Thursday, April 16, 2009

Easter greetings from Fr. John Deeney, SJ in India!

A little late, but this from our favorite Jesuit in Lupungutu, India -- John Deeney, SJ. Hope you had a great Easter as well ;-)

Greetings from Father John of India – after a long time. God continues to give me life and allows me again the consolation of contacting you, thereby somehow radiating to you and receiving from you God’s love and blessings. I like to share with you sections of a talk which Pope Benedict XVI gave to 40,000 people this Palm Sunday (2009). These were mostly young people who had come for the diocesan level celebration of World Youth Day. I feel that in simple but powerful terms the Pope explains to the youth and to all of us essential points of Christ’s teaching. May we truly absorb and make our own these truths and thereby experience the full great life of which the Pope speaks. He said in part: -
To the "We want to see Jesus" (John 12:21) -- Jesus responds with his words about the "grain of wheat that dies" (John 12:24), which is "the fundamental law of human existence. 'Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life' (John 12:25). He who wants to have his life for himself, to live only for himself, to clutch everything to himself and exploit all of its possibilities - this is the very person who loses his life. It becomes tedious and empty. Only in the abandonment of oneself, only in the disinterested gift of the 'I' in favor of the 'you', only in the 'yes' to a greater life, proper to God, does our own life become full and great."

The Pope explained that "Love means leaving oneself, giving oneself, not wanting to possess oneself, but becoming free from one's self: not turning back upon oneself - what will become of me - but looking forward, toward the other - toward God and toward the people He sends into my life. And this principle of love, which defines the journey of man, is once again identified with the mystery of the cross, with the mystery of the death and resurrection that we encounter in Christ."

Referring to the symbol of the cross that passes from country to country, accompanied by the young people, he stresses: "When we touch the Cross, moreover when we carry it, we touch the mystery of God, the mystery of Jesus Christ. The mystery that God so loved the world - us - as to give his only begotten Son for us (cf. John 3:16). We touch the marvelous mystery of the love of God, the only truly redeeming reality. But we also touch the fundamental law, the essential norm of our life, meaning the fact that without the 'yes' to the Cross, without walking in communion with Christ day after day, life cannot be a success. The more we are able to make certain renunciations out of love for the great truth and love of God, the more our lives become great and rich. He who wishes to keep his life for himself, loses it. He who gives his life - every day, in the small gestures that are part of a great decision - he is the one who finds it. This is the demanding but also profoundly beautiful and liberating truth into which we wish to enter step by step during the Cross's journey across the continents. May the Lord bless this journey. Amen." –
About myself, I have been a bit weak recently due to low hemoglobin, but current efforts to pull it up should succeed. Otherwise I am fine and in great spirits. May Easter be for each one who reads this a time of God’s special graces of love, joy and peace.
With much appreciation and affection,

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