January 24th.  St Francis de Sales was a powerful church leader after the time of the Reformation and was able to help Catholics while keeping a good relationship with the Protestants. He is a patron of some of religious orders who value him as a doctor of the Church.  He is also patron saint of writers and of journalists. Did he have ubuntu?

He who unjustly takes away his neighbour’s good name is guilty of sin, and is bound to make reparation, according to the nature of his evil speaking; since no man can enter into Heaven cumbered with stolen goods, and of all worldly possessions the most precious is a good name. Slander is a kind of murder; for we all have three lives—a spiritual life, which depends upon the Grace of God; a bodily life, depending on the soul; and a civil life, consisting in a good reputation. Sin deprives us of the first, death of the second, and slander of the third. Introduction to the Devout Life  

Pope Francis Efforts need to be made to help the media become sources of new cultural progress for humanity.  LS 47

January 25th . Conversion of St Paul.  Paul’s letters in the New Testament were the first teaching documents of the Church, written before the gospels.  His life story is of a man very committed to God, wanting to do what is right. He persecuted the early Christians until he had a conversion experience when he heard the voice of Jesus calling out to him. His response was to change his ways and he became the first great missionary.  Read up his story in the book of Acts. Are we in our own families and beyond followers, missionaries or persecutors? Can we see these early Christians as models of ubuntu?

 As he journeyed he approached Damascus and suddenly a light from heaven flashed about him.  And he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”  And he said, “Who are you Lord,” and he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.”  Read Acts 22:3-16

Pope Francis: Paul’s words make us reflect on our lives and see God’s mercy at work in changing, converting and reforming our hearts.  MM 11

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