In a message to the Christian Life Community world assembly last Sunday, Pope Francis said: “At the centre of your Ignatian spirituality is this desire to be contemplatives in action. Contemplation and action, the two dimensions together: because we can only enter the heart of God through the wounds of Christ, and we know that Christ is wounded in the hungry, the uneducated, the discarded, the old, the sick, the imprisoned, in all the vulnerable human flesh.

“To be guided by a Christian way of life, with a strong spiritual life and working for the Kingdom, means letting oneself be shaped by the love of Jesus, having his same sentiments (see Phil 2:5), asking oneself continuously: What have I done for Christ? What am I doing for Christ? What ought I to do for Christ? (see Sp. Ex. 53).”         

Massive support for bishops

Tens of thousands of Nicaraguans marched in Managua as a sign of their support and solidarity with the bishops who are under attack by the government of President Daniel Ortega. During their “pilgrimage in solidarity with the bishops” the crowds shouted that the bishops are “neither terrorists nor coup-mongers, [but] shepherds with the smell of their sheep”.

Fr Carlos Avilés was the Church representative who addressed the crowd. He said Christians should not be led by violence, but should “live a radical pacifism and a radical humanism rooted in the person and in helping a brother in need”. 

During the past weeks several bishops were vitims of abuse, by being verbally and physically attacked. One was knifed and another one shot at.

Support the persecuted – Syriac Catholic bishops 

Syriac Catholic bishops meeting in Lebanon for their annual conference exhorted all to support the “tormented and persecuted” faithful. They said they have “raised their voices high in front of the world, denouncing the calamities” which have especially affected the Syriac Church, particularly in Syria and Iraq.

The bishops described the situation of these Christians as “a catastrophe that repeats the tragedy of genocide that took place 100 years ago.

“This grave violation of their civil rights has shaken both their human and cultural being, especially as they have experienced the tragedies of the displacement of thousands of families,” they said.

The Syriac bishops “renewed their support and solidarity with all the tormented and persecuted” Syriac people who suffer “the pain of displacement and assuring them that the Church will remain with them”.

(Compiled by Fr Joe Borg)