Sunday, April 20, 2014

Alleluia! He Has Risen! 47

"Give us a holy courage to seek new paths, that the gift of unfading beauty may reach every man and woman."
          Pope Francis, Joy of the Gospel

On this Easter Day, I give special thanks to Pope Francis for the deeds and words of his life. As the leader of the Catholic Church, he is setting an example of Christianity and goodness in action. I also give thanks to God for my husband John and the example of his life, filled with hard work and caring for many people. He is my hero and an inspiration to many. John also took almost all of the pictures that accompany this Haitian Lenten Series. If you feel moved by the words or pictures on this blog, I hope you will reach out to Haiti or the developing world and make a friend there.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Haitian Lenten Series: Joy of the Gospel 46

"Sometimes it seems that our work is fruitless, but mission is not like a business transaction or investment, or even a humanitarian activity. It is not a show where we count how many people come as a result of our publicity; it is something much deeper, which escapes all measurement. It may be that the Lord uses our sacrifices to shower blessings in another part of the world which we will never visit. The Holy Spirit works as he wills, when he wills and where he wills; we entrust ourselves without pretending to see striking results. We only know that commitment is necessary."

         Pope Francis, Joy of the Gospel

Friday, April 18, 2014

Haitian Lenten Series: Joy of the Gospel 45

"We may be sure that none of our acts of love will be lost, nor any of our acts of sincere concern for others. No single act of love for God will be lost, no generous effort is meaningless, no painful endurance wasted. All of these encircle our world like a vital force."

           Pope Francis, Joy of the Gosepel

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Haitian Lenten Series: Joy of the Gospel 44

"We do not live better when we flee, hide, refuse to share, stop giving and lock ourselves up in our own comforts. Such a life is nothing less than slow suicide. . . . If we are to share our lives with others and generously give of ourselves, we also have to realize that every person is worthy of our giving. Not for their physical appearance, their abilities, their language, their way of thinking, or for any satisfaction that we might receive, but rather because they are God's handiwork, his creation. God created that person in his image, and he or she reflects something of God's glory."

        Pope Francis, Joy of the Gospel

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Haitian Lenten Series: Joy of the Gospel 43

"When we live out a spirituality of drawing nearer to others and seeking their welfare, our hearts are opened wide to the Lord's greatest and most beautiful gifts. Whenever we encounter another person in love, we learn something new about God."

       Pope Francis, Joy of the Gospel

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Haitian Lenten Series: Joy of the Gospel 42

"Jesus wants us to touch human misery, to touch the suffering flesh of others. He hopes that we will stop looking for those personal or communal niches which shelter us from the maelstrom of human misfortune and instead enter into the reality of other people's lives and know the power of tenderness."

         Pope Francis, Joy of the Gospel

Monday, April 14, 2014

Haitian Lenten Series: Joy of the Gospel 41

"We need to implore his grace daily asking him to open our cold hearts and shake up our lukewarm and superficial existence. . . . Moved by his example, we want to enter fully into the fabric of society, sharing the lives of all, listening to their concerns, helping them materially and spiritually in their needs, rejoicing with those who rejoice, weeping with those who weep; arm in arm with others, we are committed to building a new world. But we do so not from a sense of obligation, not as a burdensome duty, but as the result of a personal decision which brings us joy and gives meaning to our lives."

       Pope Francis, Joy of the Gospel

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Haitian Lenten Series: Joy of the Gospel 40

"I am far from proposing an irresponsible populism, but the economy can no longer turn to remedies that are a new poison, such as attempting to increase profits by reducing the work force and thereby adding to the ranks of the excluded. . . . If anyone feels offended by my words, I would respond that I speak them with affection and with the best of intentions, quite apart from any personal interest or political ideology. My words are not those of a foe or opponent. I am interested only in helping those who are in thrall to an individualistic, indifferent and self-centered mentality to be freed from those unworthy chains and to attain a way of living and thinking which is more humane, noble and fruitful, and which will bring dignity to their presence on this earth."

        Pope Francis, Joy of the Gospel

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Haitian Lenten Series: Joy of the Gospel 39

"As long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation and by attacking the structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found for the world's problems or, for that matter, to any problems. Inequality is the root of social ills."

      Pope Francis, Joy of the Gospel

Friday, April 11, 2014

Haitian Lenten Series: Joy of the Gospel 38

"The need to resolve the structural causes of poverty cannot be delayed, not only for the pragmatic reason of its urgency for the good order of society, but because society needs to be cured of a sickness which is weakening and frustrating it, and which can only lead to new crises."

        Pope Francis, Joy of the Gospel

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Haitian Lenten Series: Joy of the Gospel 37

"No one must say that they cannot be close to the poor because their own lifestyle demands more attention to other areas. This is an excuse commonly heard in academic, business or professional, and even ecclesial circles. . .  none of us can think we are exempt from concern for the poor and for social justice."

        Pope Francis, Joy of the Gospel

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Haitian Lenten Series: Joy of the Gospel 36

"True love is always contemplative, and permits us to serve the other not out of necessity or vanity, but because he or she is beautiful above and beyond mere appearances."

        Pope Francis, Joy of the Gospel

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Haitian Lenten Series: Joy of the Gospel 35

"'Implicit in our Christian faith is a God who became poor for us, so as to enrich us with his poverty.' This is why I want a Church which is poor and for the poor. They have much to teach us. . . in their difficulties they know the suffering Christ. We need to let ourselves be evangelized by them. The new evangelization is an invitation to acknowledge the saving power in their lives and to put them at center of the Church's pilgrim way. We are called to find Christ in them, to lend our voice to their causes, but also to be their friends, to listen to them, to speak for them and to embrace the mysterious wisdom which God wishes to share with us through them."

         Pope Francis, Joy of the Gospel

Haitian Hearts patient #171!

Four-year-old Lerrison Woodson had successful open heart surgery at All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida last week! He is pictured above with his mother, wearing the scarf on the right, and his hospital and host family team (AKA Haitian Hearts Team!) Behind his mother is Kathy Arnold, nurse coordinator, who helped arrange the whole thing.

We are so grateful to All Children's, Kathy, the host family and interpreters, and Dr. Jeffrey Jacobs, pictured below, who performed the miracle known as open heart surgery and made Lerrison's heart whole.

Lerrison has already been discharged from the hospital. He will continue to heal.

And there will be high fives for everyone!

Monday, April 07, 2014

Haitian Lenten Series: Joy of the Gospel 34

"God's heart has a special place for the poor, so much so that he himself 'became poor' (2 Cor. 8:9). The entire history of our redemption is marked by the presence of the poor. Salvation came to us from the 'yes' uttered by a lowly maiden from a small town on the fringes of a great empire. The Savior was born in a manger, in the midst of animals, like children of poor families; he was presented at the Temple along with two turtledoves, the offering made by those who could not afford a lamb (Luke 2:24, Lev. 5:7); he was raised in a home of ordinary workers and worked with his own hands to earn his bread. When he began to preach the Kingdom, crowds of the dispossessed followed him, illustrating his words: 'The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor  (Luke 4:18). He assured those burdened by sorrow and crushed by poverty that God has a special place for them in his heart: 'Blessed are you poor, yours is the kingdom of God' (Luke 6:20); he made himself one of them: 'I was hungry and you gave me food to eat.' and he taught them that mercy towards all of these is the key to heaven (Matt. 25:4).

         Pope Francis, Joy of the Gospel

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Haitian Lenten Series: Joy of the Gospel 33

"We are not simply talking about nourishment or a 'dignified sustenance' for all people, but also their 'general temporal welfare and prosperity.' This means education, access to health care, and above all employment, for it is through free, creative, participatory and mutually supportive labor that human beings express and enhance the dignity of their lives. A just wage enables them to have adequate access to all the other goods which are destined for our common use."

       Pope Francis, Joy of the Gospel

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Haitian Lenten Series: Joy of the Gospel 32

"With due respect for the autonomy and culture of every nation, we must never forget that the planet belongs to all mankind and is meant for all mankind; the mere fact that some people are born in places with fewer resources or less development does not justify the fact that they are living with less dignity. It must be reiterated that 'the more fortunate should renounce some of their rights so as to place their goods more generously at the service of others.'"

        Pope Francis, Joy of the Gospel

Friday, April 04, 2014

Haitian Lenten Series: Joy of the Gospel 31

"If we, who are God's means of hearing the poor, turn deaf ears to this plea, we oppose the Father's will and his plan. . . A lack of solidarity towards his or her needs will directly affect our relationship with God. . . . 'You yourselves give them something to eat!' (Mark 6:37): it means working to eliminate the structural causes of poverty and to promote the integral development of the poor, as well as small daily acts of solidarity in meeting the real needs which we encounter. . . . The private ownership of goods is justified by the need to protect and increase them, so that they can better serve the common good; for this reason, solidarity must be lived as the decision to restore to the poor what belongs to them."

       Pope Francis, Joy of the Gospel

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Haitian Lenten Series: Joy of the Gospel 30

"An authentic faith--which is never comfortable or completely personal--always involves a deep desire to change the world, to transmit values, to leave this earth somehow better than we found it. We love this magnificent planet on which God has put us, and we love the human family which dwells here, with all its tragedies and struggles, its hopes and aspirations, its strengths and weaknesses. The earth is our common home and all of us are brothers and sisters."

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Haitian Lenten Series: Joy of the Gospel 29

"It is no longer possible to claim that religion should be restricted to the private sphere and that it exists only to prepare souls for heaven. We know that God wants his children to be happy in this world too, even though they are called to fulfillment in eternity, for he has created all things 'for our enjoyment.' (1 Timothy 6:17)"

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Haitian Lenten Series: Joy of the Gospel 28

"One who accompanies others has to realize that each person's situation before God and their life in grace are mysteries which no one can fully know from without. The Gospel tells us to correct others and to help them to grow on the basis of a recognition of the objective evil of their actions but without making judgments about their responsibility and culpability."

       Pope Francis, Joy of the Gospel