Christian Meaning of “Carpe Diem”

Vatican City(VIS) – “Each moment can be the auspicious ‘today’ of our conversion. Each day can be the salvific ‘today’ because salvation is a continuous story for the Church and for each of Christ’s disciples. This is the Christian meaning of ‘carpe diem:’ seize the day that God calls on you to offer you salvation.” These were the words that the Pope addressed to the faithful gathered at noon today in St. Peter’s Square to pray the Angelus.

As is customary, Benedict XVI commented on the Sunday liturgy’s readings, particularly the Gospel where St. Luke speaks of Jesus’ presence in the synagogue of Nazareth on a Saturday. “As an observer believer, the Lord does not avoid the weekly liturgy rhythm and joins in with the assembly of his fellow countryman to pray and listen to the Scriptures. The rite called for a reading from the Torah or from the Prophets, followed by a commentary. That day, Jesus rose to read and found the passage from the prophet Isaiah that begins: ‘The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; He has sent me to bring Good News to the afflicted.’” On finishing the reading, “in an attentive silence, Jesus says: ‘Today this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.’ St. Cyril of Alexandria affirms that ‘today’, situated between Jesus’ first and His final coming, corresponds to the believer’s ability to listen and repent. However, an even more radical meaning is that Jesus himself is the ‘today’ of salvation history because He completes the fullness of redemption.”

“This Gospel passage also challenges us ‘today.’ Firstly, it makes us think of our way of living Sunday; it is a day of family and of rest but even more, it is the day that we dedicate to the Lord, participating in the Eucharist in which we are nourished with the Body and Blood of Christ and with His life-giving Word. Secondly, in our times of dispersion and distraction, this Gospel passage invites us to ask ourselves about our ability to listen. Before we can speak of God and with God, we have to listen to Him, and the Church’s liturgy is the ‘school’ of this listening to the Lord who speaks to us.”

After praying the Angelus, the Pope released into the Roman sky two doves that a boy and a girl from Catholic Action had brought to him to conclude the Caravan of Peace in St. Peter’s Square, the theme to which the month of January is traditionally dedicated.

Pope Prays for Victims of Fire in Brazil

Vatican City (VIS) – Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B., in the Holy Father’s name, sent a telegram to Archbishop Helio Adelar Rubert of Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, following the death of 231 people on Saturday in a fire at a discotheque of that locality.

“The Pope,” reads the text, “shocked by the tragic death of hundreds of young people … asks that you express his deepest condolences to the families of the victims, sharing in the sorrow of all those who mourn them. He entrusts the dead to God, the Father of mercy, and prays for the comfort and restoration of the wounded and for the courage and consolation of all those affected by the tragedy. He sends his apostolic blessing to all those who are suffering and those who are assisting them.”

Vatican Rosary begins live broadcast

Vatican City(CNA) – The Vatican is now broadcasting the Rosary live every weekday from St. Peter’s Square.

The Vatican television outlet CTV and the Catholic internet portal Aleteia are broadcasting “A Moment with Mary,” which is being held Monday through Friday at 4 p.m. outside St. Peter’s Basilica.

“We really want to bring the prayer to the people and enable the people all around the world to bring themselves closer to the heart of the Church,” said the initiative’s coordinator at Aleteia, Carly Andrews.

“We’re trying to bring it to people through the new media technologies, through their social networks and with the new technology Google+,” Andrews explained.

The broadcast is meant to be a response to the Pope asking that the Year of Faith be a time of entrusting people to the Blessed Virgin by praying the Rosary every day.

“We’re just inviting people to take half an hour out of their day to join us in prayer,” she added.
A different group leads the prayer each day, including some parishes from around Rome and members of various Catholic movements.Groups from abroad also take part when visiting Rome. Deacons from Minnesota’s St. Paul Seminary were in charge of leading it on Jan. 16.