Archive for October, 2009

2nd November – Feast of All Souls

31 October, 2009

Five People

In my Encyclical on Christian hope, I questioned myself about the mystery of eternal life (cf. Spe salvi, 10-12). I asked myself: “Is the Christian faith a hope that transforms and sustains the lives of people still today?” (cf. ibid., n. 10). And more radically: “Do men and women of our time still long for eternal life? Or has earthly existence perhaps become their only horizon?” In reality, as St Augustine had already observed, all of us want a “blessed life”, happiness. We rarely know what it is like or how it will be, but we feel attracted to it. This is a universal hope, common to men and women of all times and all places. The expression “eternal life” aims to give a name to this irrepressible longing; it is not an unending succession of days, but an immersion of oneself in the ocean of infinite love, in which time, before and after, no longer exists. A fullness of life and of joy: it is this that we hope and await from our being with Christ (cf. ibid, 12).

Today we renew the hope in eternal life, truly founded on Christ’s death and Resurrection. “I am risen and I am with you always”, the Lord tells us, and my hand supports you. Wherever you may fall, you will fall into my hands and I will be there even to the gates of death. Where no one can accompany you any longer and where you can take nothing with you, there I will wait for you to transform for you the darkness into light.

Pope Benedict XVI, All Souls Day, 2008

1st November – Feast of All Saints

31 October, 2009


With great joy, we celebrate today the feast of All Saints. Visiting a nursery garden, one remains taken aback at the variety of plants and flowers, and spontaneously begins to think of the Creator’s fantasy that made the earth a marvelous garden. These same sentiments come to us when we consider the spectacle of holiness: the world appears to us as a “garden,” where the Spirit of God has sustained with remarkable wonder a multitude of saints, male and female, from every age and social condition, of every tongue, people and culture. Each is different from the others, with the uniqueness of their own personality and their own spiritual charism. All, however, were marked by the “seal” of Jesus, the imprint of his love, witnessed upon the Cross. All now are at joy, in a feast without end as, like Jesus, they reached this goal across toil and trial, each one encountering their share of sacrifice to participate in the glory of the resurrection.

Pope Benedict XVI, Feast of All Saints, 2008

Personal Ordinariates for Anglicans

24 October, 2009

SPN 29Wanderer contributor Scott Rich­ert commented on the significance of the date, October 20, that the ap­ostolic constitution was announced in his column for the About. com Guide to Catholicism, and Pope Benedict’s penchant for linking im­portant acts with important feast days.

The Holy See’s announcement came on the Feast of St. Paul of the Cross, the Italian founder of the Passionists who devoted his life to the conversion of England.

“Though St. Paul spent his life in Italy,” Richert wrote, “The Cath­olic Encyclopedia notes that ‘for fifty years he prayed for the con­version of England, and left the de­votion as a legacy to his [spiritual] sons.” Almost 65 years after his death, the Passionists were first in­troduced into England, and The Catholic Encyclopedia declares that ‘ They came in the spirit of Apostles without gold or silver, without scrip or staff or shoes or two coats,’ yet they ‘soon revived without commotion several Cath­olic customs and practices which had died out since the Reforma­tion. They were the first to adopt strict community life, to wear their habit in public, to give missions and retreats to the people, and to hold public religious proces­sions’.

. . . “All of this may simply be a co­incidence. But considering Pope Benedict’s sensitivity to the sym­bolism of dates, I don’t think so. In any case, on this historic day, we can join St. Paul of the Cross in praying for the conversion of En­gland.”

[Source – ]

New St. Paul of the Cross Website

21 October, 2009

Glenn Dallaire has created a new website on St. Paul of the Cross.

Glen writes: “Through my devotion to Saint Gemma (who is a Passionist Saint) I came across the extraordinary life of St Paul of the Cross, mystic and founder of the Passionist Congregation. Inspired by his heroic life of love and sacrifice for God, I felt called to create this website devoted to him.”

Passio in Cordibus

21 October, 2009


Father Paul Francis Spencer, C.P., introduces us to his new internet resource Passio in Cordibus.

He writes “This little site is intended for anyone who is interested in Passionist Spirituality. It gathers together some articles and talks I have written over the years on Saint Paul of the Cross, Founder of the Passionists, and related topics. ”