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Scots Catholic Blog

September 2014

The Church's Mission Must be to Proclaim Forgiveness and Freedom

Christ brings forgiveness and freedom
 
The Catholic Church, as Pope Francis has declared on many occasions, is a Church of mission and we Catholic people are all called to carry the Good News to the ends of the earth and to share it with all people. And this mission, we are encouraged, must be without condition and without restriction.  Our mission is to share it with all people and to pray that the Holy Spirit will use our efforts to penetrate the hearts of those who hear it.

Pope Francis warns of dangers of vanity and suggests "only the truth gives us peace"

 
Pope Francis delivered yet another incredibly powerful homily today as he tackled the issue of vanity.
 
The pope stressed that "only the truth gives us peace" as he warned of the dangers of vanity.  He cited the example of "those who put on too much make-up, and then are afraid the rain will come and all that make-up will come streaming down.”  The pope suggested that these people are never at peace and that they must seek the truth if they are to find peace.

Pope Francis: The Strength of the Church is the Love of Christ

 
Pope Francis, at today's General Audience in St Peter's Square, praised the people of Albania for co-existing with each other despite their various religious affiliations and despite a long period of oppression by an 'atheistic and inhuman regime'.  The pope also praised the Albanian people for avoiding the lure of relativism.
 
He spoke about the strength of the Church being the love of Christ and he described it as 'a strength that sustains us in times of trouble and inspires the daily apostolic action to offer to all goodness and forgiveness; thus testifying to the mercy of God.

What does the Catholic Church say about using condoms to fight AIDS?

What does the Catholic Church say about using condoms to fight AIDS?
 
Apart from the fact that condoms provide no absolutely safe protection against contagion, the Church rejects their use as a one-sided, mechanical method of fighting AIDS epidemics and advocates above all a new culture of human relationships and a change in social consciousness. Only practicing fidelity and refraining from casual sexual contacts can provide lasting protection from AIDS and teach a holistic approach to love. Respect for the equal dignity of women and men, concern about the health of the family, responsibility in dealing with one's urges and desires, and also refraining (at appropriate times) from sexual union are all part of it.

Why is the Church against premarital sexual relations? What if I am already in a premarital relationship or have had premarital relationships in the past?

 
Why is the Church against premarital sexual relations?
 
Because she would like to protect love. A person can give someone else no greater gift than himself . "I love you" means for both: "I want only you, I want all that you are, and I want to give myself to you forever!" Because that is so, we cannot, even with our bodies, really say "I love you" temporarily or on a trial basis. Many people take their premarital relationships seriously. And yet there are two reservations involved that are incompatible with love: the "exit option" and the fear of a child.

Pope calls on faithful to go out and proclaim the Gospel but warns about closing in on ourselves

 
Pope Francis says, ‘May we always live in solidarity with all of humanity, and never close in on ourselves.’
 
It's interesting that this comment comes a day before Scotland goes to the polls to vote in independence, a move the pope has already expressed concern about.
 
Click here to read the pope’s full address:
 

Pope Francis Angelus Address on the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

"Through the cross of Christ, evil is overcome, death is defeated, life is given to us, hope is restored. "
 
Click here to read what the pope had to say as he celebrated the Exaltation of the Holy Cross: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-s-angelus-address-sunday-september-14th
 

Pope Francis: Love your Enemies

 
There is simply no getting away from it.  If we want to live truly Christian lives we are called to love everyone, including our enemies.
 
Pope Francis explored this further in one of his homilies earlier in the week.  Click here to read what he had to say: http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2014/09/11/pope_at_mass_love_your_enemies/1106331
 

Spread some love this week and tell people they are saved (Dwelling on the Word of God, Sunday 14th September 2014)

From Sunday's Gospel (John 3:13-17):
 
Jesus said to Nicodemus:
‘No one has gone up to heaven
except the one who came down from heaven,
the Son of Man who is in heaven;
and the Son of Man must be lifted up
as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert,
so that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.
Yes, God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost
but may have eternal life.
For God sent his Son into the world
not to condemn the world,

Christianity is not a bland exercise in being nice

Father Dwight Longenecker, in this interesting article on Christianity, considers the words of St Paul when he prays that one day we will all 'be filled with all the fullness of God.'
 
Father Longenecker attacks the idea that we can do things without the help of God; that we can make ourselves better on our own.  He says: 'Foolishness is worldly wisdom.  It is thinking that I can do things without God and make myself better on my own.' 
He then warns that 'Christians of all sorts - and Catholics especially - have turned Christianity into a bland exercise in trying to be nice people.
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