POPE AT ANGELUS: JESUS SHOWS US THE REMEDIES FOR TEMPTATIONS – POPE, ROMAN CURIA ON LENTEN RETREAT – PAPAL TELEGRAM FOR ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES CRASH

POPE AT ANGELUS: JESUS SHOWS US THE REMEDIES FOR TEMPTATIONS

On the First Sunday of Lent, Pope Francis reflects on the day’s Gospel, which tells how Jesus was led into the desert where He was tempted by the devil.

By Christopher Wells (Vaticannews)

In his Angelus address, Pope Francis said the three temptations Jesus faced “indicate three paths that the world always proposes, promising great success”.

The greed of possession
After Jesus had fasted for forty days, the devil tempted Him to turn stones to bread. This, the Pope said, is “the path of the greed of possession”. The devil always begins with our natural and legitimate needs, he explained, “in order to push us to believe” that we can find fulfillment “without God, and even contrary to Him”. Jesus, however, responds by quoting Scripture: “Man shall not live by bread alone”.

The second temptation is “the prospect of becoming a powerful and glorious Messiah”, which Pope Francis describes as “the path of human glory”. Bowing down before “idols of money, of success, of power” can corrupt us. This leads to “the intoxication of an empty joy that soon fades away” – and this, the Pope says, is why Jesus responds, “You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve”.

Instrumentalizing God
Finally, the devil leads Jesus to the pinnacle of the Temple in Jerusalem, and “invites Him to cast Himself down” in order to demonstrate His divine power. Pope Francis calls this the path of “instrumentalizing God for one’s own advantage”. Jesus rejects the devil’s temptation, “with the firm decision to remain humble and confident before the Father”. Once again, the Lord quotes Scripture: “You shall not tempt the Lord your God”. In this way, the Pope said, Jesus “rejects perhaps the most subtle temptation: wanting ‘to bring God over to our own side’, by asking Him for graces that only serve to satisfy our own pride”.

All these temptations, the Pope said, are really “illusions” that promise “success and happiness”, but in reality “are all completely foreign to God’s way of acting”. In fact, he said, “they actually separate us from God, because they are the work of Satan”.

Remedies for temptation
Jesus overcomes these three temptations by personally facing them, “in order fully to adhere to the Father’s plan”. In doing so, Pope Francis said, Jesus shows us the remedies for temptations – namely, “the interior life, faith in God, the certainty of His love.” With the certainty that God is Father, and that He loves us, “we will overcome every temptation”.

So, Pope Francis said in conclusion, “let us take advantage of Lent, as a privileged time to purify ourselves, in order to experience the consoling presence of God in our life”.

POPE, ROMAN CURIA ON LENTEN RETREAT

Pope Francis and ranking members of the Roman Curia departed the Vatican Sunday afternoon for Ariccia where they will spend the next five days on retreat. Ariccia a 20-mile drive south of Rome, is home to the Casa Divin Maestro (Divine Master House), run by the Pauline Fathers. The retreat began at 6 pm Sunday with Eucharistic adoration then vespers at 6:45 and dinner at 7:30.

Click here to see where the Holy Father and other guests are staying (be sure to click on ‘Places and Surroundings” for some lovely additional photos): http://www.casadivinmaestro.it/www/aaa_intestazioni/intestazione.asp?LANGUAGE=ENG

This tradition of having weeklong retreats or “spiritual exercises” began with Pope Pius XI in 1925 and for over three decades took place in Advent. Pope St. John XXIII changed that when, a month before the October 1962 start of Vatican Council II, he went on retreat to prepare for the Council. A year after Pope John’s death in 1963, Pope Paul VI moved the retreat dates to Lent. For years they were held in the Vatican’s Redemptoris Mater Chapel, starting the first Sunday of Lent and concluding the following Saturday morning. (photo Vaticannews)

Pope Francis decided that the 2014 retreat – a year after his election – would take place outside the Vatican. This year, Pope Francis will be in Ariccia on March 13, the 6th anniversary of his election to the papacy.

The daily schedule looks like this:
· – 7.30 am, lauds and a brief reflection
· – 8.00 am, breakfast
· – 9.30 am, first meditation
· – 11.30 am, Eucharistic concelebration
· – 12.30 lunch
· – 4 pm, second meditation
· – 6 pm, Eucharistic adoration
· – 6.45 pm, vespers
· – 7.30 pm, dinner

Pope Francis mentioned the retreat at yesterday’s Angelus: “I hope that for everyone the Lenten journey, recently begun, will be rich in fruits; and I ask you a remembrance in prayer for me and my collaborators of the Roman Curia as this evening we will begin the week of Spiritual Exercises.”

And he tweeted an almost identical message: “I ask everyone to remember in prayer both myself and my collaborators in the Roman Curia as this evening we will begin the week of Spiritual Exercises.”

In this period, all papal audiences, including Wednesday’s general audience, are suspended.

PAPAL TELEGRAM FOR ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES CRASH

The following telegram was sent in Pope Francis’ name by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin for the plane crash yesterday of Ethiopian airlines about 50km from Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa. All aboard perished. The Vaticannews story did not say to whom the telegram was sent:

Having learned with sadness of the Ethiopian Airlines plane crash, His Holiness Pope Francis offers prayers for the deceased from various countries and commends their souls to the mercy of Almighty God. Pope Francis sends heartfelt condolences to their families, and upon all who mourn this tragic loss he invokes the divine blessings of consolation and strength.

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POPE PRAYS FOR VICTIMS OF PITTSBURGH SYNAGOGUE SHOOTING – MICHELANGELO’S PIETÀ HAS STUNNING NEW ILLUMINATION – PAPAL CONDOLENCES FOR VICTIMS OF INDONESIA’S PLANE CRASH

Tune in tonight to EWTN’s “At Home with Jim and Joy” when I talk of the papal condolences for the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting and the just-concluded synod of bishops.

POPE PRAYS FOR VICTIMS OF PITTSBURGH SYNAGOGUE SHOOTING

Pope Francis remembers the victims of the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighbourhood of Pittsburgh.
By Christopher Wells (Vaticannews)

At the Angelus on Sunday, Pope Francis expressed his closeness to the city of Pittsburgh, USA, and especially to the Jewish community there.

Eleven people were killed, and several others were wounded, on in a shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in the neighbourhood of Squirrel Hill. A suspect was taken into custody after the attack.

In his remarks at the Angelus, Pope Francis prayed that, “the Most High might welcome into His peace those who have died; comfort their families; and sustain those who were wounded. In reality we are all wounded by this inhuman act of violence.”

Pope Francis prayed that the Lord might “help us to extinguish the hotbeds of hatred that are developing in our societies, strengthening the sense of humanity, respect for life, moral and civil values, and the holy fear of God, who is Love and the Father of all.”

MICHELANGELO’S PIETÀ HAS STUNNING NEW ILLUMINATION

(Informative note by the Fabbrica di San Pietro in Vaticano) – Cardinal Angelo Comastri, President of the Fabbrica di San Pietro, explains: “The new lighting, also taken care of from a scientific point of view, allows us to admire and better understand the universal value of Michelangelo’s work. The ‘Pietà’ in fact is the faith of Michelangelo carved on marble. The Artist wanted to highlight in the young face of Mary an ever present message: avoiding sin is the only true cure of beauty and perennial youth. Now the work can be enjoyed even more.”

Pietro Zander, director of the Office of conservation and restoration of the Fabbrica di San Pietro, underlines: “The light factor is very important. Michelangelo had thought it out carefully, with very low values of illumination, carefully smoothing the marble surfaces so that even a few candles could make the marble group shine. It is the first time that the Fabbrica di San Pietro lights it up with such great attention.”

In addition to replacing the previous fixtures with others using the latest generation of LED sources, the new lighting project uses compact solutions with minimum visual encumbrance of warm white tones (equal to 3000 K) with very high color rendering. The iGuzzini Illuminazione company has made available a system of lighting units, divided into groups that power on and off in luminous intensity to allow for the different lighting scenarios.

North scenario – sculptural scenario:
Light focuses on the sculpture, while the floor, ceiling and background are illuminated to a minimum. No prevailing directionality is perceived; on the other hand, there is a balance of chiaroscuro that restores the plasticity of the work and allows one to dwell on both the single detail and the harmony of the whole.

East scenario – A beam of light:
A beam of light illuminates the La Pietà. The direction of incidence is evident, the marked shadows. The peaceful lighting of the vaults and the background frame the entire marble group. Luminous beams of the headlamps, with different degrees of dimming; times and almost obscured floor.

 

South scenario – full light:
All the devices are switched on. The sculpture is absolutely dazzling and becomes itself a source of light. The vaults and the floor have a slightly lower illumination because everything is concentrated in the band in which there is the sculpture. The light of the central vault, of the arches and of the side vaults is more sustained.

West scenario – daily light
Designed for the pilgrim or visitor to the Basilica who enjoys the work through the protective window. For this reason, the lighting is frontal: the beams of light intersect with symmetrical angles to give the viewer the plasticity of the work. The central vault is evenly lit, while the arches and the side vault vaults receive a lower intensity light.

This video was produced by the Vatican in Italian only. It opens with Cardinal Angelo Comastri, archpriest of the basilica of St. Peter , as he explains this magnificent piece of art, unique in the world, that Michelangelo sculpted at the age of 23!

The lighting company explains the four basic scenarios of the new lamps (see above), noting that each light is directional and each has its own task.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1TrPEyuz86yE8YrGLfluuRNeVc5J0GB05/view

PAPAL CONDOLENCES FOR VICTIMS OF INDONESIA’S PLANE CRASH
By Robin Gomes (Vatiannews)

Pope Francis has expressed his sadness for the victims of a low-cost Indonesian aircraft that crashed into the sea on Monday with 189 people on board soon after taking off from the capital, Jakarta.

“Having learned with sadness of the recent plane crash in Jakarta, His Holiness Pope Francis conveys his condolences to all those affected by this tragedy,” read a condolence telegram signed on the Pope’s behalf by Vatican Secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

“He offers the assurance of his prayers for all who have died and for those who mourn their loss. Upon the nation and all involved in the rescue and recovery efforts His Holiness invokes the strength and peace of Almighty God,” the cardinal wrote in the message to Archbishop Piero Pioppo, Apostolic Nuncio to Indonesia.

No survivors
Lion Air flight JT610 heading to Pangkal Pinang, in Bangka Island off Sumatra coast, lost contact with ground officials shortly after its pilot had asked to turn back to base about 13 minutes after takeoff, and crashed into the sea, officials said.

POPE SENDS CONDOLENCES FOR PLANE CRASH IN KYRGYZSTAN – BISHOPS VISIT HOLY LAND ON 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF OCCUPATION OF PALESTINE

Today is Religious Freedom Day in the U.S. and, in the event you were not aware of this special day, here is a link that will explain it: http://www.religiousfreedomday.com/

There is a separate internal link for churches: http://www.religiousfreedomsunday.com/

I leave tomorrow for Washington D.C. where I will be able to participate in many inaugural events. I’m delighted to add that I’ll be staying on through the January 27th March for Life, the annual event that EWTN covers from gavel to gavel, so to speak. Perhaps I’ll even see some of you there!  If you come to D.C. for that event, try to look me up – I’m hoping I’ll be near a microphone!

While in D.C. I will have some office space in which to work and will do my best to bring you news, photos, perhaps even some videos and Facebook Live postings. I do not know where my schedule will bring me but I do know my days will be filled with fascinating people and events!

POPE SENDS CONDOLENCES FOR PLANE CRASH IN KYRGYZSTAN

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent his condolences after a cargo plane crashed in a residential area outside Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan. The Turkish plane was flying from Hong Kong, and was scheduled to stop at Manas Airport, before continuing to Istanbul.

At least 37 people were killed in the crash, most of them on the ground. Over half the houses in the small village next to the airport were reported destroyed in the accident. (photo news.va)

cargo-crash

Following is the telegram sent in Pope Francis’ name by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin:

“Deeply saddened to learn of the tragic crash of a cargo plane near Bishkek, Pope Francis sends his condolences to all those who have lost loved ones, particularly in Manas, and commends the souls of the deceased to the mercy of Almighty God. In praying for the search and rescue efforts, His Holiness invokes upon the nation the divine blessings of strength and consolation.”

BISHOPS VISIT HOLY LAND ON 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF OCCUPATION OF PALESTINE

(Vatican Radio)  The Holy Land Co-ordination, comprising bishops from across Europe, North America, and South Africa, is on its annual pilgrimage to the area with the aim of visiting and supporting the local Christian communities.

Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces in New Mexico, USA, is participating in the pilgrimage which runs from 14-19 of January. In an interview with Devin Watkins, Bishop Cantú said the Co-ordination’s theme this year is on the 50th anniversary of the occupation of Palestine.

holy-land

This is the third year that Bishop Cantú participates in the Holy Land pilgrimage.

“The settlements continue, and there are some small signs on the part of the Israelis that seem to show some good faith, but it’s one step forward and two or three steps backwards.”

But Bishop Cantú said the elements of good faith seem to be “disingenuous”.

He said the reality is “just a gradual taking-over of land and closing the possibility of a two-state solution. And that’s particularly what we’re concerned about: the dignity of persons, no matter their religion or their ethnicity, and their self-determination. That is a basic human right that is disrespected.”

Bishop Cantú noted that issue is complex and that the motivations for the settlements vary between families, “some are political, some are economic, some are religious”. “No matter what the motivations are, the Palestinian people are becoming a people without a land, and they are certainly people without rights.”

In conclusion, Bishop Cantú said that, as the group walked through the city of Hebron on Monday, “the tension is palpable…, and I can’t imagine having to live in this kind of tension”, which he said “day-in and day-out certainly weighs on the human spirit. So it allows us to enter into, a bit, the minds and the psyche of the Palestinians living under occupation.

(As Vatican Radio noted last year, Each year Bishops from around the world travel to the Holy Land on a pilgrimage to support the Christian community in the land of Jesus’ birth. Organized by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, the annual Holy Land Coordination brings together Bishops from different countries, especially countries that have historically had an influence in the Holy Land. This year’s visit included Bishops from the Europe, North America, and South Africa.)

(You may remember that the Holy Land and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict were among the topics discussed last Saturday by Pope Francis and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the Vatican.)