Mary and the Saints: September 2007 Archives

Van Thuân

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The cause for beatification for Cardinal François-Xavier Nguyên Van Thuân is officially open.

Today, the Holy Father received officials from the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, which Cardinal Van Thuân headed after being expelled from Vietnam. Zenit translated his address. Here's a snip:

Cardinal Van Thuân was a man of hope; he lived hope and spread it among everyone he met. It was because of this spiritual energy that he resisted all his physical and moral difficulties. Hope sustained him as a bishop when he was isolated for 13 years from his diocesan community; hope helped him to see beyond the absurdity of the events that happened to him -- he was never put on trial during his long imprisonment -- a providential plan of God. The news of his sickness, a tumor, which led to his death, reached him almost at the same time as his elevation to cardinal by John Paul II, who held him in great esteem and affection. Cardinal Van Thuân loved to repeat that the Christian is a man of hour, of the now, beginning from the present moment to welcome and live with Christ's love. In this ability to live the present moment his intimate abandonment in God’s hands shines through as does the evangelical simplicity which we all admired in him. Is it possible -- he would ask -- that he who trusts in the Father would refuse to let himself be embraced in his arms?

Dear brothers and sisters I welcomed with profound joy the news that the cause for beatification of this singular prophet of Christian hope has begun and, while we entrust this chosen soul to the Lord, we pray that his example will be for us a valuable teaching. With that, I bless you all from my heart.

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Mother Theresa: still helping the poor

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I first found out about the struggle that she had in a yoga school, there in MA, actually, because somebody made a reference to it, and ever since then I've been very interested in hearing more about her as a human being so that this book is out, I really, really am looking forward to having it. I'm not Catholic and actually I'm pretty much non-religious altogether, but this, just the knowledge of this and now hearing this discusion, this legitimizes to me more the Catholic faith and God, actually, so... I.. it's so... I'm a litle but emotional about it because it really is like a blessing that this has been made public.

Arisulus (sp?) from Rhode Island, near tears, on this radio show.

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Mother Theresa

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One of the best analyses of Mother Theresa's long, long dark night comes from "gay and somewhat skeptical Catholic" Richard Rodriguez in this interview with The Nation.

The other thing is that America is a deeply Protestant country founded by Puritans who believed that financial success was a sign of God's favor... Americans have always breathed in this value: The best thing to be is middle-class. There is something shameful about being poor... And self-inflicted. We discuss poor white people as "trash."

The preoccupation with the illegal immigration and the price that the middle class is paying for these peasants coming from Latin America--because that's what they are: peasants. They are a drag on our national identity and a burden to us. Yet we sing our songs on Sunday because we are good pious Americans who believe in the middle-class God.

We are presented with an Albanian nun who spends her life--tormented by doubts--nonetheless serving the very poor, the people we will not touch....

We mock a life like this because we do not understand it. We do not understand the life that is given to poor people, because we are given only to the middle-class fascination and we have told ourselves that we--the middle class--are God's select. So what do we do when we meet a woman of great doubt, great faith, great durability, who spends her life on her knees, wiping the faces of the dying and dead?

The whole article, even his lamentations against Church teaching, is interesting and thought-provoking.

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Mary and the Saints category from September 2007.

Mary and the Saints: August 2007 is the previous archive.

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