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Fr Ray: Gaudete et Exultate

7th Sunday of Easter, Sunday 2nd June 2019

Pope Francis in his Pastoral letter ‘Gaudete et Exultate’ (Rejoice and be Glad) speaks of the call to holiness for everyone in today’s world.

Paragraph 112 - The first of these great signs of holiness is solid grounding in the God who loves and sustains us. This source of inner strength enables us to persevere amid life’s ups and downs, but also to endure hostility, betrayal and failings on the part of others. ‘If God is for us, who is against us?’ (Rom 8:31); this is the source of peace found in the saints. Such inner strength makes it possible for us, in our fast paced, noisy and aggressive world, to give a witness of holiness through patience and constancy in doing good.

Paragraph 115 - Christians too can be caught up in the networks of verbal violence through the internet and the various forms of digital communication. Even in Catholic media, limits can be overstepped defamation and slander can become commonplace, and all ethical standards and respect for the good name of others can be abandoned.

Paragraph 116 - Inner strength, as the work of grace, prevents us from becoming carried way by the violence that is so much a part of life today, because grace defuses vanity and makes possible meekness of heart. The saints do not waste energy complaining about the failure of others; they can hold their tongue before the faults of their brothers and sisters, and avoid the verbal violence that demeans and mistreats others. Saints hesitate to treat other harshly; they consider others better than themselves (Phil 2:3).

Paragraph 121 - Christ, in a word ‘is our peace’ (Eph 2:14); he came ‘to guide our feet into the way of peace’. (Life 1:79). As he told Saint Faustina Kowalska, ‘Mankind will not have peace until it turns with trust to my mercy’. So let us not fall into the temptation of looking for security in success, vain pleasures, possessions, power over others or social status. Jesus says: ‘My peace I give you, I do not give it to you as the world gives peace.” (John 14:27).

Fr Ray Armstrong CM


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