdom of man. He even put us: yes, this is what true "life" is - this is what material substance for their lives. The author In his view, monks perform a task for the whole forward a vision offoreseeable inventions-init should be like. Besides, what we call "life" in ofthe Letter to theHebrews, in the eleventh chap- Church and hence also for the world. He uses cluding the aeroplane and the submarine. As our everyday language is not real "life" at all. ter, outlined a kind ofhistory ofthose who live many images to illustrate the responsibility that the ideology ofprogress developed further, joy SaintAugustine, in the extended letter on prayer in hope and oftheir journeying, a historywhich monks have towards the entire body of the at visible advances in human potential remained which he addressed to Proba, a wealthy Ro- stretches from the time ofAbel into the author's Church, and indeed towards humanity; he ap- a continuing confirmation of faith in progress man widow and mother ofthree consuls, once own day. This type ofhope has been subjected plies to them the words of pseudo-Rufinus: as such. wrote this: ultimately we want only one thing to an increasingly harsh critique in modern "The human race lives thanks to a few; were it 18. At the same time, two categories become - "the blessed life," the life which is simply times: it is dismissed as pure individualism, a not for them, the world would perish .... "12 increasingly central to the idea ofprogress: realife, simply "happiness." In the final analysis, way ofabandoning the world to its misery and Contemplatives - contemplantes - must be- son and freedom. Progress is primarily associ-

a


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I I

SPE SALVI (SAVED IN HOPE) ated with the growing dominion ofreason, and clusion is clear: this cannot continue; a change this reason is obviously considered to be a force is necessary. Yet the change would shake up and of good and a force for good. Progress is the overturn the entire structure ofbourgeois sociovercoming ofall forms ofdependency - it is ety. After the bourgeois revolution ofl789, the progress towards perfect freedom. Likewise free- time had come for a new, proletarian revoludom is seen purdy as a promise, in which man tion: progress could not simply continue in 'becomes more and more fully himself In both small, linear steps. A revolutionary leap was concepts - freedom and reason - there is a needed. Karl Marx took up the rallying call, political aspect. The kingdom ofreason, in fact, and applied his incisive language and intellect is expected as the new condition ofthe human to the task oflaunching this major new and, as race once it has attained total freedom. The he thought, definitive step in history towards political conditions ofsuch a kingdom of rea- salvation - towards what Kant had described son and freedom, however, appear at first sight as the "Kingdom of God." Once the truth of somewhat ill defined. Reason and freedom seem the hereafter had been rejected, it would then to guarantee by themselves, by virtue of their be a question of establishing the truth of the intrinsic goodness, a new and perfect human here and now. The critique ofHeaven is transcommunity. The two key concepts of"reason" formed into the critique of earth, the critique and "freedom," however, were tacitly interpreted oftheology into the critique ofpolitics. Progress as being in conflict with the shackles of faith towards the better, towards the definitivdy good and ofthe Church as well as those ofthe politi- world, no longer comes simply from science cal structures ofthe period. Both concepts there- but from politics - from a scientifically confore contain a revolutionary potential ofenor- ceived politics that recognizes the structure of mous explosive force. history and society and thus points out the road 19. We must look briefly at the two essential towards revolution, towards all-encompassing stages in the political realization of this hope, change. With great precision, albeit with a cerbecause they are of great importance for the tain onesided bias, Marx described the situadevelopment of Christian hope, for a proper tion ofhis time, and with great analytical skill understanding of it and of the reasons for its he spelled out the paths leading to revolution persistence. First there is the French Revolu- - and not only theoretically: by means of the tion - an attempt to establish the rule of rea- Communist Parry that came into being from son and freedom as a political reality. To begin the Communist Manifesto of1848, he set it in with, the Europe ofthe Enlightenment looked motion. His promise, owing to the acuteness on with fascination at these events, but then, of his analysis and his clear indication of the as.they developed, had cause to reflect anew on means for radical change, was and still remains reason and freedom. Agood illustration ofthese an endless source of fascination. Real revolutwo phases in the reception ofevents in France tion followed, in the most radical way in Rusis found in two essays by Immanuel Kant in sIa. which he refleCts on what had taken place. In 21. Together with the victory ofthe revolution, 1792 he wrote Der Sieg des guten Prinzips uber though, Marx's fundamental error also became das bose und die Gritndung eines Reiches Gattes evident. He showed precisely how to overthrow aufErden ("The Victory of the Good over the . the existing order, but he did not say how matEvil Principle and the Founding ofa Kingdom ters should proceed thereafter. He simply preofGod on Earth"). In this text he says the fol- sumed that with the expropriation of the rul. lowing: "The gradual transition of ecclesiasti- ing class, with the fall of political power and cal faith to the exclusive sovereignty ofpure re- the socialization of means of production, the ligious faith is the coming of the Kingdom of new Jerusalem would be realized. Then, indeed, God."I? He also tells us that revolutions can all contradictions would be resolved, man and accelerate this transition from ecclesiastical faith the world would finally sort themselves out. to rational faith. The "Kingdom ofGod" pro- Then everything would be able to proceed by . claimed by Jesus receives a new definition here itself along the right path, because everything and takes on a new mode of presence; a new would belong to everyone and all would desire "imminent expectation," so to speak, comes the best for one another. Thus, having accominto existence: the "Kingdom of God" arrives plished the revolution, Lenin must have realwhere "ecclesiastical faith" is vanquished and ized that the writings of the master gave no superseded by "religious faith," that is to say, indication as to how to proceed. True, Marx by simple rational faith. In 1795, in the text had spoken of the interim phase of the dictaDasEnde aller Dinge ("The End ofAllThings") torship of the proletariat as a necessity which a changed image appears. Now Kant considers in time would automatically become redunthe possibility that as well as the natural end of dant. This "intermediate phase" we know all all things there may be another that is unnatu- too well, and we also know how it then develral, a perverse end. He writes in this connec- oped, not ushering in a perfect world, but leavtion: "If Christianity should one day cease to ing behind a trail ofappalling destruction. Marx be worthy oflove ... then the prevailing mode not only omitted to work out how this new in human thought would be rejection and op- world would be organized - which should, of position to it; and the Antichrist ... would be- course, have been unnecessary. His silence on gin his - albeit short - regime (presumably this matter follows logically from his chosen based on fear and self-interest); but then, be- approach. His error lay deeper. He forgot that cause Christianity, though destined to be the man always remains man. He forgot rrian and world religion, would not in fact be favoured he forgot man's freedom. He forgot that freeby destiny to become so, then, in a moral re- dom always remains also freedom for evil. He spect, this could lead to the (pervetted) end of thought that once the economy had been put all things."18 right, everything would automatically be put 20. The nineteenth century hdd fast to its faith right. His real error is materialism: man, in fact, in progress as the new form of human hope, is not merely the product ofeconomic condiand it continued to consider reason and free- tions, and it is not possible to redeem him purely dom as the guiding stars to be followed along from the outside by creating a favourable ecothe path ofhope. Neverthdess, the increasingly nomic environment. rapid advance oftechnical development and the 22. Again, we find ourselves facing the quesindustrialization connected with it soon gave tion: what may we hope? A self-critique ofmorise to an entirely new social situation: there dernity is needed in dialogue with Christianity emerged a class of industrial workers and the and its concept ofhope. In this dialogue Chrisso-called "industrial proletariat," whose dread- tians too, in the context oftheir knowledge and fulliving conditions Friedrich Engels described experience, must learn anew in what their hope alarmingly in 1845. For his readers, the con- truly consists, what they have to offer to the

POPE BENEDICT

world and what they cannot offer. Flowing into this self-critique of the modern age there also has to be aself-critique ofmodern Christianity, which must constantly renew its self-understanding setting out from its roots. On this subject, all we can attempt here are a few briefobservations. First we must ask ourselves: what does "progress" really mean; what does it promise and what does it not promise? In the nineteenth century, faith in progress was already subject to critique. In the twentieth century, Theodor W. Adorno formulated the problem offaith in progress quite drastically: he said that progress, seen accurately, is progress from the sling to the atom bomb. Now this is certainly an aspect ofprogress that must not be concealed. To put it another way: the ambiguity ofprogress becomes evident. Without doubt, it offers new possibilities for good, but it also opens up appalling possibilities for evil- possibilities that formerly did not exist. We have all witnessed the way in which progress, in the wrong hands,

XVI

vergence ofvarious freedoms. Yet this convergence cannot succeed unless it is determined by a common intrinsic criterion of measurement, which is the foundation and goal ofour freedom. Let us put it very simply: man needs God, otherwise he remains without hope. Given the developments of the modern age, the quotation from Saint Paul with which I began (Eph 2: 12) proves to be thoroughly realistic and plainly true. There is no doubt, therefore, that a "Kingdom of God" accomplished without God - a kingdom therefore of man alone - inevitably ends up as the "perverse end" ofall things as described by Kant: we have seen it, and we see it over and over again. Yet neither is there any doubt that God truly enters into human affiUrs only when, rather than being present merely in our thinking, he himselfcomes towards us and speaks to us. Reason therefore needs faith if it is to be completdy itself: reason and faith need one another in order to fulfil their true nature and their mission.

.

The essential aspect of Christian hope is trust in eternal salvation brought by Christ, said Pope Benedict XVI In his second encyclical, "Spe SalvI." Pictured: Evening sunlight illuminates a crucifix in the Calvary Cemetery Mausoleum Chapel In Indianapolis. (CNS file photolMary Ann Wyand, The Criterion) can become and has indeed become a terrifYing progress in evil. Iftechnical progress is not matched by corresponding progress in man's ethical formation, in man's inner growth (CÂŁ Eph 3: 16; 2 Car 4: 16), then it is not progress at all, but a threat for man and for the world. 23. As far as the two great themes of "reason" and "freedom" are concerned, here we can only touch upon the issues connected with them. Yes indeed, reason is God's great gift to man, and the victory of reason over unreason is also a goal ofthe Christian life. But when does reason truly triumph? When it is detached from God? When it has become blind to God? Is the reason behind action and capacity for action the whole of reason? If progress, in order to be progress, needs moral growth on the part of humanity, then the reason behind action and capacity for action is likewise urgently in need ofintegration through reason's openness to the saving forces offaith, to the differentiation between good and evil. Only thus does reason become truly human. It becomes human only if it is capable of directing the will along the right path, and it is capable of this only if it looks beyond itselÂŁ Otherwise, mans situation, in view of the imbalance between his material capacityand the lack ofjudgement in his hean, becomes a threat for him and for creation. Thus where freedom is concerned, we must remember that human freedom always requires a con-

The true shape ofChristian hope 24. Let us ask once again: what may we hope? And what may we not hope? First of all, we must acknowledge that incremental progress is possible only in the material sphere. Here, amid our growing knowledge of the structure of matter and in the light ofever more advanced inventions, we clearly see continuous progress towards an ever greater mastery of nature. Yet in the field ofethical awareness and moral decision-making, there is no similar possibility of accumulation for the simple reason that man's freedom is always new and he must always make his decisions anew. These decisions can never simply be made for us in advance by othersif that were the case, we would no longer be free. Freedom presupposes that in fundamental decisions, every person and every generation is a new beginning. Naturally, new generations can build on the knowledge and experience of those who went before, and they can draw upon the moral treasury of the whole of humanity. But they can also reject it, because it can never be self-evident in the same way as material inventions. The moral treasury ofhumanity is not readily at hand like tools that we use; it is present as an appeal to freedom and a possibility for it. This, however, means that: a) The right state of human affiUrs, the moral well-being of the world can never be guaranteed simply through structures alone, however


SPE SALVI (SAVED IN HOPE)

$ The Anchor $

good they are. Such structures are not only im- all kinds of hopes, is ultimately without hope, ing terms: "The turbulent have to be corrected, portant, but necessary; yet they cannot and without the great hope that sustains the whole the faint-heaned cheered up, the weak supmust not marginalize human freedom. Even of life (c£ Eph 2:12). Man's great, true hope poned; the Gospel's opponents need to be rethe best structures function onlywhen the com- which holds firm in spite ofall disappointments futed, its insidious enemies guarded against; the munity is animated by convictions capable of can only be God - God who has loved us and unlearned need to be taught, the indolent stirred motivating people to assent freely to the social who continues to love us "to the end," until all up, the argumentative checked; the proud must order. Freedom requires conviction; conviction ' "is accomplished" (ef.]n 13:1 and 19:30). Who- be put in their place, the desperate set on their does not exist on its own, but must always be ever is moved by love begins to perceive what feet, those engaged in quarrels reconciled; the gained anew by the community. "life" really is. He begins to perceive the mean- needy have to be helped, the oppressed to be b) Since man always remains free and since his ing of the word of hope that we encountered' liberated, the good to be encouraged, the bad freedom, is always fragile, the kingdom ofgood in the Baptismal Rite: from faith I await "eter- to be tolerated; all must be loved." 22 "The Goswill never be definitively established in this nal life" - the true life which, whole and pel terrifies me" 23 - producing that healthy world. Anyone who promises the better world unthreatened, in all its fullness, is simply life. fear which prevents us from living for ourselves that-is guaranteed to last for ever is making a Jesus, who said that he had come so that we alone and compels us to pass on the hope we false promise; he is overlooking human free- might have life and have it in its fullness, in hold in common. Amid the serious difficulties dom. Freedom must constantly be won over abundance (C£]n 10:10), has also explained to facing the Roman Empire - and also posing a for the cause of good. Free assent to the good us what "life" means: "this is eternal life, that . serious threat to Roman Aftica, which was acnever exists simply by itsel£ Ifthere were struc- they know you the only true God, and Jesus tually destroyed at the end of Augustine's life tures which could irrevocably guarantee a de- Christ whom you have sent" (In 17:3). Life in - this was what he set out to do: to transmit termined - good - state ofthe world, man's its true sense is not something we have exclu- hope, the hope which came to him from faith freedom would be denied, and hence they sively in or from ourselves: it is a relationship. and which, in complete contrast with his inwould not be good structures at all. And life in its totality is a relationship with him trovened temperament, enabled him to take 25. What this means is that every generation who is the source of life. If we are in relation pan decisively and with all his strength in the has the task of engaging anew in the arduous with him who does not die, who is Life itself .task of building up the city. In the same chapsearch for the right way to order human affairs; and Love itself, then we are in life. Then we ter of the Confessions in which we have just noted the decisive reason for his commitment . this task is never simply completed. Yet every "live." generation must also make its own contribu- 28. Yet now the question arises: are we not in "for all," he says that Christ "intercedes for us, tion to establishing convincing structures of .this way falling back once again into an indi- otherwise I should despair. My weaknesses are freedom and ofgood, which can help the fol- vidualistic understanding ofsalvation, into hope many and grave, many and grave indeed, but lowing generation as a guideline for the proper for myselfalone, which is not true hope since it more abundant still is your medicine. We might use of human freedom; hence, always within forgets and overlooks others? Indeed we are not! have thought that your word was far distant human limits, they provide a certain guarantee Our relationship with God is established from union with man, and so we might have also for the future: In other words: good struc- through communion with Jesus - we cannot despaired ofourselves, ifthis Word had not betures help, but oLthemselves they are not achieve it alone or from our own resources come flesh and dwelt among US."24 On the enough. Man can never be redeemed simply alone. The relationship with Jesus, however, is strength ofhis hope, Augustine dedicated himfrom outside. Francis Bacon and those who fol- a relationship with the one who gave himselfas self completely to the ordinary people and to lowed in the intellectual current of modernity a ransom for all (C£ 1 Tim 2:6). Being in com- his city-renouncing his spiritual nobility, he that he inspired were wrong to believe that man munion with Jesus Christ draws us into his "be- preached and acted in a simple way for simple would be redeemed through science. Such an ing for all"; it makes it our own way of being. people. expectation asks too much ofscience; this kind He commits us to live for others, but only 30. Let us summarize what has emerged so far of hope is deceptive. Science can contribute through communion with him does it become in the course of our reflections: Day by'day, , greatly to making the world and mankind more possible truly to be there for others, for the man experiences many greater or lesser hopes, human. Yet it can also destroy mankind and whole. In this regard I would like to quote the different in kind according to the different pethe world unless it is steered by forces that lie great Greek Doctor of the Church, Maximus riods ofhis life. Sometimes one of these hopes outside it. On the other hand, we must also the Confessor (t 662), who begins byexhon- may appear to be totally satisfYing without any acknowledge that modem Christianity, faced ing us to prefer nothing to the knowledge and need for other hopes. Young people can have with the successes of science in progressively love of God, but then quickly moves on to the hope ofa great and fully satisfYing love; the structuring the world, has to a large extent re- practicalities: "The one who loves God cannot hope of a cenain position in their profession, stricted its attention to the individual and his hold on to money but rather gives it out in or of some success that will prove decisive for salvation. In so doing it has limited the horizon God's fashion ... in the same manner in accor- the rest of their lives. When these hopes are of its hope and has failed to recognize suffi- dance with the measure of justice." 19 Love of fulfilled, however, it becomes clear that they ciently the greamess ofits task - even ifit has God leads to panicipation in the justice and were not, in reality, the whole. It becomes evicontinued to achieve great things in the forma- generosity ofGod towards others. Loving God dent that man has need of a hope that goes tion of man and in care for the weak and the requires an interior freedom from all posses- funher. It becomes clear that only something suffering. sions and all material goods: the love ofGod is infinite will suffice for him, something that will 26. It is not science that redeems man: man is revealed in responsibility for others. 20 This same always be more than he can ever attain. In this redeemed by love. This applies even in terms of connection between love ofGod and responsi- regard our contemporary age has developed the this present world. When someone has the ex- bility for others can be seen in a striking way in hope ofcreating a perfect world that, thanks to perience ofa great love in his life, this is a mo- the life of Saint Augustine. After his conver- scientific knowledge and to scientifically based ment of"redemption" which gives a new mean- sion to the Christian faith, he decided, together politics, seemed to be achievable. Thus Biblical ing to his life. But soon he will also realize that with some like-minded friends, to lead a life hope in the Kingdom ofGod has been displaced the love bestowed upon him cannot by itself totally dedicated to the word of God and to by hope in the kingdom ofman, the hope ofa resolve the question of his life. It is a love that things eternal. His intention was to practise a better world which would be the real "Kingremains fragile. It can be destroyed by death. Christian version of the ideal of the contem- dom of God." This seemed at last to be the The human being needs unconditional love. plative life expressed in the great tradition of great and realistic hope that man needs. It was He needs the certainty which makes him say: Greek philosophy, choosing in this way the capable ofgalvanizing- for a time - all man's "neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor princi- "better pan" (C£ Lk 10:42). Things turned out energies. The great objective seemed wonhy of palities, nor things present, nor things to come, differently, however. While attending the Sun- full commitment. In the course of time, hownor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any- day liturgy at the pon city of Hippo, he was ever, it has become dear that this hope is conthing else in all creation, will be able to separate called out from the assembly by the Bishop and stantly receding. Above all it has become apus from the love of God in Christ Jesus our constrained to receive ordination for the exer- parent that this may be a hope for a future genLord" (Rom 8:38- 39). Ifthis absolute love ex- cise of the priestly ministry in that city. look- eration, but not for me. ists, with its absolute cenainty, then - only ing back on that moment, he writes in his Con- And however much "for all" may be part ofthe then - is man "redeemed," whatever should fessions: "Terrified by my sins and the weight of great hope - since I cannot be happy without happen to him in his panicular circumstances. my misery, I had resolved in my hean, and others or in opposition to them - it remains This is what it means to say: Jesus Christ has meditated flight into the wilderness; but you true that a hope that does not concern me per"redeemed" us. Through him we have become forbade me and gave me strength, by saying: sonally is not a real hope. It has also become cenain ofGod, aGod who is not a remote "first 'Christ died for all, that those who live might clear that this hope is opposed to freedom, since cause" of the world, because his only-begotten live no longer for themselves but for him who human affairs depend in each generation· on Son has become man and ofhim everyone can tor their sake died' (c£ 2 Cor 5:15)."21 Christ the free decisions of those concerned. If this say: "I live by faith in the Son of God, who died for all. To live for him means allowing freedom were to be taken away, as a result of loved me and gave himselffor me" (GaI2:20). oneself to be drawn into his beingfor others. cenain conditions or structures, then ultimately 27. In this sense it is true that anyone who does 29. For Augustine this meant a totally new life. this world would not be good, since a world not know God, even though he may entertain He once described his daily life in the follow- without freedom can by no means be a good

POPE BENEDICT XVI

world. Hence, while we must always be committed to the improvement of the world, tomorrow's better world cannot be the proper and sufficient content ofour hope. And in this regard the question always arises: when is the world "better"? What makes it good? By what standard are we to judge its goodness? What are the paths that lead to this "goodness"? 31. Let us say once again: we need the greater and lesser hopes that keep us going day by day. But these are not enough without the great hope, which must surpass everything else. This great hope can only be God, who encompasses the whole ofreality and who can bestow upon us what we, by ourselves, cannot attain. The fact that it comes to us as a gifr is actually pan of hope. God is the foundation of hope: not any god, but the God who has a human face and who has loved us to the end, each one of us and humanity in its entirety. His Kingdom is not an imaginary hereafrer, situated in a future that will never arrive; his Kingdom is present wherever he is loved and wherever his love reaches us. His love alone gives us the possibility of soberly persevering day by day, without ceasing to be spurred on by hope, in a world which by its very nature is imperfect. His love is at the same time our guarantee of the existence ofwhat we only vaguely sense and which nevenheless, in our deepest self, we await: a life that is "truly" life. Let us now, in the final section, develop this idea in more detail as we focus our attention on some of the "settings" in which we can learn in practice about hope and its exercise.

''Settingr'',/iJr learningandpractisinghope '~""A

,....

I. Prayer as a;~~!1601.o&hope

32. A first essential setting for learning hope is prayer. When no one listens to me any more, God still listens to me. When I can no longer talk to anyone or call upon anyone, I can always talk to God. When there is no longer anyone to help me deal with a need or expectation that goes beyond the human capacity for hope, he can help me. 25 When I have been plunged into complete solitude ...; if! pray I am never totally alone. The late Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan, a prisoner for. thirteen years, nine of them spent in solitary confinement, has left us a precious little book: Prayers ofHope. During thineen years in jail, in a situation ofseemingly utter hopelessness, the fact that he could listen and speak to God became for him an increasing power of hope, which enabled him, after his release, to become for people all over the world a wimess to hope - to that great hope which does not wane even in the nights ofsolitude. 33. Saint Augustine, in a homily on the First Letter ofJohn, describes very.beautifully the intimate relationship between prayer and hope. He defines prayer as an exercise ofdesire. Man was created for greamess - for God himself, he was created to be filled by God. But his hean is too small for the greatness to which it is destined. It must be stretched. "By delaying [his gift], God strengthens our desire; through desire he enlarges our soul and by expanding it he increases its capacity [for receiving him]." Augustine refers to Saint Paul, who speaks ofhimself as straining forward to the things that are to come (c£ Phil 3:13). He then uses a very beautiful image to describe this process ofenlargement and preparation ofthe human hean. "Suppose that God wishes to fill you with honey [a symbol ofGod's tenderness and goodness]; but if you are full of vinegar, where will you put the honey?" The vessel, that is your hean, must first be enlarged and then cleansed, freed from the vinegar and its taste. This requires hard work and is painful, but in this way alone do

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POPE BENEDICT XVI

SPE SALVI (SAVED IN HOPE)

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./

we become suited to that for which we are destined. 26 Even ifAugustine speaks directly only ofour capacity for God, it is nevertheless clear that through this effort by which we are freed from vinegar and the taste ofvinegar, not only are we made free for God, but we also become open to others. It is only by becoming children of God, that we can be with our common Father. To pray is not to step outside history and withdraw to our own private corner of happiness. When we pray properly we undergo a process of inner purification which opens us up to God and thus to our fellow human beings as well. In prayer we must learn what we can truly ask ofGod - what is worthy ofGod. We must learn that we cannot pray against others. We must learn that we cannot ask for the superficial and comfortable things that we de~ sire at this moment - that meagre, misplaced hope that leads us away from God. We must learn to purify our desires and our hopes. We must free ourselves from the hidden lies with which we deceive ourselves. God sees through them, and when we come before God, we too are forced to recognize them. "But who can discern his errors? Clear me from hidden faults" prays the Psalmist (Ps 19:12 [18:13]). Failure to recognize my guilt, the illusion ofmy innocence, does not justify me and does not save me, because I am culpable for the numbness of my conscience and my incapacity to recognize the evil in me for what it is. If God does not exist, perhaps I have to seek refuge in these lies, because there is no one who can forgive me; no one who is the true criterion. Yet my encounter with God awakens my conscience in such a way that it no longer aims at self-justification, and is no longer a mere reflection of me and those of my contemporaries who shape my thinking, but it becomes a capacity.for Jistening to the Good itself ' ", , . 34. For prayer to develop this power ofpurification, it must on the one hand be something very personal, an encounter between my intimate selfand God, the living God. On the other hand it must be constantly guided and enlightened by the great prayers ofthe Church and of the saints, by liturgical prayer, in which the Lord teaches us again and again how to pray properly. Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan, in his book ofspiritual exercises, tells us that during his life there were long periods when he was unable to pray and that he would hold fast to the texts of the Church's prayer: the Our Father, the Hail Mary and the prayers of the liturgy.27 Praying must always involve this intermingling ofpublic and personal prayer. This is howwe can speak to God and how God speaks to us. In this way we undergo those purifications by which we become open to God and are prepared for the service ofour fellow human beings. We become capable ofthe great hope, and thus we become ministers ofhope for others. Hope in a Christian sense is always hope for others as well. It is an active hope, in which we struggle to prevent things moving towards the "perverse end." It is an active hope also in the sense that we keep the world open to God. Only in this way does it continue to be a truly human hope. IL Action and sullering as serrings lell' Ie'lrning hope 35. All serious and upright human conduct is hope in action. This is so first ofall in the sense that we thereby strive to realize our lesser and greater hopes, to complete this or that task which is important for our onward journey, or we work towards a brighter and more humane world so as to open doors into the future. Yet our daily efforts in pursuing our own lives and in working for the world's future either tire us or turn into fanaticism, unless we are enlightened by the radiance ofthe great hope that can-

not be destroyed even by small-scale failures or by a breakdown in matters of historic importance. Ifwe cannot hope for more than is effectively attainable at any given time, or more than is promised by political or economic authorities, our lives will soon be without hope. It is important to know that I can always continue to hope, even ifin my own life, or the historical period in which I am living, there seems to be nothing left to hope for. Only the great certitude of hope that my own life and history in general, despite all failures, are held firm by the indestructible power ofLove, and that this gives them their meaning and imponance, only this kind of hope can then give the courage to act and to persevere. Certainly we cannot "build" the Kingdom of God by our own efforts what we build will always be the kingdom of man with all the limitations proper to our human nature. The Kingdom of God is a gift, and precisely because of this, it is great and beau.tifuI; and constitutes the response to our hope. And we cannot - to use the classical expression - "merit" Heaven through our works. Heaven is always more than we could merit, just as being loved is never something "merited," but always a gift. However, even when we are fully aware that Heaven far exceeds what we can merit, it will always be true that our behaviour is not indifferent before God and therefore is not indifferent for the unfolding of history. We can open ourselves and the world and allow God to enter: we can open ourselves to truth, to love, to what is good. This is what the saints did, those who, as "God's fellow workers," contributed to the world's salvation (cÂŁ 1 Cor 3:9; 1 Th 3:2). We can free our life and the world from the poisons and contaminations that could destroy the present and the future. We can uncover the sources of creation and keep them unsullied, and in this way we can make a right use of creation, which comes to us as a gift, according to its intrinsic requirements and ultimate purpose. This makes sense even ifoutwardly we achieve nothing or seem powerless in the face of overwhelming hostile forces. So on the one hand, our actions engender hope for us and for others; but at the same time, it is the great hope based upon God's promises that gives us courage and directs our action in good times and bad. 36. Like action, suffering is a part of our human existence. Suffering stems partly from our .finitude, and partly from the mass ofsin which has accumulated over the course ofhistory, and continues to grow unabated today. Certainly we must do whatever we can to reduce suffer-, ing: to avoid as far as possible the suffering of the innocent; to soothe pain; to give assistance in overcoming mental suffering. These are obligations both in justice and in love, and they are included among the fundamental requirements of the Christian life and every truly human life. Great progress has been made in the battle against physical pain; yet the sufferings of the innocent and mental suffering have, if anything, increased in recent decades. Indeed, we must do all we can to overcome suffering, but to banish it from the world altogether is not in our power. This is simply because we are unable to shake off our finitude and because none of us is capable ofeliminating the power ofevil, ofsin which, as we plainly see, is a constant source of suffering. Only God is able to do this: only a God who personally enters history by making himself man and suffering within history. We know that this God exists, and hence that this power to "take away the sin ofthe world" (In 1:29) is present in the world. Through faith in the existence of this power, hope for the world's healing has emerged in history. It is, however, hope - not yet fulfillment; hope that gives us the courage to place ourselves on the side ofgood even in seemingly

hopeless situations, aware that, as far as the external course ofhistory is concerned, the power ofsin will continue to be'a terrible presence. 37. Let us return to our topic. We can try to limit suffering, to fight against it, but we cannot eliminate it. It is when we attempt to avoid suffering by withdrawing from anything that might involve hun, when we try to spare ourselves the effort and pain ofpursuing truth, love, and goodness, that we drift into alife ofemptiness, in which there may be almost no pain, but the dark sensation of meaninglessness and abandonment is all the greater. It is not by sidestepping or fleeing from suffering that we are healed, but rather by our capacity for accepting it, maturing through it and finding meaning through union with Christ, who suffered with infinite love. In this context, I would like to quote a passage from a letter written by the Vietnamese martrr Paul Le-Bao-TInh (t 1857) which illustrates this transformation ofsuffering through the power ofhope springing from faith. "I, Paul, in chains for the name ofChrist, wish to relate to you the trials besetting me daily, in order that you may be inflamed with love for God and join with me in his praises, for his mercy is for ever (Ps 136 [135]). The prison here is a true image ofeverlasting Hell: to cruel tonures of every kind-shackles, iron chains, manacles-are added hatred, vengeance, calumnies, obscene speech, quarrels, evil acts, swearing, curses, as well as anguish and grief But the God who once freed the three children from the fiery furnace is with me always; he has delivered me from these tribulations and made them sweet, for his mercy is for ever. In the midst ofthese torments, which usually terrify others, I am, by the grace of God, full of joy and gladness, because I am not alone Christ is with me ... How am I to bear with the spectacle, as each day I see emperors, mandarins, and their retinue blaspheming your holy name, a Lord, who are enthroned above the Cherubim and Seraphim? (cÂŁ Ps 80:1 [79:2]). Behold, the pagans have trodden your Cross underfoot! Where is your glory? As I see all this, I would, in the ardent love I have for you, prefer to be torn limb from limb and to die as a witness to your love. a Lord, show your power, save me, sustain me, that in my infirmity your power may be shown and may be glorified before the nations ... Beloved brothers, as you hear all these things may you give endless thanks in joy to God, from whom every good proceeds; bless the Lord with me, for his mercy is for ever ... I write these things to you in order that your faith and mine may be united. In the midst of this storm I cast my anchor towards the throne of God, the anchor that is the lively hope in my heart." 28 This is a letter from "Hell." It lays bare all the horror of a concentration camp,

determined in relationship to suffering and to the sufferer. This holds true both for the individual and for society. A society unable to accept its suffering members and incapable of helping to share their suffering and to bear it inwardly through "compassion" is a cruel and inhuman society. Yet society cannot accept its suffering members and support them in their trials unless individuals are capable ofdoing so themselves; moreover, the individual cannot accept another's suffering unless he personally is able to find meaning in suffering, a path of purification and growth in maturity, a journey ofhope. Indeed, to accept the "other" who suffers, means that I take up his suffering in such a way that it becomes mine also. Because it has now become a shared suffering, though, in which another person is present, this suffering is penetrated by the light of love. The Latin word con-solatio, "consolation," expresses this beautifully. It suggests being with the other in his solitude, so that it ceases to be soli-. tude. Furthermore, the capacity to accept suffering for the sake of goodness, truth and justice is an essential criterion of humanity, because if my own well-being and safety are ultimately more important than truth and justice, then the power of the stronger prevails, then violence and untruth reign supreme. Truth and justice must stand above my comfort and physical well-being, or else my life itself becomes a lie. In the end, even the "yes" to love is a source of suffering, because love always requires expropriations of my "I," in which I allow myself to be pruned and wounded. Love simply cannot exist without this painful renunciation of myself, for otherwise it becomes pure selfishness and thereby ceases to be love. 39. To suffer with the other and for others; to suffer for the sake oftruth and justice; to suffer

w~reto~tormmts~cted~trrantsupon

their victims is added the outbreak of evil in the victims themselves, such that they in turn become further instruments of their persecutors' cruelty. This is indeed a letter from Hell, but it also reveals the truth of the Psalm text: "If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I sink to the nether world, you are present there ... If I say, 'Surely the darkness shall hide me, and night shall be my light' - for you darkness itself is not dark, and night shines as the day; darkness and light are the same" (Ps 139 [138]:8-12; cÂŁ also Ps 23 [22]:4). Christ descended into "Hell" and is therefore close to those cast into it, transforming their darkness into light. Suffering and torment is still terrible and well-nigh unbearable. Yet the star ofhope has risen - the anchor ofthe heart reaches the very throne of God. Instead of evil being unleashed within man, the light shines victorious: suffering - without ceasing to be sufferingbecomes, despite everything, a hymn ofpraise. 38. The true measure ofhumanity is essentially

In his second encyclical, "Spe Salvi," Pope Benedict XVI remembers Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan, a prisoner for thirteen years, nine of them spent In solitary confinement, who wrote a precious book: Prayers of Hope. "During 13 years in jail, in a situation of seemingly utter hopelessness, the fact that he could listen and speak to God became for him an Increasing power of hope, which enabled him, after his release, to become for people all over the world a witness to hope-to that great hope which does not wane even in the nights of solitude." (CNS file photo)


II

.11

SPE SALVI (SAVED IN HOPE) out of love and in orde~ to become a person who truly loves-these are fundamental elements of humanity, and to abandon them would destroy man himseI£ Yet once again the question 'arises: are we capable of this? Is the other important enough to warrant my becoming, on his accoun~, a person who suffers? Does truth matter to me enough to make suffering worthwhile? Is the promise oflove so great that it justifies the gift of myself? In the history of humanity, it was the Christian faith that had the particular merit of bringing forth within man a new and deeper capacity for these kinds ofsuffering that are decisive for his humanity. The Christian faith has shown us that truth, justice and love are not simply ideals, but enormously weighty realities. It has shown us that God -Truth and Love in person-desired to suffer for us and with us. Bernard ofClairvaux coined the marvellous expression: Impassibilis est Deus, sed non incompassibilis 29-God cannot suffer, but he can suffer with. Man is worth so much to God that he himself became man in order to suffer with man in an utterly real way-in flesh and blood-as is revealed to us in the account ofJesus's Passion. Hence in all human suffering we are joined by one who experiences and carries that suffering with us; hence con-solatia is present in all suffering, the consolation ofGod's compassionate love-and so the star ofhope rises. Certainly, in our many different sufferings and trials we always need the lesser and greater hopes too--a kind visit, the healing of internal and external wounds, a. bvourable resolution of a crisis, and so on. In our lesser trials these kinds of hope may even be sufficient. But in truly great trials, where I must make a definitive decision to place the' truth before my own weIf.lre, career and possessions; I need the certitude ofthat true, great hope of which we have spoken here. For this too we need wimesses-manyrs--who have given themselves totally, so as to show us the way-day after day. We need them ifwe are to prefer goodriess to comfort, even in the little choices we bce each day-knowing that this is how we live life to the full. Let us say it once again: the capacity to suffer for the sake ofthe truth is the measure of humanity. Yet this capacity to suffer depends on the type and extent of the hope that we bear within us and build upon. The saints were able to make the great journey of human existence in the way that Christ had done before them, because theywere brimming with great hope. 40. I would like to add here another briefcomment with some relevance for everyday living. There used to be a form ofdevotion-perhaps less practised today but quite widespread not long ago-that included the idea of "offering up" the minor daily hardships that continually strike at us like irritating "jabs," thereby giving' them a meaning. Of course, there were some exaggerations and perhaps unhealthy applications of this devotion, but we need to ask ourselves whether there may not after all have been something essential and helpful contained within it. What does it mean to offer something up? Those who did so were convinced that they could insert these little annoyances into Christ's great "compassion" so that they somehow became part of the treasury ofcompassion so greatly needed by the human race. In this way, even the small inconveniences of daily life could acquire meaning and contribute to the economy ofgood and ofhuman love. Maybe we shoul~ consider whether it might be judicious to revive this practice ourselves.

zt

The Anchor

zt

POPE BENEDICT XVI

counts the mystery of Christ, from his eternal wiped out, but also that which is irrevocably they once were in history, but only what they birth of the Father and his temporal birth of . past would be undone." 30 This, would mean, are in truth: "Often, when it is the king or some the Virgin Mary, through his Cross and Resur- however-to express it with positive and hence~ other monarch or potentate that he (the judge) rection to the second coming-we find the for him, inadequate symbols-that there can has to deal with, he finds that there is no soundphrase: "he will come again in glory to judge be no justice without a resurrection ofthe dead. ness in the soul whatev.er; he finds it scourged the living and the dead.. " From the earliest times, Yet this would have to involve "the resurrec- and scarred by the various aces of perjury and the prospect of the Judgement has influenced tion of the flesh, something that is totally for- wrong-doing ...; it is twisted and warped by Christians in their daily living as a criterion by eign to idealism and the realm of Absplute lies and vanity, and nothing is straight because which to order their. present life, as a summons spirit." 31 truth has had no part in its development. Power, to their conscience, and at the same time as 43. Christians likewise can and must cons~tly luxury, pride, and debauchery have left it so hope in God's justice. Faith in Christ has never learn from the strict rejection of images t;hat is full ofdisproportion and ugliness that when he looked merely backwards or merely upwards, contained in God's first commandment (H: Ex has inspected it (he) sends it straight to prison, but always also forwards to the hour ofjustice 20:4). The truth ofnegative theology was ~gh­ where on its arrival it will undergo the approthat the Lord repeatedly proclaimed. This look- lighted by the Fourth Lateran Council, Which priate punishment ... Sometimes, though, the ing ahead has given Christianity its importance explicitly stated that however great the si~ilar­ eye ofthe judge lights on a different soul which for the present moment. In the arrangement of ity that may be established between CreatJr and has lived ill purity and truth ... then he is struck Christian sacred buildings, which were intended creature, the dissimilarity between them!i is al- with admiration and sends him to the isles of to makevisible the historic and cosmic breadth ways greater. 32 In any case, for the believer the the blessed." 36 In the parable of the rich man of faith in Christ, it became customary to de- rejection ofimages cannot be carried so fut that and Lazarus (c£ Lk 16:19-31), Jesus admonpict the Lord returning as a king-the symbol one ends up, as Horkheimer andAdorno ~ouId ishes us through the image of a soul destroyed of hope-at the east end; while the west wall like, by saying "no" to both theses-theisrh and by arrogance and opulence, who has created normally portrayed the Last Judgement as a atheism. God has given himselfan "image": in an impassable chasm between himselfand the symbol of OllI responsibility for our lives-a Christ who was made man. In him who Was poor man.; the chasm of being trapped within scene which followed and accompanied the crucified, the denial of f.lIse images of God is material pleasures; the chasm offorgetting the faithful as they went out to resume their daily taken to an extreme. God now reveals his true other, ofincapacity to love, which then becomes routine. As the iconography of the Last Judge- bce in the figure ofthe sufferer who shares rnan's a burning and unquenchable thirst. We must ment developed, however, more and more God-forsaken condition by taking it uponhim- note that in this parable Jesus is not referring to prominence was given to its ominous and fright- sel£ This.innocent sufferer has attained the cer- the final destiny after the Last Judgement, but ening aspects, which obviouSly held more bs- titude of hope: there is a God, and God can is taking up a notion found, inter alia, in early cination for artists than the splendour ofhope, create justice in a way that we cannot con~ive, Judaism, namely that of an intermediate state often all too well concealed beneath the hor- yet we can begin to grasp it through faith. Yes, between death and resurrection, astate in which rors. there is a resurrection of the flesh. 33 There is the final sentence is yet to be pronounced. 42. In the modern era, the idea of the Last justice. 34 There is an "undoing" of past sUffer- 45. This early Jewish idea of an intermediate Judgement has bded into the background: ing, a reparation that sets things aright. Fdr this state includes the view that these souls are not Christian faith has been'individualized and pri- reason, faith in the Last Judgement is fir~~ and simply in a sort of temporary custody but, as marily oriented towards the salvation of the foremost hope-the need for which was tnade the parable of the rich man illustrates, are albeliever's own soul, while reflection on world abundantly clear in the upheavals ofrecent cen- ready being punished or are experiencing a prohistory is largely dominated by the idea of turies. I am co~vinced that the question dfjus- visional form ofbliss. There is also the idea that progress. The fundamental content of await- tice constitutes the essential argument, or in this state can involve purification and healing ing a final Judgement, however, has not disap- any case the strongest argument, in favdur of which mature the soul for communion with peared: it has simply taken on a totally differ- f.lith in eternal life. The purely individualineed God. The early Church took up these concepts, ent form. The atheism of the nineteenth and for a fulfillment thads denied to us in thiS life, and in the Western Church they gradually detwentieth centuries is--in its origins and aims- for an everlasting love that we await, is certainly veloped into the doctrine of Purgatory. We do a type of moralism: a protest against the injus- an important motive for believing that man was not need to examine here the complex historitices ofthe world and ofworld history. A world made for eternity; but only in connection with cal paths of this development; it is enough to marked by so much injustice, innocent suffer- the impossibility that the injustice of history ask what it actually means. With death, our ing, and cynicism ofpower cannot be the work should be the final word does the necessity for life-choice becomes definitive-our life stands of a good God. A God with responsibility for Christ's return and for new life become fully before the judge. 'Our choice, which in the such a world would not be a just God, much convmcmg. course ofan entire life takes on a certain shape, less a good God. It is for the sake of morality 44. To protest against God in th~ name ofjus- can have a variety offorms. There can be people that this God has to be contested. Since there tice is not helpful. A world without God is a who have totally destroyed their desire for truth is no God to create justice, it seems man him- world without hope (c£ Eph 2: 12). Onl~ God and readiness to love, people for whom everyself is now called to establish justice. If in the can create justice. And faith gives us th~ cer- thing has become a lie, people who have lived bee ofthis world's suffering, protest against God tainty that he does so. The image of th~ Last for hatred and have suppressed all love within is understandable, the claim that humanity can Judgement is not primarily an image of t~rror, themselves. This is a terrifying thought, but and must do what no God actually does or is but an image ofhope; for us it may even ~e the alarming profiles of this type can be seen in able to do is both presumptuous and intrinsi- decisive image ofhope. Is it not also a frigttten- certain figures ofour own history. In such people cally f.lIse. It is no accident that this idea has led ing image? I would say: it is an image that Jokes all would be beyond remedy and the destructo the greatest forms of cruelty and violations responsibility, an image, therefore, of th~t fear tion ofgood would be irrevocable: this is what ofjustice; rather, it is grounded in the intrinsic ofwhich Saint Hilary spoke when he said that we mean by the word Hell. 37 On the other hand f.lIsity ofthe claim. A world which has to create all our fear has its place in love. 35 God is jUS?ce there can be people who are utterly pure, comits own justice is a world without hope. No and creates justice. This is our consolation and pletely permeated by God, and thus fully open one and nothing can answer for centuries of our hope. And in his just.\ce there is also grace. to their neighbours-people for whom comsuffering. No one and nothing can guarantee This we know by turning our gaze to the cru- munion with God even now gives direction to that the cynicism ofpower-whatever beguil- cified and risen Christ. Both these things-jus- their entire being and whose journey towards ing ideological mask it adopts-will cease to tice and grace-must be seen in their correct God only brings to fulfillment what they aldominate theworld. This is why the great think- inner relationship. Grace does not cancel out ready are. 38 ers of the Frankfurt School, Max Horkheimer justice. It does not make wrong into right. It is 46. Yet we know ftom experience that neither and Theodor W. Adorno, were equally critical not a sponge which wipes everything away, so case is normal in human life. For the great maof atheism and theism. Horkheimer radically that whatever someone has done on earth ends jority of people-we may suppose-there reexcluded the possibility of ever finding a this- up being of equal value. Dostoevsky, for ex- mains in the depths of their being an ultimate worldly substitute for God, while at the same ample, was right to protest against this kind of interior openness to truth, to love, to God. In time he rejected the image of a good and just Heaven and this kind ofgrace in his novel The the concrete choices oflife, however, it is covGod. In an extreme radicalization of the Old Brothers Karamazov. Evildoers, in the end, do ered over by ever new compromises with evil Testament prohibition of images, he speaks of not sit at table at the eternal banquet beside -much ftlth covers purity, but the thirst for a "longing for the totally Other" that remains their victims without distinction, as thbugh purity remains and it still constantly re-emerges inaccessible----a cry ofyearning directed at world nothing had happened. Here I would like to from all that is base and remains present in the history. Adorno also firmly upheld this total re- quote a passage from Plato which expreSses a soul. What happens to such individuals when jection of images, which naturally meant the premonition of just judgement that in ~any they appear before the Judge? Will all the imIII. Judgement as a setting for exclusion of any "image" of a loving God. On respects remains true and salutary for qhris- purity they have amassed through life suddenly learning and practising hope the other hand, he also constantly emphasized tians too. Albeit using mythological images, he cease to matter? What else might occur? Saint this "negative" dialectic and asserted that jus- expresses the truth with an unambiguous clar- Paul, in his First Letter to the Corinthians, gives 41. At the conclusion of the central section of tice -true justice-would require a world ity, saying that in the end souls will stant! na- , us an idea ofthe differing impact ofGod's judgethe Church's great Credo-the part that re- "where not only present suffering would be ked before the judge. It no longer matters what ment according to each person's particular cir-

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cumstances. He does this using images which 2 Mace 12:38-45; first century Be). The (C£ Lk 1:55). In this way we can appreciate the in some way try to express the invisible, with- equivalent practice was readily adopted by holy fear that overcame you when the angel of out it being possible for us to conceptualize these Christians and is common to the Eastern and the Lord appeared to you and told you that . images - simply because we can neither see _Western Church. The East does not recognize you would give birth to the One who was the into the world beyond death nor do we have the purifying and expiatory suffering of souls hope of Israel, the One awaited by the world. any experience ofit. Paul begins by saying that in the afterlife, but it does acknowledge various Through you, through your "yes," the hope of , Christian life is built upon a common founda- levels ofbeatitude and ofsuffering in the inter- the ages became reality, entering this world and tion: Jesus Christ. This foundation endures. If mediate state. The souls of the depaned can, its history. You bowed low before the greatness we have stood firm on this foundation and built however, receive "solace and refreshment" of this taSk and gave your consent: "Behold, I our life upon it, we know that it cannot be taken through the Eucharist, prayer and almsgiving. ani the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me away from us even in 4eath. Then Paul contin- The beliefthat love can reach into the afterlife, ues: "Now ifanyone builds on the foundation that reciprocal giving and receiving is possible, with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, in which our affection for one another contin- . straw - each man's work will become mani- ues beyond the limits ofdeath - this has been fest; for the Day will disclose it, becaUse it will a fundamental conviction of Christianity be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what throughout the ages and it remains a source of sort of work each one has done. If the work comfort today. Who would not feel the need which any man has built on the foundation to convey to their departed loved ones a sign of survives, he will receive a reward. If any man's kindness, a gesture of gratitude or even a rework is burned up, he will suffer loss, though quest for pardon? Now a further question arises: he himself will be saved, but 'only as through if "Purgatory" is simply purification through fire" (J Cor 3:12-15). In this text, it is in any fire in the encounter with the Lord, Judge and case evident that our salvation can take differ- Saviour, how can a third person intervene, even ent forms, that some of what is built may be if he or she is particularly close to the other? burned down, that in or~er to be saved we per- When we ask such a question, we should recall sonally have to pass through "fire" so as to be- that no man is an island, entire of itself. Our come fully open to receiving God and able to lives are involved with one another, through .take our place at the table of the eternal mar- irinumerable interactions they are linked together. No one lives alone. No one sins alone. riage-feast. 47. Some recent theologians are ofthe opinion No one is saved alone. The lives ofothers conthat the fire which both burns and saves is Christ tinually spill over into mine: in what I think, himself, the Judge and Saviour. The encounter say, do and achieve. And conversely, my life spills with him is the decisive act ofjudgement. Be- over into that ofothers: for better and for worse. fore his gaze all falsehood melts away. This en- So my prayer for another is not something excounter with him, as it burns us, transforms traneous to that person, something external, and frees us, allowing us to become truly our- not even after death. In the interconnectedness selves. All that we build during our lives can of Being, my gratitude to the other - my prove to be mere straw, pure bluster, and it col- prayer for him - can playa small part in his lapses. Yet in the pain of this encounter, when purification. And for that there is no need to In "Spe Salvi," Pope Benedict XVI rethe impurity and sickness of our lives become convett earthly time into God's time: in the . minds the faithful that for more than evident to us, there lies salvation. His gaze, the communion of souls simple terrestrial time is . 1,000 years, the Church has greeted touch ofhis hean heals us through an undeni- superseded. It is never too late to touch the hean Mary, the Mother of God, as "Star of ably painful transformation "as through fire." ofanother, nor is it ever in vain. In this way we the Sea." Our Lady is shown here in a But itis a blessed pain, in which the holy power further clarifY an important element of the stained glass in St. Mary/Our Lady of of his love sears through us like a flame, en- Christian concept ofhope. Our hope is always the Isle Church in Nantucket. (Photo abling us to become totally ourselves and thus essentially also hope for others; only thus is it by Dave Jolivet) totally of God. In this way the inter-relation truly hope for me too. 40 As Christians we should between justic;e and grace also becomes clear: never limit ourselves to asking: how can I save according to your word" (Lk 1:38). When you the way we live our lives is not immaterial, but myself? We should also ask: what can I do in hastened with holy joy across the mountains of our defilement does not stain us for ever ifwe order that others may be saved and that for them Judea to see your cousin Elizabeth, you became have at least continued to reach out towards too the star ofhope may rise? Then I will have . the image of the Church to come, which carChrist, towards truth and towards love. Indeed, . done my utmost for my own personal salva- ries the hope of the world in her womb across it has already been burned away through tion as well. the mountains ofhistory. But alongside the joy which, with your Magnificat, you proclaimed Christ's Passion. At the moment ofjudgement in word and song for all the centuries to hear, we experience and we absorb the overwhelm- Mary, StaroJlfope ing power of his love over all the evil in the 49. With a hymn composed in the eighth or you also knew the dark sayings ofthe prophets world and in ourselves. The pain of love be- ninth Century, thus for over a thousand years, about the suffering of the servant of God in comes our salvation and our joy. It is clear that the Church has greeted Mary, the Mother of this world. Shining over his birth in the stable we cannot calculate the "duration" of this trans- God, as "Star of the Sea": Ave mans stella. Hu- at Bethlehem, there were angels in splendour forming burning in terms ofthe chronological man life is a journey. Towards what destina- who brought the good news to the shepherds, measurements ofthis world. The transforming tion? How do we find the way? Life is like a but at the same time the lowliness of God in "moment" of this encounter eludes earthly time- voyage on the sea of history, often dark and this world was all too palpable. The old man reckoning - it is the hean's time, it is the time stormy, a voyage in which we watch for the Simeon spoke to you ofthe sword which would of "passage" to communion with God in the stars that indicate the route. The true stars of pierce your soul (C£ Lk 2:35), of the sign of Body of Christ. 39 The judgement of God is our.life are the people who have lived good lives. contradiction that your Son would be in this hope, both because it is justice and because it is They are lights ofhope. Certairily, Jesus Christ world. Then, when Jesus began his public mingrace. Ifit were merely grace, making all earthly is the true light, the sun that has risen above all istry, you had to step aside; so that a new family things cease to matter, God would still owe us the shadows of history. But to reach him we could grow, the family which it was his mission an answer to the question about justice - the also need lights close by - people who shine to establish and which would be made up of crucial question that we ask of history and of with his light and so guide us along our way. those who heard his word and kept it (C£ Lk God. Ifitwere merelyjustice, in the end it could Who more than Mary could be a star of hope 11:27f). Notwithstanding the great joy that bring only fear to us all. The incarnation of for us? With her "yes" she opened the door of marked the beginning ofJesus's ministry, in the God in Christ has so closely linked the two to- our world to God himself; she became the liv- synagogue of Nazareth you must already have gether - judgement and grace - that justice ing Ark of the Covenant, in whom God took experienced the truth of the saying about the is firmly established: we all work out our salva- flesh, became one of us, and pitched his tent "sign of contradiction" (C£ Lk 4:28ff). In this way you saw the growing power ofhostility and . tion "with fear and trembling" (Phil 2:12). among us (C£In 1:14). Nevertheless grace allows us all to hope, and to 50. So we cry to her: Holy Mary, you belonged rejection which built up around Jesus until the go trustfully to meet the Judge whom we know to the humble and great souls of Israel who, hourofthe Cross, when you had to look upon like Simeon, were "looking for the consolation the Saviour ofthe world, the heir ofDavid, the as our "advocate," or parakletos (c£ 1In 2: 1). 48. A further point must be mentioned here, ofIsrael" (Lk 2:25) and hoping, like Anna, "for Son of God dying like a failure, exposed to because it is important for the practice ofChris- the redemption ofJerusalem" (Lk 2:38). Your mockery, between criminals. Then you received tian hope. Early Jewish thought includes the life was thoroughly imbued with the sacred the word ofJesus: "Woman, behold, your Son!" idea that one can help the deceased in their in- scriptures ofIsraelwhich spoke ofhope, ofthe (In 19:26). From the Cross you received a new termediate state through prayer (see for example promise made to Abraham and his descendants mission. From the Cross you became a mother

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in a new way: the mother ofall those who believe in your Son Jesus and wish to follow him. The sword of sorrow pierced your hean. Did hope die? Did the world remain definitively without light, and life wIthout purpose? At that moment, deep down, you probably listened again to the word spoken by the angel in answer to your fear at the time of the Annunciation: "Do not be afraid, Mary!" (Lk 1:30). How many times had the Lord, your Son, said the same thing to his disciples: do not be afraid! In your hean, you heard this word again during the night of Golgotha. Before the hour of his betrayal he had said to his disciples: "Be ofgood cheer, I have overcome the world" (jn 16:33). "Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid" (jn 14:27). "Do not be afraid, Mary!" In that hour at Nazareth the angel had also said to you: "Ofhis kingdom there will be no end" (Lk 1:33). Could it have ended before it began? No, at the foot of the Cross, on the strength ofJesus's own word, you became the mother of believers. In this faith, which even in the darkness of Holy Saturday bore the certitude of hope, you made your way towards Easter morning. The joy of the Resurrection touched your hean and united you in a new way to the disciples, destined to become the family ofJesus through faith. In this way you were in the midst of the community ofbelievers, who in the days following the Ascension prayed with one voice for the gift of the Holy Spirit (C£ Am 1: 14) and then received that gift on the day of Pentecost. The "Kingdom" of Jesus was not as might have been imagined. It began in that hour, and ofthis "Kingdom" there will be no end. Thus you remain in the midst of the disciples as their Mother, as the Mother of hope. Holy Mary, Mother of God, our Mother, teach us to believe, to hope, to love with you. Show us the way to his Kingdom! Star of the Sea, shine upon us and guide us on our way! Given in Rome, at Saint Peter's, on 30 November, the Feast of Saint Andrew the Apostle, in the year 2007, the third of my Pontificate. BENEDICTUS PP. XVI I Corpus Inscriptionum IAtinarum VI, no. 26003. 'Cf. Dogmatic Po,ms, V, 53-64: PC 37.428-429. 3 Cf. Cat«hism ofth, Catholic Church. 1817-182 J. • Summa Th,owgia" II-II~. q.4. a. J. 'H. Koster in Th,owgical Dictionary ofth, Nnu Ttstammt VIII (1972). p.586. • D, <xc"'u fratris sui Satyri. II. 47: CSEL 73. 274. 7 Ibid.. II. 46: CSEL 73. 273. 'Cf. Ep. 130 Ad Probam 14. 25·15. 28: CSEL 44. 68-73. 'Cf. Cauchism ofth, Catholic Church. 1025. 10 Jean Giono, Us vrai" rich",,, (1936). Preface. Paris 1992. pp.18-20: quoted in Henri de Lubac, Catholicism'. Asp«ts sociaux t/u dogm'. Paris 1983. p.VII. "Ep. 130 Ad Probam 13. 24: CSEL 44. 67. 12 Smtmtia' lII, 118: CCL 6/2. 215. "Cf. ibid III, 71: CCL 6/2.107-108. "Novum Organum 1.117. "Cf. ibid. I, 129. I·Cf. NnuAtlantis. "In WIork, IV. cd. W. Weischedel (1956), p.777. "I. Kant, Das Entk a!kr Ding'. in WIork, VI. cd. W.Weischedel (1964). p.190. "Chaptm on charity. Cmturia I, ch. I: PC 90. 965. 20 Cf. ibid.: PC 90. 962·966. 21 Canf X 43.70: CSEL 33, 279. 22 Smno·340, 3: PL 38, 1484; cf. F. Van der Meer. Augusti'" th, Bishop, London and New Yotk 1961. p.268. " Smno 339, 4: PL 38, 148 J. " Canf X 43. 69: CSEL 33. 279. "Cf. Cauchism ofth, Catholic Church. 2657. 26 Cf. In J loannis 4, 6: PL 35, 2008f. 27 T"timony ofHop" Boston 2000, pp.121 If. "The Litutgy of the Hours. Officc of Readings. 24 November. 2'! Smnon" in -Cant., Smno 26, 5: PL 183, 906. 30 Nrgativ< Diakktilt (1966), Third part. 1II. I I, in C,samm,lu Schriftm VI. Frankfurt am Main 1973. p.395. " Ibid., SecQnd part. p.207. "OS 806. JJ Cf. Cauchism ofth, Catholic Church. 988-1004. "Cf. ibid.• 1040. "Cf. Tractarus sup" Psalmos. Ps 127.1-3: CSEL 22. 628-630. 36 Corgias 525a-526c. . "Cf. Cauchism ofth, Catholic Church. 1033-1037. "Cf. ibid.• 1023-1029. "Cf. Camhism ofth, Catholic Church. 1030-1032. .. Cf. Cauchism ofth, Catholic Church. 1032.


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NEW YORK· ('CNS) FaithStreams Networ~, an online programming service operated by Faith & Values Media; has joined with the Catholic youth-oriented Website Disciples Now to strengthen the Web presence of both entities. Edward 1. Murray, president and CEO of Faith & Values Media, said the cooperative venture with Disciples Now "will significantly exI pand our content offerings for Catholic youth." I' . "This alliance is ~ important step toward es'tablishing FaithStreams Network: as a hub of faith-based community interaction on the Web," he added. Faith & Values Media is a coalition of Christian, Jewish and Mus. A PAPAL HOWDY Y'ALL - Students from the University of Dallas, a Catholic university in Irving, Texas, lim groups dedicated to using the spiritual applaud during a recent Pope Benedict XVI general audience in the Paul VI hall at the Vatican. The pope .electronic media to enrich I life and build bridges of underacknowledged the students in his remarks to English-speaking pilgrims. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) standing. Its program~ing is avail,

New Jersey .Catholic bishops call for vote to abolish death penalty TRENTON, N.J. (CNS) - The Catholic bishops ofNew Jersey, "as pastors and teachers," have urged both houses of the state Legislature to pass a measure abolishing the death penalty in their state and urged Gov. Jon Corzine to sign it into law. "Consistently, over many decades, the Catholic bishops of New Jersey have called for the abolishment ofthe death penalty," they said in a statement released by the New Jersey Catholic Conference in Trenton. . "Our me'ssage always is simple - the death penalty takes a human life and should be abolished. Many others have pointed out that the death penalty is not consistent with evolVing standards of decency," they said. The bill in the Legislature would replace a death sentence with a sen- . tence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. The bishops' statement noted .that they have spoken out against capital punishment three times in the last three years. The statement also pointed out that on Holy Thursday in 2005 the U.S. bishops launched a campaign to end the death penalty across the nation, saying in part that it "diminishes all of us. We cannot teach respect for life by taking life." The New Jersey bishops acknowledged that .the issue of capital punishment is "controversial, emotional and not an easy matter to address." "All murders are violent and shocking; some are savage," the bishops said. "They all stir emotions of reVulsion and anger." "We grieve for the victims of murder, for the brutalization and loss of life,". they continued. "We

able on the Hallmark Channel and online at www.fai~hstreams.com. Disciples Now, established in 1999, is a Web-based ministry for teens, young adults and youth ministers. The site DisciplesNow.com will continue to function independently, but its information on Catholic teachings, faith-oriented games and entertainment, and faithfocused forums will also be available on·the FaithStreams Network. During the past eight years, "tens of thousands of teens, youth ministers, teachers and parents have come to rely on Disciples Now as a dependable source for Catholic teachings and how those apply to the daily life of young people," said Paul Raspa, founder of Disciples Now. "This new alliance leverages the solid content of Disciples Now with the dynamic community of the FaithStreams Network," he added.

Two diocesan priests to give lecture on new papal encyclical

commiserate with the families and without the possibility of parole is NEW BEDFORD - Father aged to bring with them a·copy friends of victims who must suffer an alternative to the death penalty," Roger Landry and Msgr. Gerard of the encyclical (printed in this they said. with their loss through the years." O'Connor will give a public pre- edition of The Anchor), alIn addition, the criminal justice New Jersey, which has had the sentation on Pope Benedict's though copies of the encyclical system needs to be improved and death penalty on the books since new encyclical Spe $(llvi (Saved and lecture notes will be prosociety must make a greater com- 1982, has not executed anyone ~i4 at St. An- vided. in Hope) December mitment to prevent crime and as- since 1963. However, the state curthony of Padua Church in New Father Landry is executive edisist victims of crime, the bishops rently has eight men on death row. II tor of The Anchor and pastor of Bedford. The lectur~ will take Celeste Fitzgerald, director of said. place from 6:30 to 8 p.m. It is St. Anthony's. Msgr. O'Connor "We do affirm that the state has New Jerseyans for Alternatives to the free and open to all Catholics in received his doctorate in Sacred the duty to punish criminals and to Death Penalty told The Catholic the Diocese of Fall River and Liturgy from St. Anselmo in prevent the repetition or occurrence Advocate, Newark's archdiocesan will include plenty of time for Rome and is parochial vicar at of crime. We believe that greater newspaper, that the Assembly's Juquestions. Our Lady of Victory Parish in efforts must be made to bring the .diciary Committee was scheduled to Those attending are encour- Centerville. criminal to repentance and rehabili- act on the legislation, with a vote tation," they said. expected Dece.mber 13. However, the Catholic Church's opposition to the death penalty comes from the belief that "every person has an inalienable right to life, because each human being is made in the image and likeness of God, who alone is the absolute Lord of life from its beginning until its end," they said. HUB Feitelberg Personal Insurance is proud to offer an The bishops said that the "Catechism of the Catholic Church" unparalleled array of personal insurance services. We tailor "acknowledges the right of public effective solutions to your personal ~LlFE authorities to impose criminal puninsurance needs to assure appropriate .. PERSONAL ishment proportionate to the gravity of the offense, 'if this is the only protection for you, your family and ~ BUSINESS possible way of effectively defendyour assets. ~ EMPLOYEE BENEFITS ing human lives against the unjust aggressor,'" but that it also teaches that modern societies have the means to protect citizens from the threat of a murderer without resort.HUB International Feltelberg Internat;onal1~ ----=-~-------ing to execution. The Fe/telberg Company, ·LLC They said that New Jersey has "has other means to redress the inFALL RIVER SOMERSEli WEST BRIDGEWATER justice caused by crime and to efMilliken Boulevard Route6 iI: West Center Street fectively prevent crime by render-. 800.242.3862 800.242.3862 800.698.8585 I' ing the one who has committed the offense incapable of doing harm." " "Because we recognize the dig'i nity of all human life, we continue Trusted www.hubfeitelberg.com Choico(to) oppose the use of capital punishment vigorously. Life in prison

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Our p~tient expectation of Christ at the end of time. Imagine picking up the Sunday paper, also known, the Parousia, is the first of Secondly, he says that Jesus will come opening it and reading in giant letters, at a time we do not know. Paul tells the two prominent Advent themes that the JESUS CHRIST WILL RETURN ON Church presents during this special Thessalonians: "For you yourselves know DECEMBER 25! What would you do? very well that the day of the Lord will season of grace. While few people these How would you react to this astonishing days think much about Christ's return to come like a thief in the night. When they information? the world, it is a central idea, rooted in say, 'There is peace and security,' then I think there would be two basic Scripture. It is a future event that de- . suddenly destruction will come upon reactions. Some of us, out of fear, would mands our patient expectation. them, as labor pains come upon a change our lives immediately. The Lord St. Paul firmly believed that Jesus pregnant woman, and there will be no is coming and we would realize we are would return to claim the world during escape!" (1 Thess 5: 2-3). Jesus had not ready. We might start going to church his lifetime. In made the same' more often, probably every day. Prayer point earlier: his letters he ~Timeof"¡ would become a much higher priority in writes in "But about that life. We would pray not only in the anticipation of day and hour , palient , morning and evening, but many times this event. His ; nO'one knows, ~l:.xp.ctation~ each day. We would seek reconciliation, teachings on the neither the j . \ . Iy' with a member of our family, neighbor, Parousia angels of By Father RichMq 'ti\;, . heaven, nor the co-worker, and certainly .with God. "became stanGribble, CSQ ' .â&#x20AC;˘ -tw' dard for the Others might have a very different Son but only study of "the response. Some might do nothing the Father. last things," or eschatology. The percepTherefore you must always be ready, for differently. With a defeatist attitude others might say, "There is nothing Ican tion that Jesus would return to the world the Son of Man is coming at an unexdo at this late hour. God has already very .soon created fear in the minds of pected hour" (Mt 24: 36,44). decided my fate. I might as well continue many of his new converts. Third, destruction will come upon what I have been doing all along." These In response, Paul affirmed several those who are not prepared. Paul writes, folks might even think, "I might as well "[Those who afflict others] will suffer the truths. do what I have always wanted to do. This First, he wrote to the Christian punishment of eternal destruction, is my last chance." separated from the presence of the Lord community at Thessalonica, telling them There are still others who might not and from the glory of this might" (1 that they should have no fear of friends change a thing that they are doing, but Thess 1:9). Certainly the most famous or relatives who have died and will, not in a defeatist mode. " passage which contrasts those to be saved therefore, not see the return of Christ. Hopefully some would say, "Isn't this Those who are alive, in other words, have and those to be rejected by God is found no advantage over those who have died in St. Matthew's Gospel (25:31-46), the event for which the world has been in the Lord. In fact, he says those who where Jesus presents very specific waiting? Isn't this the reason for which I criteria for those to be saved. Those who came into the world?" These would have died will rise first and then those who remain "will be caught up in the reject their brother or sister who is continue doing what they ~a\!~ always, . experiencing pain, isolation, or desperabeen doing, confident that their preparfl- , clouds together with them to meet the tions have been sound. tion will be lost. Lord in the air; and so we will be with The second coming of Jesus was very The second coming of Jesus, or as it is the Lord forever" (1 Thess 4:17b). important for Christians of the apostolic age. Followers of the "new way" claimed that Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah. Yet it was clear that the. description of prophets, such as Jeremiah (23:56) and Micah (5: 2-6), concerning the work of the Messiah, namely restoration of the Davidic kingdom, had not been' manifested during Jesus' life. Thus, as Terrance Callan outlines in his bOQk "The Origins of Christian Faith," Christians saw Christ's second coming as the opportunity to manifest the work of the Messiah. Jesus, therefore, could be called the Messiah through his future work to be manifest upon his return to the world. This theology of the Second Coming of Christ helps us to prepare and patiently wait for Jesus' return. Christianity, like all good groups, provides many wonderful privileges, but also challenges us with some significant responsibilities. We have the privilege of God's Word, the sacraments, and a community of faith. Other pilgrimage destinations These special privileges bring certain are Mexico, Lourdes, responsibilities, some of which are clearly associated with our patient the Holy/and and waiting for the Lord. many more. First, we must always live in a way. that actually anticipates God's return. We must always be proud of who we are and what we do in the promotion of God's kingdom in our world. We should never be cowed by the disinterest or lack of affirmation from others, but rather always demonstrate a positive outlook in our day-to-day activities. Next, we must be willing to serve Refer to code P11 O~ and receive a free gift when booking. others as God daily serves us. Clearly the

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Lord daily pours ou~ abundant blessings on all of us, his people. In response to the God who first loved us, we are called to love through service those whom God has placed in our lives. Third, we must always live for today and not wait for tomorrow to accomplish what we can do. It is possible that tomorrow will not come, and so we must get "things done, as best we are able. Lastly, and most importantly, we must always be "right" with God. We should never close a day of our lives without some reflection on the event'S just passed, with an openness to seek forgiveness for the many manifestations of imperfection that we experienced. Patiently waiting for the Lord at the end of time requires our best effort today in building the Kingdom of God in our world. We must use our gifts and talents, time, and opportunities to promote and foster the message of Jesus in our world. We must stand tall for what we believe and hold our convictions tightly. Building God's kingdom also requires taking care of those we love, those whom God has given to us. One last point. Patiently waiting for the Lord requires us to be missionaries in our world. There is no need to leave our house, let alone go overseas, to be a missionary. Preaching God's Word is manifest in every word and especially action of our lives. As the expression goes, talk is cheap; what is required is action. In Lerner and Lowe's famous musical, "My Fair Lady," the protagonist Eliza Doolittle is basically fed iJp with the protestations of love that come every day from her boyfriend Freddy. Frustrated and with the desire for more, she sings a song, "Show Me," that speaks of action not words. She says if you truly love me then stop speaking about it and show me! These sentiments should be applied to our own lives: As they say, actions speak louder than words. Our patient expectation for the Lord's coming at the end of time must be enveloped, as with all Christian action, in prayer. Our daily conversation with God is essential to be able to patiently wait for Christ. Not only should we speak in our prayer; we must listen as well. How can we know what God asks of us in our patient waiting unle'ss we are listening? People of wisdom often say, "We have two ears and one mouth and thus we should listen twice as much as we speak." Our goal is to be like those who when reading the banner headline in the newspaper and learning about the imminent return of Christ's could honestly do absolutely nothing different in their lives. This is the event for which God placed us on earth, to wait for the return of Christ. These people are ready; they have,exercised patient expectation. Can we say the same thing? Only you can answer. Father Gribble is a noted author and is associate professor of religious studies at Stonehill College in North Easton. This is the third installment of a fivepart se~ies.


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7, 2007

, The Anchor news briefs St. Louis summit aims to reduce homelessness' ST. LOUIS (CNS) - Ending homelessness is not only morally and spiritually right. It is also economically right. That message was repeated throughout the day at the 2007 St. Louis Homeless Summit, held November 19 at Washington University. Representatives of many Catholic organizations - including Thomas Mulhearn, president of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of St. Louis - were among more than 200 people who attended the event. It was aimed ;It bringing more local corporations into the fight to end homelessness. Representatives of government and nonprofit groups were on hand as well, joining together in what Dan Buck, head of St. Patrick Center, has called a "working plan" to end homelessness. Buck was the moderator of the summit. St.' Patrick Center, the Catholic Charities agency that fights homelessness, is part of the St. Louis Continuum of Care, a coalition of 30 agencies serving homeless people.

u.s. province of Holy Cross Sisters drops age restrictions MERRILL, Wis. (CNS) - Spurred on by tHe vitality of their elderly sisters and the congregation's motto that "The need of the times is the will of God," the Holy Cross Sisters have dropped the' age restriction that prevented women over 50 from being considered for entrance to the congregation. "When we look at the energy and vitality of our elderly sisters ... we know that for us retirement has a very different meaning because there is always something that draws us to bring the good news to others, even at the age of 90," said Sister Celine Goessl, provincial for the Sisters' USA province, based in Merrill. The age restriction was dropped by a decision made at the Sisters' provincial chapter last summer. The chapter asked vocation and formation personnel to rethink and rewrite the criteria for entering the community. Sister Kathy Wiesneski, director of vocations, said members of the congregation had seen around them "women of many ages who are seeking the 'will of God' in vowed religious life." She added, "Women tend to be able to productively work and minister longer."

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according to the Life Issues Insti- testified in favor of H359 and tute, and researchers believe it has against the other bills promoting potential to treat even Parkinson's destructive research methods. Encouraging the donation of and Alzheimer's. Such ethical medical research cord and placental stemlcells would funds," leading to more treatments should "be a. superb use of taxp~yer J be encouraged, said those who tes- said Evelyn Reilly, MFl director of tified at a November 26 legislative public policy. She and other Prohearing in support of a proposal that Life speakers stressed that using .human embryos for medical rewould do this. A bill sponsored by Worcester search should now be considered obsolete as well as unethical beRepublican Rep. Paul Frost H359 - would expand the use of cause of the recent extraordinary donated cord blood and placental advance in stem-cell relsearch. "This amazing breakthrough tissue for research. Massachusetts law now allows the state to main- may very well not have happened tain a public bank to collect and without the voices, along with ours, store such donations for transplants. who insisted that science, while Frost's bill would enable mater- . wonderful, must be held ,within ethinity patients to easily make an al- cal boundaries that respect human truistic donation with life-saving po- life in all its stages," RefllY said. She referred to the news of sepatential. It was one of a half-dozen bio-technology bills given at a west- rate studies from wiscohsin and Jaern Massachusetts public hearing be- pan that were published November fore the Committee on Economic 20 in the journals Cell and Science. Development and Einerging Tech- Both studies concluded that adult nologies at the University of Mas- . skin cells had successfully been reI programmed to a pluripotent or emsachusetts in Amherst. It was also the only one sup- bryonic-like state withdut using eiported by Pro-Life groups. Others ther embryos or eggs. bills, like'Gov. Deval Patrick's proThe news was applauded in stateposed $1 billion Life Sciences Ini- ments issued by the U.S. Catholic tiative, would force taxpayers to Bishops, the National Catholic Biofund human embryonic stem-cell ethics Center, and scientiSts, ethicists research, which would entail the and Church leaders worldwide. The London Telegraph reported destruction of human life. Speakers from the Massachu- that Ian Wilmut, the .Scottish scien, I! setts Catholic Conference, Massa- tist who .created Dolly the cloned chusetts Citizens for Life and the sheep in 1996, had decided to abanMassachusetts Family Institute al'l don his efforts to clone human errio

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Western Christians can learn much from Eastern Christians, says pope VATICAN CITY (CNS) - Christianity is not and never has been a uniquely European phenomenon, and Christians of the West can learn much from the cultural expressions of Eastern Christians, especially those of the early Church, Pope Benedict XVI said. "Today it is a common opinion that Christianity is a European religion that exported European culture to other countries, but the reality is much more complicated and complex," he said November 28 at his weekly general audience. "It is not only that the roots of the Christian religion are found in Jerusalem, in the Old Testament, in the Semitic world and Christianity is constantly nourished by these Old Testament roots," he said, "but the expansion of Christianity in the first centuries" went simultaneously West and East. In Europe, but also throughout the Middle East and over to India, "Christianity with a different culture was formed," he said. Christians in the East lived the faith "with their own expressions and cultural identities," demonstrating "the cultural plurality of the one faith from the heginning." Lively Masses, care for society help evangelize Mongolia, says bishop ROME (CNS) - Caring for society's weakest members and offering a lively liturgy have been the keys to the success of Catholic evangelization in Mongolia, said Bishop Wenceslao Padilla of Ulan Bator, the Mongolian capital. When he and two other missionaries arrived in Mongolia in 1992, the Catholic community was made up only of foreigners, working in embassies or for international agencies. Contact with the U.N. Development Program and the Red Cross helped the missionaries identify social situations where their presence and assistance could alleviate suffering and demonstrate what living the Gospel meant, he said. The foreigners started inviting their Mongolian colleagues to the Sunday liturgies, and other Mongolians began coming, mainly out of curiosity, the bishop said. "The 'baby' church in Mongolia is only 15 years old. We started from zero," the bishop said. "Now there are 415 baptized Mongolian brothers and sisters. We have gone from three to 65 missionaries from 19 nations and 10 congregations - they are a real sign of the universality of the Church." Bishop Padilla, a Filipino, spoke November 27 at the Oratory of Caravita to a group of English-speaking Catholics living in Rome.

bryos and would instead concentrate on research involving the new reprogramming techniques. Speaking for the Massachusetts Catholic bishops, MCC Associate Director Dan Avila said, "This is the direction that science should be taking, and this should be the goal of those working in the political arena - to promote research that avoids the controversy (of cloning and human embryonic research) and that respects ethical limits by safeguarding the dignity of all human life." Public and private umbilical cord blood banking differs mainly in cost and availability. Private banks charge a collection and storage fee, but the cord blood remains the family's property and is available if the child should need it. On the other hand, families donating cord blood to research or to a public bank for transplants aren't charged a fee, but that blood likely would not be available to them later. In testifying for the cord blood bill and against the others, MCFL Executive Director Marie Sturgis said, "What's at stake is human life." She urged lawmakers to study all options and to veto funding for destructive research "that could become archaic tomorrow." To contact state officials on these bills, call 617-722-2000 for the Legislature and 617-725-4005 for the governor. Gail Besse is afreelance writer. gailbesse@comcast.net.

Pope offers prayers 'or families of millions who died of,AIDS in 2007 VATICAN CITY (CNS) - Pope Benedict XVI offered his prayers for the families of the estimated 2.1 million people who have died of AIDS this year, and he asked all people to work to end discrimination against those living with AIDS and HlY. At the end of his November 28 general audience, the pope spoke about the December 1 commemoration of World AIDS Day. "I am spiritually close to those who suffer because of this terrible disease and their families, especially those who have lost a relative," pe said. "I assure all of them of my prayers," the pope said. "In addition, I want to exhort all people of good will to multiply their efforts to stop the spread of the HIV virus, to oppose the scorn which often strikes those who are afflicted with it and to take care of the sick, especially when they are still youngsters," he said. AccQrding to figures released November 20 by UNAIDS, "global HIV prevalence - the percentage of people living with HIV - has leveled off' and the number of new infections each year has fallen.

UNAIDS estimated that in 2007 about 33.2 million people were living with HIV, 2.5 million became infected and 2.1 million died of AIDS. i Sub-Saharan Africa temains the region most affected, With an estimated 22.5 million people infected, it said. '·'The number of new HIV infections per year is now estimated to have peaked in the late 1990s," UNAIDS said, reflecti~g "natural trends in the epidemic" as well as greater HIV prevention efforts. The UNAIDS data' estimated that 2.5 million children under the

age of 15 were living with HIVI AIDS, including 420,000 children who contracted the virus in 2007. More than 330,000 children under 15 died of AIDS during this year.

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YOUTH PAGES

DECEMBER

7) 2007

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LENDING A HAND - Fifth-graders at Holy Trinity School in West Harwich recently took a trip to the Family Food Pantry. The students held a food drive at the school, collected the requested items, and packed them. Part of the students' community service, it was a wonderful experience for the students and Food Pantry Employees.

CHOIR OF ANGELS - A newly-formed Children's Choir recently made its debut at St. Bernard Church, Assonet. Members include, front from left: Alexa Cahill, Alyssa Andrade" Macie Martin, David de Oliveira, Cruz Faria, and Aaron Connolly. Row two: Monica Machado, Timothy Donnelly, Marissa Machado, Alexis Carpentier, James Porter, Marissa Gouveia, Alexis Sullivan, and Selma Faria. Row three: Hannah Chapman, Brett Yates, Xavier Faria (pianist), Zachary O'Neil, Jessica Dubois, Tiffany Ferguson, Amy Sullivan, and Cassidy Saniuk. Back row: choir coordinators Nancy and Michael Faria. Not pictured: Caitlyn Ziemba, Cole Bernier, Brian Connolly, Emily Porter, Bianca Gomez. (Photo by Paul Levesque)

NOT YOUR AVERAGE FOOD BASKET - Bishop Feehan High School donated nearly 50 student-assembled and decorated food baskets to local parishes and charities. The baskets were offered during the Thanksgiving Liturgy celebrated by Bishop George W. Coleman. Here, Linda Bardsley's freshmen Homeroom 200 gather around their magnificent "Mayflower ship" basket.

KEEPING IN LINE - Religious Education students at Annunciation of the Lord Parish in Taunton recently attended a confirmation retreat. During a presentation on "Marriage as a Vocation" they participated in a teamwork activity presented by Mr. and Mrs. Mariano Pimentel.

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GIVING THANKS - Students at St. John the Evangelist School in Attleboro recently held an assembly'to give thanks for all the blessings they have received and to pray for those less fortunate. Taking part were, front from left: Caroline Fortin, Victoria Anderson, Kacey Jolly, and Arianna Troy. Back row: Alex Wroblewski, Matthew Wasserman, Sean' Gibney, Bridget Gay, and Lauren Donahue. At right, these thirdgraders enjoy the Hot Stove season by proudly wearing Red Sox apparel in honor of the 2007 World Series champs. Front, from left: Adam Garcia, David Chattiel, and Theresa Castro. Middle row: Jeremiah Sullivan, Kellen Jolly, and Abigail DesVergnes. Back row: Shannon Mulligan, David Vitorino, and Grace Fay.


DECEMBER

7, 2007

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.Pope says refugee youths have right to stability, serenity, security VATICAN CITY (CNS) Children have a right to "stability, serenity and security," Pope Benedict XVI said, urging that more be done in providing these essential conditions to young people trapped in refugee camps. In his message for the annual World Day for Migrants ahd Refu-' gees, the pope. highlighted young people whose futures arejeopardized by being forced migrants, victims of human trafficking or refugees. The text for the pope's 2008 message, "Young Migrants," was released during a November 28 press conference at the Vatican. The World Day for Migrants and Refugees is held on different days in different countries. In the United States, National Migration Week will be celebrated January 6-12. The world cannot "remain silent before the distressing images ofthe great refugee camps" where children and young people live segregated "far from inhabited towns' with no possibility normally to attend school," he said. These children have come into the world "with the same legitimate expectations ofhappiness" as everyone else, he said, but instead they "have only had as their life experience the permanent, compulsory camps." "How can we not remember that childhood and adolescence are fundamentally important stages for the

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When saying 'sorry' is not enough By CHARLIE MARTIN -

APOLOGIZE development ofa man and a woman I'm holding on to your rope that require stability, serenity and Got me 10 feet off the ground security?" he asked. I'm hearin' what you say but 1 ArchbishopAgostino Marchetto, just can't make a sound secretary of the Pontifical Council You tell me that you need me for Migrants and Travelers, said at Then you go and cut me down, the press conference that the interbut wait national community should rememYou tell me that you're sorry ber refugee camps are meant to be Didn't think I'd turn temporary shelters, not a long-term around, and say' or permanent solution. Refrain: "By now a whole generation to apologize It's too late has been born and raised in refuto apologize, 1 said it's too late gee camps" and often times in it's too late crowded and "frightening situaI'd take another chance, tions," he said.. take afall In his message, Pope Benedict Take a shot for you said that, while much is being done And 1 need you like a heart to alleviate the plight of refugees, needs a beat there must be a greater commitment But it's nothin' new in helping refugees "by creating 1 loved you with a fire red suitable hospitality and formative Now it's turning blue, structures" that can help prepare and you say them for an eventual return to "Sorry" like an angel heaven let school, work and society. me think was you Young boys and girls who mi- . But I'm afraid grate and are unaccompanied by (Repeat refrain twice.) family members are in need of speJ said it's .too late to apologize cial attention, he said, because they to apologize It's too late are at risk ofliving on the street and .J said it's too late to apologize falling into the hands of "unscruI'm holdin' on to your rope, got pulous exploiters" who often make me ten feet off the ground them victims ofphysical, moral and Sung by Timbaland sexual violence. Copyright 2007 by Interscope Pope Benedict called on ChrisRecords tians to welcome young migrants Is it ever too late to apoloand their families and help them gize? cope and adapt to their new surTimbaland considers this roundings. question in his new hit "Apolo-

CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

gize." i'm not much of a hiphop fan, but this song drew my attention. It is on Timbaland's new disc "Shock Value." Many hip-hop artists use explicit lyrics which I find objectionable. However, thi~' album is available in a "cleah" version too. "Apologize" desCribes a relationship beset ~y painful difficulties. While the circumstances are not dediled, it is clear that the guy in the song is weary of his girlfriend's "sorry." He realizes that "I need you like a heart needs a beat." But it seems that what she has done is so painful or perhaps so repeated that he doesn't want to hear of her sorrow. Instead, he' tells her: "It's too late to apologize, it's too late." Maybe he is right. If their relationship is just reinventing cycles of hurt, forgiveness and starting over, mayb~ the apologies are not changing anything. Words of sorro~i can be important, but they are not enough in themsel'les. Any meaningful apology also comes with a plan for ho~ the person is going to change past behavior. If the guy's girlfriend just wants to go on wit~out expressing how she is going to change, he is correct to say "no" to the

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likelihood of repeating instances of hurt. Of course, we don't know the girl's intention. Maybe she accepts that her boyfriend needs to leave their relationship. In that case, should she apologize even though the relationship is over? All of us make mistakes. Sometimes those mistakes cannot be overcome in terms of renewing a romance. If this happens to you, accept that what you have done has caused the end of the relationship, and then apologize - in person. If the other person will not see you, send an email or letter. Finally, think clearly about how you have hurt. the other - and form a'specific pl~n for change. After some serious thought you might ¡see. that you over-reacted to what the other said or did. If so, take responsibility for your behavior. Blaming others or the situation is not the path to change and healing. Ask God to help you use the current loss as a way to grow and become more of the person that he . knows you can be.

Your comments are always welcome. Please write to me at: chmartin@swindiana.net or at 7125W 200S, Rockport, IN 47635.

The gift of commitment Recently, we attended the wedding of a young couple. The groom is a young man who was one of our CCD students many years ago. His sister was part of our first youth council at my parish and his parents are parishioners in our church. While a little surprised that we would be included in this wedding, we were ovetjoyed to receive an invitation. I've gotten a little ahyad of myself, however. Let me step back to one of the first times I met this young man. To say that he was a "pain" would be an understatement. He was in many ways a troubled young man. He was always challenging and always in trouble. I'll never forget the day his CCD teacher walked him across the parking lot and said to me, "You do something with him." That was the beginning of a process that taught me a lot about working with young people and, especially these many years later, what it means to be committed to others. His parents, like most of us, are regular folks. How easy it would have been to give up on him. I'm sure they spent many a night worrying about him and what would become of him. What parent

doesn't? But what strikes me more than anything is that they didn't give up on him. And neither did we. I could see something in this young man that was j\Jst below the hardened surface, but it took years to see that outer shell crack and fall away. We were just on the periphery of his life, but they lived the reality every day. For some reason I've yet to understand, they give us credit for part of his "transformation." To be honest, they deserve all of the credit. He was no worse than many challenging young people of the day, yet he made it. Why? They were committed to seeing him through this troubled adolescence and they did, no matter what the cost and heartache. We learned from his parents that he ~ad joined the National Guard a number of years back and, while we stayed in touch with his parents, we never had much contact with hiin directly. The very thought of this young man handling weapons isn't one that gave me much comfort, but he had changed so dramatically from the young man I once knew. Service in the Guard

transformed him, and we heard from his parents how well he was doing. That always brought joy to our hearts. While in the Guard he met his future bride. Of course, service in the National Guard soon meant deployment to Iraq. The

have suffered with concern over those many years. Her joy was so evident now. Her son was home and he was now embljI"king on his future. A future manyi~ thought would be difficult and yet here stood this fine young \nan. His parents had done theil job well. When we took our seats he rushed over to hug us. He wasn't a touc~y feely type of kid and it amazed us how happy and radiant he was. The rest'ofthe day was a magnificent celebration that we were honored to .be a part of. In a society where "commitment" has become a dirty word; where more than 50 percent of marriages fail; where children are set aside or lost to drugs, alcohol and abuse, this one story gives me hope. These,parents walked the talk. They.llived out their Christian commitment to serve others, to be there for bthers. They " in the life made a huge differeneje of this young man and many others that they have touche4 as a result. Leaving the church that day, I started to think about iny own commitment What is :,the Lord asking me to do with the rest of my II

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young couple knew that he would be going off to Iraq so they held a civil wedding ceremony just before deployment. However, we soon received a note to save the date for their "real" wedding upon his return from the war zone. They were so committed to each other that they wanted to be married in the church. They were ready to profess their love for each other in front of family and in front of God. When we entered the church that morning we saw his mom beaming from ear to ear. Like Jesus' mother Mary, how she must

life? I've been listening to his call and have taken steps to try to discern that call. Their commitment to their son has challenged me to review my commitment to Jesus and to others. This is the time of year that we prepare to commemorate the birth of Jesus. We hear once again the story of his father Joseph who stayed committed to Mary even though she was with child. He didn't run and abandon them. We see them live out their commitment as parents raising him even though he gave them some ''trouble'' once in a while. How committed are we to Jesus and his work? Do we walk the walk? Are we willing to put all aside and follow Jesus? Perhaps this Christmas, in some small way, we can give the gift of commitment to someone in our lives. We don't need to change the whole world an impossible task, but we can change it one person at a time. Let's start walking ....

Frank Lucca is a youth minister at St. Dominic's Parish in Swansea, chair and a director of the YES! Retreat, and director of the Christian Leadership Institute (Cll). He is a husband and a father of young ladies.

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ACTIVE PRA~ER L1V~S - ~e~bers of the Cape Cod chapter of the Lay Carmelites pray in St. Jude Chapel at Chnst the ~lng Pansh.1n Mashp~e every Sunday. Members meet at the parish every third Sund~y to pray and d.lscuss Scnpture. Dunng the meeting they wear oversized brown scapulars, a devotion to Mary that IS overseen by the Carmelite Order. (Photo by Matt McDonald)

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of the presence of God in our every- feast day is December 14. He was people, not to behavior. "Of course, we wouldn't be a day activity. Everything we do, in an ally of another Carmelite saint, all honesty, there's a presence ofGod St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582), in thinking human being if we didn't judge actions. That's the only way in it, if you can see with those eyes." reforming the Order. ' The Carmelites emphasize siSt. John of the Cross wrote ex- we're going to improve," Shea said. lence - both externally, meaning tensively about a searing spiritual ex- "But not the people." All 16 members of the Cape the absence of physical noise, and perience of feeling abandoned by also internally, meaning the absence God even while believing in him and chapter are required to gather on the of inner turbulence. trying to follow him, which is known third Sunday of the month at Christ "You can be in the midst of a busy as the dark night of the soul, after the King Parish in Mashpee, where life, but still be very still in your the title of a poem he wrote ab~ui ii. they attend the 10:30 a.m. Mass and heart," Pumphrey said. That feeling was also experienced by then meet to pray and discuss a spiriThe beginnings of the Carmelite , other saints, including St. Therese of tual reading on Scripture. At a meeting in September all religious Order are obscure, but it is Lisieux (1873-1897), also known as believed to have grown out of groups the Little Flower, who was a were women, ranging in age from 50 to 80. of Christian hermits who settled Carmelite as well. But despite the current disparity around the 12th century in the Holy Such spiritual giants .,- all three Land on Mount Carmel, the traditional have been named doctors of the - the chapter currently has only one home of the Israeli~ prophet Elijah. Church, meaning their writings are man - membership is open to any The Carmelites are perhaps best considered especially helpful toward man or woman who is a Catholic in known among lay Catholics as the spiritual growth and understanding good standing and over 18. The Cape Carmelites are intercustodians of the brown scapular, a - are among the attractions of sacramental object worn around the Carmelite life for Cotuit resident Liz ested in receiving new members. But they note they are not a prayer group, neck and over the shoulders associ- Shea. ated with Mary in connection with "Ijust love being a Carmelite and but rather affiliates of a religious orher appearance to an Eriglish saint having these as friends," said Shea, der, so they believe their members in the 13th century as Our Lady of a retired educator who joined abo~t have a calling to join. ' , Patricia O'Donnell, 83, of Mount Carmel. 10 years ago. Bourne, learned about the Lay Like the Franciscans and DoShea, who as the chapter's prayer Carmelites from a woman in her minicans, Carmelites have a "third liaison takes about five or six prayer parish after her husband was diagorder" made up of laypeople who requests a week to her fellow memnosed with a serious illness. try to follow the organized spiritual bers, said she has seen astounding "I knew that prayer was very imlife offriars and nuns (the "first" and answers to the chapter's prayer inportant, and I felt that I needed some"second" orders, respectively). tentions that she said could be called thing more in my life. I needed an Lay Carmelites make promises "mini-miracles." of the things that would extension (not vows) to live a life consistent She identifies love as at the heart comfort me and hold me up," with Carmelite principles. They also , of what the order is about. O'Donnell said. agree to follow a regimented daily "This is what I loved about Little O'Donnell, who has been reprayer life, which includes Mass and Therese and still do: She taught love, portions ofthe Liturgy ofthe Hours, and not condemnation and not judg- ceived as a novice, is on track to the ancient structured prayers based ment," Shea said. "It was just about make a temporary profession next on the Psalms and other spiritual fove. And when our new pontiff re- year. She said she has found enrichwritings that are said at various times leased the encyclical God Is Love ment. and solace. "I like them.' I like all of the in the day. - Deus Caritas Est - I felt, my The Cape Cod chapter formed in gosh, this is just what I've loved for- women. I like the way they talk. I 1994. It's one of two lay Carmelite ever, this thought. Human beings, thought they had a very worthwhile chapters in the Diocese ofFall River; we're not tojudge. And it's judgment program there, and I kept coming the other one is centered in New I think that sometimes gets in the back," O'Donnell said. The Scriptural discussion during Bedford. way of our own spirituality." The Cape chapter is named after She noted thatJesus's oft-misun- . the September meeting centered on St. John of the Cross (1542-1591), derstood injunction in the Gospel' the story in the First Book of Kings a Spanish priest and mystic whose about not judging applies to other about the prophet Elijah coming to

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the widow of Zarephath during a Black said she finds it encouraging famine and asking her to prepare to think of Elijah maintaining his him a meal. The woman did so de- prayer life while living in a small spite having only enough flour and house with two other people. "Because that is exactly what we oil left for one meal for herself and her son; but the flour and oil miracu- are as Lay Carmelites. Our silence lously continued to feed all three of and solitude mostly has to be interior, because we don't always find it them for a year. Each of the members was asked exteriorly," Black said. to offer three meanings for the story The discussion turned to a reand a spiritual commentary associ- quest for advice about how to apated with it, and, with only a little proach a particular family concern. overlap, each was able to wring dis- Afterward, a Lay Carmelite observer from the provincial office tinct insights. One 'example: vocation minis- mentioned how inspired she alway.$ try liaison and Mashpee resident is when she visits the Cape Cod Dottie Cawley highlighted the chapter. widow's willingness to do what the Formation director Florence prophet told her even though she Higgins of Bourne responded that seemed to be in an impossible situ- the members' fruits come from the ation. "And how important it is to , object of their desire. listen and respond without con"Each and every one of us here, cern, when we're told to do some- we thirst for the living God," Higgins said. "And the Lord says, 'Seek, and thing," Cawley said. Another: Sandwich resident Ella you will find me.'"

Religious

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all retired religious was $184 mil- strategic planning for retirement, lion, while the cost of care totaled and tracks emerging trends in elder more than $1.6 billion. care, property utilization and pubMore than 37,000 Catholic reli- licly funded programs. gious nationwide are now past age In 2006, the people of the Fall 70. More than 5,000 women and River Diocese generously contribmen require skilled nursing care. uted $161,318 to the Appeal. Only the hard work of religious in"It brings our total diocesan constitutes has kept the costs of such tribution for the 20 years of collecnursing care to $49,000 as com- tion to the Fund to $2.78 million," pared to an average $65,000 annu- . Sister Donovan reported. What it means, she explained, ally. In 1988 Church officials took the "is that each religious congregation bull by the horns and launched the will receive approximately $400 for Retirement Fund for Religious and each retired religious this year. Your since then has raised a total $529 parish participation makes this generous gift possible for them. Your million. The effort has enabled the Na- gracious support is essential to the tional Religious Retirement Office continued success of this fund and to seed and stabilize retirement likewise honors those men and funds at religious institutes, lever- women who have served our dioage local fund-raising, and assist cese so faithfully." capital campaigns. Sister Donovan said, "Know that The NRRO, which sponsors the the retired religious pray daily for annual Appeal, returns 94 percent the Church; and especially for those of donations to its mission, far ex- whom they served in the past. Be ceeding the average nonprofit in the assured of my gratitude, support percentage of donations applied. and prayer. God's choicest blessSince it was established, the Office ings be with you and your parish has expanded its service to assist during the Advent season."

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QUARTER MASTER - Certified Nursing Assistant Isabel Medeiros, second from left, was named Employee of the Quarter at Catholic Memorial Home in Fall River. Employed there since 1990, Medeiros was selected for her positi.ve attitude, ready smile, and compassion and understanding, particularly with Alzheimer's residents.


I

DECEMBER

$ The Anchor $ Retired U.S. Rep. Henry Hyde,

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7, 2007

Pro-Life promoter, dies at 83 By NANCY FRAZIER O'BRIEN CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

it into law. "Henry Hyde is revered by the Pro-Life movement for his tireless WASHINGTON - Henry J. Hyde, the fonner Republican conefforts to, protect the innocent, degressman from Illinois whose name fenseless life in the womb," said Joseph Scheidler, national director became synonymous with efforts to of the Pro-Life Action League, in a limit federal funding of abortion, statement. "It is a sad day for died November 29 at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. America. We have lost a truly great statesman and patriot." Hyde's death was announced in Washington by House Minority A member of St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Bensenville, Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, who Hyde met three times with Pope gave no cause of death for the 83John Paul II and once with Pope year-old Catholic political figure. Benedict. Hyde retired from politics in Born in Chicago, Henry John 2006 after 32 years in Congress and Hyde earned a bachelor's degree at eight years in the Illinois LegislaGeorgetown University in Washingture. He received the Presidential ton and his law degree at Loyola Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, from PresiUniversity Law School in Chicago. . He served in the U.S. Navy during dent George W. Bush November 5 . World War II and remained active but was unable to attend the White SUPPORTER OF LIFE House ceremony because he was t:ienry J. Hyde, retired Repu~- . in the Naval Reserve until 1968. IIcan Congressman from 1111. . . recovering from quadruple heart nois died November 29 at After working as a lawyer m pnbypass surgery in July. Rush University Medical Cen- va~e ~ractice, he was elected.to ~e At the ceremony, Bush de- ter in Chicago. (CNS photo/Win IllmOls House of RepresentatIVes m scribed Hyde as a "commanding McNamee, Reuters) 1967 and became majority leader presence" and "a man of consein 1971. He was first elected to the quence," who impressed colleagues opportunity to prosper because they U.S. House in November 1974 and with his "extraordinary intellect, his were spared destruction when they was re-elected 15 times. deep convictions and eloquent were most at risk," said Rep. Chris Hyde was married to the late Jeanne Simpson Hyde. voice." His son Bob accepted the Smith, R-NJ., in a statement. medal, saying it "affirms the imporHyde also supported the PartialHe is survived by two sons and tance and value of his stance on Birth Abortion Ban Act and was a daughter. Another son predemany things, like right to life." pr~~ent i~ ~~~)3.~_he~ ~u.sh ~i.g~e~ .. ceased him. He was named a'Knight of St." Gregory by Pope Benedict XVI in 2006 in recognition of his longtime fight for life. In 1976, as a freshman congressman, he introduced and successfully SOMERSET - Several area Fred Ramos of Our Lady of Grace persuaded his colleagues to pass the members of the Society of St. Parish in Westport. Hyde amendment to an appropriaVincent de Paul were presented The Top Hat Award is given in tions bill for the Department of "Top Hat" awards at a Communion memory of the society's founder, Health and Human Services. The breakfastat St. John of God Parish. Blessed Frederick Ozanam, who amendment restricted the federal . Recipients were: Lizette was known as 'The Apostle in the Soares of St; Michael Parish:PaU Top Hat." In Your ?~ayers River; Manuel Silveira of SL .. The Society of St. Vincent de FranCis ofAssisi Parish, Swansea; .Paul isa Catholic lay organization Please pray for these priests during'the coming 'weeks . Constance Nowicki of Santo dedicated to helping· the poor and Dec. 10 Christo Parish, Fall River; and needy of the community. government from funding abortions. "Because ofthe Hyde amendment countless young children and adults walk on this earth today and have an

Four area St. Vincent de Paul members receive Top Hat Award .

Rev. Thomas C. Briscoe, Fonner Pastor, SI. Anne, Fall River, 1918 Rev. Andrew S.P. Baj, Fonner Pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, New Bedford, 1971

Dec. 15 Rev. Mortimer Downing, Pastor, SI. Francis Xavier, Hyannis, 1942 Rev. John F. O'Keefe, Assistant, SI. Patrick, Fall River, 1955

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CENTERVILLE - A Divine Mercy holy hour with the Chaplet of Divine Mercy takes place 6 to 7:30 p.m. the second and fourth Wednesday of the month at Our Lady of Victory Parish at 230 South Main Street.

SOMERSET - Sponsored by St. Patrick's Parish's Social Justice Committee, Dr. Christina Kim will give a presentation of her recent visit to China tomorrow at 1 p.m. in St. Patrick's Parish Center, 306 South Street. There will also be a collection for Franciscan Missionary Charities, Inc.

INDIA - Father Flaul Cruz is requesting pens, pencils, rosaries, used card,~, used magazines, and statues for the children of his diocese. Please send to P.O. Box 691571, Kottiyam - P.O. Kollam - 691 571. Kerala - India.

ATTLEBORO - rhe National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette IntercessorY Prayer Group meets the second Thursday of each month at 7: 15 p.m. to pray for the intentions received at the Shrine and those most in .need. II

EAST TAUNTON +- Holy Family Parish at 370 Middleboro Avenue hosts an hour of prayer for families from 1 to 2 p.m. each Wednesday. FALL RIVER - Sponsored by the Communications Department of the Diocese of Fall River, the Portuguese Channe,1 will present a program entitled "Christians Ask: Could Christmas be the "God of Our History," December 19 at 9:30 p.m. -I . -- --- .~. ,~

FALL RIVER - An Advent Lessons and Carols prayer service will take place at St. Mary's Cathedral on Sunday at 3 o'clock. The adult and youth choirs will lead singing of carols and the Hispaoic choir will present songs in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe. All are invited to attend. FALMOUTH - Schola Cantorum of Falmouth, a small choral ensemble specializing in a cappella Renaissance music, presents its Christmas program entitled "A Renaissance ,Christmas" on December 14 at 7:30 p.m. at Sf. Patrick's Church, 511 Main Street, Falmouth. . A I ,

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SWANSEA - St. ~ouis de France Parish at 56 Buffington Street will host weekly Advent Centering Prayer gatherings in the Family Roo"" of the church at,6:15 p.m. every Tuesday in Advent through December 18. For more information contact Charles Demers at 508-617-0848 or email to forums8799@mypacks.net.

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NORTH DARTMOUTH - The Diocesan Divorced and Separated Support Group will meet in the Family Life Center at 500 Slocum Road on December 12 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. for its annual. Christmas Party. Those attending are asked to bring a small gift for the Yankee Swap and potluck food for the party.

Dec. 12 Rev. Paul F. McCarrick. Pastor, SI. Joseph, Fall River, 1996,

Dec. 14 Rev. Msgr, John J, Hayes, Pastor, Holy Name, New Bedford. 1970

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Dec.U Rev. Edward L. Killigrew, Pastor, SI. Kilian, New Bedford, 1959

Dec. 13 Rev. Reginald Theriault, O.P., St. Anne, Dominican Priory, Fall River, 1972 Rev. Adrien L. Francoeur, M.S., LaSalette Shrine, North Attleboro, 1991

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Memoirs from the 'Peanut' gallery This weekend is 20th annual appeal by the National Religious Retirement Office. When this weekend rolls around each year, I can't help but think back to my days at St. Anne's School in Fall River. For nine enjoyable years, I was in the company of the good Dominican Sisters there, and I loved mostly every minute of it. A plethora of fond memories center around the Advent and Christmas seasons there. The Sisters always knew the reason for the season, and they joyfully shared it with their students. Christmas pageants, plays and activities abounded. One particular Christmas stands

out, when I was in fifth, sixth or seventh grade. I'm not exactly sure. Whatever year it was, our class opted to perform "A Charlie Brown Christmas," which had originally aired a year or two prior, in 1965. The class was psyched to act out something other than a Nativity sce~e. Not because we were tired of that, but I think we wanted to expand our acting horizons. More than anything in the world I was hoping for the part of Snoopy. I guess even back then I had an affinity for canines. I felt I did the best Snoopy imitation in the schooL "Blaaaaaaahhhh." I had it down pat. I was the top dog. But, the best laid plans of mice and dogs .... The part of Snoopy went to someone else. I was cast as Linus, and I don't think it was because they had faith in my acting abilities. It was more along the lines of my being the smallest boy in the class - this was in the days before Linus' little brother Rerun. When I learned I was playing Linus, I looked at the Sister with

my head slightly tilted (ala Snoopy, or Igor for that matter). "What?" Not only was I not playing Snoopy, I had a part with tons of lines ... and a show-stopping monologue reciting Luke 2:8-14. That's show biz., We had a ball rehearsing and preparing for our big production. Actually two big productions: one for classmates, and one for Dominican Father Rene Patenaude. We all loved Fa.ther pat. Show time - we were doing great. Then came my big moment. I placed my blanket on my head and secured it with an elastic - to get the look of a shepherd. Under the spotlight, I launched into the monologue. I if nailed it. It was as if there was a direct line from St. Luke's quill to my lips. Next up, the Father Pat performance. We were doing great. Then came my big moment. Adorned in my blanket and elastic I launched into my monologue. I choked. I sounded more like one of my bleating sheep than a Gospel proclaimer. No Tony Award for me. Snoopy was a hit though. Looking back on my brief stint as Linus, the monologue was only seven lines. Back then it seemed like the whole New Testament ... and part of the Old. Father Pat loved it none the less, as did our wonderful Sisters. I was in one more Christmas play. I played the part of Joseph. No lines to memorize, or flub. I just had to stapd there looking chic, or sheik-like; Despite my thespian meltdown, I stilllov~ the memories at good old St. Anne's - particularly the Sisters and priests. Remember them at Mass this weekend when the basket is passed. Meanwhile, if anyone needs an actor to play Snoopy, I'm still available ... and quite good. Listen: "Blaaaaaahhhhhh."

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Kim Lisbon's talents realized 'in successful ministry to youth By BRIAN KENNEDY ANCHOR STAFF

for every Catholic student who wants to grow in the faith. "We want to offer them a place they can get ATTLEBORO - Kim Lisbon has always enjoyed good, solid Catholic teaching, form friendships, have, being a teacher. But she never imagined that with a fellowship, and ask questions, especially for those little business expertise she would one day leverage kids who don't have reinforcement at their home her classroom skills to bring new faith insights parishes," Lisbon asserted. and highly attractive and popular programs for young "It's a gre,at way to enable kids to experience people - to literally thousands who gather at the the Lord and get excited about the faith," the enerNational Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette. getic Lisbon added. "I always wanted to be a teacher," said Lisbon, She said she strives to choose keynoters for who looks much younger than her 51 years. Steubenville East and Extreme East from among the "I taught at Bishop McVinney Elementary School most prominent names in youth ministry. in Providence, R.I. for "We select those we two years, and then went think are the best to speak into business. But I to our young people; missed working with the those who teach the faith kids. Now I get to use my without talking down to teaching and business the kids" she noted. skills to help La Salette's At Extreme East, MarYouth Ministry," Lisbon, tin Doman gave the Oca parishioner at St. tober 5 presentation. He Brendan's Parish in is a well-known recordBellingham, and music ing artist and founder of director for its Lifeteen Christ Music, a not-forprogram, told The Anprofit Catholic music chor. company. Bob Rice was Lisbon and her husfeatured at the November band of 21 years, Arthur, 2, event. He's an author, reside in Franklin, Mass. musician, and full-time Her varied program faculty at the Franciscan responsibilities at the University of popular Shrine take her Steubenville in Ohio. in two directions. Tonight's event at As coordinator for the Bishop Feehan High Kim School in Attleboro will Steubenville East Con- ANCHOR PERSON OF THE WEEK ference - held under a Lisbon. (Photo by Brian Kennedy) feature Sean Forrest, the large tent erected on the founder of the Movin' Shrine property - she plans and directs 300 volun- with the Spirit ministry and a former club entertainer, teers who serve 5,000 students each summer at the who turned his talents for selling spirits to a minisShrine. try for lifting spirits. And, as coordinator for the monthly follow-up Lisbon faces several challenges in expanding the called Extreme East, she schedules and plans events youth ministry. She said the New England region for hundreds of eager teens and young adults. lacks a strong youth ministry and has no dedicated What has been described as "great events" by the youth offices at the parish level. attendees, they include music, fellowship, and hearShe noted ironically that the success of Extreme ing about Christ's teachings, eucharistic adoration and East is indicative of this and other problems. the opportunity for the sacrament of reconciliation. "Bringing in 500 people is unheard of in youth Lisbon moved into the post last January and C!ver- ministry. It's like'a miracle," she explained. Another saw her first Steubenville conference at the Shrine issue is consistency. in July. "Steubenville East was held annually but there As the person in charge of the conference, Lisbon was no follow-up. People told us if there was a foland her group of volunteers oversee and attend to low-up they would come. To get through the hard all the advertising, security, priests, speakers, and times, I look at the photos and comments from the catering that goes into the annual conferences at two kids. We know what we do has a big impact," she weekends in July. said. Scheduling keynote speakers and entertainers is She emphasized that there is nothing more ima busy enterprise. Developing the spiritual format is portant than passing on the faith to the children in another. ''To offer the sacrament of penance requires parishes. recruiting priests," said Lisbon. "Steubenville East and Extreme East enable us "We need approximately 30 priests for the con- to come together as the Body of Christ; to explore ference. Most of them come through invitation and the sacraments; to give the opportunity for reconthey bring their parish youth groups. Some priests ciliation; to learn about the faith; encourage one concelebrate a Mass. They're a great witness for the another; and help one another," Lisbon said, noting love of the Church," Lisbon said. the success of the programs. One of the many reasons people flock from all Missionary of La Salette Brother Bob Russell, over New England and even as far away as Canada director of the National Shrine of Our Lady of La to attend Steubenville East is that it is the only re- Salette, praised Lisbon for her work. maining conference that still holds the event out"Kim has been a tremendous asset to the Shrine side in a tent. for us," he said. "She is a wonderful person to work Lisbon said, "I compare it to the Mark's Gospel with, and has great ideas that we can implement to when Peter said to Jesus, 'Rabbi, it is good that we better the program." are here! Let us make three tents: one for you, one The Anchor encourages readers to nominate othfor Moses, and one for Elijah.''' ersfor the Person ofthe Week - who and why? SubExtreme East is Lisbon's newest endeavor. Initi- mit nominations to: theanchor@anchomews.org, or ated as a follow-up to Steubenville, it is designed write to TheAnchor, P.O. Box 7, Fall River, MA 02722.

12.07.07  

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