Cardinal John’s Newsletter 13 June 2019

The full newsletter can be viewed here.

Kia tau te rangimarie ki a koutou,

Later this year, in the month of October, Pope Francis has asked the world to embark on “An Extraordinary Missionary Month”. He has done this because it will be one hundred years since Pope Benedict XV wrote the Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud about being missionaries. Pope Francis has highlighted again in his first major document Evangelii Gaudium that we are ALL called to be “Missionary Disciples.” The very first sentence of the document of almost 6 years ago says, “The Joy of the Gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus.” (EG 1).

Pope Francis went on to say in the next paragraph; “Whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor. God’s voice is no longer heard, the quiet joy of his love is no longer felt, and the desire to do good fades. This is a very real danger for believers too.” (EG 2)

If we are called to be Missionary Disciples every day, and every hour of the day, and if we are to embark on a new chapter of evangelisation which is marked by joy, and if we are to help others find ever-lasting joy in Christ, then regular prayerful reflection will help us.

One of the ways to keep us joyful and to ensure that our interior life does not become caught up with our own interests and concerns, and we no longer hear God’s voice because we are so focussed on ourselves, is to reflect prayerfully every day. Many people choose to use a nightly reflection known as The Examen.

It is a simple, powerful and effective time of prayer and reflection.

  • Review the day with gratitude
  • Take note of the joys and delights of the day
  • Focus on the gifts of God’s grace
  • Also acknowledge the failures and self-disappointments
  • Look forward to tomorrow and ask for light and guidance for the day ahead.

If we are to be Missionary Disciples we clearly need to en-counter the Joy of the Gospels for yourselves before reaching out to others. This kind of prayer – the Examen – will help us to encounter Jesus, to be in relationship with him, to walk with him and talk with him.
When Pope Benedict XV wrote Maximum Illud one hundred years ago he wrote of “the proclamation and the love of Jesus, spread by holiness of one’s life and good works.” Our holiness of life and our good works become more effective when we pray and reflect every day about how we are living out our Baptism and Confirmation. The Examen is a wonderful help. I wish you joyful reflections.

Every blessing

Naku noa
+ John

The full newsletter can be viewed here.