Christian Hope

November 30, 2007

Encyclical Letter
Spe Salvi
of the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI
to the Bishops, Priests and Deacons
Men and Women Religious
and All the Lay Faithful
on Christian Hope


Faith is Hope

The concept of faith-based hope in the New Testament and the early Church

Eternal life – what is it?

Is Christian hope individualistic?

The transformation of Christian faith-hope in the modern age

The true shape of Christian hope

“Settings” for learning and practising hope

I. Prayer as a school of hope
II. Action and suffering as settings for learning hope
III. Judgment as a setting for learning and practising hope

Mary, Star of Hope


Say once a day for nine days, starting on November 29 and ending on December 7

Immaculate Virgin! Mary, conceived without sin! Remember, thou wert miraculously preserved from even the shadow of sin, because thou wert destined to become not only the Mother of God, but also the mother, the refuge, and the advocate of man; penetrated therefore, with the most lively confidence in thy never-failing intercession, we most humbly implore thee to look with favor upon the intentions of this novena, and to obtain for us the graces and the favors we request. Thou knowest, O Mary, how often our hearts are the sanctuaries of God, Who abhors iniquity. Obtain for us, then, than angelic purity which was thy favorite virtue, that purity of heart which will attach us to God alone, and that purity of intention which will consecrate every thought, word, and action to His greater glory. Obtain also for us a constant spirit of prayer and self-denial, that we many recover by penance that innocence which we have lost by sin, and at length attain safety to that blessed abode of the saints, where nothing defiled can enter.

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.

V. Thou are all fair, O Mary.
R. Thou art all fair, O Mary.
V. And the original stain is not in thee.
R. And the original stain is not in thee.
V. Thou art the glory of
R. Thou art the joy of
V. Thou art the honor of our people.
R. Thou art the advocate of sinners.
V. O Mary.
R. O Mary.
V. Virgin, most prudent.
R. Mother, most tender.
V. Pray for us.
R. Intercede for us with Jesus our Lord.
V. In thy conception, Holy Virgin, thou wast immaculate.
R. Pray for us to the Father Whose Son thou didst bring forth.
V. O Lady! aid my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto thee.

Let us pray

Holy Mary, Queen of Heaven, Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and mistress of the world, who forsakest no one, and despisest no one, look upon me, O Lady! with an eye of pity, and entreat for me of thy beloved Son the forgiveness of all my sins; that, as I now celebrate, with devout affection, thy holy and immaculate conception, so, hereafter I may receive the prize of eternal blessedness, by the grace of Him whom thou, in virginity, didst bring forth, Jesus Christ Our Lord: Who, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth, in perfect Trinity, God, world without end. Amen.

Vision 112607

November 27, 2007

At Holy Hour this morning the Lord gifted me with the following:

I was standing on a sand dune with waves and waves of sand to the East before me. Moving toward me was our Lord. He stopped, put His hand upon my shoulder and turned me around. A beautiful lush oasis spread out before us. The scene was green and cool. We came to a clear spring-fed pool, and sat at its edge; the cool water refreshed my scorched bare feet. Tall palms were laden with dates. Waterfowl splashed about. I noticed a pelican feeding her young.

The Lord spoke. His voice resounded amidst the flora and fauna of the oasis. There was gentle authority in his words: “You will help me.” “Yes, Lord. I am Your servant.” I replied. “Restore this for the good of those I have given you.” We stood. We embraced. He was gone.

I turned to the North and walked, the sand beneath my feet became lush grass. A woman stood before me standing on the hot burning sand, her hand reached out to me for comfort. I took hold of her and brought her to the refreshment of the oasis. Her family soon joined us. I continued to walk; everywhere I walked the oasis expanded and more people came to inhabit this place of nourishment.

Deo gratias.

For whom the bell tolls

November 26, 2007

Mexico City cathedral reopens after rowdy Mass

MEXICO CITY, Nov 24 (Reuters) – The Mexican capital’s cathedral, a 400-year-old Roman Catholic bastion, reopened on Saturday under police surveillance almost a week after it shut its doors following a rowdy leftist protest during a Mass.

A mob angry at the church bells tolling during a rally outside burst into the cathedral last Sunday, tearing down railings and overturning pews.

“The biggest symbol for us Catholics is reopening, this is very important for us,” churchgoer David Paz told local radio station Formato 21.

More than 30 policemen will guard the cathedral and 30 video cameras will be installed to monitor the premises, Mexico City police chief Joel Ortega said. Police searched bags as people entered the church.

It was the first time the cathedral had shut since the start of the “Cristero” war in the 1920s, in which Catholics fought federal authorities over an anti-clerical campaign by the government after the Mexican Revolution.

The cathedral, whose construction over an Aztec temple was ordered by the clergy accompanying Spanish conquistadors in the 1500s, is a big attraction for foreign tourists in Mexico City‘s central plaza.

Tensions have risen between Church leaders and the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution, or PRD, since the party narrowly lost last year’s presidential election to the conservative National Action Party, which is seen as close to the Catholic Church.

The Church also has sparred with the PRD over recent laws in Mexico City to legalize abortion and gay civil unions. Mexico‘s top churchman, Cardinal Norberto Rivera, said last month he had received death threats from members of the party.

Mexico is the world’s second most populous Catholic nation after Brazil. (Reporting by Cyntia Barrera Diaz; Editing by Chris Wilson)


November 26, 2007

“Take this ring from the hand of Peter and know that,
with the love of the Prince of the Apostles,
your love for the Church is strengthened.”

Just resting my eyes

November 26, 2007

A thousand words

November 25, 2007

Pope Pius XII Low Mass & Pope Benedict XVI Today

Christ the King at St Peter

November 25, 2007


Viva Cristo Rey!

November 25, 2007

Long live Christ the King!
… the last words of martyr Blessed Miguel A. Pro.

Spe Salvi

November 24, 2007

Pope’s second encyclical out next week

ROME (Reuters) – Pope Benedict’s second encyclical will be released next week, the Vatican said on Friday.

The encyclical, called “Spe Salvi” (Latin for “Saved by Hope”), is expected to be a largely philosophical and theological work but also touch on themes such as the role of political systems in building a better world.

It will be released on Nov. 30.

An encyclical is the highest form of papal writing and is addressed to all members of the Church.

Benedict’s first encyclical, “Deus Caritas Est” (God is Love), was issued in January 2006 and focused on erotic and spiritual love in a personal relationship as well as the role of the Church’s network of charity organisations.

The Pope, who was elected in 2005, is believed to be working on a third encyclical on the theme of social justice. That writing is expected to be released next year.