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Informative bulletin of the Paphos Latin Parish
February 2017 / 2
Bread and Salt
Bread and salt play an important role in many countries of Europe, and not only there, as symbols of hospitality, friendship and close relations between people.
The bread, while shared, is like a declaration of friendly feelings on the part of the one who offers it to the one who accepts it, and the reciprocity of the one who receives it toward the giver.
It shows good intentions, good will and the protection for life.
The salt, also, is a strong symbol of preservation, duration and honour.
Let us not forget that salt is necessary for the smooth functioning of our system, and that a lack of it may cause serious health problems.
In the old times, and even at the time of the Roman Empire, the soldiers were paid in bags of salt. Salt in Latin is sal, hence, in English we have the word salary, to denote the monthly payment of a worker.
The Christian is called to be the light and the salt of the earth, i.e. to add taste, duration and honour to the world by his presence and example, and in this way to illumine the way leading to God.
Oh how much I would like to pray; I’m full of sighs. My hard logic wants me to suffer them.
Neither the supplications of a Christian mother, nor the saints’ example and the martyrs’ blood, nor my crying, nor my great prostrations can give me back the faith.
Profane agony, I’m so alone!
Here, with both my knees on the earth, I’m waiting for You, Lord. Are you here? I will unite my hands and with my front upon the Bible I will spell the “Credo”.
I feel nothing in front of me; it is terrible!
By R.F. Sully Prudhomme 1839– 1907
This poem by R.F. Prudhomme, -Nobel Prize 1901, vividly describes the existential agony of the 19th century and the dramatic and dynamic dimensions of the Christian faith.
The Christian, even when he is surrounded by darkness, pain and difficulties, and especially then, he must renew his acts of faith and hope.
Faith is, first of all, God’s gift, which He never refuses to those who with a sincere heart seek His face.
At the heart of the Pyrenees
Our Lady of Lourdes is one of the best known and most popular pilgrimage sites in the world, with a particularly significant number of recorded certified healings, which the medical science cannot explain.
But the pilgrims’ number is a lot greater than the count of the known cases of healing.
However, an encounter with some of those people will suffice in order to attest the fact that there are healings which take place at another deeper level than the “apparent” ones.
These are the inner peace, the deep and renewed trust in God’s love, the hope which is expressed through a renewed commitment to a life offered in gratitude, and, especially, the courage to strive anew on a everyday basis in order to authentically live our Christian calling.
Depositing with confidence our problems and weaknesses to the Mother of the Redeemer, we return home stronger and enriched by gifts “invisible” to the eyes of the world; we, however, know them and they are part of our intimate secret, which made our pilgrimage to Lourdes, (or anywhere else for that matter), a springboard for a new beginning.
In the heart of the Pyrenees we have opened our heart to the grace of God.
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