Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Pope celebrates Valentine's Day with thousands of engaged couples
Couples are urged not to be afraid of difficulties ahead
Picture: Reuters/Tony Gentile
- Philip Pullella for Reuters
- Vatican City
- February 17, 2014
Signs of affection were as common as signs of the cross in St. Peter's Square on Friday as couples from around the world attended a special Valentine's Day gathering with Pope Francis.
Some 25,000 people engaged to be married were invited to the unprecedented event. But as news of the gathering spread, couples of all ages, including many elderly who have been married for decades, flocked to the square.
They kissed, hugged and held hands as they listened to the pope urge them to have the courage to make lasting choices and shun what he called a throw-away culture.
"Today, many people are afraid to make lasting choices. Making choices that last your whole life seems impossible but it can be done," he said.
For Bruno and Rita De Petris, that was like preaching to the converted. They have been married for 45 years and said they came to the square because they still feel like young lovers. "We wanted to be here because we feel that marriage is a special part of life," Rita said.
The pope delivered a mostly improvised speech to the couples and underscored his point that they should not be afraid of the difficulties that they might encounter. He even took a dig at mothers-in-law.
"We all know the perfect family does not exist. The perfect husband does not exist and the perfect wife does not exist," he said. Then, after pausing as if for comic effect, he added: "Let's not even talk about perfect mothers-in-law." The crowd roared with laughter.