Catholic News Service has published briefs on the following topics: Pope on prayer and patience, and Lithuania martyr.
Prayer, patience are powerful weapons in dark times, Pope says
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- In good times and in bad, prayer and patience can keep hope alive, Pope Francis said. God is close to those who suffer with patient hope and helps Christians see truly "beautiful moments" in times of darkness, the Pope said June 9 in his homily during Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae. Pope Francis said he was speaking about "authentically beautiful moments, not those moments with cosmetic beauty, which is all artificial; it is like fireworks, but it is not the beauty of the soul." In his homily, Pope Francis reflected on the Book of Tobit, comparing the struggles faced by Tobit, who suffered due to blindness, and Sarah, Tobit's future daughter-in-law who lost seven husbands. Even though they were known for their piety, both passed through "dark moments" that tested their patience and their faith in God, he said. Both reached the point where they actually thought it might be better to be dead, the Pope said. But "Sarah thought, 'If I hang myself, will I make my parents suffer?' and she stops and prays," the Pope said. "Tobit said, 'This is my life, let's keep going,' and he prays and prays. This is the behavior that saves us from bad moments: prayer."
Archbishop to become Lithuania's first beatified Soviet-era martyr[[In-content Ad]]
WARSAW, Poland (CNS) -- A Lithuanian archbishop who was murdered with a lethal injection after 16 years in prisons and labor camps was to become the first Catholic martyr from the country's communist era to be declared blessed. The beatification ceremony for Archbishop Teofilius Matulionis, who died in 1962, was planned for June 25 in Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital. About 30,000 people including bishops and priests from abroad were expected to attend. "Besides being our first Soviet-era martyr recognized by the universal church, he'll also be the first Lithuanian beatified on native soil," said Archbishop Gintaras Grusas of Vilnius, president of Lithuania's bishops' conference. Archbishop Matulionis' "radical belief" in "seeking the truth at any cost" offered an attractive message, especially for young people, who will take part in a two-day youth festival before the ceremony, the prelate told Catholic News Service June 8. "Given current tensions in our part of the world, his call to remain at peace and follow the divine will, knowing God always gives us the gifts we need, remains highly relevant," Archbishop Grusas said.