(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent a letter of greeting and encouragement to participants of an Interuniversity Congress on Saint Theresa of Avila.
The letter, signed by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin on behalf of the Holy Father, expresses gratitude to the Academic world for highlighting the relevance of Saint Theresa’s teachings.
Organized by the Catholic University of “Santa Teresa de Jesus de Avila” in collaboration with other Catholic Universities, the 3-day Congress entitled “St. Teresa of Avila, Maestra de Vida” is taking place in Avila, the city where Theresa was born 500 years ago.
The main purpose of the congress is to bring the figure of St. Teresa of Avila closer to those in academia and university circles by examining the figure of the great mystic from different perspectives, including, the impact St. Teresa and her writings have had and will continue to have on the New Evangelization, on our interior and daily lives and on modern society today.
Organizers say that while examining the validity and scope of her teachings during this congress, “we hope to foster a deeper understanding of her spirituality and to discover her as an example for future generations”.
In his letter, Pope Francis also urges participants at the Congress to find in the contemplation and meditation pursued by Theresa – whom he describes as a “master of prayer” – the source of true science and authentic values that are at the basis of life.
Over 3.000 representatives of Universities all over the world have been invited to this congress where experts in the figure of St. Teresa as well as intellectuals from the five continents, philosophers and theologians will be lecturers.
(from Vatican Radio)…
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has urged the faithful to look beyond material needs and turn to Jesus who is “the bread of life”.
The Pope’s words came as he addressed the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the Sunday Angelus.
Listen to the report by Linda Bordoni :
Taking his cue from the Gospel reading of the day which tells of the crowd that went looking for Jesus, not because they saw the signs but because they had eaten the loaves of bread and were filled, Pope Francis pointed out that those people gave more value to the bread than to He who gave them the bread.
He explained that before this spiritual blindness, Jesus highlights the need to look beyond the gift and discover the giver. God himself – the Pope said – is the gift and is also the giver.
Jesus invites us – the Pope continued – to be open to a perspective which is not only that of daily preoccupation and material needs; Jesus speaks to us of a different kind of food, food which is not corruptible and that we must search for and welcome into our lives.
He exhorts us not to work for food that perishes but “for the food that endures for eternal life which the Son of Man will give us” he said.
With these words – Pope Francis continued – He wants us to understand that beyond a physical hunger, man has a different kind of hunger – “we all have this hunger” – a more important kind of hunger that cannot be satisfied with ordinary food.
“It is the hunger for life – the hunger for eternity – that only He can satisfy because He is the bread of life” he said.
And pointing out that the true meaning of our earthly existence is to be found at the end, in eternity, Pope Francis said that to be open to meeting Jesus every day of our lives will illuminate our lives and give meaning to small gifts, sufferings and preoccupations.
And quoting from the Gospel of John, the Pope said “Jesus said to them: I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst”.
“This – he said – refers to the Eucharist, the greatest gift that fulfills body and soul”.
To meet and to welcome Jesus, “the bread of life” – Pope Francis concluded – gives meaning and hope to our lives that are sometimes tortuous; but this “bread of life” – he said – also gives us the duty to satisfy the spiritual and material needs of our brothers.
To do this – he said- we must announce the Gospel everywhere, and with the witness of a fraternal attitude of solidarity towards our neighbor, we can make Christ and his love present amongst men.
(from Vatican Radio)…