Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Update: Archbishop Kurtz Blogging From The Synod

Archbishop Kurtz’s Synod Blog

Wednesday, October 17, 2012
“Unless the grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat.” The gospel on this feast of St. Ignatius of Antioch points to martyrdom for the sake of Christ, a witness for every age.
St. Ignatius of Antioch
Icon of St. Ignatius of Antioch
The Synod on the New Evangelization is about this faithful witness to Christ. A credible proclamation of the Gospel in our own age is weak when such sacrifice is absent. Indeed, the unity of the church that we seek comes about through the power of the sacrificial love of Jesus Christ, who freely gave up His life for us. It is becoming clearer that unity will be achieved only as we draw closer and closer to Christ and His sacrificial grace.
This morning I am putting together the notes to be used in our small group tomorrow, which involves gathering together all of the scraps of paper that contain themes from these last 1.5 weeks of dialogue and interventions. Today, Cardinal Wuerl will present a second summary, which will provide greater clarity of the themes that are emerging from all of these sessions. Then the small groups will be tasked tomorrow with formulating propositions for promoting the new evangelization. Pray that I will be a good relator, listening and preparing to represent our small group on Friday at a general session. There are 12 such “language” groups, including four in English. Each of the 12 relators will have about 10 minutes to present summaries from his respective small group.
As a gesture of solidarity in sacrifice and unity, our Holy Father announced yesterday that he is sending a delegation of Cardinals and Bishops to a suffering people and a Church in peril in Syria. We are honored that Cardinal Dolan will be among that delegation. Please pray that there might be a true, just, and lasting peace and for renewed efforts to preserve religious freedom for the people of Syria.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Blessings to St. Margaret Mary Parish in Louisville, as today we celebrate the parish patroness: St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. On two occasions I have visited the small chapel in the French village of Paray-le-Monial. There St. Margaret Mary experienced the mystical revelations in which the great love of Jesus in His Sacred Heart overwhelmed her heart. The love of Jesus in his Sacred Heart, of course, is rooted in the Gospel account of the crucifixion. Blood and water flowed from his side as the lance pierced the heart of Jesus, and in His love the Church was born.
St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
This theme of the outpouring of love from the heart of Jesus is in sharp contrast to a theme of the Synod – the inward movement of secular society. Sadly, our secular culture at its worst is a far cry from the outpouring of love, but instead has become a culture turned in on itself. One bishop delegate told me of an advertisement around Christmastime that said: “Happy holidays. Do something special for yourself.” This is a perfect example of how Jesus’ love outpoured has turned inward!
Despite these tendencies in our culture, the conviction that has come through the sessions of the Synod is the reality that love conquers all. Let us pray that the Synod sessions will serve to announce with greater fervor the great love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus revealed in the 17th century to St. Margaret Mary, which continues to be ever-accessible and ever-needed in our age.
On a personal note, I had a late meal with Father Joe Graffis, Father Joe Merkt, and Deacon Lucio Caruso. They ended their course of study in Rome yesterday and are preparing to return to the United States. It was a treat for me to visit with them and share experiences.