Wednesday 21st February 2018

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

Message Of Pope John Paul II For Lent 1998… Christ Gives Himself To Us As Nourishment

February 7, 2018 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

(Editor’s Note: Twenty years ago, Pope St. John Paul II offered this Lenten Message, with a theme that is even more timely today:

(“Another equally serious form of poverty exists. It is not the lack of material means but that of spiritual nourishment, of a response to essential questions, of hope for one’s own existence. This poverty touches the soul and brings about grave sufferings.
(“The consequences of this are right before our eyes and are often very sad, a life void of meaning. This kind of misery is mostly found in environments where people live in comfort, materially satisfied but without a spiritual orientation.”
(The text of this message comes from the website vatican.va. All rights reserved.)

+ + +

Come, O blessed of my Father, for I was poor, marginalized and you welcomed me!
Dear Brothers and Sisters! Each year Lent recalls the mystery of Christ “led by the Spirit in the desert” (Luke 4:1). With this unique experience, Jesus gave witness to His complete surrender to the will of the Father. The Church offers the faithful this liturgical season so that they can renew themselves internally through the Word of God and may express in life the love which Christ instills in the heart of everyone who believes in Him.
This year, in preparation for the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000, the Church contemplates the Mystery of the Holy Spirit. By this mystery the Church is being led in the desert to experience with Christ the fragility of the human being, but also the closeness of God who saves.
The Prophet Hosea writes: “I will allure her, and bring her into the desert, and speak tenderly to her” (Hosea 2:16). The season of Lent is, therefore, a journey of conversion in the Holy Spirit, encountering God in our life. In fact, the desert is a place of dryness and death, synonymous with solitude. At the same time, it is a place of dependence on God, of meditation and of the essential.
For a Christian the desert journey represents a personal experience of inadequacy before God, thereby becoming more sensitive to the presence of the poor.
This year I wish to propose, for reflection by all the faithful, words inspired by the Gospel of Matthew: “Come, O blessed of my Father, for I was poor, marginalized and you welcomed me!” (cfr. Matt. 25:34-36).
Poverty has different meanings. The first which comes to mind is the absence of sufficient material means. This poverty, which for many of our brothers crosses the line to misery, is a scandal.
It assumes a multiplicity of forms and is found linked to various painful phenomena: the lack of the necessary means of survival and primary health care; the absence of a home or its inadequacy and the consequent abnormal situations; the marginalization of the weakest from society and the unemployed from the productive sector; the loneliness of those having no one to count on; the condition of international refugees and those who suffer from war and its cruelties; the inequality of salaries; the absence of a family and the grave consequences which derive from this such as drugs and violence.
The individual is humiliated by the lack of these necessities of life. It is a tragedy before which those who have the possibility to intervene cannot, in conscience, remain indifferent.
Another equally serious form of poverty exists. It is not the lack of material means but that of spiritual nourishment, of a response to essential questions, of hope for one’s own existence. This poverty touches the soul and brings about grave sufferings.
The consequences of this are right before our eyes and are often very sad, a life void of meaning. This kind of misery is mostly found in environments where people live in comfort, materially satisfied but without a spiritual orientation.
Christ’s word in the desert confirms this: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4).
In the depth of his heart, he asks for meaning, he yearns for love.
The proclamation of the Gospel in word and deed is the response to this poverty. The Gospel brings salvation and also brings light even in the darkness of suffering because it conveys the love and mercy of God. In the end it is the hunger for God that consumes the human being. Without the comfort which comes from God, mankind is abandoned to himself, always in need and without the true source of life.
The Church continually combats all forms of poverty, because as Mother she is concerned that each and every person be able to live fully in dignity as a child of God. The Lenten Season is a special time for the members of the Church to recall their task toward helping their brethren.
Sacred Scripture constantly calls us to solicitude toward the poor, because God Himself is present in them: “He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will repay him for his deed” (Prov. 19:17). New Testament Revelation teaches not to scorn the poor since Christ identifies Himself with them.
In opulent societies and a world ever increasingly marked by a practical materialism invading every aspect of life, we cannot forget the strong words with which Christ admonishes the rich (cfr. Matt. 19:23-24; Luke 6:24-25; Luke 16:19-31).
In particular, we cannot forget that He Himself “became poor so that by His poverty you might become rich” (2 Cor. 8: 9). “The Son of God emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant. . . . He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross” (Phil. 2:7-8). By becoming fully human, including even in poverty, suffering and death, it is possible that in Christ every person can find himself.
In becoming poor Himself, Christ truly became one with each person living in poverty. That is why the words which inspire the theme of this Lenten Message are heard also at the Last Judgment where Christ blesses those who recognized His image in the needy:
“Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me” (Matt. 25:40).
Therefore, those who truly love God welcome the poor. They really understand that God took on this condition so as to be totally united with mankind. Welcoming the poor is a sign of true love for Jesus Christ as proven by St. Francis who kisses the leper because in him he recognized the suffering Christ.

A Child Of God

Every Christian feels called to share the pain and difficulty of the “other” in whom God Himself is hidden. However, this opening to the needs of others implies a truly warm welcoming which is only possible in a personal commitment of poverty in spirit. Poverty, in fact, does not exist only in the negative sense. There is also a poverty which is blessed by God. This the Gospel calls “blessed” (Matt. 5:3). Thanks to this poverty in spirit, the Christian recognizes that salvation comes exclusively from God and makes him ready to serve his brother considering him “better than yourself” (Phil. 2:3).
Spiritual poverty entails the fruit of the new heart which God gives us. In the season of Lent such fruit must mature through concrete behavior such as: the spirit of service, the openness to look for the good of the other, the willingness to share with our brother, the commitment of combatting that pride which isolates us from our neighbor.
This atmosphere of welcoming is increasingly necessary in confronting today’s diverse forms of distancing ourselves from others. This is profoundly evidenced in the problem of millions of refugees and exiles, in the phenomenon of racial intolerance as well as intolerance toward the person whose only “fault” is a search for work and better living conditions outside his own country and in the fear of all who are different and thus seen as a threat.
In this way, the Word of the Lord acquires new relevance in the face of the needs of so many people who search for housing, struggle for work, and seek education for their children. As regards these people, the welcoming of them remains a challenge for the Christian community which cannot ignore its obligation to respond so that everyone is able to find living conditions suitable to the dignity of a child of God!
I exhort every Christian, in this Lenten Season, to evidence his personal conversion through a concrete sign of love toward those in need, recognizing in this person the face of Christ and repeating, as if almost face to face: “I was poor, I was marginalized . . . .and you welcomed me.”

A Word Of Hope

As a result of this commitment, the light of hope will again be ignited for many people. When with Christ the Church serves the person in need, she opens hearts to a new hope going beyond evil and suffering, beyond sin and death.
In fact, the evils which afflict us, the vastness of problems, the immense number of those who suffer, represent an obstacle which cannot be humanly overcome. The Church offers its assistance, also of a material nature, to relieve these difficulties. At the same time the Church knows that she is able and must give much more. That what is expected from her, above all else, is a word of hope.
Where material means are not able to alleviate the misery, for example in the case of corporal or spiritual ailments, the Church announces to the poor the hope that comes from Jesus Christ In this time of preparation for Easter, I wish to repeat that proclamation. In preparation for the Jubilee of the Year 2000, the Church dedicates 1998 to the virtue of hope and I repeat to all — but in particular those who most feel themselves to be poor, alone, suffering, marginalized — the words of the Easter Sequence: “Christ, my hope, is risen.” He has conquered the evil which constrains men to darkness, the sin which closes their hearts in selfishness, the fear of death which threatens them.
In the mystery of the death and Resurrection of Christ, we see light for every human being. This Lenten Message is an invitation to open our eyes to the poverty of many. It also strives to indicate the path so as to encounter in Easter that Christ who, giving Himself to us as nourishment, inspires our hearts with faith and hope.
Therefore I wish that this 1998 Lenten Season becomes the occasion for each Christian to experience poverty with the Son of God and to be an instrument of His love in the service of our brother in need.

+ + +

From the Vatican, September 9, 1997
JOHN PAUL II

+ + +

(© Copyright — Libreria Editrice Vaticana.)

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

FRENCH CATHOLICS TO PRAY NATIONAL ROSARY

PARIS (ChurchMilitant.com) – Catholics in France are rallying for a nationwide Rosary on April 28. In the past five months, Church Militant has reported on about a half dozen national Rosary rallies organized in countries such as Poland and Ireland. Inspired by…Continue Reading

Told he has not long to live, Catholic Studies founder Don Briel reflects on dying well

Don Briel, founder and longtime director of Catholic Studies at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, was diagnosed in mid-January with two forms of acute leukemia. He was told the cancers were untreatable and he had a month…Continue Reading

Pope Francis says Paul VI will be canonized this year

Vatican City, Feb 17, 2018 / 08:53 am (CNA/EWTN News).- During his annual Lenten meeting with the priests of Rome last week, Pope Francis confirmed that Blessed Pope Paul VI will be made a saint sometime this year. “Paul VI…Continue Reading

Pope reappoints O’Malley to head further work of safeguarding commission

Vatican City, Feb 17, 2018 / 05:10 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Saturday the Vatican announced that Pope Francis has reconfirmed Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston as head of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, also reconfirming seven members…Continue Reading

The Latest: Trump to visit Florida after school shooting

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump’s response to the Florida school shooting (all times local): 11:36 a.m. President Donald Trump says he’ll visit Parkland, Florida, the site of Wednesday’s shooting that killed 17 people. Trump said from…Continue Reading

U.S. bishops: federal budget should not be balanced ‘on backs of the poor’

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In response to the Trump administration’s 2019 federal budget proposal on Monday, the U.S. Catholic bishops are urging for a budget that shows greater concern for “‘the least of these” and warning that the U.S. “must never seek…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood sticker stirs controversy at Connecticut Catholic high school

A Connecticut high school student may have to decide whether to remove a Planned Parenthood sticker on her laptop or leave her Catholic school after administrators told her to remove it, her parents said. Sophomore Kate Murray’s parents told the Greenwich Time that…Continue Reading

Fr. James Martin: ‘People take the Bible…out of context’ on homosexuality

February 8, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The Bible’s condemnation of homosexual acts should be taken in “context” with Biblical times, Jesuit Father James Martin toldGeorgetown University students recently. Martin said as well that Catholics who support gay “marriage” should have no problem…Continue Reading

Mississippi state house votes to ban abortion after 15 weeks

JACKSON, Mississippi, February 2, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A bill banning abortion on babies more than 15 weeks old passed the Mississippi state House today 79-31. House Bill 1510 would make Mississippi the state with the most pro-life laws if it…Continue Reading

All But Three Democrats Voted to Allow Unlimited Abortions Up to Birth

Just three Democrats in the U.S. Senate supported a bill on Monday that would prohibit abortions after 20 weeks when unborn babies are capable of feeling pain. The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which has strong public support from Republicans…Continue Reading

Athanasius Schneider invites world’s bishops to sign Profession of Immutable Truths

ROME, January 30, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – In an exclusive interview two weeks after issuing a profession of immutable truths about sacramental marriage, Bishop Athanasius Schneider is inviting his brother bishops around the world to join in raising a common voice…Continue Reading

Cardinal Eijk Asks Pope to Clarify Questions About “Remarried” Divorcees

As Katholisch.de, the official website of the German bishops, reports today, Cardinal Willem Eijk, the Dutch cardinal and Metropolitan Archbishop of Utrecht, requested that Pope Francis bring light into the confusion concerning the question as to how to deal with…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love

Cburke3

  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading

Catechism

Today . . .

Catholics urged to affirm ‘liberating truth’ of Humanae Vitae

The document ‘defended the integrity of married love and warned us against the danger of reducing sexuality to a source of pleasure alone’ The “liberating truth” of Blessed Paul VI’s encyclical “Humanae Vitae” is as relevant today 50 years after its promulgation, and maybe even more so, said Archbishop of Denver Samuel Aquila in his new pastoral letter, “The Splendor of Love.” “The 50th anniversary of ‘Humanae Vitae’ is an occasio

Correcting Fr. James Martin

Fr James Martin SJ has tweeted his rage against the firing of a gay teacher from a Catholic School. The story is here in the New York Times. It concerns a female Catholic school teacher who “married” her girlfriend and was then dismissed from her job. Fr Martin tweets: Again, where are the comparable firings of straight employees who do not follow Catholic church teaching? Men and women living together before being married? Divorced and remarried without…Continue Reading

Dozens of U.S. bishops sign up for Amoris Laetitia seminars at dissident Catholic colleges

CHICAGO, February 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Chicago’s Cardinal Blase Cupich, a key promoter of the progressive agenda advanced under Pope Francis, has invited American bishops to a series of conferences about Amoris Laetitia in February. Catholic News Agency reported this week that it had “obtained” a letter by the Archbishop of Chicago about the seminars. Called “New Momentum Conferences on Amoris Laetitia”,  the series is advertised as a “tailor-made program that goes from why Amoris Laetitia provides New Momentum for Moral…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood Sues President Trump After He Defunded Its Programs Pushing Sex on Kids

There’s nothing, it seems, that the abortion chain Planned Parenthood won’t sue over. On Thursday, affiliates of the abortion chain in seven states sued the Trump administration for cutting funding for their questionable teen pregnancy prevention programs. The Daily Nonpareil reports the lawsuits argue that the Trump administration wrongly cut their funding prematurely and without cause. Nine groups, including Planned Parenthood affiliates in Washington, Iowa, North Carolina, South C

Scholar stumps Cardinal Cupich, asks if Pope’s ‘paradigm shift’ means ‘radical’ doctrinal change

CAMBRIDGE, England, February 15, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A respected Catholic historian and philosopher challenged Cardinal Blase Cupich during a lecture last week about Pope’ Francis so-called “revolution of mercy” that has caused what many are defending as a “paradigm shift” in Catholic practice. Professor John Rist, after listening to a February 9 lecture at Cambridge Universityin which Cardinal Cupich praised Pope Francis’ “paradigm shift” in Catholic practice, asked the Cardinal at the end of the lect

Advertisement(2)

Notre Dame Professor… Criticizes University’s Provision Of “Simple Contraceptives”

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (CNA/EWTN News) — After the University of Notre Dame announced it would fund “simple contraceptives” in its insurance plan, one Notre Dame professor has criticized the move, calling it “a giant leap into immorality.” “Now the University [of Notre Dame] is to be sole funder and proprietor of a contraception giveaway,” wrote…Continue Reading

Fulton Sheen’s Final Resting Place Not Yet Final

NEW YORK (CNA/EWTN News) — Archbishop Fulton Sheen’s niece has said her uncle’s remains belong in Peoria, Ill., but a lawsuit seeking his internment there has been returned to a lower court for further consideration. “I just hate that this is dragging on and on and on,” Joan Sheen Cunningham said, according to The New…Continue Reading

Blessed Paul VI Revisited

By DONALD DeMARCO Unlike the daily news, papal statements are news that stay news. On January 1, 1977, Pope Paul VI delivered a Day of Peace message entitled, If You Want Peace, Defend Life. The need to conjoin peace with life is more relevant today than it was better than forty years ago and warrants…Continue Reading

President Trump Bans U.S. Aid for International Abortions

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Within a week of taking office on January 23, 2017, President Trump reinstated and expanded the Mexico City Policy, now called the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance, which bans U.S. funding for abortions overseas. The expanded policy prohibits $9 billion in U.S. taxpayer money from funding foreign organizations that perform or…Continue Reading

Approval Of Miracle Opens Door To Paul VI’s Canonization

By HANNAH BROCKHAUS VATICAN CITY (CNA/EWTN News) — The Congregation for the Causes of Saints has approved the second miracle needed for the canonization of Blessed Pope Paul VI, allowing his canonization to take place, possibly later this year. According to Vatican Insider, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints approved the miracle by a…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World… The “Inner Room” Of Lent

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK “Go to your inner room and pray to your Father in private.” Another Lent is upon us. With the Mass of Ash Wednesday we hear once again the Lord’s call to grow into a deeper awareness and love of the Father who is always lovingly aware of us. The tasks of Lent in prayer, fasting,…Continue Reading

The Sacraments Instituted By Christ . . . Delving Into The Great Mystery Of The Eucharist

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 16 The Holy Eucharist is the greatest Mystery left to our faith by Our Divine Redeemer. Thus, to delve into it is something we do on our knees, as it were, spiritually speaking, since we are considering the Presence of a Divine Person under the appearances of bread and wine. We have His word…Continue Reading

The Effects Of The Sacrament Of Matrimony

By DON FIER For a variety of reasons (a defect of consent, a diriment impediment, or a defect of the required form), many supposed modern-day marriages entered into by Catholic persons are invalid from their origin in the eyes of God and the Church. However, as we saw last week, depending on the circumstances, the Church has procedures by which…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. Concerning what our Blessed Mother said in Fatima about the rosary, I am confused as to whether or not she meant us to meditate on the mysteries while we are praying the Hail Marys or whether she meant us to meditate on the mysteries right before we say the Hail Marys. The consensus seems to be that we are…Continue Reading

Abraham Had To Be Tested

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Second Sunday Of Lent Readings: Gen. 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18 Romans 8:31b-34 Mark 9:2-10 In the first reading today we hear about Abraham’s nearly incomprehensible act of faith and love for God shown in his willingness to sacrifice his own son. We have to be careful not to read this in a vacuum. This test, which…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Agnes Of Bohemia

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the thirteenth century, many alliances were solidified by a marriage between members of royalty from other nations. There were also quite a few royal persons who were known for their holiness by following Christianity, including St. Elizabeth of Hungary and St. Ludmila and St. Wenceslaus of Czechoslovakia. Related to all of these saints, Princess Agnes also…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Margaret Of Cortona

By CAROLE BRESLIN Great sinners make great saints. It takes a strong-willed child to become a saint. These are statements which would easily fit saints such as Mary Magdalene and St. Augustine. In the thirteenth century, a young lady free in spirit and strong in will led such a life that she was essentially driven from her home village, but…Continue Reading