Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Feast of the Apostles Saints Simon and Jude - Logo of St. Vincent de Paul Society - Address to Benefit Dinner on Benedict XVI's Caritas in Veritate


Jude is so named by Luke and Acts. Matthew and Mark call him Thaddeus. He is not mentioned elsewhere in the Gospels, except, of course, where all the apostles are mentioned.

Scholars hold that he is not the author of the Letter of Jude. Actually, Jude had the same name as Judas Iscariot. Evidently because of the disgrace of that name, it was shortened to "Jude" in English.

Simon is mentioned on all four lists of the apostles. On two of them he is called "the Zealot." The Zealots were a Jewish sect that represented an extreme of Jewish nationalism. For them, the messianic promise of the Old Testament meant that the Jews were to be a free and independent nation. God alone was their king, and any payment of taxes to the Romans—the very domination of the Romans—was a blasphemy against God.

No doubt some of the Zealots were the spiritual heirs of the Maccabees, carrying on their ideals of religion and independence. But many were the counterparts of modern terrorists. They raided and killed, attacking both foreigners and "collaborating" Jews. They were chiefly responsible for the rebellion against Rome which ended in the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

Holiness does not depend on human merit, culture, personality, effort or achievement. It is entirely God's creation and gift.

God needs no Zealots to bring about the kingdom by force.

Jude, like all the saints, is the saint of the impossible: only God can create his divine life in human beings.

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The St. Vincent de Paul Society in Canada:

Yesterday's blog entry used an old Vincentian logo. An up-to-date Vincentian was kind enough to send me the new logo and its explanation. Herewith, both of these:

NEW ST, VINCENT DE PAUL LOGO: The Confederation of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul proposes a logo. However it is up to each National (Superior) Council to authorize the use of the Society's logo within its jurisdiction. This logo has been adopted by the National Council of Canada.

The logo has the following meaning:

The fish is the symbol of Christianity and, in this case, represents the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

The eye of the fish is the vigilant eye of God seeking to help the poor in our midst.

The crossing at the tail or the tie-knot represents unity and oneness among members and also the union with the poor.

The circle bounding the logo signifies the global or worldwide stature of the SSVP,
an international Society.

The words serviens in spe mean to serve in hope, the hope that comes from Our Lord Jesus Christ.

THE SOCIETY OF ST. VINCENT DE PAUL, NATIONAL COUNCIL OF CANADA - MISSION

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is a lay Catholic organization whose mission is:
To live the Gospel message by serving Christ in the poor with love, respect, justice and joy.

VALUES

The Mission of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul implies that as Vincentians we
• see Christ in anyone who suffers
• come together as a family
• have personal contact with the poor
• help in all possible ways

Saint Vincent et Anne d'Autriche
Saint Vincent présente les premières filles de la charité à la reine Anne d'Autriche. Tableau de frère André, religieux dominicain, dans l'église de sainte Marguerite à Paris, XVIIIe siècle.


* * * * * *

Allocution de l’Archevêque au/Archbishop’s Remarks at the
2nd Archbishop’s Benefit Dinner/ 2ième Souper-Bénéfice de l’Archevêque
Archidiocèse d’Ottawa/Archdiocese of Ottawa
Hampton Inn—Ottawa, ON
27 octobre/October 27, 2009


Excellences,
Révérends Pères,
Chères Sœurs,
Chers membres et amis
de l’Archidiocèse d’Ottawa
et amis des pauvres,

Your Excellencies,
Reverend Fathers,
dear Religious Sisters,
dear Members and Friends
of the Archdiocese of Ottawa
and good friends of the poor:

A teacher at one of our Catholic schools was teaching the Ten Commandments to grade ones. After explaining the commandment “honor thy father and thy mother,” she asked “Is there a commandment that teaches us how to treat our brothers and sisters?”

Without missing a beat one little boy answered, “Thou shall not kill.”

Obviously, it’s not always easy to teach the first and the greatest commandment, that of charity. And yet this is what our Holy Father has set out to do—urgently and powerfully—in his latest letter to the People of God.

Dans les toutes premières lignes de sa dernière lettre au Peuple de Dieu Caritas in veritate, le Pape appelle la charité la force motrice derrière tout développement humain. L’amour, dit-il, est une force extraordinaire qui conduit les gens à s’engager avec courage et générosité dans les œuvres de justice et de paix.

Et elle est une force qui trouve son origine en Dieu, qui est Amour éternel et Vérité absolue. En adhérant au plan de Dieu, chaque personne trouve et suit la vérité, et dans la vérité, elle devient véritablement libre.

The Pope’s letter was published in July as the leaders of the G8 met near Rome to consider the global economy; it expresses in a novel way the Church’s social concern to a globalized world at the beginning of the 21st century.

Caritas in veritate does not try to offer technical solutions to the enormous social problems of the modern world. …Instead, it recalls the fundamental principles that are indispensable for human progress and development in the coming years.

Nous sommes ici ce soir au service de la même cause identifiée par le Pape dans son message. Votre présence ce soir est témoin de votre générosité et de votre souci pour les pauvres, et de votre espoir en un avenir meilleur. Ce temps d’incertitude économique fait appel à ce qu’il y a de meilleur en nous alors que nous tendons la main vers les autres.

Lorsque plusieurs sont frappés par la chute de l’économie aux niveaux planétaire et local, nous ne pouvons pas demeurer simples spectateurs. En leur nom, je vous remercie de vous préoccuper de leur sort.

Notre attention se porte ce soir d’une façon particulière sur les Bergers de l’Espoir et la Société Saint-Vincent de Paul, deux manifestations du désir de se faire proche des autres alors qu’ils sont dans le besoin.

Mais afin de nous tenir près des autres, nous devons savoir où nous nous tenons. Une des vraies innovations de la lettre encyclique est le lien que le Pape fait entre « éthique sociale » et « éthique de la vie ». Il avance que la lettre de Paul VI, Populorum Progressio – dont le 40e anniversaire est souligné par Caritas in veritate – doit être lue conjointement avec l’autre encyclique majeure et tant controversée de ce Pape, Humanae Vitae.

Benoît dit que l’ouverture radicale à la vie que le Pape Paul défend dans Humanae Vitae doit être la source d’inspiration de la doctrine sociale de l’Église, qui a pour but de promouvoir l’épanouissement intégral de la vie commune à tous les plans.

Le Saint-Père clarifie encore davantage ce point lorsqu’il commente que les sociétés qui dés-accentuent la vie, même au point de promouvoir la contraception artificielle et l’avortement, souffrent de difficultés économiques très concrètes.

Pope Paul VI had said that to understand the great concern for the development of peoples, especially those in the Global South, manifested in the late 1960s, one needs to see this process as the world’s response to a call from God.

For God wishes the full human development of every single person on the planet. And this should be the interest and goal of all human efforts towards the eradication of poverty, the alleviation of suffering and concern for the planet.

If each of us is interested in the integral human development of every other person, then we need to recognize his or her dignity because created in the image and likeness of God. As well, we need to feel a sense of solidarity with them.

In this ground-breaking encyclical, Benedict XVI introduces into the theory of economic exchange the principle of gratuity which is a characteristic of human beings at their best.

De façon remarquable, le Pape insiste sur le fait qu’aux côtés de la logique contractuelle du marché (je donne afin de recevoir), et la logique légale du domaine politique (je donne parce que suis obligé de donner), il doit y avoir une logique de pure gratuité (je donne simplement parce qu’il est bon de le faire). Sans ce troisième élément, tant l’économique que le politique sont transférés sur quelque chose moindre que le parfaitement humain.

Lorsque nous agissons selon le principe de gratuité, nous entrons dans le monde du don gratuit que Dieu nous fait dans la création. « L’amour en vérité », dit le Pape, « met l’homme devant l’expérience étonnante du don. La gratuité est présente en nos vies sous un grand nombre de formes différentes, mais elle est souvent méconnue à cause d’une vision purement consommatrice et utilitaire de la vie. L’être humain est fait pour le don, ce qui exprime et rend présente sa dimension transcendante. »

Sometimes, we in Canada give the impression we believe all social services ought to be provided by the State and that there ought to be no need for food banks or shelters such at the Shepherds of Good Hope provide. And would that food banks and shelters were not needed! But being engaged and committed to assisting with the work of St. Vincent de Paul, clothing depots and an occasional or ongoing contact with the poor becomes a blessing to us and our fellow volunteers.

In his first encyclical, Deus caritas est (God is love), Pope Benedict pointed out the risk of the state providing everything and soon “absorbing everything into itself” producing “a mere bureaucracy incapable of guaranteeing the very thing which the suffering person—every person—needs: namely, loving personal concern.

“We do not need a state that regulates and controls everything—he said—but a state that, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, generously acknowledges and supports initiatives arising from the different social forces and combines spontaneity with closeness to those in need.

"The Church is one of those living forces: She is alive with the love enkindled by the Spirit of Christ. This love does not simply offer people material help, but refreshment and care for their souls, something that often is even more necessary than material support.”


Thank you for being part of this humanizing movement and for allowing yourselves to be touched by the poor in our midst, the friends of our God.

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