From the August 2016 edition…
Keep moving forward
POPE FRANCIS has called on young Catholics to be the driving force for change in the world by showing the face of God’s mercy.
Counselling against living life in the slow lane, settling for the comfort zone, he urged them push ahead in confronting today’s challenges and so leave their mark on history.
“What better way to experience the contagious joy of the Gospel than by striving to bring the Good News to all kinds of painful and difficult situations!” the Pope said as he led an estimated 1.5million young people at the World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland.
“A merciful heart can go out and meet others, is able to be a place of refuge for those who are without a home, and to build a home and a family for those forced to emigrate. It knows the meaning of tenderness and compassion.”
Throughout the six-day festival, the call to be merciful in an often heartless and unforgiving world was spelled out to the young people.
Among some 500 pilgrims from Scotland, there were over 100 from Glasgow, including a group of almost 50 under the banner of the Archdiocese’s youth office and 15 from St Margaret’s parish, Clydebank.
Before travelling to Poland, they joined Archbishop Philip Tartaglia for Mass in St Andrew’s Cathedral. He encouraged them to make the most of the WYD experience and atmosphere.
“Don’t be afraid to dream of the kind of world you want to live in, and try to shape that world according to the Church’s vision, at the heart of which is the person of Jesus Christ,” the Archbishop encouraged.
Like Pope Francis, he advised them to be witnesses of mercy, peace and forgiveness in their daily lives and so enrich the Church and wider society.
In four keynote addresses to the young people, the Pope advised them not to “throw in the towel”, quit the field or settle for “early retirement” but to cherish the vitality and promise of their youth.
“It is disturbing to see young people squandering some of the best years of their lives, wasting their energies running after peddlers of false illusions, who rob you of what is best in you,” he lamented.
And on an upbeat note, Francis added: “Nothing is more beautiful than seeing the enthusiasm, dedication, zeal and energy with which so many young people live their lives,” he said.
“When Jesus touches a young person’s heart, he or she becomes capable of truly great things.
“Jesus can give you true passion for life. Jesus can inspire us not to settle for less, but to give the very best of ourselves.
“Jesus challenges us, spurs us on and helps us keep trying whenever we are tempted to give up. Jesus pushes us to keep our sights high and to dream of great things.”
Christian response to violence
IN the wake of the brutal murder of 85 year-old Fr Jacques Hamel in the Normandy church where he served for over 25 years, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia expressed his deep sorrow at such an horrific attack.
In a message to Mgr Dominique Lebrun, the Archbishop of Rouen, he said: “We are truly appalled at the series of attacks which have been perpetrated on France and her people over recent weeks.
“This latest incident represents a new and shocking development – namely the attack on people engaged in the worship of God in a sacred place.
“We pray for the repose of the soul of the priest killed and for the recovery of those injured. We pray for the people of France, Germany and other places so cruelly targeted by men of evil intent”.
On Sunday 31 July, St Matthew's parish, Bishopbriggs, held a prayer service to which members of Bishopbriggs Churches Together were invited.
Canon Robert Hill said: “Our aim was to do what so many have done after each tragedy – to express solidarity.
“As Christians, we do this best in prayer, so we gathered to pray for peace, reconciliation, and in solidarity with the victims and their loved ones.”
Those present at the service lit candles as a visible expression of prayerful solidarity, and as a personal commitment to try to further peace and reconciliation in their own community.