The Holy Father in his weekly Sunday Angelus addresses a probing topic that touches the heart of every Mercedarian. In his address to the people gathered in St. Peter's Square, His Holiness, took up the Gospel from the Mass of the 10th Sunday in Ordinary Time. He said:
"Jesus, the Word made flesh, has, so to say, 'identified' Himself in this oracle of Hosea. He made it His own with all His heart and carried it out with His actions, even at the cost of upsetting the sensibilities of the leaders of His people. This word of God has come to us, through the Gospels, as one of the summaries of the entire Christian
message: true religion consists in loving God and neighbour. This is what gives value to worship and to the practice of precepts".
The vocation of every Christian faithful is to live out the precept of loving
God and neighbor. None of us are exempt from this calling; none of us can
afford to be deaf to the voice of Christ speaking to us through those in
need--our neighbors who live next door, our family, our friends at school or work. Even inour own day when the institution of marriage is constantly bombarded by him who would wish to see it destroyed--and by him, I mean Satan, himself.
Daily I see children who come from broken homes, who come from places where the living out of the Christian family is non-existent. Parents are working two, three, or four jobs, the children think that a family dinner consist in gathering around an
'image box' eating McDonalds, Burger King, or a microwave dinner.
This is the real crisis in society -- the breakdown of the family. The Church
has cried out in recent years that the family is the 'domestic church'; through
it the Church's mission of spreading the Gospel reaches to the heart of the person, in a more closely intimate way. Within the past few days, it has come to the attention of the World that the Holy Father has appointed a new President for the Pontifical Council for the Family
His Eminence, Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, has been appointed to carry on and to lead the work already underway in this body. The Cardinal, known for his pastoral skills, will hopefully prove to be an asset in the area of promoting, defending, and proclaiming the Church's teaching on family life.Now, back to the issue of the Christian vocation of mercy, and not sacrifice. Acts of mercy must stem from an interior recollection and motivation. St. Peter Nolasco, guided by an overwhelming inner motivation of the love of Christ lived out this commandment of Christ. His spirit animates us all to visit and redeem Christian captives. Our visitation is a daily exercise of Christian charity to our friends and, even, our family. We have experience often little children approaching us asking about Jesus--Who He is, and how can they know Him even more..... This is evidence of the mission that, as Mercedarians, we must carry out. The daily loving of both God and neighbor.