Renewing the way we look at things

This text by Bernard Ugeux appeared in the last Info-PAC.

This jubilee time is for us an opportunity to take a renewed Christian look at our brothers and sisters, at the Church, Africa, the World…

Jesus has a unique way of looking at the people he meets, especially the most vulnerable, of recognizing the signs of the times in the expectations of crowds without a shepherd and the oppositions of religious authorities. He has renewed the hope of his people.

As for Cardinal Lavigerie, he too, throughout his life, took a very profound and demanding look at the realities of the world and the Church.

  • A look inhabited by the Spirit who benevolently discerns the new calls addressed to the Church by the societies of his time, in France, in the East, then in Africa.
  • An apostle’s look at all those who ignore the God of tenderness and forgiveness proclaimed by Jesus Christ.
  • A visionary and passionate look, he who is ready to give his life for the salvation of the infidels of Africa as a whole, “as if he saw the invisible”.
  • A look of reconciliation when he meets the prelates of the East invited to return to full communion with Rome.
  • A look that calls, confirms and sends apostles – men and women – for Africa, inviting them to consider martyrdom without fear.
  • A look that courageously and serenely confronts the opposition of those who refuse the Church’s openness to the people of North Africa.
  • A look of deep compassion that invites us to begin the proclamation of the Gospel by caring for the bodies while waiting for the awakening of souls.
  • A tender look at orphans boys and girls, abandoned people and victims of massacres or epidemics, whether in Lebanon or Syria, in Kabylia or the Sahara, or in the depths of the African continent.
  • A wrathful and provocative look in his tour of European capitals to stop the slave trade in Africa, appealing to humanity as much as to the faith of his listeners.
  • A sometimes dominating and overpowering look at his collaborators, which then leads him to humbly ask forgiveness from those he has hurt by the overwhelming nature or demands he has placed on them.
  • A look of contemplation and adoration placed with confidence for hours each day on Christ, the Sacred Heart, the Blessed Sacrament, and which is implored at the feet of Mary, Joseph and the great martyrs of North Africa. …
  • Today, what view does Lavigerie invite us to take of the human spaces that Pope Francis calls the peripheries?
  • What look of renewed indignation and compassion at the countless contemporary slaves and human trafficking that primarily affect children and young people; at migration, the looting of raw materials from poor countries and all forms of human exploitation?
  • What discernment about contemporary developments in globalization and its victims?
  • What invitation to dialogue between the currents within the Church and with other Christian confessions and religions?
  • What openness to differences in language, culture, religion, faith, gender, generation, recognizing that otherness is not a threat but a gift, when it does not impose itself with fanaticism?

In short, today, the Cardinal invites us to know him better (1) in his complexity and richness and to convert our viewpoint so that he may come closer to that of Christ, in his benevolence and his demands, beginning with ourselves.

Bernard Ugeux, M.Afr.

(1) In May 2019, Bernard Ugeux’s book will be published, Prier quinze jours avec le Cardinal Lavigerie, Nouvelles cités

Lent 2019 – Pope Francis

The Pope’s message for Lent 2019 was made public and presented at a press conference on 26 February 2019. Starting from the liturgical cycle, the Pope explains that the mystery of salvation “presents itself as a dynamic process that also embraces History and the whole of creation. Saint Paul says it: “Creation is eagerly awaiting the revelation of the sons of God” (Rm 8:19)”. It develops its subject in three parts:

1. The Redemption of Creation : “If man lives as a son of God, if he lives as a saved person who lets himself be guided by the Holy Spirit and knows how to recognize and implement the law of God, beginning with the one written in his heart and in nature, then he also does good to Creation” ;

2. The destructive force of sin : “The rupture of communion with God has deteriorated the harmonious relationship between human beings and the environment in which they are called to live, so that the garden has been transformed into a desert” ;

3. The healing power of repentance and forgiveness : conversion “calls Christians to incarnate in a more intense and concrete way the paschal mystery in their personal, family and social lives, especially through fasting, prayer and almsgiving”.

Read in La Croix of February 26, 2019

Read Pope Francis’ message

Creation time – week 5

The celebration of the time of creation, which has its origin in the Orthodox tradition, was taken up by the World Council of Churches and recommended to the Catholic Church by Pope Francis. The texts of the last week show that our commitment to preserving creation for future generations is part of our vocation to pray, think, live and act like Jesus.

 

Theme of week 5 :

Pass on the invitation to follow Jesus

Download the Biblical and Liturgical texts of week 5.

Download the Biblical and Liturgical texts of week 4.

Download the Biblical and Liturgical texts of week 3.

Download the Biblical and Liturgical texts of week 2.

Download the Biblical and Liturgical texts of week 1.

 

Creation Time – week 4

The celebration of the time of creation, which has its origin in the Orthodox tradition, was taken up by the World Council of Churches and recommended to the Catholic Church by Pope Francis. In the fourth week, let us remember that we are not masters, but servants of our contemporaries and of creation.

 

Theme of week 4 :

Sharing the joy of service

Download the Biblical and Liturgical texts of week 4.

Download the Biblical and Liturgical texts of week 3.

Download the Biblical and Liturgical texts of week 2.

Download the Biblical and Liturgical texts of week 1.

 

Creation Time, week 3

The celebration of Creation Time, which originated in the Orthodox tradition, was taken up by the World Council of Churches and recommended to the Catholic Church by Pope Francis. In the third week, we reflect on creation as a sign of God’s infinite wisdom. We are invited to recognize this wisdom, to internalize it and transmit it to others.

Theme of week 3 :

Transmitting the gift of wisdom

Download the Biblical and Liturgical texts of week 3.

Download the Biblical and Liturgical texts of week 2.

Download the Biblical and Liturgical texts of week 1.

Transition Session Opening Mass – Rome September 2018

This homily was delivered by Francis Barnes, First Assistant General, at the opening of the Transition Session in Rome on Thursday, September 6, 2018.

Dive into the depths. This is certainly the call of religious life; to go to the depths; to go into the unmarked waters of life. The problem is that we prefer the shallow waters of our proven methods of doing, we prefer the shallow waters of our doctrine and the laws where we are safe, we prefer to stay on the shore with our fears and feelings of apprehension. We all know that when it comes to jumping into the unknown, we are afraid and moving to deeper waters for sure does not excite us. Continue reading “Transition Session Opening Mass – Rome September 2018”

Creation Time 2018, week 1

The celebration of creation time has its origin in the Orthodox tradition. It was taken up by the World Council of Churches and recommended to the Catholic Church by Pope Francis. From September 1st until the feast of St. Francis of Assisi on October 4th, Christians thank for the gift of creation and reflect on how they can protect it and pass it on to future generations.

Please find here the Biblical and Liturgical text put together by Wolfgang Schonecke  (Netzwerk Afrika Deutschland)