True Love

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Love can always conquer
Whatever discord brings
and love can also cover
a multitude of things.

Don’t you underestimate
what love can ever do,
for love is God eternal
and His love can renew.

What is cold and lifeless,
now lost all hope and died,
for love can breathe new meaning
and give it back new life.

Please don’t give up on love
when it seems that all is lost,
for there is always hope
if we’re prepared to pay the cost.

For love is always worth it
no matter how much the price,
for love will be much stronger
when we trust in Jesus Christ.

So let God have full reign,
let Him live within your heart
then you will know true love,
for this He will impart.

To visualize the American Catholic arts today, don’t imagine Florence or Rome. Think Newark, New Jersey!

From silly devotions, and sour-faced saints, good Lord, deliver us.
—St. Teresa of Avila

How long, I wondered, could this thing last? But the age of miracles hadn’t passed.
—Ira Gershwin

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Culture is a conversation. A vigorous culture contains different voices, often in active debate. The voice of religious faith enlarges and enlivens the overall dialectic of culture, even among non-believers, just as the voice of secular society keeps religious writers more alert and intelligent.

Roman Catholicism constitutes the largest religious and cultural group in the United States, but has almost no presence in the American fine arts—in literature, music, sculpture, or painting.  This situation not only represents a demographic paradox, a disfigurement—for Catholicism, which has for two millennia played a hugely formative and inspirational role in the arts.

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With more than sixty-eight million members, Roman Catholicism ranks overwhelmingly as the largest religious denomination in the United States. The second largest group, Southern Baptists, has sixteen million members. Representing almost one-quarter of the American population. Supporting its historical claim of being the “universal” church, American Catholicism displays vast ethnic, national, linguistic, and social diversity that include of course illegal immigrants, and urban homeless. Catholicism has grown for the past two hundred years through a combination of immigration, births, and conversions while Protestantism continue to decline. One would expect to see a huge and growing Catholic presence in the American fine arts! But nowadays the arts and Christianity seem only remotely connected, if at all. There seems to be a tacit agreement on both sides that, in practice, if not in theory, Catholicism and art no longer mix—a consensus that would have surprised not only Dante but also Jack Kerouac. The consequences of this ­situation are unfortunate—in different ways—for both the culture and the Church. What is Catholic literature, and what makes an author a Catholic writer?

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Surprisingly little Catholic imaginative literature is explicitly religious -fiction, poetry, drama, and memoir. Most touches on religious themes indirectly while addressing other subjects—not sacred topics but profane ones, such as love, war, family, violence, sex, mortality, money, and power. What makes the writing Catholic is that the treatment of these subjects is permeated with a particular worldview.

Catholic writers tend to see humanity struggling in a fallen world. They combine a longing for grace and redemption with a deep sense of human imperfection and sin. Evil exists, but the physical world is not evil. Nature is sacramental, shimmering with signs of sacred things. Indeed, all reality is mysteriously charged with the invisible presence of God. Catholics perceive suffering as redemptive, at least when borne in emulation of Christ’s passion and death. Catholics also generally take the long view of things—looking back to the time of Christ and the Caesars while also gazing forward toward eternity. Catholicism is also intrinsically communal, a notion that goes far beyond sitting at Mass with the local congregation, extending to a mystical sense of continuity between the living and the dead. Catholic writing tends to be comic, rowdy, rude, and even violent. Catholics generally prefer to write about sinners rather than saints. (It is not only that sinners generally make more interesting protagonists. Their failings also more vividly demonstrate humanity’s fallen state.) John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces, for example, presents a huge cast of characters, lost souls or reprobates all, who, pursuing their assorted vices and delusions, hilariously stumble toward grace and provisional redemption. The same dark comic vision pervades the novels of Evelyn Waugh, Anthony Burgess, and Muriel Spark. Ron Hansen’s Atticus begins with the investigation of a murder. Flannery O’Connor’s fiction is full of resentment, violence, and anger. “Good and evil appear to be joined in every culture at the spine,” she observed, and violence is “strangely capable” of returning her characters “to reality and preparing them to accept their moments of grace.” When Mary Karr titled her poetry collection Sinners Welcome, she could have been describing the Catholic literary tradition.

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Sixty years ago, Catholics played a prominent, prestigious, and irreplaceable part in American literary culture. Indeed, they played such a significant role that it would be impossible to discuss American letters in the mid-twentieth century responsibly without both examining a considerable number of observant Catholic authors and recognizing the impact of their religious conviction on their artistry. These writers were prominent across the literary world. They included established fiction writers—Flannery O’Connor, Katherine Anne Porter, Walker Percy, J. F. Powers, Ernest Hemingway, Paul Horgan, Jack Kerouac, Julien Green, Pietro di Donato, Hisaye Yamamoto, Edwin O’Connor, Henry Morton Robinson, and Caroline Gordon. (Sociologist Fr. Andrew Greeley had yet to try his formidable hand at fiction.) There were also science-fiction and detective writers such as Anthony Boucher, Donald Westlake, August Delerth, and Walter Miller, Jr., whose A Canticle for Leibowitz remains a classic of both science fiction and Catholic literature.

There was an equally strong Catholic presence in American poetry, which included Allen Tate, Robert Lowell, Robert Fitzgerald, Kenneth Rexroth, John Berryman, Isabella Gardner, Phyllis McGinley, Claude McKay, Dunstan Thompson, John Frederick Nims, Brother Antoninus (William Everson), Thomas Merton, Josephine Jacobsen, and the Berrigan brothers, Philip and Daniel. These writers represented nearly every aesthetic in American poetry. There were even Catholic haiku poets, notably Raymond Roseliep and Nick Virgilio.

Meanwhile the U.S. enjoyed the presence of a distinguished group of Catholic immigrants, including Jacques Maritain, Czesaw Miosz, Dietrich von Hildebrand, Henri Nouwen, René Girard, John Lukacs, Padraic and Mary Colum, José Garcia Villa, Alfred Döblin, Sigrid Undset, and Marshall McLuhan. Some of the writers came to the U.S. to flee communism or Nazism. (Jesuit philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin came here, late in life, to flee the European Catholic hierarchy.) These writers were supported by engaged Catholic critics and editors with major mainstream reputations, such as Walter Kerr, Wallace Fowlie, Hugh Kenner, Clare Boothe Luce, Robert Giroux, William K. Wimsatt, Thurston Davis, and Walter Ong. The intellectual milieu was further deepened by “cultural Catholics” whose intellectual and imaginative framework had been shaped by their religious training—writers such as Eugene O’Neill, John O’Hara, J. V. Cunningham, James T. Farrell, John Fante, Mary McCarthy, and John Ciardi, as well as—at the end of this period—John Kennedy Toole and Belfast-born Brian Moore.

The cultural prominence of mid-century American Catholic letters was amplified by international literary trends. The British “Catholic Revival” led by writers such as Graham Greene, Evelyn Waugh, J. R. R. ­Tolkien, Edith Sitwell, Ronald Knox, Hilaire Belloc, David Jones, Muriel Spark, Elizabeth Jennings, and Anthony Burgess provided a contemporary example of how quickly a Protestant and secular literary culture could be enlivened by new voices. (G. K. Chesterton had died in 1936, but he continued to exercise enormous influence on both British and American writers.) At the same time in France, another Catholic revival had emerged, guided by novelists Georges Bernanos and François Mauriac and poets Paul Claudel and Pierre Reverdy, all of whom were widely read in the U.S. Another factor inspiring American Catholic authors, a disproportionate number of whom were Irish-American, was the rise of modern Irish literature. Long the province of Protestants, twentieth-century Irish letters suddenly spoke in the Catholic accents of writers such as James Joyce, Sean O’Casey, Frank O’Connor, and Flann O’Brien. Not surprisingly, American Catholic writers of this period saw themselves as part of an international movement.

Sixty years ago, it was taken for granted that a significant portion of American writers were Catholics who balanced their dual identities as artists and believers. These writers published in the mainstream journals and presses of the time, as well as with specifically Catholic journals and presses. They also won major literary awards. Between 1945 and 1965, Catholic novelists and poets received eleven Pulitzer Prizes and five National Book Awards (six NBAs, if one counts O’Connor’s posthumously published Complete Stories in 1972).

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Catholic authors were reviewed and discussed in the general press. They were also intelligently covered in the large and varied Catholic press. Thomas Merton, for example, published with Harcourt Brace, New Directions, and Farrar, Straus and Cudahy, as well as with small monastic and ecclesiastical presses. He was reviewed in Time, Life, Atlantic Monthly, and Saturday Review, as well as Commonweal, Ave Maria, Catholic World, and Theology Digest. Writers also had the opportunity, if they were so inclined, to reach a Catholic audience directly in person on a large speakers’ circuit of religious schools and associations. Although crippled by lupus, Flannery O’Connor helped pay the family bills on the lecture circuit. She visited colleges, conferences, seminaries, and even a convent of cloistered nuns. She found travel tiring, but she often enjoyed the people she encountered. “When you can assume that your audience holds the same beliefs as you do,” she declared, “you can relax a little.”

It is instructive to see how large and substantial the Catholic literary subculture once was and how much it influenced literary coverage in the general press. Reading through Flannery O’Connor’s published interviews, a scholar today might be surprised to see that half of them appeared in Catholic journals—an inconceivable situation now for a serious young writer. Equally inconceivable, the secular journals asked her informed and respectful questions about the relation of her faith to her art. The mid-century Catholic writer could address both the general reader and the Catholic reader—knowing that both audiences were not only on speaking terms but also overlapped.

Looking back on the mid-century era of O’Connor, Merton, Porter, and Tate, one could summarize the position of American Catholic literary culture with four characteristics. First, many important writers publicly identified themselves as faithful Catholics. Second, the cultural establishment accepted Catholicism as a possible and permissible artistic identity. Third, there was a dynamic and vital Catholic literary and intellectual tradition visibly at work in the culture. Fourth and finally, there was a critical and academic milieu that actively read, discussed, and supported the best Catholic writing. Today not one of those four observations remains true. Paradoxically, despite the social, political, economic, and educational advancement made by Catholics over the past half-century, our place in literary culture has dramatically declined. In order to describe the current situation, we would have to restate each of the observations in a radically different form.

Sixty years ago, many established writers identified themselves as faithful Catholics. Today there are still a few writers who admit to being practicing Catholics, such as Ron Hansen, Alice McDermott, Mary Karr, Tobias Wolff, Richard Rodriguez, and Kathleen Norris, but they seem notable exceptions in an aggressively secular literary culture. Many Catholic authors follow their faith quietly. More significant, most young writers no longer see their religion as a core identity—in spiritual or aesthetic terms. Their faith is something to be hidden or discarded in order to achieve success in an arts world that appears hostile to Christianity. In practical terms, who can blame them?

Back in the mid-century, there were many famous literary conversions to Catholicism. These haven’t stopped altogether. Not long ago occurred the celebrated literary “bad girl” and “bad boy” conversions of Mary Karr and Franz Wright. (There is more rejoicing in heaven over one lost poet found than in ninety-nine novelists who have never strayed.) Now, however, the most common form of “conversion” is among artists who leave the Church. As the literary agent in Christopher Beha’s novel What Happened to Sophie Wilder remarks, “I mean, who converts anymore? Unless they’re converting away.” Some writers have made leaving the faith a recurring habit. Vampire novelist Anne Rice has publicly rejoined and renounced the Church twice.

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Today the cultural establishment views faithful Catholics with suspicion, disdain, or condescension. From its earliest stages, American society has displayed a streak of anti-Catholicism, which originated in Protestant, especially Puritan, antagonism toward Rome. Anti-papist hatred became an enduring element in populist bigotry as exemplified by the Know-Nothings and Ku Klux Klan. This ingrained bias was perpetuated by class prejudice against the waves of poor immigrants—first the Irish, Italian, German, Polish, Hungarian, and Mexican, and later the Filipino, Cuban, Puerto Rican, Vietnamese, Haitian, and Central American poor who came to the U.S. in search of a better life. The American Catholic Church has historically been the church of immigrants and the poor. Consequently, the Roman faith has often been viewed as one of the backward beliefs these dispossessed groups brought over from the Old Country.

Anti-Catholicism has grown measurably worse among academics and intellectuals over the past decade—driven in equal parts by sexual abuse scandals, gay rights, resurgent atheism, and lingering historical prejudice. At best, Catholicism is seen as a private concern rather than a public identity, and certainly not an advisable or reliable basis for a personal aesthetic. As the British novelist Hilary Mantel recently declared, “Nowadays the Catholic Church is not an institution for respectable people.”

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There is currently no vital or influential Catholic tradition evident in mainstream American culture. The few distinguished writers who confess their Catholicism appear to work mostly in isolation. Such isolation may not hamper their creativity. Hansen, McDermott, Rodriguez, and Wolff rank among the nation’s finest authors. But their lack of a collective public identity limits their influence—as Catholics—on both the general culture and young writers. Meanwhile, the less-established writers, who have made Catholicism the core of their artistic identity, work mostly outside mainstream literary life in a small Catholic subculture that has little impact on general cultural life.

Many Catholic writers, colleges and universities seem socially embarrassed by their religious identity. Catholic critics seek to write for their own community nor significant exposure for emerging authors.

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The Catholic voice is heard less clearly and less often in the public conversations that inform American culture and Catholics have lost the power to bring their own best writers to the attention of a broader audience. In literature, at least, the Catholic media no longer command sufficient cultural power to nominate or effectively support what is best from its own community.

If American Catholicism has become mundane enough to be consumed by party politics, perhaps it’s because the Church has lost its imagination and creativity.

If one needs an image or metaphor to describe our current Catholic literary after the collapse of the culture that supported O’Connor and Porter, Powers and Merton, led to the culture that consumes teen paranormal romances, ghost reality shows, and internet Wiccans.

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Culture, resembles the present state of the old immigrant urban neighborhoods our grandparents inhabited. Economically depressed, they offer few rewarding jobs. They no longer command much social or cultural power. To visualize the American Catholic arts today, don’t imagine Florence or Rome. Think Newark, New Jersey.

The great and present danger to American literature is the growing homogeneity of our writers, especially the younger generation. Often raised in several places in no specific cultural or religious community, educated with no deep connection to a particular region, history, or tradition, and now employed mostly in academia, the American writer is becoming as standardized as the American car—functional, streamlined, and increasingly interchangeable. The globalization so obvious in most areas of the economy, including popular culture, has had a devastating impact on literature. Its influence is especially powerful since globalized commercial entertainment—movies, television, popular music, and video games—now shapes the imagination of young writers more pervasively and continuously than do literary texts. An adolescence in Los Angeles is not much different from one in Boston or Chicago when so many thousands of hours are spent identically in the same virtual worlds. Is it any wonder that so much new writing lacks any tangible sense of place, identifiable accent, or living connection to the past? Nourished more by global electronic entertainment than active individual reading, even the language lacks resonance and personality. However stylish and efficient, writing with no past probably has no future.

Dante and Hopkins, Mozart and Palestrina, Michelangelo and El Greco, Bramante and Gaudi, have brought more souls to God than all the preachers of Texas. The loss of great music, painting, architecture, poetry, sculpture, fiction, and theater has limited the ways in which the Church speaks to people both within and beyond the faith.

Even St. Thomas Aquinas knew there were occasions to put theology aside and write poetry. His resplendent verses are still sung with incense at Eucharistic Benediction. “Bells and incense!” scoffs the Puritan, but God gave people ears and noses. Are those organs of perception too humble to bring into church? For very good reason, participating in Mass involves all five senses. We necessarily bring the whole of our hairy and heavy humanity to worship.

In such a culture, in such a Church, in such a time, what is the Catholic writer to do? Isolated, alienated, discredited, ignored, how can he or she survive, let alone prosper? Aren’t things too far gone to change? The answer can only be . . . of course not. Times are always bad. Culture is always in trouble. This are perpetual complains. As every Catholic knows, we live in a fallen world where, we rejoice in the possibilities of redemption.

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For the artist, every problem represents a sort of opportunity. The necessary insight here is that history doesn’t solve problems, culture doesn’t solve problems; only people do. The history of the Church and the history of art repeatedly demonstrate that a few people of sufficient passion, courage, and creativity can transform an age. If we learn nothing else from the lives of the saints, we should know the power their works and examples had to change an age. St. Francis of Assisi had a greater impact on European society than any ruler of the Holy Roman Empire.

New artistic movements originate in similar ways. They grow out of the efforts of a few catalytic individuals who reject a bankrupt or moribund status quo and articulate a compelling new vision. Two great poets are stronger than two thousand mediocrities.

The Catholic writer really needs only three things to succeed: faith, hope, and ingenuity. First, the writer must have faith in both the power of art and the power of the spirit. His task is also to educates our emotions and imagination, awakening, enlarging, and refining our humanity. Turn nations into more compassionate, curious, and alert, more coarse, narrow, and self-satisfied.

The Catholic writer must also recover confidence in his or her own spiritual, cultural, and personal identity. How can I, for example, as a Portuguese or a Mexican American, understand myself without acknowledging the essential link with Catholicism? It is in my cultural DNA—from generations of ancestors. Catholicism is my faith, my heritage, my worldview, my mythology, and my community. Banish or deny that spiritual core—for whatever reason—and I lose some of my authenticity as an artist. Who can blame us for writing with passion about the Church? We rightly refuse to become homogeneous and generic writers in a global secular culture.

We, Catholic writers,  must have hope. Hope in the possibilities of art and one’s own efforts. Hope in the Church’s historical ability to change as change is needed. Hope is what motivates and sustains the writer’s enterprise because success will come slowly, and there will be many setbacks.

The writer needs good works—good literary ones. The goal of the serious Catholic writer is the same as that of all real writers—to create powerful, expressive, memorable works of art. The Catholic novelist has to be a saint!

All writers must master the craft of literature, the possibilities of language, the examples of tradition, and then match that learning with the personal drive for perfection and innovation. Our Lady, Jesus Christ, The Holy Spirit, all the Catholic entities, saints and saintly intentions…the Catholic writer must have the passion, talent, and ingenuity to master the craft in strictly secular terms!  To be a Catholic writer is to stand at the center of the Western tradition in artistic terms. The Holy Spirit is being radiating into our intelligence revealing our eternal dimension!

The renewal of Catholic literature will happen—or fail to happen—through the efforts of writers. Culture is not an intellectual abstraction. It is human energy expressed through creativity, conversation, and community. Culture relies on individual creativity to foster consciousness, which then becomes expanded and refined through critical conversation. Those exchanges, in turn, support a community of shared values. The necessary work of writers matters very little unless it is recognized and supported by a community of critics, educators, journalists, and readers. The communion of saints is not only a theological concept, it is the model for a vibrant Catholic literary culture. There is so much Catholic literary talent—creative, critical, and scholarly—but most of it seems scattered and isolated. It lacks a vital sense of cultural community—specifically, a conviction that together these individuals can achieve meaningful change in the world. If Catholic literati can recapture a sense of shared mission, the results would enlarge and transform literary culture.

If the state of contemporary Catholic literary culture can best be conveyed by the image of a crumbling, immigrant neighborhood, but we can renovate these remarkable districts into grace and personality, strength and tradition. It is time to renovate and     re-occupy our own tradition. Starting the renovation may seem like a daunting task. But as soon as one place is rebuilt, someone else will already be at work next door, and gradually the whole city begins to reshape itself around you. Renovation is hard work, but what a small price to pay to have the right home.

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A sickly college dropout may become the 1st Puerto Rican saint by Meg Hunter-Kilmer

web3-blessed-carlos-manuel-rodriguez-santiago-fair-use-via-wikipediaA chronically ill college dropout seems an unlikely candidate to be the first Puerto Rican Saint, but Blessed Carlos Manuel Rodriguez Santiago was never terribly concerned about other people’s expectations. Born to a faithful Catholic family in 1918, Rodriguez was the second of five children; two sisters later married and one became a Carmelite nun, while his only brother became the first Puerto Rican abbot. Though the family’s home burned to the ground when Carlos was only six, his parents responded with trust in God’s mercy, even as they lived for years on the charity of family members.

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Carlos learned a deep love for the Eucharist from his mother, and the remarkably intelligent little boy had hopes of becoming a priest until his health failed. Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, a violent digestive ailment, Carlos had to leave high school for a time and didn’t earn his diploma until he was 21. He worked as an office clerk for seven more years before attempting to continue his studies. Again his illness made this impossible, and despite excellent grades Carlos was forced to withdraw from university.

Though ulcerative colitis complicated his life, it didn’t control it. Carlos read incessantly, loved to hike, and learned enough from a year of piano lessons to play the organ at Mass. He studied science, philosophy, and the arts, but the great love of Blessed Carlos’ life was the liturgy.

During a time when the Mass was celebrated in Latin, Rodriguez longed for the faithful to understand the prayers more fully. He spent his free time translating them into Spanish and his modest income publishing magazines making the prayers available to the laity, along with articles explaining the liturgy. He organized groups to study and learn about the liturgy, spoke before crowds on its beauty, and taught high school catechism classes.

Much of the work Rodriguez did seemed almost prophetic. While remaining entirely faithful to the Church, he advocated for use of the vernacular and increased lay participation, reforms that would come fewer than 20 years later. He longed, with Pope St. John XXIII, to open the windows and let the Holy Spirit call even more hearts to holiness. His insistence on the universal call to holiness infected those he met, drawing hundreds of people into a deeper relationship with Christ.

Above all, Carlos loved the Easter Vigil. His near-constant refrain was “We live for this night,” reminding all those he met that the heart of the Christian life is the Paschal mystery, the truth that the God of the universe, made incarnate for you, died for love of you and rose again, conquering sin and death. Despite constant pain, Blessed Carlos lived in hope and called all those he knew to do the same.

For centuries, the Easter Vigil had been celebrated on the morning of Holy Saturday. Blessed Carlos prayed and advocated for its return to its proper place at night so that modern Christians could join in the ancient tradition of watching the light of Christ defeat the darkness. In 1952, Pope Pius XII restored the Easter Vigil to the night of Holy Saturday and Carlos rejoiced.

But he wouldn’t live to see his other hopes realized. Carlos died in 1963, a year into the Second Vatican Council. His health slowly declined, though his spirits never did, and at 44, Blessed Carlos died of a painful rectal cancer. During his last months, Carlos felt himself abandoned by God, living the darkness of Good Friday and Holy Saturday, but before he died the light of Easter came back into his life and with it the joy of being loved by God. And when he died, he was welcomed by choirs of angels rejoicing in the heavenly liturgy that Carlos had loved and served so well.

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By many measures, the life of this sickly dropout may have seemed a failure, but Blessed Carlos Rodriguez Santiago was rich in the eyes of God, drawing his people to love him more in the Mass. On July 13, his feast day, let’s ask his intercession for the chronically ill, for all those who feel like failures, and for all who work to create solemn, beautiful, and joyful liturgies.  Blessed Carlos Manuel Rodriguez Santiago, pray for us!

Meg Hunter-Kilmer writes for her blog, Held by His Pierced Hands, and travels around the country speaking to youth and adults and leading retreats and parish missions

https://aleteia.org

| Jul 13, 2017

Generosity by Johannes Brahms

Generosity inspires gratitude in us, and gratitude inspires generosity. God is generous to us and to our generosity! We should give proof of our gratitude towards God. In gratitude we are human; in generosity we are divine! The gift of ourselves is the highest gift we can give the other. Giving ourselves in this way epitomizes generosity. The perfect example of generosity is God the Creator. By means of His generosity, He generated man in His image. For Catholics, God’s gift of Himself represents the ultimate form of generosity, and is a model for all human generosity. To live authentically means to give generously. Personality and generosity, therefore, are synonymous. To live authentically is to give generously of oneself. This unification of personality with generosity is personalized in heroes and saints, to impress us, as men! They reached the heights of personality as well of generosity!

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Are there limits to generosity? Are there limits to love?

To the generous heart,  being greedy seems incomprehensible. Greed impoverishes us! True generosity enriches us. There is a superabundance within each of us. Nothing is more costly than greed and nothing is more rewarding than generosity!

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Literary characters such as King Midas, Silas Marner, Ebenezer Scrooge, and The Grinch Who Almost Stole Christmas, are driven by greed in such a way that the conversions of Midas, Scrooge, and the Grinch are, in effect, are met by readers and viewers with great jubilation. Generous people are not only more likable than their greedy counterparts, but they appear to be more human, more real.

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What a great bless is giving much bigger bless than receiving!  We cannot take with us what we have, though many people seem to live as though they could. But we can leave behind what we have given. Greed is a great affliction to the dispossessed. Generosity is the plenitude of the self-possessed.

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A fan of the great German composer, Johannes Brahms, left him 1,000 pounds in his will. Brahms was deeply moved and since he did not need the money was enjoy it in the most agreeable manner, by taking pleasure in its distribution. One hopes that Brahms stirred the same virtue among his beneficiaries.

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The more greedy I am, the less human I appear.

 

“PHN” Por Hoje Não vou mais pecar (PT)

‘PHN’ is one of the biggest youth movements in the world!

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PHN” Por Hoje Não vou mais pecar

O programa, assim como a própria proposta “PHN” (Por Hoje Não vou mais pecar), da qual o consagrado é o idealizador e o maior incentivador, é de característica simples e direta para que os telespectadores tenham a vida transformada pelo amor de Deus.

O “PHN” é um movimento criado para ajudar os jovens a combaterem o pecado e a viverem a santidade no dia a dia. Impulsionado pelo missionário da Comunidade Canção Nova Dunga, o “PHN” mobiliza milhares de pessoas em todo o mundo nessa busca de vida plena em Deus.

PHN: UMA HISTÓRIA DE RESTAURAÇÃO – DOCUMENTÁRIO

O Documentário ‘PHN: Uma história de restauração’ conta a trajetória de um dos maiores movimentos jovens do Brasil, o PHN.
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Dunga, monsenhor Jonas Abib e várias outras personalidades da Igreja Católica, que fizeram e fazem parte dessa história, contam suas experiências, ao longo desses 19 anos, desde a sua criação até este ano de 2017.

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Conheça o Programa PHN: https://goo.gl/VfQvEQ
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The buggy-whip (salesman) teacher

-A doctor is primarily a teacher and docility is the virtue of teachableness in students that allows them to be taught by a doctor.

-Docility it’s actually according to St. Thomas Aquinas, related to the virtue of prudence. Specifically, it is that part of prudence that allows us to acquire knowledge through the teaching of another. Most learned people need to be docile, since no man is completely self-sufficient in matters of prudence, we all stand in great need of being taught by others Mr. Fernandes!Blind-leading-the-blind

-Some contemporary University Teachers, are notoriously lost and indocile. -We now come to what may be the single greatest problem concerning docility: a false conception of an open mind. The mind that is forever open, forever fearful of losing its freedom, forever indocile to truth,  is entirely useless. Such a mind is really indistinguishable from no mind at all.

-Let me read you this paragraph from Samuel Butler “An open mind should be capable of shutting its doors sometimes, or it may be found a little drafty.”

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–I am reading G.K. Chesterton and he agrees on that! The mind, when it functions properly, seizes, apprehends, grasps its object! If a teacher has to nothing to teach and no docile students whom he can teach to, because students fear ideas that are “imposed” on them, then his role is entirely bankrupt and useless. He is the equivalent of the buggy-whip salesman who has neither producers nor consumers. -One must have the willingness to be taught. God The Teacher parables, His arguments that are never separable from His life and  His very being.” -The truth cannot impose itself except by virtue of its own truth, as it wins over the mind with both gentleness and power.

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-Nice conversation! We still don’t have your Quetiapine samples! I am afraid that you have to purchase those! And I see you in a month! I am going on vacations!

-Thank you Doctor and your more than deserved vacations!

My Family

The family exists at the heart of all societies. It is the first and most basic community to which every person belongs. There is nothing more fundamental to our vitality as a society and as a Church. For, in the words of Pope John Paul II, “The future of humanity passes by way of the family”. Be at the same time committed to the followers of Christ and committed Catholics in changing the word. Families should examine the quality of their lives and reflect on their strengths as well as their weaknesses, on their resources as well as their needs. Christ’s teaching is rooted and developed in the life of His believing community. Families seek healing, strength, and the meaning that Christ offers through His Church. Families might recognize their resources and carry out their responsibilities in a changing world.
Follow the way of love, even as Christ loved you (cf. Eph 5:2). This message is intended for all who can use it toward strengthening their families, receive this message and use it.

Life in family is about love with its abiding peace, its searing pain, its moments of joy and disappointment, its heroic struggle and ordinary routines. Family is where someone loves you no matter what! Family doesn’t mean just mom, dad, and kids but grandparents, aunts, uncles, and others.

Family

The story of my family is a story of love—shared, nurtured. Those who live in love, live in God and God dwells in them (cf. 1 Jn 4:16). In every family God is revealed uniquely and personally, for God is love. My family story is a message of total hand over, total giving, is one that springs from love and that offers you a reflection on love: how it is experienced in a family, how it is challenged today, how it grows and enriches others, and how it needs the support of the whole Church.
With my family members is the same: my uncles, cousins…we have known the commitment and sacrifices of a mother and father, the warmth of a family’s care, the happiness and pain that are part of a loving family! We came from families where money was scarce. Most have lived for many generations outside Portugal. Others (like us) are recent immigrants and an identical proportion stay in Portugal. We celebrate the birth of a baby or a loved one’s success. We rejoice at weddings and anniversaries of family members even as we grieve at an untimely death and breakup ups in married couple are null, there’s no such thing! We definitely value fidelity in marriage and we are witnesses of that our all life. We rejoice with the other happiness and we walk close in sorrow.

With my Holy Father, I consider the privilege to undertake the mission of proclaiming with joy and conviction the good news ( also about family) and there is plenty of good news! Follow the way of love, even as Christ loved you (cf. Eph 5:2). The Lord issues this call to my family and to every family regardless of its condition or circumstances.
Love brought you to life as a family. Love sustains you through good and bad times. The Church teaches that the family is an “intimate community of life and love,” it identifies something perhaps you already know and offers you a vision toward which to grow.

What are your role in your family?

To create a community of love, to help each other to grow, and to serve those in need, not only for your own sanctification but for the strength of society and our Church. This sharing the mission of the Church. make us holy. The profound and the ordinary moments of daily life—mealtimes, workdays, vacations are expressions of love and intimacy, household chores, caring for a sick child or elderly parent, discipline children- from all that we can weave a pattern of holiness. Jesus promised to be where two or three are gathered in his name (cf. Mt 18:20).

We strive to follow His way of love, and through whose lives his saving presence is made known.

My family was my first community and the most basic way in which the Lord gathers us, forms us, and acts in the world. This marvelous teaching was underemphasized for centuries and today we are still uncovering its rich treasure. We not only belong to the Church, but our daily life is a true expression of the Church.

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My role as the only full time Evangelizer of the family is to profess faith in God, acting in accord with gospel values, and setting an example of Christian living for all children and for others. Children by their spontaneous and genuine spirituality, will often surprise you into recognizing God’s presence. To impart knowledge of the faith and help all to acquire values necessary for Christian living. Our example is the most effective way to teach. I teach and convert mostly by listening, observing and learning from others. My spiritual teachers are mostly Priests, Popes and Saints, and they teach me new ways of believing and understanding! Most of my work is in me- my auto-conversion!

It is God to whom you turn in times of trouble. It is God whom you give thanks when all goes well.

You love and you never give up believing in the value of another person. Before young ones hear the Word of God preached from the pulpit, they form a picture of God drawn from their earliest experiences of being loved by parents, grandparents, godparents, and other family members, like me, writing actively about God!

We pray together, we Thank God for blessings, we reach for strength, we ask for guidance in crisis. My audience are restless toddlers, searching teenagers, harried adults—I pray that God answers all of them, in new surprising ways. Raising up vocations to the priesthood and religious life and encourage children to listen for God’s call, fostered through family prayer, involvement in parish life, and by speaking with priests, acknowledging in them, in sisters (nuns) and deacons, spiritual directors!

But a family is holy not because it is perfect but because God’s grace is working in it, helping it to set out anew everyday on the way of love. My family is also a practical example of peacemaking and tolerance, we respect one another’s different ideas on the rapid pace of social change, the religious, ethnic, and cultural diversity of our society, the revolution of values within our culture, the intrusion of mass media; the impact of political and economic conditions. on the online and offline worlds.

We have a deeper unity as a human family based in unconditional love! We all offer, heartfelt sympathy and in the face of obstacles, we remain faithful to Christ’s way of love and faithful to each-other!

I think we really see God in each-other, in my numerous family!

Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails (1 Cor 13:4-8).

These words of St. Paul are worth daily meditation not only for their insight into the true shape of love but for strengthening our wills to follow this way of love. The love that he describes flourishes in faithful, stable relationships. This applies, first and foremost, to a marriage. It is true also for the entire family.

When a woman and a man vow to be true in good times and in bad they are confirming a decision to love one another. But, as married couples have taught us, this decision to love is one we have to make over and over again, when it feels good and when it does not. It is a decision to look for, act on, and pray for the good of the people we say we love. It is a pledge of fidelity.

In daring to work with the Lord, to hope in the Lord I am rising a new experience of love, entering into the very mystery of Christ’s own dying and rising by proclaiming the Truth as Pilgrim of Hope and Peace!

This is the order that I am creating- The Order Of The Saints And Pilgrims OF Hope And Peace! Prayer and worship, learning and service, contemplation and spiritual guidance will always be available to you, online and offline. The power of commitment is our continuing wellsprings and strength. To sustain people spiritual power!

Love diffuses itself, that is, it wells up and spills over into every aspect of our lives.

There are so many ways in which families can give life, especially in a society that devalues life through such actions as abortion and euthanasia.

For instance, your family can ask: how have we been blessed as a family? What values and beliefs do we want to hand on to future generations? What strengths and resources do we possess that we could share with others? What traditions and rituals have enriched our lives? Could they benefit other families?

Each generation of a family is challenged to leave the world a more beautiful and beneficial place than it inherited. You can do this, for example, when you deliberately pass on your wisdom and the faith of the Church, providing countercultural messages about poverty, consumerism, sexuality and racial justice—to name a few.

You also give life as a family by doing such simple things as taking a grandparent out of a nursing home (for example for a ride, I am not a fan of nursing homes…), bringing a meal to a sick neighbor, helping to build homes for poor people, working in a soup kitchen, recycling your goods, working to improve the schools, or joining political action on behalf of those treated unjustly.

Such activity builds stronger family bonds. It enriches both the receiver and the giver. It releases the “formidable energies” present in families for building a better society. The value of your witness which Christian families offer cannot be overestimated. As a family becomes a community of faith and love, it simultaneously becomes a center of evangelization.

To evangelize, to thrive for love, requires attention, communication, and time—to share a story or confide a need, to play a game, to tell a joke, to watch and cheer on—time to be present to another’s failure or success, confusion, despair or moment of decision and moments of Faith and Love.

Challenge the priorities you have for your family. Compare them with how you actually spend your time, see what individual pursuits could be given up or replaced with family activities. We urge you to take time to be together!

Your words and deeds will lend strength to our exhortations, to the work of preach the Christian gospel, to the work of convert or seek to convert, to redeem someone to Christianity or to boost someone’s Catholic Faith!

Our message seeks to strengthening family life, for the well-being of the world and the Church and, indeed, for the sake of every man, woman, and child!

Grace and the first evangelist

I am a good person and I am on the right path. I have an intimate relationship with God. God never convict me of my past. He did not point His finger and tell me all the things I did wrong. No, God extended to me His grace and Our Lady spoke to me about the life They planned for me to have. Running hard, get up early, go to bed early, preach the gospel, everywhere I go- God’s grace attained on me. I am determined, like all the saints to make the most of the grace God has given me. I am committed in not to wasting God’s grace. Jesus chose outcasts, to become the first He revealed His true identity to, the woman that has been divorced five times, and with a current boyfriend…Jesus let this woman know that He was the Messiah and without a seminary degree, without a righteous past, this woman became the first evangelist. She preached Christ in her home town. She started a revival, because she was determined not to waste God’s grace towards her. I believe the message is clear. Paul said, “The grace God gave me was not in vain, it was not wasted. I worked harder than all the other apostles. But then again, I was not really the one working. It was the grace of God with me.” That’s the type of determination that I want!returnoftheprodigalson-1600x1200-19499 (Rembrandt prodigal son drawing)

The Law was focused on man working for God. Grace is focused on God working for, in, with and through man. Under the covenant of grace, human effort and power are not the issue, because God provides all the power. The main issue under grace is cooperation. For God to fully operate in your life He needs you to cooperate with Him. He will not force you to fulfill your purpose. We are never good enough. Our Lady approaches us with grace. She is not focused on our performance, on our past, but on our future. God’s grace does come by work, and for work! Embrace God’s grace and you allow Him to flow through you, empowering you to do what God called you to do from the foundations of the world: Father, Thank You for teaching me about Your grace and my requirement to live by faith. You do all for me by Your grace. Then You expect me to do all I do for and with You. You could have easily focused on all the wrong I had done but instead, You focus on Your performance in me and my future. I am not good enough, but Jesus is good enough for me. I am not qualified, but Jesus qualifies for me. I am not righteous, but Jesus is righteous for me. He freely offered me everything, provided me through Jesus Christ , who is my Lord. I accept Your grace and I am determined to make the most of it. Your grace towards me shall not be in vain. I will work hard and I will run long and strong, I will accomplish all that I was born to accomplish, and I will do all these things knowing it’s not me doing it, but rather the grace of God in me, all the days of my life! That Your grace on me Father shall not be wasted! I declare this by whole Faith, In Jesus name. Amen.
Apply and Prosper in your present and your future, in the next breathing, in the next second, in the next minute!

Aleluia!

Resilience

There are times when we can avoid a problem. And there are times when there is no other option than to go through the difficulty. Lives show us how to, not merely avoid adversity, but to pass through adversity. That is resilience, the ability to pass through adversity

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and everyone will develop this crucial trait. Without it, we will remain unchanged and unable, but with resilience, we will become capable.
Life is just starting!
You are never done!
Life is always changing! People change, uncertainty change!
Encourage people to persevere in Faith, through all the hardships!
Life is all about beginning!
Live is a constant change but you have a destination!
HEAVEN!
Jesus is who He said He was and we are who we say we are
I have a brilliant Sister! She is one of top fine minds that I know and I always Thank God for this pleasureful person to enjoy that was born in the same womb as I! She frequently say that people overestimate themselves, frequently in front of people! You Should not do this! You should praise yourself for what you became, for what you go through, for the difficulties you pass by, to be able to Love!
But to be able to Love you have to suppress conflict! Embrace the ‘messy’ parts of your life! This is optimism! Life is not easy! Those who are willingly to unflinchingly embrace the difficult parts of life are Heroes! Confidence in God is an Heroic Virtue- Resilience, Optimism are qualities of the Heroes of Faith, of the saints!
You don’t crush on your way to Heaven!
Life has always a meaning to the resilient!
In the midst of the moment, always ask God for guidance! Without God we act atheistically, according to a total wrong will, according to our senses!
With God no situation is hopeless!
Tell jokes and stories when you are in the public sphere, offline or online! Share your thoughts with your audience!
Be confident in God!
Believe that you can do it, that you can go through all things in Christ!
Sickness, imprisonment…this is what it is, but you can pass through that and always be changed, be re-forced, be converted to God!

Gratitude

Thank you is for some people the prayer that would suffice. The only prayer of a whole life. Gratitude is a great power in the most ordinary moments of our lives. Be thankful, grateful and appreciative of what you have— even for the things that don’t necessarily warrant a special thank. Be more generous, loving, patient and kind toward others. Shift your focus away from complaints and problems. Notice the blessings in your live— the beautiful sunrise coming up over the highway as we drive to work, the colorful experience on subway where people wear different colors, different patterns, your family gathered around the dinner table after a long day, your moms smile, a playful children, a dog with lots of personality! To be grate is easy. Look for moments of grace, even hidden among disappointment. Count the blessings in concrete ways and collect them in Twitter writings, or on Facebook posts, give off a sense of joy, one that ripples outward, as if every blessing they name is a pebble tossed into our collective consciousness. This is not

 

time-consuming, expensive or difficult and will change you for the better. Tweet and Post on a daily basis on a daily basis, all that bring a smile to your face, from the ridiculous to the sublime. A good diagnosis from the doctor could be a great moment. Enjoy that goodness that comes from the outside. It’s worth the few minutes before bed (or whenever works for you) to stop and ponder on your blessings.

For those who find ourselves stuck in sadness, anger or despair,  think that we can’t move ourselves back toward gratitude and joy with a little prayerful attention and intention. This is a powerful habit, that you have to start now!  Thanksgiving is growing among a people rooted in their pasts, and it shapes the present! You can change the way you react to situations.