V2Catholic.com  A voice for the poor  Edited by HK prison chaplain 
Fr John Wotherspoon O.M.I .
胡頌恆神父    jdwomi@gmail.com   

Links, Search & Archives     Imitating Pope Francis

          

This website's anti-drug campaign  saves people from going to prison in HK     See & share inmates' letters! 
HK   Indon   Kenya   Nigeria   Phil   S.A.   S.Amer   Thail   Tanz   Ug   EU
How campaign began
  HK:how long prison for  trafficking?   www.AsylumSeekerHK.com

Mon April 24 

The Russian woman featured on yesterday's menu, below, has written a new letter (in English) about her experience of imprisonment in HK. Pages 2 and 3 of her new letter, at the bottom of this link, powerfully describe her distress at being in prison.

Pope likens migrant holding centres to 'concentration†camps'

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The Book Blog:   4 readings + recordings 
Comments welcome here     
Readings are from Simple Bible

Deuteronomy 29-30c: See, today I set before you life and prosperity, death and disaster. If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God, if you love the Lord your God and follow his ways, if you keep his commandments, his laws, his customs, you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you are entering to make your own. But if your heart strays, if you refuse to listen, if you let yourself be drawn into worshipping other gods and serving them, I tell you today, you will most certainly perish; you will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.
My recording of this reading

 

Psalm 108: My heart is ready, O God. I will sing, sing your praise. Awake, lyre and harp. I will awake the dawn. I will thank you, Lord, among the peoples, praise you among the nations, for your love reaches to the heavens and your truth to the skies. O Lord, come and deliver us today. Help us with your right hand. Give us help in difficult situations. With your help we shall be brave.
Lord, we need your help every day

Recording

 

1 Corinthians 9.12-27: I put up with anything, rather than obstruct the Good News of Christ in any way. I make myself all things to all people, in order to save some. All the runners at the stadium are trying to win, but only one of them gets the prize. You must run in the same way, meaning to win the gold medal of eternal life. That is how I run, intent on winning. Therefore I try to stay in top condition, avoiding sloppy living. 
Jesus, may I run a good race till my last day
Recording


John 1.1-14: From all eternity the Word existed. The Word was with God the Father. The Word was God the Son. The Word was the source of life for all creatures. The Word became a man, and lived among us. We saw his glory, full of grace and truth. Many people did not recognize and did not accept the Word. But to everyone who did accept him, he gave power to become children of God.
Jesus, please help me understand how you are the Word-made-flesh

Recording


(In the beginning was the Word)

 

Reflection on the above readings:

St Paul, above, says life is like a race. Yes ....the human race!

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Updates from Sr. Anastasia, M.M. (黄修女) 01 02
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Pope Francis: The Joy of Love  - on love in the family
Full English text      Full Chinese text

85: Recording  The Church is called to cooperate with parents through suitable pastoral initiatives, assisting them in the fulfilment of their educational mission. 

She must always do this by helping them to appreciate their proper role and to realize that by their reception of the sacrament of marriage they become ministers of their children's education.

In educating them, they build up the Church, and in so doing, they accept a God-given vocation

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Pope's letter on climate change:  Laudato Si  
我主應受讚美
Full English text       Full Chinese text

52b: Recording  The poorest areas and countries are less capable of adopting new models for reducing environmental impact because they lack the wherewithal to develop the necessary processes and to cover their costs.

We must continue to be aware that, regarding climate change, there are differentiated responsibilities

As the United States bishops have said, greater attention must be given to "the needs of the poor, the weak and the vulnerable, in a debate often dominated by more powerful interests".

We need to strengthen the conviction that we are one single human family.

There are no frontiers or barriers, political or social, behind which we can hide, still less is there room for the globalization of indifference.

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Pope Francis: The Joy of the Gospel   
Full English text         Full Chinese text

45: Recording  We see that the task of evangelization operates within the limits of language and of circumstances

It constantly seeks to communicate more effectively the truth of the Gospel in a specific context, without renouncing the truth, the goodness and the light which it brings  

A missionary heart is aware of these limits and makes itself "weak with the weak ... everything for everyone".  

It never closes itself off, never retreats into its own security, never opts for rigidity and defensiveness

It realizes that it has to grow in its own understanding of the Gospel and in discerning the paths of the Spirit, and so it always does what good it can, even if in the process, its shoes get soiled by the mud of the street.

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  One of the hardest working women in HK is "A-Mei". As I walked past her shop yesterday afternoon on the way to St Paul's for the 3pm prayer meeting, I noticed her husband in her shop, reading a newspaper. I thought to myself "what a good man ...keeping his wife company as she works". Then as I saw the usual big crowd of men outside the nearby Jockey Club (Sunday horse racing) the penny fell: he was reading the horse racing page ... and was strategically placed for quick visits to the betting shop!

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Please join me in praying for one part of the world each day:

Sun: Africa 
Mon: Europe, Russia
Tues: South Asia  
Wed: East Asia 
Thurs: S.E. Asia, Pacific 
Frid: South America
Sat: Cent, N. America   
  
Jesus, today, Monday, please bless the people of Europe & Russia

And praying for prisoners in one part of China each day of the month:
On this 24th of the month, Jesus please bless the prisoners of Inner Mongolia

And praying for one of the world's poorest countries each day of the month: 
On this 24th of the month, Jesus please bless the people of Zambia

And praying for one Islam-related intention each day of the week:
Jesus, today,
Monday, please pacify I.S.

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Sun April 23

Yesterday, thanks to some information from Russia (... Donald Trump's not the only one with friends in Russia ...) I was able to post photos of the Nigerian Drug Lord in Thailand who recruited women from Russia to go to South America and take drugs to HK. Photos and story of what happened are here. I also put a post on Nigeria's no. 1 blog, Nairand - here - which in less than one day had more than 300 views. This job is being done in the hope that such publicity will stop other people becoming drug mules, and will help the two Russian women when they are sentenced at the HK High Court this coming Wednesday, April 26.

Also posted yesterday is a photo of HK's No. 1 Nigerian Drug Lord - "Nonso"- here 

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The Book Blog:   4 readings + recordings 
Comments welcome here     
Readings are from Simple Bible

c.f. "Easter 2"

Acts 2.37-47: The crowd was deeply moved by Peter's words, and asked "What should we do?" Peter replied "You must repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then you too will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit". That day about 3,000 people were baptized. These remained faithful to the teaching of the apostles, to a life of sharing and caring, to the Breaking of Bread, and to prayer. Many miracles were worked by the apostles, and this made a deep impression on everyone. Each day the Lord added new members to their group. 
Jesus, please help me remain faithful to the Christian way of life
My recording of this reading

 

Psalm 118: Give thanks to the Lord for he is good. His love has no end. Let the sons of Israel say: "His love has no end." Let those who honor the Lord say: "His love has no end." It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humans. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes. I was falling, falling, falling, but the Lord was my helper. The Lord is my strength and my song. He is my saviour. The Lord's right hand has triumphed. His right hand has raised me up. I shall not die, I shall live and recount all his deeds. The stone which the builders rejected has become the corner stone. This is the work of the Lord, a marvel in our eyes. This day was made by the Lord. We rejoice and are glad.
Lord, we give thanks to you, for you are good.  Your love has no end

Recording

 

1 Peter 1.3-9: Blessed be God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. In his great mercy, he has made us his children. He has prepared a place in heaven for us to live with him forever. This is a cause of great joy for you, even though life in this world has many trials. You did not see Jesus, yet you love him, and you believe in him. Faith gives you confidence to look forward to the salvation of your souls. 
Jesus, I have never seen you with my physical eyes, but I love you and believe in you

Recording


John 20.21-29: That same Sunday evening, the doors were locked in the room where the disciples had gathered, for fear of the religious leaders. But Jesus appeared and stood before them, saying "Peace be with you". He showed them his hands and his side and said "As the Father sent me, so I am sending you". Then he breathed on them, saying "Receive the Holy Spirit". Thomas, one of the 12 apostles, was not there that night. When the other disciples said they had seen the Lord, he replied "Unless I see and touch his wounded body, I refuse to believe". Eight days later, the group was again in the same house, with the doors locked. This time Thomas was with them. Jesus again appeared and stood before them saying "Peace be with you". Then he said to Thomas "Put your hand into my side. Doubt no longer, but believe".  Thomas replied "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said "You believe because you can see me. Blessed are those who have not seen me and yet believe".
Jesus, my Lord and my God, I believe in you. Help me live and grow and die in your friendship

Recording 01 02

 

 Reflection on the above readings: Video commentary on today's readings - in Spanish with English subtitles

Pope Francis (Joy of Gospel 270):Sometimes we are tempted to be that kind of Christian who keeps the Lord's wounds at arm's length

Yet 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.

Whenever we do so, our lives become wonderfully (interconnected) and we experience intensely what it is to be a people, to be part of a people

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Pope Francis: The Joy of Love  - on love in the family
Full English text      Full Chinese text

71: Recording  "Scripture and Tradition give us access to a knowledge of the Trinity, which is revealed with the features of a family.

The family is the image of God, who is a communion of persons. 

At Christ's baptism, the Father's voice was heard, calling Jesus his beloved Son, and in this love we can recognize the Holy Spirit (cf. Mk 1:10-11). 

Jesus, who reconciled all things in himself and redeemed us from sin, not only returned marriage and the family to their original form, but also raised marriage to the sacramental sign of his love for the Church 

In the human family, gathered by Christ, 'the image and likeness' of the Most Holy Trinity (cf. Gen 1:26) has been restored, the mystery from which all true love flows.

Through the Church, marriage and the family receive the grace of the Holy Spirit from Christ, in order to bear witness to the Gospel of God's love".

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Pope's letter on climate change:  Laudato Si  我主應受讚美
Full English text       Full Chinese text

52a: Recording  The foreign debt of poor countries has become a way of controlling them, yet this is not the case where ecological debt is concerned. 

In different ways, developing countries, where the most important reserves of the biosphere are found, continue to fuel the development of richer countries at the cost of their own present and future.

The land of the southern poor is rich and mostly unpolluted, yet access to ownership of goods and resources for meeting vital needs is inhibited by a system of commercial relations and ownership which is structurally perverse.

The developed countries ought to help pay this debt by significantly limiting their consumption of non-renewable energy and by assisting poorer countries to support policies and programs of sustainable development.

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Pope Francis: The Joy of the Gospel   
Full English text         Full Chinese text

44: Recording  Pastors and the lay faithful who accompany their brothers and sisters in faith or on a journey of openness to God must always remember what the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches quite clearly: "Imputability and responsibility for an action can be diminished or even nullified by ignorance, inadvertence, duress, fear, habit, inordinate attachments, and other psychological or social factors".

Consequently, without detracting from the evangelical ideal, they need to accompany with mercy and patience the eventual stages of personal growth as these progressively occur.

I want to remind priests that the confessional must not be a torture chamber but rather an encounter with the Lord's mercy which spurs us on to do our best.

A small step, in the midst of great human limitations, can be more pleasing to God than a life which appears outwardly in order but moves through the day without confronting great difficulties. Everyone needs to be touched by the comfort and attraction of God's saving love, which is mysteriously at work in each person, above and beyond their faults and failings.

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Hour of Love HK radio program 8.30 pm HK time tonight - with items about HK prison inmates

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To go with today's Gospel about Thomas:

  

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Please join me in praying for one part of the world each day:

Sun: Africa
Mon: Europe, Russia 
Tues: South Asia  
Wed: East Asia
Thurs: S.E. Asia, Pacific 
Fri: South America
Sat: Cent., N America    
Jesus, today, Sunday, please bless the people of Africa

And praying for prisoners in one part of China each day of the month:
On this 23rd of the month, Jesus please bless the prisoners of Guangxi

And praying for one of the world's poorest countries each day of the month:
On this 23rd of the month, Jesus please bless the people of Djibouti

And praying for one Islam-related intention each day of the week:
Jesus, today, Sunday, please bless all Muslims in my country

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April 22
Easter Sat

Yesterday morning at the High Court, a kind judge again adjourned the case of a Kenyan woman charged with drug trafficking .... to allow yet more time for information to be obtained by her defence team. I've been helping her obtain info from her family in Kenya

Speaking of Kenyan women - this one not very happy with me for exposing her as a Drug Lady - see final section of this file

People in HK are most welcome to attend tomorrow's 3pm prayer meeting for the sick at St Paul's, YMT. Previous photos

Former archbishop of Canterbury defends Britain's aid budget

 
Last Days of Solitary

Trump pre-announces meeting with Pope

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The Book Blog:   4 readings + recordings 
Comments welcome here     
Readings are from Simple Bible

Deuteronomy 29-30b: This law I enjoin on you today is not beyond your strength or beyond your reach. It is not in heaven, so that you need to wonder 'who will go up to heaven for us and bring it down to us so that we may hear it and keep it?' Nor is it beyond the seas, so that you need to wonder 'who will cross the sea for us and bring it back to us, so that we may hear it and keep it?' No, the Word is very near to you.It is in your mouth and in your heart for your observance.

My recording of this reading

 

Psalm 107: O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His great love is without end. Let them say this, those the Lord has helped, people from east and west, north and south. Some people wandered in the desert, lost and unable to find their way to safety. In their hunger and thirst they cried to the Lord for help. He rescued them and showed them the way to safety. Let them thank the Lord for his love, for he fills the hungry with good things. Some people were prisoners in misery and chains, living in darkness and gloom. In their distress they cried to the Lord for help. He rescued them and restored their freedom. Let them thank the Lord for his goodness, for he shatters the iron bars of prisons. Some people were sick on account of their sins, unable to eat,  and close to death. They cried to the Lord in their need. He healed them and saved them from the grave. Let them thank the Lord for his love, for the wonders he does for us. Some people sailed to the sea in ships and were caught in terrifying storms. They cried to the Lord in their need and he calmed the sea and wind. Let them thank the Lord for his love, for the wonders he does for us. Whoever is wise should meditate on these things and reflect on the love of the Lord. 
Thank you Lord, for your rescuing love

Recording 01 02 03 04

 

1 Corinthians 6.18-20: We should respect our bodies as a gift from the Lord. Our bodies are not meant for fornication. Avoid sexual activity that avoids commitment. Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who lives in you. Let people know that your body is not something to be profaned.
Jesus, please help me avoid sex outside marriage

Recording




Luke 24.50-53: 
Jesus then took his disciples out of Jerusalem to the village of Bethany. Lifting up his hands, he blessed them. As he blessed them, he was carried up to heaven. They worshipped him, then went back to Jerusalem full of joy. They were continually in the Temple praising God.
Jesus, thank you for the Gospel of Luke. Please increase my faith in you as the One who came down from heaven, and went back to heaven

Recording

 

Reflection on the above readings:

The first Easter was a time of joy .... a joy that remained with the first Christians even in time of trial. On the surface of our lives there can be storms .... but deep down there is a joy and a peace which gives us strength and courage.

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Pope Francis: The Joy of Love  - on love in the family
Full English text      Full Chinese text

70: Recording  "Pope Benedict XVI, in his Encyclical Deus Caritas Est, returned to the topic of the truth of the love of man and woman, which is fully illuminated only in the love of the crucified Christ.

He stressed that 'marriage based on an exclusive and definitive love becomes an icon of the relationship between God and his people, and vice versa. 

Gods way of loving becomes the measure of human love'. 

Moreover, in the Encyclical Caritas in Veritate, he highlighted the importance of love as a principle of life in society, a place where we learn the experience of the common good.

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Pope's letter on climate change:  Laudato Si  
我主應受讚美
Full English text       Full Chinese text

51b: Recording The warming caused by huge consumption on the part of some rich countries has repercussions on the poorest areas of the world, especially Africa, where a rise in temperature, together with drought, has proved devastating for farming.

There is also the damage caused by the export of solid waste and toxic liquids to developing countries, and by the pollution produced by companies which operate in less developed countries in ways they could never do at home, in the countries in which they raise their capital:

"We note that often the businesses which operate this way are multinationals. 

They do here what they would never do in developed countries or the so-called first world. 

Generally, after ceasing their activity and withdrawing, they leave behind great human and environmental liabilities such as unemployment, abandoned towns, the depletion of natural reserves, deforestation, the impoverishment of agriculture and local stock breeding, open pits, riven hills, polluted rivers and a handful of social works which are no longer sustainable"

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Pope Francis: The Joy of the Gospel   
Full English text         Full Chinese text

43: Recording  In her ongoing discernment, the Church can also come to see that certain customs not directly connected to the heart of the Gospel, even some which have deep historical roots, are no longer properly understood and appreciated

Some of these customs may be beautiful, but they no longer serve as means of communicating the Gospel. We should not be afraid to re-examine them.

Also, the Church has some rules or precepts which may have been quite effective in their time, but no longer have the same usefulness for directing and shaping people's lives.

Saint Thomas Aquinas pointed out that the precepts which Christ and the apostles gave to the people of God "are very few".

Citing Saint Augustine, he noted that the precepts subsequently enjoined by the Church should be insisted upon with moderation "so as not to burden the lives of the faithful" and make our religion a form of servitude, whereas "Godís mercy has willed that we should be free".

This warning, issued many centuries ago, is most timely today. It ought to be one of the criteria to be taken into account in considering a reform of the Church and her preaching which would enable it to reach everyone.

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10 years ago today:

Angelo (HK) & Mario (Guangzhou), Miss Xiao (Zhaoqing Museum), HK Betty, Claire, Conor, Garth - Ricci & English!

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 HK history exam probes Communist Party's changing line on democracy

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Please join me in praying for one part of the world each day:

Sun: Africa          
Mon:
Europe, Russia           
Tues:
South Asia  
Wed: East Asia                         
Thurs:
S.E. Asia, Pacific 
Frid: South America                   
Sat: Cent. & N America    
Jesus, today, Saturday, please bless the people of Central & North America

And praying for prisoners in one part of China each day of the month: 
On this 22nd
of the month,  Jesus please bless the prisoners of Zhejiang

And praying for one of the world's poorest countries each day of the month:
On this 22nd of the month,  Jesus please bless the people of Rwanda

And praying for one Islam-related intention each day of the week:
Jesus, today, Saturday, please pacify the Taliban

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April 21
Easter Frid

One job that takes a lot of my time these days is preparing support letters and other material for people going to court. Yesterday I spent several hours on just two cases, but it's worth the effort when I hear a judge give a 3 or 6 or even 12 month discount from a sentence. Not to mention when an acquittal happens - as happened for a Filipina a few weeks ago (.. I like to think the hours that I and others spent finding info for her from her Facebook account played a role in helping prove her innocence). Hopefully if a proposed NGO is soon set up to continue and expand and improve my work, it will have a secretary or six to do this work!

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The Book Blog:   4 readings + recordings 
Comments welcome here    
  Readings are from Simple Bible

Deuteronomy 29-30a: Moses called the whole of Israel together and said to them: "Keep the words of this covenant and observe them and you will thrive in all you do. Let there be no man or woman among you, no clan or tribe, whose heart turns away from the Lord your God to go and serve the gods of the nations. If ever you are scattered from the land God is giving you, God will bring you back when your hearts turn back to him. The Lord will circumcise your hearts until you love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul. 
My recording of this reading

 

Psalm 106: O give thanks to the Lord for he is good. His great love is without end. They are happy who do what is right, who at all times remember what is just. When our ancestors came out of Egypt, they forgot the greatness of God's love. Each time they strayed, God forgave them. But still they continued to forget God who was their saviour, God who had done such great things for them in Egypt.
O Lord, our God, please don't let us forget your love

Recording

 

1 Corinthians 5.8-11: Get rid of all evil and wickedness from your life. Replace them with sincerity and truth. People who do wrong will not inherit the kingdom of God: people of immoral lives, idolaters, adulterers, catamites, sodomites, thieves, usurers, drunkards, slanderers and swindlers. Some of you were like that once, but now you have been washed clean and sanctified by Jesus Christ and his Spirit. 
Jesus, help me avoid doing bad things. Help me do more good things

Recording


Luke 24.36-49: The disciples were still talking about what had happened when suddenly Jesus himself stood among them. At first they were terrified and thought they were seeing a ghost. But he said "Look at my hands and feet. Yes, it is I indeed. Touch me and see for yourselves. A ghost has no flesh and bones as you can see I have". Their fear turned to joy but they still couldn't believe what they were seeing. So he asked them for something to eat, and they gave him some grilled fish which he ate in front of them. Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and he said "So you see how it is written that the Christ would suffer, and on the third day rise from the dead. And that in his name repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be preached to all the nations. Soon I will send down to you what the Father promised (the Holy Spirit). Stay in Jerusalem until you are clothed with this power from on high". 
Jesus,  increase my faith in your resurrection, and open my mind to understand the Bible better

Recording:  01  02

 

Reflection on the above Bible readings:

Brain surgeons can open our brains physically. Jesus can "open minds" ..... help us move from being "closed minded" to "open-minded". And see 42, below, re how to awaken "the assent of the heart"!

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Pope Francis: The Joy of Love  - on love in the family
Full English text      Full Chinese text

69: Recording  "Saint John Paul II devoted special attention to the family in his catecheses on human love, in his Letter to Families Gratissimam Sane and particularly in his Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio.

In these documents, the Pope defined the family as 'the way of the Church'. 

He also offered a general vision of the vocation of men and women to love, and proposed basic guide-lines for the pastoral care of the family and for the role of the family in society.

In particular, by treating conjugal love, he described how spouses, in their mutual love, receive the gift of the Spirit of Christ and live their call to holiness".

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Pope's letter on climate change:  Laudato Si  我主應受讚美
Full English text       Full Chinese text

 51a: Recording  Inequity affects not only individuals but entire countries; it compels us to consider an ethics of international relations.

A true "ecological debt" exists, particularly between the global north and south, connected to commercial imbalances with effects on the environment, and the disproportionate use of natural resources by certain countries over long periods of time.

The export of raw materials to satisfy markets in the industrialized north has caused harm locally, as for example in mercury pollution in gold mining or sulphur dioxide pollution in copper mining.

There is a pressing need to calculate the use of environmental space throughout the world for depositing gas residues which have been accumulating for two centuries and have created a situation which currently affects all the countries of the world.

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Pope Francis: The Joy of the Gospel   
Full English text         Full Chinese text

42: Recording  We need to remember that all religious teaching ultimately has to be reflected in the teacher's way of life, which awakens the assent of the heart by its nearness, love and witness.

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10 years ago today:

Photos from the past month or so taken by Hong Kong Betty

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 Last night at the weekly special meal for homeless people, I discovered that one of our local guests who has been sleeping at McDonald's for a long time once lived in the US for 12 years (4 years of study and 8 years working in a restaurant) - and he speaks perfect English!  

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Please join me in praying for one part of the world each day:

Sun: Africa
Mon: Europe, Russia        
Tues:
South Asia  
Wed: East Asia            
Thurs:
S.E. Asia, Pacific 
Frid: S. America     
Sat:
Cent, N. America    
Jesus, today, Friday, please bless the people of South America

And praying for prisoners in one part of China each day of the month: 
On this 21st of the month, Jesus please bless the prisoners of Yunnan

And praying for one of
the world's poorest countries each day of the month:
 
On this 21st of the month,  Jesus please bless the people of Benin

And praying for one Islam-related intention each day of the week:
Jesus, today, Friday, please bless all Muslims

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April 20
Easter Thurs

I spent a couple of hours at the High Court yesterday morning, for the case of an asylum seeker set up by a fellow asylum seeker who is a well-known drug lord and well-known police informer. I came away with mixed feelings. Case is continuing.

Mercy Sister makes a difference in Kenyan slums

Fundamentalism: a threatening global reality

Is Fertility Awareness a natural alternative to the Pill? (c.f., by chance, no 68 below. Humanae Vitae opposed pill.)

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The Book Blog:   4 readings + recordings 
Comments welcome here    
  Readings are from Simple Bible

Deuteronomy 27-28: Moses' teaching: "Be silent, Israel, and listen. Today you have become a people for the Lord your God. A curse on anyone who breaks the commandments of the Lord. Blessings on everyone who keeps the commandments of the Lord. If you obey the voice of the Lord your God you will be blessed in the town and blessed in the country. Blessed will be the fruit of your body, the fruit of your soil, the issue of your livestock. Blessed will you be coming in, and blessed going out. But if you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God, you will be accursed in the town and accursed in the country. Accursed will be the fruit of your body, the fruit of your soil and the issue of your livestock."
Dear God, please help us to obey your words ... and be blessed

My recording of this reading
01 02

 

Psalm 105: Give thanks to the Lord, make known his deeds among all the peoples. O sing to him, sing his praise. Tell all his wonderful works. Be proud of his holy name. Let hearts that seek the Lord rejoice. Consider the Lord and his strength. Constantly seek his face. Never forget how the Lord has helped us in the past,
how he has protected Israel from its beginning till now. 

Dear God, please help me understand how you have been loving and protecting me since the beginning of my life

Recording

 

1 Corinthians 4.15-19: You now have many people teaching you about Christ, but remember that it was I who introduced you to Jesus and his Good News. Imitate my example, the way I live the Christian life. 
Jesus, help me be a good example to other people

Recording


Luke 24.13-35: That same day, two of Jesus' disciples were on their way from Jerusalem to the village of Emmaus, about 7 km from Jerusalem. As they talked about all that had happened, Jesus himself joined them as they walked along. But they did not recognize him. When Jesus asked them what they were talking about, they said "About Jesus of Nazareth,  and how our leaders had him crucified. And how some women in our group went to Jesus' tomb and were told by angels that he was alive". Jesus then explained the Scripture passages which predicted his suffering and resurrection. Jesus joined the two men for an evening meal. During the meal, he blessed  some bread and gave it to them. They then recognized him. But he immediately vanished from their sight. They said to each other "Did not our hearts burn within us as he talked to us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?" Straight away they returned to Jerusalem where the eleven apostles said to them "Yes, it is true. The Lord has risen". Then they told their story of what had happened on the road, and how they had  recognized Jesus at the breaking of bread
Jesus, please make my heart burn within me as I read the Bible

Recording 01 02

 

Reflection on the above Bible readings:

Prisoners' hearts are moved when they receive encouraging letters from their families and friends. The basic message is: someone cares about me, someone loves me. This is also the basic message of the Bible: Someone cares about us, Someone loves us. This message should have a powerful effect on us ... make our hearts "burn" 

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Pope Francis: The Joy of Love  - on love in the family
Full English text      Full Chinese text

68: Recording  "Blessed Paul VI, in the wake of the Second Vatican Council, further developed the Church's teaching on marriage and the family.

In a particular way, with the Encyclical Humanae Vitae he brought out the intrinsic bond between conjugal love and the generation of life: 'Married love requires of husband and wife the full awareness of their obligations in the matter of responsible parenthood, which today, rightly enough, is much insisted upon, but which at the same time must be rightly understood.

The exercise of responsible parenthood requires that husband and wife, keeping a right order of priorities, recognize their own duties towards God, themselves, their families and human society'.

In the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi, Paul VI highlighted the relationship between the family and the Church".

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Pope's letter on climate change:  Laudato Si  
我主應受讚美
Full English text       Full Chinese text

50: Recording Instead of resolving the problems of the poor and thinking of how the world can be different, some can only propose a reduction in the birth rate. 

At times, developing countries face forms of international pressure which make economic assistance contingent on certain policies of "reproductive health". 

Yet "while it is true that an unequal distribution of the population and of available resources creates obstacles to development and a sustainable use of the environment, it must nonetheless be recognized that demographic growth is fully compatible with an integral and shared development".

To blame population growth instead of extreme and selective consumerism on the part of some, is one way of refusing to face the issues.

It is an attempt to legitimize the present model of distribution, where a minority believes that it has the right to consume in a way which can never be universalized, since the planet could not even contain the waste products of such consumption.

Besides, we know that approximately a third of all food produced is discarded, and "whenever food is thrown out it is as if it were stolen from the table of the poor".

Still, attention needs to be paid to imbalances in population density, on both national and global levels, since a rise in consumption would lead to complex regional situations, as a result of the interplay between problems linked to environmental pollution, transport, waste treatment, loss of resources and quality of life.

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Pope Francis: The Joy of the Gospel   
Full English text         Full Chinese text

41: Recording  At the same time, today's vast and rapid cultural changes demand that we constantly seek ways of expressing unchanging truths in a language which brings out their abiding newness.

"The deposit of the faith is one thing. The way it is expressed is another".

Let us never forget that "the expression of truth can take different forms.

The renewal of these forms of expression becomes necessary for the sake of transmitting to the people of today the Gospel message in its unchanging meaning".

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Daniel Daring: Year with Matthew - 16:

Abba, Father

Jesus provides us with a model of prayer that is not long, not ostentatious, and not repetitious
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10 years ago today:

Another donation of toys (thank you Olivier & Company!) + word bingo at Assisi (with newly donated toys as prizes..)

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Curious cattle 'enchanted' by lone beaver

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Please join me in praying for one part of the world each day:

Sun: Africa
Mon: Europe, Russia        
Tues:
South Asia  
Wed: East Asia            
Thurs:
S.E. Asia, Pacific 
Frid: South America     
Sat: Cent, N America    
Jesus, today, Thursday, please bless the people of South East Asia

And praying for prisoners in one part of China each day of the month:
On this 20th of the month, Jesus please bless the prisoners of Sichuan

And praying for one of the world's poorest countries each day of the month:
On this 20th of the month,  Jesus please bless the people of Gambia

And praying for one Islam-related intention each day of the week:
Jesus, today, Thursday, please pacify Al-Qaeda

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April 19
Easter Wed

A young South African mother is due to be sentenced in the High Court on May 12 for drug trafficking. Her story is here (April 18), typed up by a friend

 

  A meeting I attended yesterday moved one step closer to setting up a new NGO to continue the campaign of stopping drug mules from coming to HK and to work for better conditions for inmates in a number of fields. 

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  Chris McDonnell 

My people are suffering

On Palm Sunday a Coptic Church in Egypt was bombed and many people killed

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The Book Blog:   4 readings + recordings 
Comments welcome here     
Readings are from Simple Bible

Deuteronomy 26:  Moses' teaching: "When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, you must take the first-fruits of your produce to the priest then in office and say 'Today I declare to the Lord my God that I have come to the land the Lord swore to our fathers he would give us.' After the priest receives your offering, you must declare: 'My father was a wandering Aramaean. He went down to Egypt to find refuge there, few in number. But then he became a nation, great and strong. The Egyptians ill-treated us, they gave us no peace and inflicted harsh slavery on us. But we called on the Lord our God who heard our voice and saw our misery, toil and oppression. The Lord our God then brought us out of Egypt with mighty hand and outstretched arm, with signs and wonders. He brought us here and gave us this land, a land where milk and honey flow. So I now bring the first-fruits of my produce that you, Lord, have given me'. You are then to share these gifts with your household and with the Levite and stranger who live among you."
Dear Lord, help me to show gratitude for all your gifts, by sharing what I have with those less fortunate than I

My recording of this reading: 01  02

 

Psalm 104: Bless the Lord, my soul! Lord God, how great you are. You make the clouds your chariot. You walk on the wings of the wind. You make springs gush forth in the valleys. They give drink to all the animals of the field. You make grass grow for the cattle and plants to provide food for people. You give us wine to cheer our hearts and oil to make our faces shine. You made the moon to mark the months. The sun knows the time for its setting. How many are your works, O Lord. In wisdom you have made them all. The earth is full of your riches and the sea is swarming with life. All things, great and small, look to you for food. You open your hand, they have their fill. You send forth your spirit, and life is created. You renew the face of the earth. I will sing to the Lord all my life. May my thoughts be pleasing to him.
Bless the Lord, my soul!

Recording:  01  02

 

1 Corinthians 3.5-15: Apollos and I are servants who brought the faith to you. I did the planting, Apollos did the watering, but God made things grow. You are God's building. By God's grace, I  laid the foundation, the only foundation there can be: Jesus Christ. On that foundation you can build a house with good or poor materials. At the end of your life, your building will be judged by God.
Jesus, you are the foundation of my life. Help me build a house with good material (= good deeds)

Recording


Luke 24.1-11: On Sunday morning, at daybreak, the women went to the tomb with the spices they had prepared. They found that the large stone which had been put at the tomb's entrance had been rolled away. They entered the tomb and found that the body of Jesus was not there. Suddenly two men in brilliant clothes appeared at their side. The men said to them "Why look among the dead for someone who is alive? He is not here. He has risen, just as he said he would". The women told all this to the eleven apostles. But the apostles did not believe them. 
Jesus,  increase my faith in your resurrection
 
Recording

 

 Reflection on the above readings: 

A prominent theme in Luke's Gospel is concern for women. So it's no surprise to find that only Luke records that the apostles did not believe the women. 

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Pope Francis: The Joy of Love  - on love in the family
Full English text      Full Chinese text

67: Recording  The Second Vatican Council, in its Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes, was concerned "to promote the dignity of marriage and the family". 

The Constitution "defined marriage as a community of life and love, placing love at the centre of the family. 

'True love between husband and wife' involves mutual self-giving, includes and integrates the sexual and affective dimensions, in accordance with God's plan". 

The conciliar document also emphasizes "the grounding of the spouses in Christ. 

Christ the Lord 'makes himself present to the Christian spouses in the sacrament of marriage' and remains with them.

In the incarnation, he assumes human love, purifies it and brings it to fulfilment. 

By his Spirit, he gives spouses the capacity to live that love, permeating every part of their lives of faith, hope and charity.

In this way, the spouses are consecrated and by means of a special grace build up the Body of Christ and form a domestic church, so that the Church, in order fully to understand her mystery, looks to the Christian family, which manifests her in a real way".

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Pope's letter on climate change:  Laudato Si  我主應受讚美
Full English text       Full Chinese text

49: Recording  At the same time we can note the rise of a false or superficial ecology which bolsters complacency and a cheerful recklessness. 

As often occurs in periods of deep crisis which require bold decisions, we are tempted to think that what is happening is not entirely clear.

Superficially, apart from a few obvious signs of pollution and deterioration, things do not look that serious, and the planet could continue as it is for some time.

Such evasiveness serves as a licence to carrying on with our present lifestyles and models of production and consumption. 

This is the way human beings contrive to feed their self-destructive vices: trying not to see them, trying not to acknowledge them, delaying the important decisions and pretending that nothing will happen.

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Pope Francis: The Joy of the Gospel   
Full English text         Full Chinese text

40: Recording  The Church is herself a missionary disciple; she needs to grow in her interpretation of the revealed word and in her understanding of truth. It is the task of exegetes and theologians to help "the judgment of the Church to mature".

Within the Church countless issues are being studied and reflected upon with great freedom. Differing currents of thought in philosophy, theology and pastoral practice, if open to being reconciled by the Spirit in respect and love, can enable the Church to grow, since all of them help to express more clearly the immense riches of God's word. 

For those who long for a monolithic body of doctrine guarded by all and leaving no room for nuance, this might appear as undesirable and leading to confusion. But in fact such variety serves to bring out and develop different facets of the inexhaustible riches of the Gospel

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Please join me in praying for one part of the world each day:

Sun: Africa
Mon: Europe, Russia         
Tues: South Asia  
Wed: East Asia      
Thurs:
S.E.Asia, Pacific 
Frid: South America    
Sat:
Cent, N America    
Jesus, today, Wednesday, please bless the people of
East Asia

And praying for prisoners in one part of China each day of the month:
On this 19th
of the month, Jesus please bless the prisoners of Shanxi

And praying for one of the world's poorest countries each day of the month:
On this 19th of the month, Jesus please bless the people of Sudan

And praying for one Islam-related intention each day of the week:
Jesus, today,
Wednesday, please pacify
Al-Shabaab 

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April 18
Easter Tues

In the past month, 4 young Nepal men have died of heroin overdoses in HK. At least two of them were recently at Hei Ling Chau Drug Treatment Centre ("18A") where I had visited them. Hundreds of young Nepal men in HK use not only heroin but also a cough syrup that contains 9% (!) codeine ... which is openly sold by unscrupulous chemists. Prescription cough syrup contains 4% codeine. The 9% syrup is more toxic than heroin - causing liver failure. 

The fathers of most of the Nepal men were Gurkhas - regarded as the bravest soldiers in the world. Yet their HK sons are rarely not drug users. This is a big social issue HK has yet to face properly ... starting with the Nepalese parents for whom, sad to say, this is a taboo topic. 

After talking to some Nepalese inmates at Hei Ling Chau Correctional Institution ("18C") yesterday I am hoping a new group can be formed to reach out to the Nepalese young drug addicts. There are already a number of organisations trying to help ... but they're not reaching very many drug users. 

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The Book Blog:   4 readings + recordings 
Comments welcome here     
Readings are from Simple Bible

Deuteronomy 19-21: Moses' teaching: "A life for a life, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a hand for a hand, a foot for a foot. When you go to war, the following men are excused from fighting: a man who has not yet dedicated his newly-built house; a man who has planted a vineyard and not yet enjoyed its fruit;
a man who is engaged to be married; a man who is fearful and faint of heart
.
Dear Lord, help me to understand how Jesus taught us to love our enemies and not to take revenge

My recording of this reading

 

Psalm 103: My soul, give thanks to the Lord. All my being, bless his holy name. My soul, give thanks to the Lord and never forget all his blessings. It is he who forgives all your guilt, who heals every one of your ills. It is he who fills your life with good things, renewing your youth like an eagle's life. The Lord is compassion and love, slow to anger and rich in mercy. As the heavens are high above the earth so strong is his love for those who love him. As far as the East is from the West, so far does he remove our sins. As a father has compassion on his children, the Lord has pity on all who love and honor him. Give thanks to the Lord, all his angels, who heed the voice of his word. Give thanks to the Lord, everyone and everything. My soul, give thanks to the Lord! 
Thank you, Lord, for your love and compassion

Recording

 

1 Corinthians 1.18 - 2.9: The language of the Cross doesn't make sense for some people. But for us it is God's power to save. While the Jews demand miracles and the Greeks require philosophy, here we are preaching a crucified Christ: to the Jews an obstacle they cannot get over, to the pagans madness. During my stay with you, I relied not on philosophy or my own efforts, but only on the power of the Spirit. The wisdom we teach is about things no eye has seen, and no ear has heard, things beyond human understanding - all that God has prepared for those who love him.
Jesus, crucified Lord, please increase my faith in you.

Recording


John 20.11-18: Peter and John went home. Mary Magdalene remained at the tomb, crying. When she looked inside the tomb, she saw two angels in white. She also saw Jesus standing there, though she did not recognize him. Jesus said "Woman, why are you crying?". Mary thought he was the gardener so she said to him "If you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him". Jesus said "Mary" and she recognized him. Jesus then said "I will ascend to my Father". Mary went and told the disciples all she had seen and heard. 
Jesus, please bless people who are crying at funerals today. May awareness of your presence bring them peace and strength for the days ahead

Recording
 


Reflection on the above readings:

Last Sunday morning as I walked to church for Mass, I felt tired and flat .... and not at all sure what my homily would be about. But then as Mass began I came to life ... and I thought to myself: Easter gives us hope and strength and energy, almost despite ourselves.

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Pope Francis: The Joy of Love  - on love in the family
Full English text      Full Chinese text

66: Recording  "The covenant of love and fidelity lived by the Holy Family of Nazareth illuminates the principle which gives shape to every family, and enables it better to face the vicissitudes of life and history.

On this basis, every family, despite its weaknesses, can become a light in the darkness of the world.

Nazareth teaches us the meaning of family life, its loving communion, its simple and austere beauty, its sacred and inviolable character.

May it teach how sweet and irreplaceable is its training, how fundamental and incomparable its role in the social order".

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Pope's letter on climate change:  Laudato Si  我主應受讚美
Full English text       Full Chinese text

58: Recording:  In some countries, there are positive examples of environmental improvement: rivers, polluted for decades, have been cleaned up; native woodlands have been restored; landscapes have been beautified thanks to environmental renewal projects; beautiful buildings have been erected; advances have been made in the production of non-polluting energy and in the improvement of public transportation.

These achievements do not solve global problems, but they do show that men and women are still capable of intervening positively. 

For all our limitations, gestures of generosity, solidarity and care cannot but well up within us, since we were made for love.

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Pope Francis: The Joy of the Gospel   
Full English text         Full Chinese text

39: Recording  When preaching is faithful to the Gospel, the centrality of certain truths is evident and it becomes clear that Christian morality is not a form of stoicism, or self-denial, or merely a practical philosophy or a catalogue of sins and faults

Before all else, the Gospel invites us to respond to the God of love who saves us, to see God in others and to go forth from ourselves to seek the good of others.

Under no circumstance can this invitation be obscured! 

All of the virtues are at the service of this response of love.

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10 years ago today:

Visit to CAS and various centers in poor areas by Teresa & Thomas from Macau, and Margaret & Margaret from Hong Kong

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Please join me in praying for one part of the world each day:

Sun: Africa
Mon: Europe, Russia
Tues: South Asia  
Wed: East Asia
Thurs: S.E. Asia, Pacific 
Frid: South America
Sat: Cent, N America    
Jesus, today, Tuesday, please bless the people of South Asia

And praying for prisoners in one part of China each day of the month:
On this 18th
of the month, Jesus please bless the prisoners of Shandong

And praying for one of the world's poorest countries each day of the month:
On this 18th of the month,  Jesus please bless the people of Ivory Coast

And praying for one Islam-related intention each day of the week:
Jesus, today, Tuesday, please pacify Boko Haram

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Please also join me in praying for the very many deformed and handicapped people from China who are on the streets of HK as beggars...as well as deformed people in China itself ...like Hung Chun Cai

        
    My Africa trips: 
2015: Tanzania, Malawi  

2016: Kenya, Uganda

2017: Southern Africa, Dubai

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Video: What "gay marriage" did to Massachusetts

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Pope's surprise visit to drug treatment centre

Pope is practising what he preaches: "get out and mix with the poor"

 

HK readers might like to join me in praying each day for one group of HK prison inmates: Sun: Lo Wu; Mon: C.I.C., Siu Lam, Tai Lam; Tue: Stanley Wed:  Hei Ling Chau   Thu: Lantau 
Fri: Lai Chi Kok       Sat: Hospitals, Pik Uk & other centres


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This website was launched  in construction mode in Hong Kong on November 20, 2011 - the Feast of Christ the King. The official launching  was held on the Gold Coast, Australia, on January 20, 2012. Map and Flag Counter began Feb 11, 2012.  Previous visits 4,932. Note: counter on this page + Map & Flag Counter record visits only to this main/index page. Visits to other pages and to Facebook page are not recorded. This site's 2017 statistics. Thank you for checking this website each day. God bless all readers and bloggers!                          counter for tumblr    

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 Fr John Wotherspoon O.M.I. 胡 頌 恆 神 父   
 jdwomi@gmail.com  HK mobile  (852) 6709 5674
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