Encourage Members to Respect Parishes and Liturgies

JERUSALEM, FEB. 27, 2007 (Zenit.org).- The Catholic bishops of the Holy Land wrote a letter welcoming the Neocatechumenal Way, giving indications for its work in the area.

"Brothers and sisters of the Way: You are welcome in our dioceses," the bishops wrote in their letter released Sunday. "We thank God for the grace the Lord has given you and for the charism that the Holy Spirit has infused in the Church through your ministry of post-baptismal formation.

"We are grateful for your presence in some of our parishes, for the preaching of the Word of God, for the help given to our faithful in deepening their faith and in rooting them in their own local church."

On Thursday, in a question-and-answer session with Roman clergy, Benedict XVI cited the Neocatechumenal Way as an example of much improved relationships between pastors and movements.

The Holy Father cited two rules for movements' growth: respect for the charism, and integration with and service of the Church.

The bishops' letter to the Neocatechumenate, signed by 11 prelates of various rites, recalled the importance of Eastern liturgies and parish-centered work.

"Your first duty ... is to root (the faithful) in the parishes and in their own liturgical traditions in which they have grown for generations," the bishops explained. "In the East, our liturgy and traditions are very important for us. It is the liturgy which has contributed much to preserve the Christian faith in our peoples in the course of history. The rite is like an identity document and not just a means of praying among others."

The bishops encouraged the members of the Neocatechumenate to learn the languages and cultures of the peoples of the Holy Land and to be mindful of the conflictive situation in which the faithful live.

"[I]n our countries -- Palestine, Israel, Jordan -- all are seeking peace and justice, a search that is an integral part of our life as Christians," the bishops stated. "All preaching should orient our faithful in the concrete attitudes they must assume in the different contexts of life and in the situation of conflict itself which continues in Palestine: attitude of forgiveness and love of one's enemy, on one hand, and on the other, exigency of one's rights, especially dignity, freedom and justice."

Code: ZE07022719

Date: 2007-02-27


Teachings of Christ

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40 ESV)

Protection of the Mother of God

Protected by your coming, O Mother of God, * the faithful people celebrate today with splendor, * and, gazing at your most pure image, * we say with compunction: * "Shield us with your precious veil * and deliver us from all evil * imploring your Son, Christ our God, to save our souls.” (Troparion - Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Today the Virgin stands forth in the Church, * and with the choirs of saints she invisibly prays to God for us. * The Angels worship with the hierarchs, * and the apostles exult with the prophets, * because, in our behalf, the Mother of God entreats the pre-eternal God. (Kontakion - Tone 3)

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Protection of the Mother of God on October 1st.

Random Proverb

"My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights." (Proverbs 3:11,12 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Go and have pity on all, for through pity, one finds freedom of speech before God. 

Abba Pambo