Communication Media: A Reflection

Media plays an enormous role in forming culture, says the Holy Father. This video is an invitation to reflect about it more critically; and to influence it by our prayers and right actions; and finally, to participate in it more responsibly. When we hear a reflection such as this we should prayerfully ask..."Is this a message that is directed toward us (as a fraternity); does God have a desire for us to become involved?".

After all, "Secular Franciscans, together with all people of good will, are called to build a more fraternal and evangelical world so that the kingdom of God may be brought about more effectively." (Article 10)

We might also consider the following: "Let them individually and collectively be in the forefront in promoting justice by the testimony of their human lives and their courageous initiatives. Especially in the field of public life, they should make definite choices in harmony with their faith."(Article 11)

Comments are welcome.


Terra Santa News (en) 27/05/2011

Contents of this video...
A wonder of nature, and of the biblical story. The Dead Sea is in the race to be elected among the new wonders of the world.
The richness of the mosaics of Palestine, a legacy that crosses and unites eras, cultures and different religions. An exhibition at the Al Quds University of Jerusalem.
The society of Saint Yve celebrates its 20 years. The Catholic Centre for Human Rights provides assistance - including legal assistance - to all the people who live in difficult conditions in Israel and the territories.
The Lady of the Wall who builds bridges. Among the many murals that cover the separation barrier, for a few months now there is also this beautiful icon of Mary... designed 200 meters from the checkpoint in Bethlehem, where - for 7 years - every Friday afternoon, one prays to ask for the gift of peace.
100 Terra Santa News! Our "thank you"... and your precious help!

Thoughts on St. Francis as Peacemaker

Last month in Candidate formation during a discussion of Francis we paused to considered his role as peacemaker.  I began to praise a book I just finished called The Saint and the Sultan.  Since then I decided to write a post which is half reflection and half review.  Its located on my blog Perfect Joy.  I concluded with the following thought:

"The practice of gospel peacemaking as St. Francis shows is not tied to consensus thinking nor does it require the approval of others. It is willing to go it alone with its only requirement being a purified heart and faithful recognition of the divine seed in the other. The other is never evaluated in terms of their moral state or worthiness; love and pardon are extended unconditionally. Even the prospect of human failure is unimportant; indeed it is a distraction, because the work of bringing gospel love and forgiveness is life-giving to the bearer and efficacious to the world, even when it is scorned."
For the full article click here:
Peace and all good.

The Death of Bin Laden: A Franciscan Perspective

Here's a letter that's worth our attention and respect. It's from the newsletter of Holy Name Province in New York.   Fr. Mychal Judge, OFM a member of the province and FDNY Chaplain, was listed as the 1st victim of the 9/11 attack.  The photo below is an iconic image of the removal of his body from the tragic scene.

Preface to the Letter:  Since the night of May 1, when the death of Osama bin Laden was announced, Americans have experienced and expressed a variety of reactions including relief, elation, fear and hope.

In a letter distributed to Holy Name Province friars this morning, the HNP leadership recommends calm reflection on this event in light of a Christian faith.

Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, Provincial Vicar Dominic Monti, OFM, and the members of the Provincial Council encourage remembering the Word of God: “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles, or the Lord will see it and be displeased.”
The visit of St. Francis of Assisi to sultan Malik al-Kamil at a time of war reminds Franciscans to work for reconciliation.

Brothers and sisters:

The electrifying news that Osama bin Laden has been killed has gripped the attention of our nation and the world, occasioning powerful and conflicting emotions and reactions. It also invites us, as Franciscans, to stand back and reflect prayerfully on what God might be inviting us to in the wake of this death.

Like so many, perhaps our first response, on a very human level, was a sense of relief. The sinister attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, are still deeply embedded in our national and personal consciousness. These images surface not only anger but also fear and unease at the precarious nature of life. On Sept. 11, we lost one of our own brothers, Mychal Judge, OFM; many people we serve also suffered the deaths of relatives and friends in the attacks.

Since 2001, we have felt the emptiness of the loss of loved ones, as well as the darkness of fear that 9/11 opened in all of our lives: Will we be attacked again? Osama bin Laden in many ways became the embodiment of our fears. The announcement of his death, then, may have produced an understandable dimension of cathartic release — a sense, or at least hope, that things may be better. Such a release may initially express itself in joy. But, if we are honest with ourselves as Christians, we quickly feel quite uncomfortable with a joy that comes from the death of another human being — even one we call our enemy. Isn’t this discomfort the sting of conscience reminding us that as Gospel people, as Easter people in this season of hope, we are called by God to something more?  
We are reminded in the Word of God: “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles; or the LORD will see it and be displeased.” (Proverbs 24:17-18a) So, if we are not to rejoice at this event, what is the invitation of God?  (Read the full letter here...)

Update: Caritas Relief in Japan

Nearly two months ago Japan was ravaged by earthquake and tsunami.  Recovery has been slow but some of you provided donations for relief through Caritas International (as suggested in our newsletter and this blog). The following is a report of how they are responding to the great suffering.

10,000 People Given Aid After Japan's Earthquake

By Caritas Japan staff
Caritas Japan staff members and volunteers have been providing food and other aid to 10,000 survivors following the 11 March earthquake and tsunami. The earthquake was largest to have hit Japan on record and the tsunami caused destruction as far as 10 km inland. The quake caused a serious accident and a 20 km evacuation zone at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. The overall cost could exceed $300 billion, making it the most expensive natural disaster ever. [Read the full article...]


Message to SFO from Pope John Paul II

To download original document click here: John Paul II Address to SFO_2002