Posted by: fvbcdm | October 21, 2011

Feast of Saint Gaspar (21 Oct 2011)

 On this Friday morning, I came to my computer to see what the Vatican Information Service has to say about current events from the viewpoint of the universal Church. There were several main topics for the Catholics of the world to ponder as we come to this weekend.
The first and foremost is the death of Gaddafi and a new provisional government for the nation and people of Libya. The Holy See cautiously expresses the hope that the transition will be a peaceful one, without violence or a spirit of vindictiveness for the atrocities committed by Gaddafi and his henchmen over the years.  How tragic it is when those who have suffered injustice and cruelty then perpetrate more injustice and more cruelty—the “eye for an eye” mentality which Our Lord condemns in the gospel.  We of the western world watch, from our vantage point, the fall of the dominoes one by one, and we can hope and pray that they will fall in the direction of democracy, human rights, and the justice that will bring peace. May the Mother of Our Lord, who bears the Muslim title of Our Lady of Fatima, use her great power with God to pacify our deeply troubled world.
A second item in today’s news was the words of welcome addressed by Pope Benedict to the new Dutch ambassador to the Holy See. The Pope expressed satisfaction over recent legislation within the Netherlands which is designed to curtail the scourges of drug trafficking and prostitution which have been prevalent in that nation in recent years. It is almost incredible that a western nation with a Christian heritage that goes back for centuries should have become well-known especially among the young of the world for its tolerance of these evils. Evidently, the immorality of these things becomes repulsive even to those who brag about Dutch liberalism and permissiveness, and now they want to reverse that trend, at least to some degree.
Another heartening item of Church news is the opening of the “Australia House” in Rome as a center for Australian pilgrims and tourists when they visit the Eternal City. Travel is seen more and more as a religious exercise, much like the pilgrimages of the middle ages. Having traveled a great deal myself, I can certainly vouch for the value of travel and its potential for making the pilgrim feel closer to the saints whose shrines they visit along the way.  New York City, for example, is a tremendously exciting and interesting place for nearly everyone. To the Catholic traveler and pilgrim, it offers the splendid Saint Patrick’s Cathedral; the tomb of Saint Frances Cabrini, the Trinity Episcopal Church at the upper end of Wall Street where Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton was a devout member for years before her conversion to Catholicism.  Now, the people of Australia will have a special hostel for their use in Rome as they visit that city of endless interest, history, beauty, and sanctity.  Thank you for seeking God’s truth.  God bless you.  Father Victor Brown, O.P.


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