Fr Jurgis Pabrėža (1771-1849), who was born 250 years ago, gave suggestive and memorable, timely and modern, and professionally written and delivered sermons to believers. Pabrėža himself compiled collections of sermons (a total of ten sets of sermons), and divided them by topic. The subject of this article is one of the surviving collections of sermons, ‘Sermons on Various Matters’. In his sermons, Pabrėža adheres to the Church tradition by referring to the Bible, the documents of the Ecumenical Councils of the Church, and the teachings of the Church Fathers, popes and saints. While thinking and deliberating in his heart, taking up theological studies, reading and studying the Holy Scriptures, and practising spiritual exercises, the preacher examines the current affairs of the time, and applies traditional teaching to them. Pabrėža’s goal was to preach the Word of God, keeping science and faith in close unity, in order ‘to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ’ (1 Thessalonians 5:9), the Incarnate Word of God. The Word preached by the priest, i.e. Jesus Christ, is God Himself, and all words refer to the Word, which is never only the past, but always both the present and the future.
Humanity benefits from the achievements of modern technology, but man cannot avoid pain, long-term suffering, and spiritual problems. In modern society, as in all eras, man still raises fundamental questions of being: What is the meaning of life? What is spirituality? How to solve spiritual problems? Therefore, spiritual counselling or assistance is receiving more and more attention. Its needs and benefits are undoubtedly noticeable, because spiritual assistance tries to respond to the spiritual needs of people today, and to be a landmark in spreading spiritual well-being. Although spiritual counselling in Lithuania is still searching for explicit boundaries of function and definition, it is becoming quite clear that it is not the same as psychological counselling. Of course, spiritual counselling is not so far from psychological counselling, as they both have some features in common. However, the priority of a spiritual counsellor is existential questions and the search for answers to queries about the meaning of life, suffering, death, love, etc. Spiritual counselling tries to approach a person through the prism of faith. A unique element in spiritual counselling is not the methods used by the counsellors, but their personality, their world-view, faith, values, and attitude towards other people. Therefore, in order to substantiate the identity and importance of spiritual counselling, this article aims to reveal the essence and meaning of spiritual counselling.
In his literary cycle The Chronicles of Narnia Clive Staples Lewis conveyed the Biblical plot, Christian values and moral virtues. The main leitmotif apparent in The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis is development of the relation with Jesus Christ. In order to achieve this purpose, the author skilfully employed the main characters and their actions to render cardinal moral virtues of wisdom, justice, strength and self-restraint. This article reveals the expression of the above mentioned cardinal moral virtues in C. S. Lewis’s literary cycle The Chronicles of Narnia through systematization of the actions of the characters and expressions of Biblical motifs. C. S. Lewis relies on his Christian wisdom to present a sketch of theological moral virtues which could be used as guidelines in moral education of the youth.
In today’s productivity-oriented culture, topics related to death, illness, and loss are avoided. However, sooner or later people fall ill, die and various losses accompany everyone’s life. These experiences come together with spiritual pain, grief, tension, anxiety, fear and anger. If not addressed properly, these feelings cause physical and mental illnesses, loss of one’s identity, psychological trauma and interfere with fulfilling relationships. Spiritual health is the most important indicator of human health and the quality of life. It is also vital to the overall health of a person and is related to the essence of a human being and to what is valued and truly cherished by a particular person. This article reveals the changes in the state of a person in the presence of a disease from a psychological and theological perspective by analysing scientific literature, interpreting and systematizing information.
23rd October 2017 commemorated the 30th anniversary of the Council of Europe Declaration of Santiago de Compostela. After the declaration was made, routes of the Camino de Santiago were drawn throughout Europe and Lithuania as well. This article briefly presents the sources and development of the Way of Saint James and its extensions into Lithuania. Commemorating the anniversaries of the establishment of the Samogitian diocese (1417) and Telšiai diocese (1926), the attention is focused on the routes of the Camino de Santiago in the territory of the Telšiai diocese.
Jesus, the Son of God, through whom all things were created, united with the world when taking on a human body in the womb of Virgin Mary. Therefore, the Church addresses Mary as Mother while praying for protection and care. Pope Francis is particularly devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Holy Father Francis emphasises that Mary, while carefully watching Jesus fulfilling His mission, always points to Her Son Jesus and not to Herself. The article discusses the aspects of Pope Francis’s devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and his teaching about the Blessed Virgin Mary.
A person is a sexual being expressing oneself as a man or a woman. People exercise relationships and possess a certain gender identity. However, as a result of the sin and damaged sexuality, there is an incentive to use oneself and others as instruments whereas it becomes difficult, if not impossible, to build and maintain relationships and to experience sexuality (femininity or masculinity) and one’s gender the way that the Creator has planned for the human nature. Restoration of these sin-damaged abilities of relationships, sexuality and gender identity is possible by turning to God, recognizing His plan for people and believing in His power and willingness to restore within a person what has been ruined. Different practices of Christian faith, psychotherapy or self-help groups serve this purpose. One of the ways to render assistance is programs of “Living Water”. In Lithuania there are two active programs: “Living Water” and “In the Beginning”. In a number of cases these programs have a positive impact on personal relationships, sexuality and gender identity.This article focuses on God’s plan, personal relationships, sexuality and gender identity, which were all corrupted by the sin, discusses possible solutions to restore what has been damaged by the sin, as well as presents the analysis of the outcomes of the research on the influence of the programs of “Living Water” on women’s personal relationships, sexuality and gender identity.
The Ark of the Covenant, Blessed Virgin Mary and the Tabernacle are visible signs of God’s presence. In the era of the Old Testament, God, who surpasses all that is on Earth, descends to the sacred tent with the Ark of the Covenant. At the time of the New Testament, the closeness and holiness of God was carried within Blessed Virgin Mary. And in the period of the Church Jesus stays with the mankind in the Holy Eucharist which is kept in the Tabernacle. This article presents the continuity of the Holiest Place, which expresses God’s visible presence, throughout three time periods: the Ark of the Covenant at the time of the Old Testament, Blessed Virgin Mary at the time of the New Testament and the Tabernacle at the time of the Church. While reviewing the development of the Holiest Place we can see God’s desire to manifest and present Himself to the man. “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us ... full of grace and truth” (John 1: 14).
In the modern technologized XXI century, the man, surrounded by advancing medicine and improving conditions of life, stumbles upon the disease and the suffering it causes. In such a world full of disease and pain, the Church shows care for the sick in various spiritual ways. On February 11, 1992 St Pope John Paul II officially introduced the annual commemoration of the World Day of the Sick, when the Catholic Church celebrates the liturgy of Our Lady of Lourdes. The World Day of the Sick was first commemorated on 11 February, 1993. John Paul II pronounced thirteen world days of the sick (1993–2005) and addressed them with special letters-messages. Also, John Paul II introduced the tradition of celebrating the World Day of the Sick every year in an important shrine dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary of a chosen country. The choice of such shrines dedicated to Mary reveals that the Church is attentive to all suffering physically and spiritually, that the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary is called upon in the prayers for health for the sick, and the Mother Mary of Jesus is shown to those caring for the sick as an example of the perfect love of God and neighbour. This article reviews the places of commemoration of the day of the sick associated with the Blessed Virgin Mary in the letters of Pope John Paul II. Discussing the marianism of the places of commemoration of the world days of the sick, the care of Pope John Paul II for the sick and those who perform the service of love for the sick is revealed.
The 21st century is proclaimed to be the era of enhancement of quality of human life. Providing of social assistance plays an important role in the improvement of the quality of human life. In order to ensure the appropriate social assistance its providers have to be guided by ethical norms. Adherence to the principles of ethics is the basis of social assistance which makes it even more effective. The ability to behave ethically while providing social assistance is the main qualitative aspect of the service for its clients. This article highlights those ethical principles which are connected to respect, justice and protection.