Augustinians Malta - Agostinjani

Augustinians Malta - Agostinjani

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WHAT IS HOLINESS IN SIMPLE EXPLANATION. Holiness is the nature and character of God manifested to us through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Holiness. Holiness, or Sanctification is the process of God's grace sanctifying (making holy) a person who was justified and regenerated (1 Cor. 6:11; Titus 3:5). Holiness or Sanctification is God's perfect will for all Christians (Rom.12:1-2; 1Thes.4:1-7). God ordained His people to bear fruit, and this includes maturity through sanctification. Holiness is BOTH consecration to God and separation from the world and all sins,it is always a command by God to man (Titus 2:11-12; 1 Peter 1:15-16; Matthew 5:48; 2Cor.5:17). Without Holiness, no man shall see the Lord (Mat.5:8; Heb.12:14; Rev. 22:10-12). God requires Holiness better than spiritual gifts, and is actually the basis of God's moving in the life of a person or church (Joshua 3:5; Matthew 7:21-23). Holiness is both partaking of God's divine nature through the Holy Ghost (2 Peter 1:4), and the actual decision of man to submit to God's control (Rom.12:1). Therefore, a Christian is expected to leave sin and worldliness in pursuit of God's holiness. Separation from sin, wickedness, and worldliness is both a principle of Holiness and a command to obey (2 Cor.6:14-18; James 4:4; 1 John 2:15-16). If a Christian is truly living in the principles of the Bible concerning Holiness, then he will practically obey the standards of God's Word that pertains to holy, righteous, and godly living which includes moral standards, standards of godly clothing and adornment, and prohibition of worldly lifestyles and fashion. Holiness affects all areas and aspects of our lives, including our thoughts, words, actions, dress, lifestyles, relationships, and our outlook in life. In short, Holiness is both inward transformation toward Christ-like character and outward transformation that is different from the ways of the world and unbelievers. That's Holiness.
Jien in-nepputi ta’ Patri Felic. Nigi it-tifel ta’ ohtu, Marcella jew Marcelle. Madankollu qatt ma sejjahtlu ziju. Mhux b’nuqqas ta’ rispett imma b’rispett akbar, rizervat ghaz-zijiet l’aktar ghal qalbi u l-iktar qrib tieghi. Anqas lin-neputijiet tieghi qatt ma ridthom isejhuli ziju. It-titli, fl-opinjoni tieghi, joholqu distakk, imma ma Patri Felic ma kienx hemm distakk. Kien jittrattani fuq livell ugwali. Konna niddiskutu kollox, fuq kwalunkwe suggett. U konna nirrispettaw l-opinjoni ta’ xulxin anke jekk, fil-fatt, rari konna naqblu. Sibt hafna ghajnuna minn ghandu, specjalment meta kont izghar. Kien dejjem dispost li jisma, b’attenzjoni, dak li nghidlu. U jirrispondini bil-pariri tieghu, bil-pacenzja, b’gentilezza, minghajr priedki u jissuggerili, mighajr ma jindahalli, x’ghandi naghmel u x’decizjonijiet kienu l’iktar xierqa, moralment korretti, u fl-interess tieghi. Kellu mod karizmatiku kif jigbed persuna lejh, bit-tbissima partikolari tieghu u b’disponibbilta assoluta ghal kulhadd. Bhala Patri kien, ikun trasferit minn kunvent ghal iehor, skond ir-rieda tas-superjuri tieghu. Dejjem obda bl-akbar lealta`, mighajr tgergir u fi spirtu ta’ servizz lejn il-komunita` tal-post fejn imur. U fi ftit gimghat, kien jaghmel hbieb ma diversi persuni u jibda jistmaghhom bhala ta’ gewwa. Naf li kien mahbub minn hafna, u kien isib ghajnuna minn hafna ukoll. Kien jipprova jaqdi u jikkuntenta lil kulhadd. U hafna kienu dawk li offrewlu ghajnuna ta kull xorta. Lil dawn kolla nixtieq nirringrazzjahom f’ismu, la darba issa ma jistax jirringrazzjahom hu. Cert li hu kien grat hafna ta’ dak kollu li bosta ghamlu mieghu. Dan kien il-mod ta’ Patri Felic kif iservi l-poplu t’Alla b’idejh miftuhin, bl-umilta`, sincerita`, u semmplicita`. Dan kien jaghmlu bhala twegiba ghall vokazzjoni li biha Alla sejjahlu ghall-hajja Sacerdotali u religjuza. Il-missjoni ta’ Patri Felic fuq din l-art, issa giet fi tmiemha. Nittamaw f’Alla li issa beda jgawdi l-frott ta’ dak kollu li ghamel. Agħtih O Mulej il-mistrieħ ta' dejjem, id-dawl ta' dejjem jiddi fuqu, jistrieħ fis-sliem, Ammen.
Jien in-nepputi ta’ Patri Felic. Nigi it-tifel ta’ ohtu, Marcella jew Marcelle. Madankollu qatt ma sejjahtlu ziju. Mhux b’nuqqas ta’ rispett imma b’rispett akbar, rizervat ghaz-zijiet l’aktar ghal qalbi u l-iktar qrib tieghi. Anqas lin-neputijiet tieghi qatt ma ridthom isejhuli ziju. It-titli, fl-opinjoni tieghi, joholqu distakk, imma ma Patri Felic ma kienx hemm distakk. Kien jittrattani fuq livell ugwali. Konna niddiskutu kollox, fuq kwalunkwe suggett. U konna nirrispettaw l-opinjoni ta’ xulxin anke jekk, fil-fatt, rari konna naqblu. Sibt hafna ghajnuna minn ghandu, specjalment meta kont izghar. Kien dejjem dispost li jisma, b’attenzjoni, dak li nghidlu. U jirrispondini bil-pariri tieghu, bil-pacenzja, b’gentilezza, minghajr priedki u jissuggerili, mighajr ma jindahalli, x’ghandi naghmel u x’decizjonijiet kienu l’iktar xierqa, moralment korretti, u fl-interess tieghi. Kellu mod karizmatiku kif jigbed persuna lejh, bit-tbissima partikolari tieghu u b’disponibbilta assoluta ghal kulhadd. Bhala Patri kien, ikun trasferit minn kunvent ghal iehor, skond ir-rieda tas-superjuri tieghu. Dejjem obda bl-akbar lealta`, mighajr tgergir u fi spirtu ta’ servizz lejn il-komunita` tal-post fejn imur. U fi ftit gimghat, kien jaghmel hbieb ma diversi persuni u jibda jistmaghhom bhala ta’ gewwa. Naf li kien mahbub minn hafna, u kien isib ghajnuna minn hafna ukoll. Kien jipprova jaqdi u jikkuntenta lil kulhadd. U hafna kienu dawk li offrewlu ghajnuna ta kull xorta. Lil dawn kolla nixtieq nirringrazzjahom f’ismu, la darba issa ma jistax jirringrazzjahom hu. Cert li hu kien grat hafna ta’ dak kollu li bosta ghamlu mieghu. Dan kien il-mod ta’ Patri Felic kif iservi l-poplu t’Alla b’idejh miftuhin, bl-umilta`, sincerita`, u semmplicita`. Dan kien jaghmlu bhala twegiba ghall vokazzjoni li biha Alla sejjahlu ghall-hajja Sacerdotali u religjuza. Il-missjoni ta’ Patri Felic fuq din l-art, issa giet fi tmiemha. Nittamaw f’Alla li issa beda jgawdi l-frott ta’ dak kollu li ghamel. Agħtih O Mulej il-mistrieħ ta' dejjem, id-dawl ta' dejjem jiddi fuqu, jistrieħ fis-sliem, Ammen.
Jien in-nepputi ta’ Patri Felic. Nigi it-tifel ta’ ohtu, Marcella jew Marcelle. Madankollu qatt ma sejjahtlu ziju. Mhux b’nuqqas ta’ rispett imma b’rispett akbar, rizervat ghaz-zijiet l’aktar ghal qalbi u l-iktar qrib tieghi. Anqas lin-neputijiet tieghi qatt ma ridthom isejhuli ziju. It-titli, fl-opinjoni tieghi, joholqu distakk, imma ma Patri Felic ma kienx hemm distakk. Kien jittrattani fuq livell ugwali. Konna niddiskutu kollox, fuq kwalunkwe suggett. U konna nirrispettaw l-opinjoni ta’ xulxin anke jekk, fil-fatt, rari konna naqblu. Sibt hafna ghajnuna minn ghandu, specjalment meta kont izghar. Kien dejjem dispost li jisma, b’attenzjoni, dak li nghidlu. U jirrispondini bil-pariri tieghu, bil-pacenzja, b’gentilezza, minghajr priedki u jissuggerili, mighajr ma jindahalli, x’ghandi naghmel u x’decizjonijiet kienu l’iktar xierqa, moralment korretti, u fl-interess tieghi. Kellu mod karizmatiku kif jigbed persuna lejh, bit-tbissima partikolari tieghu u b’disponibbilta assoluta ghal kulhadd. Bhala Patri kien, ikun trasferit minn kunvent ghal iehor, skond ir-rieda tas-superjuri tieghu. Dejjem obda bl-akbar lealta`, mighajr tgergir u fi spirtu ta’ servizz lejn il-komunita` tal-post fejn imur. U fi ftit gimghat, kien jaghmel hbieb ma diversi persuni u jibda jistmaghhom bhala ta’ gewwa. Naf li kien mahbub minn hafna, u kien isib ghajnuna minn hafna ukoll. Kien jipprova jaqdi u jikkuntenta lil kulhadd. U hafna kienu dawk li offrewlu ghajnuna ta kull xorta. Lil dawn kolla nixtieq nirringrazzjahom f’ismu, la darba issa ma jistax jirringrazzjahom hu. Cert li hu kien grat hafna ta’ dak kollu li bosta ghamlu mieghu. Dan kien il-mod ta’ Patri Felic kif iservi l-poplu t’Alla b’idejh miftuhin, bl-umilta`, sincerita`, u semmplicita`. Dan kien jaghmlu bhala twegiba ghall vokazzjoni li biha Alla sejjahlu ghall-hajja Sacerdotali u religjuza. Il-missjoni ta’ Patri Felic fuq din l-art, issa giet fi tmiemha. Nittamaw f’Alla li issa beda jgawdi l-frott ta’ dak kollu li ghamel.
In Memory of Fr. Felix Buttigieg
#gospelreflection #muzajk #augustinianheart #augustinianyouths #sunday
#gospelreflection #sunday #transfiguration #newhorizons #love #augustinianheart #augustinianyouths

The Order of Hermits of Saint Augustine (Augustinians) is a religious order of brothers (many of whom are ordained priests) within the Catholic Church. The Order was founded in 1256 under the Rule of Saint Augustine.

Mission: The aim of the Augustinian Order (OSA) consists in fraternal union and spiritual friendship, where we seek and praise God and work for the service of His people. In this way, we share in the evangelisation work of the Church so that it can spread the Good News to the whole world so that we can transform it internally. This is our testimony (cf Constitution OSA 13). Thus we become filled with God, filled with light, filled with joy. Like Augustine ….Lord we want to keep on seeking you, we want to keep on finding you and knowing you…..but above all we want to keep on loving you ever more.

Il-Papa Franġisku jappella għal azzjoni urġenti fir-rigward it tibdil fil-klima; jgħid li l-bnedmin qed jibdlu l-pjaneta f’"de​ż​ert ta’ terrapin, ħerba u ħmieġ"

📖 Aqra Iktar hawn http://bit.ly/TheGreenPope

Pope Francis calls for urgent action on climate change; says humans are turning the planet into ‘wasteland full of debris, desolation and filth’ ​

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#ChurchNews #PopeFrancis
Augustinians Malta - Agostinjani

Oratorju MSSP

Dan hu t-test bil-Malti tal-Omelija li l-Papa Franġisku ghamel issa fi Pjazza San Pietro Ruma. 27/3/3020


“Xħin sar filgħaxija” (Mk 4:35). Hekk jiftaħ il-Vanġelu li għadna kemm smajna. Ilna ġimgħat issa nistħajlu li sar filgħaxija. Dlamijiet ħoxnin inġemgħu fuq il-pjazez, it-toroq u l-bliet tagħna; ħakmu fuq ħajjitna u mlew kollox b’ħemda li ttarrax u vojt tal-mewt, li kull fejn jgħaddi jipparalizza kull ħaġa: jinħass fl-arja, jidher fil-ġesti, tgħidu kull ħarsa. Erġajna sibna ruħna mbeżżgħa u mifxula. Bħad-dixxipli tal-Vanġelu, ir-riefnu qawwi li ma konniex qed nistennewh qabadna fuq sieq waħda. Intbaħna li ninsabu fuq l-istess dgħajsa, ilkoll dgħajfa u mifxula, imma fl-istess waqt importanti u meħtieġa, ilkoll imsejħin nibqgħu flimkien, ilkoll fil-bżonn li nfarrġu lil xulxin. Fuq din id-dgħajsa… ninsabu lkoll kemm aħna. Bħal dawk id-dixxipli, li jitkellmu vuċi waħda u kollhom imbeżżgħa jgħidu: “Se nintilfu” (v. 38), hekk ukoll aħna ntbaħna li ma nistgħux nibqgħu għaddejjin kulħadd għal rasu, imma flimkien biss nistgħu naslu.

Faċli nilmħu lilna nfusna f’dan ir-rakkont. Id-diffiċli hu nifhmu l-imġiba ta’ Ġesù. Waqt li d-dixxipli naturalment jinsabu fi stat ta’ allarm u qalbhom maqtugħa, huwa jinsab fil-poppa, f’dik il-parti tad-dgħajsa li l-ewwel li ħa tinżel taħt l-ilma. U x’inhu jagħmel? Minkejja l-ġenn kollu, jinsab rieqed seren, fiduċjuż fil-Missier – hija l-unika darba fil-Vanġelu fejn naraw lil Ġesù rieqed. Meta mbagħad iqajmuh, wara li jkun ikkalma l-irjieħ u l-ilmijiet, idur fuq id-dixxipli u b’ton ta’ ċanfira jgħidilhom: “Dal-biża’ kollu għaliex? Mela ma għandkomx fidi?” (v. 40).

Ejjew nippruvaw nifhmu. Fiex jikkonsisti n-nuqqas ta’ fidi tad-dixxipli, li jistona tant mal-fiduċja li għandu Ġesù? Huma ma kinux waqfu milli jemmnu fih, fil-fatt jitolbuh l-għajnuna. Imma ejja naraw ftit kif jitolbuh: “Mgħallem, dan qisu mhu xejn għalik li aħna se nintilfu?” (v. 38). Qisu mhu xejn għalik: jaħsbu li Ġesù ma jimpurtahx minnhom, li mhux jieħu ħsiebhom. Fostna, fil-familji tagħna, waħda mill-aktar affarijiet li jweġġgħuna hi meta nisimgħu min jgħidilna: “Ma jimpurtakx minni?”. Hija frażi li tweġġa’ u tqanqal tempesti sħaħ fil-qalb. Anki lil Ġesù dejqitu. Għax m’hemm ħadd iżjed minnu li jimpurtah daqshekk minna. Fil-fatt, meta sejħulu, salva lid-dixxipli tiegħu li kienu qalbhom maqtugħa.

It-tempesta tikxef il-vulnerabbiltà tagħna u dawk iċ-ċertezzi foloz u tal-qoxra li bihom bnejna l-aġendi tagħna, il-proġetti tagħna, id-drawwiet u l-prijoritajiet tagħna. Turina kif ħallejna jorqod u warrabna għall-ġenb dak li jagħti l-ħajja, iwieżen u jqawwi lil ħajjitna u l-komunità tagħna. It-tempesta tikxef il-fehmiet kollha tagħna li “ngeżwru” u ninsew dak li żamm ħajja r-ruħ tal-popli tagħna; dawk it-tentattivi kollha li ppruvaw jilluppjawna bi drawwiet li minn barra jidhru li jistgħu “jsalvaw”, imma li m’għandhomx ħila jżommuna marbuta mal-għeruq tagħna u jqanqlu l-memorja tal-anzjani tagħna, għax ċaħħduna mill-immunità meħtieġa biex nieqfu sodi f’wiċċ il-kuntrarju.

Bit-tempesta, waqgħet il-maskra tal-isterjotipi li biha għattejna l-“jien” tagħna dejjem ħsiebu kif ħa jidher; u baqgħet mikxufa, għal darb’oħra, dik l-(imbierka) appartenenza komuni li ma nistgħux naħarbu minnha: l-appartenenza bħala aħwa ta’ xulxin.

“Dal-biża’ kollu għaliex? Mela ma għandkomx fidi?”. Mulej, il-Kelma tiegħek illejla tolqotna u għandha x’taqsam sew magħna, ilkoll kemm aħna. F’din id-dinja tagħna, li inti tħobb iżjed minna, aħna ġrejna bil-ħeffa kollha, ħassejna ruħna b’saħħitna u nifilħu għal kollox. B’kilba għall-gwadann, ħallejna ħajjitna tinxtorob mill-affarijiet waqt li l-għaġla fixlitna. Ma waqafniex meta smajna s-sejħat tiegħek, ma ġejniex f’sensina quddiem il-gwerer u l-inġustizzji ta’ din l-art, ma tajniex widen għall-karba tal-foqra, u tal-pjaneta tagħna marida serjament. Bqajna għaddejjin qisu xejn mhu xejn, għax ħsibna li mqar f’dinja marida aħna ħa nibqgħu dejjem f’saħħitna. Issa, meta qegħdin f’baħar imqalleb, nitolbuk: “Qum, Mulej!”.

“Dal-biża’ kollu għaliex? Mela ma għandkomx fidi?”. Mulej, int qed tagħmlilna sejħa, sejħa għall-fidi. Li mhix daqstant nemmnux li int teżisti, imma li niġu għandek u nafdaw fik. F’dan ir-Randan tidwi s-sejħa urġenti tiegħek: “Indmu”, “erġgħu duru lejja bi qlubkom kollha” (Ġoel 2:12). Issejħilna biex nilqgħu dan iż-żmien ta’ tiġrib bħala żmien ta’ għażla. Mhuwiex iż-żmien tal-ġudizzju tiegħek, imma tal-ġudizzju tagħna: iż-żmien li nagħżlu x’inhu li jiswa u x’inhu li jgħaddi, li nagħżlu bejn dak li hu meħtieġ u dak li mhuwiex. Huwa ż-żmien li nerġgħu nindirizzaw ir-rotta ta’ ħajjitna lejk, Mulej, u lejn l-oħrajn. U nistgħu nħarsu lejn l-eżempju ta’ tant sħabna fil-vjaġġ, li, fil-biża’, irreaġixxew billi taw ħajjithom stess. Hija l-qawwa ħawtiela tal-Ispirtu msawba u magħġuna f’għotjiet kuraġġjużi u ġenerużi. Hija l-ħajja tal-Ispirtu li kapaċi tifdi, tagħti valur u turi kif il-ħajja tagħna hi minsuġa u mwieżna minn persuni komuni – is-soltu minsija – li ma jidhrux fit-titli tal-ġurnali u tar-rivisti u lanqas fuq il-palkijiet tal-isfilati kbar tal-aħħar shows imma, bla dubju ta’ xejn, illum qegħdin jiktbu l-ġrajjiet deċiżivi tal-istorja tagħna: tobba, infermiera, ħaddiema fis-supermarkets, dawk li jieħdu ħsieb it-tindif, dawk li jduru bil-morda, il-bdoti tal-merkanzija, il-forzi tal-ordni, voluntiera, saċerdoti, reliġjużi u tant u tant oħrajn li fehmu li ħadd ma jista’ jsalva waħdu. Quddiem it-tbatija, fejn jitkejjel il-veru żvilupp tal-popli tagħna, niskopru u ngħixu t-talba saċerdotali ta’ Ġesù: “biex ikunu lkoll ħaġa waħda” (Ġw 17:21). Kemm persuni ta’ kuljum iħaddmu s-sabar u jxerrdu t-tama, u jaraw li ma jiżirgħux paniku imma korresponsabbiltà. Kemm missirijiet, ommijiet, nanniet, għalliema juru lil uliedna, b’ġesti ċkejkna u ta’ kuljum, kif għandhom jaffrontaw u jgħixu kriżi billi jaddattaw id-drawwiet tagħhom, jerfgħu ħarsithom u jħeġġu fit-talb. Kemm persuni jitolbu, joffru u jinterċedu għall-ġid ta’ kulħadd. It-talb u l-qadi fis-skiet: dawn huma l-armi rebbieħa tagħna.

“Dal-biża’ kollu għaliex? Mela ma għandkomx fidi?”. Il-fidi tibda meta nagħrfu li aħna fil-bżonn ta’ salvazzjoni. Waħidna ma nistgħux nagħmlu kollox, waħidna negħrqu: għandna bżonn tal-Mulej bħalma l-baħħara antiki kellhom bżonn tal-kwiekeb. Nistiednu lil Ġesù fid-dgħajjes ta’ ħajjitna. Ngħaddulu l-biżgħat tagħna, biex jegħlibhom hu għalina. Bħad-dixxipli nagħmlu l-esperjenza li, bih magħna fid-dgħajsa, xejn ma jgħarraqna. Għax din hija l-qawwa ta’ Alla: kapaċi jibdel f’tajjeb dak kollu li jiġrilna, imqar il-ħwejjeġ koroh. Huwa jikkalma l-irwiefen tagħna, għax ma’ Alla l-ħajja ma tmut qatt.

Il-Mulej qed jisfidana u, qalb it-tempesta tagħna, jistedinna nqumu u nħaddmu s-solidarjetà u t-tama li kapaċi jimlew bil-qawwa, kapaċi jwieżnu u jagħtu tifsira lil dawn is-sigħat li fihom kollox jidher qed jegħreq. Il-Mulej iqum biex iqajjem u jagħti ħajja ġdida lill-fidi tagħna fl-Għid tiegħu. Għandna ankra: bis-salib tiegħu ġejna salvati. Għandna tmun: bis-salib tiegħu ġejja mifdija. Għandna tama: bis-salib tiegħu ġejna mfejqa u mħaddna biex xejn u ħadd ma jifridna mill-imħabba feddejja tiegħu. Qalb dan l-iżolament li fih qed inġarrbu n-nuqqas tal-ġesti ta’ mħabba u tal-laqgħat tagħna, qed induqu n-nuqqas ta’ tant affarijiet, ejjew nisimgħu mill-ġdid għal darb’oħra l-aħbar li ssalvana: huwa qam u jgħix magħna. Minn fuq is-salib tiegħu l-Mulej jisfidana biex nerġgħu nsibu l-ħajja li qed tistenniena, biex inħarsu lejn dawk li qed jitolbuna, biex inqawwu, nagħrfu u nseddqu l-grazzja li tgħammar fina. Ejjew ma nitfux il-musbieħ inemnem (ara Iż 42:3), li qatt ma ‘jimrad’, u nħalluh jerġa’ jkebbes fina t-tama.

Li nħaddnu s-salib tiegħu jfisser insibu l-kuraġġ li ngħannqu magħna t-tbatija kollha ta’ bħalissa, inwarrbu ftit għall-ġenb il-kilba tagħna għall-poter u għall-ġid biex nagħmlu wisa’ għal dik il-kreattività li l-Ispirtu waħdu jista’ jqanqal fina. Ifisser insibu l-kuraġġ li niftħu spazji fejn kulħadd jista’ jħossu msejjaħ u nħallu jinbtu għamliet ġodda ta’ ospitalità, ta’ fraternità u ta’ solidarjetà. Bis-salib tiegħu ġejna mifdija biex nilqgħu t-tama u nħallu lilha tqawwi u twieżen il-miżuri u t-toroq kollha possibbli li jistgħu jgħinuna nħarsu ruħna u nħarsu lill-oħrajn. Nitgħannqu mal-Mulej biex inħaddnu t-tama: din hija l-qawwa tal-fidi, li teħles mill-biża’ u trodd it-tama.

“Dal-biża’ kollu għaliex? Mela ma għandkomx fidi?”. Għeżież ħuti, minn dan il-post, li jirrakkonta l-fidi ta’ Pietru, samma bħall-blat, illejla nixtieq nafdakom ilkoll lill-Mulej, bl-interċessjoni tal-Madonna, Saħħa tal-poplu tagħha, Kewkba tal-baħar f’tempesta. Minn dan il-kolonnat li jħaddan lil Ruma u lid-dinja kollha ħa tinżel fuqkom, bħal tgħanniqa ta’ wens, il-barka ta’ Alla. Mulej, bierek lid-dinja, agħti saħħa lill-ġisem u faraġ lill-qalb tagħna. Int qed titlobna ma nibżgħux. Imma l-fidi tagħna hi dgħajfa u aħna mbeżżgħin. Imma int, Mulej, titlaqniex f’ħalq it-tempesta. Tennilna għal darb’oħra: “Tibżgħu xejn” (Mt 28:5). U aħna, flimkien ma’ Pietru, “nixħtu fuqek il-ħsibijiet kollha tagħna, għax int taħseb fina” (ara 1 Piet 5:7). Teacher, do you not care if we perish?”

In his homily during the worldwide moment of prayer that Pope Francis led this evening, he reflected on how Coronavirus has united us in our common humanity, as brothers and sisters.
“We have realized that we are on the same boat, all of us fragile and disoriented, but at the same time important and needed, all of us called to row together,” he said.

He used the image of the disciples on the boat, caught by an unexpected storm, and Jesus asleep in the stern. When they call on the Lord, the disciples prove their faith, and yet Jesus rebukes them for their lack of faith.

Let us try to understand. In what does the lack of the disciples’ faith consist, as contrasted with Jesus’ trust? They had not stopped believing in him; in fact, they called on him. But we see how they call on him: “Teacher, do you not care if we perish?” (v. 38). Do you not care: they think that Jesus is not interested in them, does not care about them.
But “he, more than anyone, cares about us,” Pope Francis assured.

The pope said that God is calling us to faith, “which is not so much believing that you exist, but coming to you and trusting in you.”

And he said that this time of trial is a “time of choosing.”

It is not the time of your judgement, but of our judgement: a time to choose what matters and what passes away, a time to separate what is necessary from what is not. It is a time to get our lives back on track with regard to you, Lord, and to others.

Read the whole homily below:

“When evening had come” (Mk 4:35). The Gospel passage we have just heard begins like this. For weeks now it has been evening. Thick darkness has gathered over our squares, our streets and our cities; it has taken over our lives, filling everything with a deafening silence and a distressing void, that stops everything as it passes by; we feel it in the air, we notice in people’s gestures, their glances give them away. We find ourselves afraid and lost.

Like the disciples in the Gospel we were caught off guard by an unexpected, turbulent storm. We have realized that we are on the same boat, all of us fragile and disoriented, but at the same time important and needed, all of us called to row together, each of us in need of comforting the other. On this boat… are all of us. Just like those disciples, who spoke anxiously with one voice, saying “We are perishing” (v. 38), so we too have realized that we cannot go on thinking of ourselves, but only together can we do this.

On this boat… are all of us.
It is easy to recognize ourselves in this story. What is harder to understand is Jesus’ attitude. While his disciples are quite naturally alarmed and desperate, he stands in the stern, in the part of the boat that sinks first. And what does he do? In spite of the tempest, he sleeps on soundly, trusting in the Father; this is the only time in the Gospels we see Jesus sleeping. When he wakes up, after calming the wind and the waters, he turns to the disciples in a reproaching voice: “Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” (v. 40).

Let us try to understand. In what does the lack of the disciples’ faith consist, as contrasted with Jesus’ trust? They had not stopped believing in him; in fact, they called on him. But we see how they call on him: “Teacher, do you not care if we perish?” (v. 38). Do you not care: they think that Jesus is not interested in them, does not care about them. One of the things that hurts us and our families most when we hear it said is: “Do you not care about me?” It is a phrase that wounds and unleashes storms in our hearts. It would have shaken Jesus too. Because he, more than anyone, cares about us. Indeed, once they have called on him, he saves his disciples from their discouragement.

The storm exposes our vulnerability and uncovers those false and superfluous certainties around which we have constructed our daily schedules, our projects, our habits and priorities. It shows us how we have allowed to become dull and feeble the very things that nourish, sustain and strengthen our lives and our communities. The tempest lays bare all our prepackaged ideas and forgetfulness of what nourishes our people’s souls; all those attempts that anesthetize us with ways of thinking and acting that supposedly “save” us, but instead prove incapable of putting us in touch with our roots and keeping alive the memory of those who have gone before us. We deprive ourselves of the antibodies we need to confront adversity.

In this storm, the façade of those stereotypes with which we camouflaged our egos, always worrying about our image, has fallen away, uncovering once more that (blessed) common belonging, of which we cannot be deprived: our belonging as brothers and sisters.

“Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” Lord, your word this evening strikes us and regards us, all of us. In this world, that you love more than we do, we have gone ahead at breakneck speed, feeling powerful and able to do anything. Greedy for profit, we let ourselves get caught up in things, and lured away by haste. We did not stop at your reproach to us, we were not shaken awake by wars or injustice across the world, nor did we listen to the cry of the poor or of our ailing planet. We carried on regardless, thinking we would stay healthy in a world that was sick. Now that we are in a stormy sea, we implore you: “Wake up, Lord!”.

Lord, you are calling to us, calling us to faith
“Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” Lord, you are calling to us, calling us to faith. Which is not so much believing that you exist, but coming to you and trusting in you. This Lent your call reverberates urgently: “Be converted!”, “Return to me with all your heart” (Joel 2:12). You are calling on us to seize this time of trial as a time of choosing. It is not the time of your judgement, but of our judgement: a time to choose what matters and what passes away, a time to separate what is necessary from what is not. It is a time to get our lives back on track with regard to you, Lord, and to others.

We can look to so many exemplary companions for the journey, who, even though fearful, have reacted by giving their lives. This is the force of the Spirit poured out and fashioned in courageous and generous self-denial. It is the life in the Spirit that can redeem, value and demonstrate how our lives are woven together and sustained by ordinary people – often forgotten people – who do not appear in newspaper and magazine headlines nor on the grand catwalks of the latest show, but who without any doubt are in these very days writing the decisive events of our time: doctors, nurses, supermarket employees, cleaners, caregivers, providers of transport, law and order forces, volunteers, priests, religious men and women and so very many others who have understood that no one reaches salvation by themselves.

In the face of so much suffering, where the authentic development of our peoples is assessed, we experience the priestly prayer of Jesus: “That they may all be one” (Jn 17:21). How many people every day are exercising patience and offering hope, taking care to sow not panic but a shared responsibility. How many fathers, mothers, grandparents and teachers are showing our children, in small everyday gestures, how to face up to and navigate a crisis by adjusting their routines, lifting their gaze and fostering prayer. How many are praying, offering and interceding for the good of all. Prayer and quiet service: these are our victorious weapons.

Prayer and quiet service: these are our victorious weapons.
“Why are you afraid? Have you no faith”? Faith begins when we realise we are in need of salvation. We are not self-sufficient; by ourselves we flounder: we need the Lord, like ancient navigators needed the stars. Let us invite Jesus into the boats of our lives. Let us hand over our fears to him so that he can conquer them. Like the disciples, we will experience that with him on board there will be no shipwreck. Because this is God’s strength: turning to the good everything that happens to us, even the bad things. He brings serenity into our storms, because with God life never dies.

The Lord asks us and, in the midst of our tempest, invites us to reawaken and put into practice that solidarity and hope capable of giving strength, support and meaning to these hours when everything seems to be floundering. The Lord awakens so as to reawaken and revive our Easter faith.

We have an anchor: by his cross we have been saved. We have a rudder: by his cross we have been redeemed. We have a hope: by his cross we have been healed and embraced so that nothing and no one can separate us from his redeeming love. In the midst of isolation when we are suffering from a lack of tenderness and chances to meet up, and we experience the loss of so many things, let us once again listen to the proclamation that saves us: he is risen and is living by our side.

The Lord asks us from his cross to rediscover the life that awaits us, to look towards those who look to us, to strengthen, recognize and foster the grace that lives within us. Let us not quench the wavering flame (cf. Is 42:3) that never falters, and let us allow hope to be rekindled.

We have an anchor… We have a rudder… We have a hope
Embracing his cross means finding the courage to embrace all the hardships of the present time, abandoning for a moment our eagerness for power and possessions in order to make room for the creativity that only the Spirit is capable of inspiring. It means finding the courage to create spaces where everyone can recognize that they are called, and to allow new forms of hospitality, fraternity and solidarity.

By his cross we have been saved in order to embrace hope and let it strengthen and sustain all measures and all possible avenues for helping us protect ourselves and others. Embracing the Lord in order to embrace hope: that is the strength of faith, which frees us from fear and gives us hope.

“Why are you afraid? Have you no faith”? Dear brothers and sisters, from this place that tells of Peter’s rock-solid faith, I would like this evening to entrust all of you to the Lord, through the intercession of Mary, Health of the People and Star of the stormy Sea. From this colonnade that embraces Rome and the whole world, may God’s blessing come down upon you as a consoling embrace.

Lord, may you bless the world, give health to our bodies and comfort our hearts. You ask us not to be afraid. Yet our faith is weak and we are fearful. But you, Lord, will not leave us at the mercy of the storm. Tell us again: “Do not be afraid” (Mt 28:5). And we, together with Peter, “cast all our anxieties onto you, for you care about us” (cf. 1 Pet 5:7).

Over 600 years of Service in the Maltese Islands

It is difficult to say with certainty when the Augustinians came to Malta. However, we can say that their presence in Malta takes us back to the second half of the 14thcentury, because this is the period that our historical sources are certain about. In the general archives of the Order we have the first reference to a Maltese Augustinian monk, a certain Fra Frangisk of Malta (+1416) in a general register dated 1386.Other documents found in Palermo show that there was an Augustinian presence in Malta in 1412.

There is evidence to show that the Augustinians took care of the Marian sanctuary of Mellieha. They left this sanctuary probably due to the fear of attacks by corsairs. It is certain however that the Augustinians lost their monastery in Rabat, together with all their possessions, during the Turkish siege of 1429.

The Augustinians in the 16th Century

They built another convent frontespicio contra et prope civitatem quantum est jactus lapidis (a stone’s throw away from the walls of Mdina). This convent was demolished by the Maltese in July 1551 when the Turks were about to attack Mdina. The reason for its demolition was that the convent was too close to the walls of Mdina and so the Turks could use it as siege platform that would have enabled them to enter Mdina. In this tragic episode, the Augustinians once again lost all their possessions.

The Augustinians had to wait till the 28th August 1555 to acquire from the Mdina Cathedral Chapter a small chapel dedicated to St. Mark together with a few adjoining demolished houses on Saqqajja just outside Mdina. This is an important date in the history of the Augustinians in Malta as it is considered as the new beginning of the Augustinian presence in Malta and Gozo that has continued uninterrupted to the present day.

The present convent is an architectural gem that takes to the middle of the 18th century. This magnificent baroque building was the brain child of the famous architect Andrea Belli. Slowly, slowly, the convent just outside Mdina (now in Rabat) became the very heart of the Augustinian presence. This became a house of formation and the philiosophical and theological school of the Order in Malta. It was given the title of conventus maior and for a very long time (1515-1614) the members of the community enjoyed the privilege choosing their own Prior. In 1602 the Prior General, Ippolito of Ravenna called it domus celeberrima.

Many Augustinians who dedicated themselves to scholarship and who served overseas, especially in the houses of the Order in Italy, received their studies in this convent. Mons. Gejtanu Pace Forno, Arhbishop of Malta ta’ Malta (1858-1874), Mons. Paul Micallef, Prior General of the Order (1859-1863), Bishop of Città di Castello (1863), Administrator the the Diocese of Gozo (1866-1867) and Archbishop of Pisa and Primate of Sardinia (1871-1883), Mons. Giovanni M. Camilleri, Bishop of Gozo (1889-1924) and his Eminence Cardinal Prospero Grech are a few of the many Maltese Augustinians who distinguished themselves and who are known for their wisdom, their spirituality and their service to the Church.

The Augustinians in Valletta & Gozo

In 1566, just after the Great Siege of Malta, the Grand Master Jean de la Valette, decided to build a new capital city. In 1571 a contract was signed wherein the Augustinians were given a whole “quarter” so that they could build a convent and church. Later on in 1763, the old building was demolished and a new and majestic convent church was built in its stead. The church is unique in Malta in that it has the shape of a Greek cross. The whole complex was completed in 1794. During the Second World War parts of the convent and church were completely destroyed by German bombing but they were rebuilt anew.

Together with these two principal convents we need to add the one on the island of Gozo. We do not know exactly when the first convent was built in Gozo. It is known that in 1533 the building was pulled down to be replaced by a new structure that better served the needs of the community. Between 1660 and 1717 both the church and convent were enlarged.

The Augustinian monks that used to look after the chapel of Our Lady of Sorrows in Pieta’ (1617-1652) and of our Lady of Virtu’ (1659). During the French occupation, the convents of Rabat and Valletta were debuted of all their wealth and had to bow their heads to the despotic orders of the authorities that too away their religious freedom and their valuable possessions.

The Maltese Augustinian Province

In 1788, King Ferdinand of the two Sicilies ordered that all the convents that fell under his jurisdiction should no longer be run by the Prior General in Rome. As a reaction to this, in 1790, the two convents in Malta and the one in Gozo became an autonomous province by order of the Prior General Stefano Bellesini.

Nevertheless, this decree never came into force because it wasn’t approved by the Holy See and as a consequence of this the three convents fell once again under the jurisdiction of the Province of Sicily. In 1801 the British High Commissioner sent a notice to the local bishop and to all the Religious Orders stating that the British Crown didn’t recognise foreign superiors. When the monks realised that the religious observance was at risk, the asked Pope Pius VII to accept that the three Maltese convents become an Autonomous Province.

With a decree of the 14th September 1817, Septimus Rotelli, Vicar General of the Order set up the Maltese Augustinian Province with the title of the Province of St. Mark.

Educational Work and New Convents

30 years after the founding of the Augustinian Province, precisely in 1848, the Provincial at that time, later on Archbishop of Malta Mons. Gaetano Pace Forno, set up a school to promote the cultural, civil and religious education of Maltese youths, especially those hailing from poor families. This first secondary school offering free tuition for Maltese boys was set up in convent of Valletta.

From that time the Augustinians in Malta have made and are still making a significant contribution with total commitment in the educational field. The ideal of Mons. Pace Forno is still alive in St. Augustine’s College in Pieta’ and in Marsa where teaching is conducted on the principles of Augustinian education.

From that time till this very day, the Augustinians have expanded their presence in various localities. In the 20th century they opened the convents of St. Rita (St. Julian’s), that of Our Lady of Good Counsel in Paceville and the one of St. Nicholas of Tolentino in Tarxien. In 1968 Archbishop Michael Gonzi founded the Parish of St. Augustine in Valletta.

With the start of the new millennium, the Augustinians started a new pastoral project in Paceville, namely the Millennium Chapel and the WOW (Wishing Others Well) which is a spiritual and social project run by the Millennium Chapel Foundation. In addition various lay groups of Augustinian inspiration were set up. These include youth and prayer groups.

From 2015, the Augustinians are providing pastoral service in the community of Bahrija.

For the Service of the Universal Church-The Missions

The missionary spirit is an essential part of the Augustinian life and many were the monks that worked in the missions.


  • The First Missionary Steps
  • The first Maltese Augustinian that we now about, Francis of Malta, carried out his work in Sicily. Another religious brother, Mons. Emanuel Farrugia, (+1770), after completing his studies, went as a missionary in India. He was elected Apostolic Prefect for the Portuguese Indian Region and later was elected Vicar General of Maliapur.


  • The Missions over the Ages
  • At the start of the 20th century, the Irish Augustinian monks, who had founded the Augustinian Order in Australia, asked for some Maltese brothers to go and help them in this enormous continent.

    After a lot of hassle, in 1930, the servant of God, the Prior General Klement Fuhl got from the Holy See the authorisation for the Order to enter the city of Ippona. This was the land where St. Augustine served the Church as a bishop. Fuhl entrusted this mission in the hands of the Maltese Province. The first Maltese Augustinians arrive there in 1933. By the grace of God, in spite of the great changes that have taken place in this country, the Augustinian presence is still alive and active today

    In 1948, The Augustinians settled also in Tunisia and remained there till 1981. Many Maltese Augustinians, especially after the Second World War, went to assist the Italian Vice-Province in Philadelphia and neighbouring areas in the USA. This collaboration continued since the 1960s.

    From 1978 to the year 2006 Maltese religious brothers provided service in the convent and church in Catania.

    The Augustinians also worked heartily in the missions in Brazil. It was in 1962 that the Maltese Augustinians started their mission in this huge country and from that time onwards they have endeavoured to spread the Gospel and also engaged in social work with the help of youth missionary groups that visited this country every year. This work is co-ordinated by the Augustinian Missions Secretariat.

    When in 2014 the various realities of the mission in Brazil supported by different Provinces formed a single Province called Santa Monika, the Augustinian Missions Secretariat sought other places where to repeat this missionary experience. During these past years similar missionary experiences have been conducted in Mozambique and in Kenya.

    Since 2010 another service is being offered ad gentes thanks to the Maltese Augustinians in Cuba.

    Scholarship & Culture

    The Augustinians have always been involved with culture and scholarship. Many of them have worked and are still working in universities as well as in many cultural institutions in Malta and abroad. In 1968 the Augustinian Institute was founded in order to serve as an Augustinian Cultural Centre dedicated to research and scholarship. One of the primary objectives of this institute is to spread the teachings of St. Augustine and to create an awareness of the Augustinian tradition.

    Every year from September to December, the Institute organises a course for the general public. Another major contribution to the civil as well as religious culture are the translations of the works of St. Augustine as well as specialised studies on this doctor of the Church that are being conducted by the Maltese Augustinian Province.

    In the Provincial Chapter of 2010, the Rabat Convent was entrusted with the mission to create spaces and opportunities where a dialogue can take place between faith and culture. This also took place in 2014 in the convent of Valletta.

    Visit https://www.agostinjani.org/ for more info

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    Videos (show all)

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    Location

    Address


    Augustinians Malta - Agostinjani, Kunvent Santu Wistin, Triq L-Ifran
    Valletta
    VLT 1452
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