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Centenary of the Birth of the founder of Opus Dei, Blessed Josemaria...

Centenary of the Birth of the founder of Opus Dei, Blessed Josemaria...

I am delighted today to be united with the members and friends of the Prelature of Opus Dei to celebrate the centenary of the birth of your founder, Josemaría Escrivá, on 9th January, 1902.  As a young man of only twenty-six years of age he saw the need to encourage priests and lay people together to live out their lives and grow in holiness through their involvement in their particular state of life in the world.  A direct following of  Christ in the circumstances of everyday life is the inspiration which he gives us.

Ecclesia in Oceania

At the start of the millennium the Pope issued a wonderful document, Novo Millennio Ineunte, to the whole world.  Now, at the start of the New Year, he has written – by email! – a special letter to all the people of Oceania. Ecclesia in Oceania is the Papal Exhortation that brings to formal conclusion the proceedings of the Synod for Oceania held in 1998.

 

Challenge in the Church

We often talk of ‘challenge’ in the Church.  But just what does this mean?  In Ecclesia in Oceania Pope John Paul II has described some very real challenges that face us.  Rather like a set of New Year resolutions, he asks us to take these matters to heart and to consider what our Catholic community is doing on these various fronts.

 

Lent involves fasting, prayer and works of love

World peace needs peace of heart. The contrast of light and darkness depicted in the liturgy during the Christmas season just passed is particularly poignant this year. In the words of St. John, "the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining" (1John 2/8).

 

Forgiveness was what Jesus offered from the Cross

'No peace without justice, no justice without forgiveness.' Thus the Pope began his recent Letter for World Day of Peace. It is a message that demands much of us and gives us much to ponder this Lent. Some think that to seek justice is to withhold forgiveness and set out to punish, but this is not the Christian view. In our greatest prayer we pray 'forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.' The Pope writes 'forgiveness heals and rebuilds troubled human relations from their foundations.' Forgiveness was what Jesus offered from the Cross even as he was put to death and it is something we must both offer and seek in our Lenten journeys.
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