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This month starts with the celebration of the All Saints’ Day. It is our feast, for we are called to sanctify. Lumen Gentium, the 2nd Vatican Council Dogmatic Constitution, dedicates its 5th chapter to the explanation of the universal vocation to sanctity in the Church.
This month is dedicated in a special way to the Mission of the Church. “The pilgrim Church is missionary by her very nature, since it is from the mission of the Son and the mission of the Holy Spirit that she draws her origin, in accordance with the decree of God the Father.” (Ad Gentes 2)
Pope Francis, during his general audiences on Wednesdays, is carrying on his catechesis about HOPE. As WUCWO women we are all committed to sow hope, especially in the family, among youth and suffering people, with a specific attention to women.
On July 29th it was the 4th anniversary of the kidnapping of a missionary Father Fausto Dall’Oglio, in Syria. He is a Jesuit who, in the 1980s, re-established in Syria the Catholic-Syriac Monastic community of Mar Musa (Monastery of Saint Moses Abyssinia), the heir to a cenobitic and hermitic tradition dating back to the 6th century. The monastery, located in the desert north of Damascus, also welcomes members of Orthodox religion. Father Fausto Dall'Oglio is strongly engaged in interreligious dialogue with the Islamic world. He decided to be committed to such an effort convinced that the only way towards peace is dialogue and mutual respect.
In this month, we celebrate the feast of St Mary Magdalene, “Apostola Apostolorum”, Apostle of the Apostles. She was a disciple of Jesus, following Him till His crucifixion, and the first witness of His resurrection. She brought the good news of His resurrection to the apostles. This is the reason given by the Congregation for the Divine Cult of the Holy See when last year her feast was established. This decision was also made to foster the attention and reflection about the role of women in the mission of the Church.
This month we worship the Heart of Jesus in a special way. We want to put under His Sacred heart also our commitment: “A Minute for Peace”. All over the world we need peace. Every day we receive news about terrorist attacks; some become viral, while some others are less known, because they happen in countries which are not under the spotlights.
This month dedicated to the Holy Virgin sees also the celebration of WUCWO day on 13th, the day of the apparition of Our Lady in Fatima. And this year is the centenary of the Apparition. This is a further encouragement to carry on our WUCWO commitment at all levels; we need to be responsible to work for the promotion of women and each of us is to be involved in such task.
This month we will celebrate the highest moment, the peak of our faith, the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Saviour. Thinking about Jesus, offering Himself for our salvation, we cannot ignore God’s mercifulness. And this is so much present in the liturgy we celebrate.
The title of the Apostolic Letter “Misericordia et Misera” refers to two words used by St Augustine “in recounting the story of Jesus’ meeting with the woman taken in adultery”. Very often women who meet Jesus are not accepted in the society because of their life. They are judged, discriminated, isolated and condemned.
Continuing the reflection on the letter Misericordia and Misera we need to meditate about mercy as Pope Francis encourages it “must continue to be celebrated and lived out in our communities. Mercy cannot become a mere parenthesis in the life of the Church; it constitutes her very existence, through which the profound truths of the Gospel are made manifest and tangible. Everything is revealed in mercy; everything is resolved in the merciful love of the Father.” (MM1)
At the end of the year of Mercy we were blessed to experience last year, Pope Francis offered his apostolic letter “Misericordia et Misera” in which he encourages “to look to the future and to understand how best to continue, with joy, fidelity and enthusiasm, experiencing the richness of divine mercy. Our communities can remain alive and active in the work of the new evangelization in the measure that the “pastoral conversion” to which we are called will be shaped daily by the renewing force of mercy. Let us not limit its action; let us not sadden the Spirit, who constantly points out new paths to take in bringing to everyone the Gospel of salvation.” (MM5)
After the official closing of the Year of the Jubilee of Mercy we continue to reflect on the characteristics indicated by Pope Francis in his speech at the Roman Curia in December 2015. This is the last letter of the word MISERICORDIA, namely A, corresponding to the words accountability and sobriety.
On November 20th, the Holy Door of St Peter’s basilica in Rome will be closed, and the extraordinary year of the Jubilee of Mercy will be concluded. We continue with the reflection about the single letters of the word “MISERICORDIA”.
This month, the words are Intrepidness and Alertness.
On September 20th 2016 the World Day of Prayer for Peace “Thirst for peace: faiths and cultures in dialogue” was held in Assisi. During this event Pope Francis in his address encourages us react to the “virus that paralyses, rendering us lethargic and insensitive, a disease that eats away at the very heart of religious fervour, giving rise to a new and deeply sad paganism: the paganism of indifference. We cannot remain indifferent. Today the world has a profound thirst for peace. In many countries, people are suffering due to wars which, though often forgotten, are always the cause of
On Sunday 4th Mother Teresa will be canonised. She is the symbol of humility. Respectfulness and humility: those are the two words I want to propose this month following the scheme given by Pope Francis reflecting on each letter of the word MISERICORDIA (in Latin). “Respectfulness is an endowment of those noble and tactful souls who always try to show genuine respect for others, for their own work, for their superiors and subordinates, for dossiers and papers, for confidentiality and privacy, who can listen carefully and speak politely. Humility is the virtue of the saints and those godly persons who become all the more important as they come to realize that they are nothing, and can do nothing, apart from God’s grace (cf. Jn 15:8).” (Pope Francis)
The central solemnity of the month of August is the Assumption of the Holy Virgin to the Heaven.
A solemnity which reminds us of the final goal, task of our life. During this year of the Jubilee of Mercy we have received many occasions to reflect on God’s mercy. We, every month, have been following the words given by Pope Francis to live fully the experience of mercy. This month the words are openness and maturity. ”openness is honesty and rectitude, consistency and absolute sincerity with regard both to ourselves and to God. An honest and open person does not act virtuously only when he or she is being watched; honest persons have no fear of being caught, since they never betray the trust of others. An honest person is never domineering like the “wicked servant” (cf. Mt24:48-51), with regard to the persons or matters entrusted to his or her care. Honesty is the foundation on which all other qualities rest.”
This month the World Youth Day will be celebrated in Cracow. Its motto is “Blessed are the merciful: they shall have mercy shown them”(Mt 5,7). The theme of mercy is connected with the two words, charity and truth, we want to offer, this month, for reflection continuing the comment to the words taken from the spelling of the word MISERICORDIA made by Pope Francis . As the Holy Father says , they are “two inseparable virtues of the Christian life, “speaking the truth in charity and practising charity in truth” (cf.Eph 4:15). To the point where charity without truth becomes a destructive ideology of complaisance and truth without charity becomes myopic legalism.” (Address of the Pope Francis to the Roman Curia, 21 December 2015).
This month, which is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we continue by reflecting about the single letters that make up the word “misericordia” according to the scheme followed by Pope Francis during a meeting held on December 21st 2015.
This month we celebrate WUCWO Day which is an extraordinary moment to reflect and pray for our commitment.
With the joy of the gift of Amoris Laetitia let’s continue to meditate about the word MISERICORDIA following the single letters suggested by Pope Francis.