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Pope: Mass on Feast of St. George [full text] April 19, 2013 -Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) “It is not possible to find Jesus outside the Church”: this was Pope Francis’ message as he marked his name day, the Feast of St. George, this Tuesday celebrating Mass in the Pauline Chapel with the Cardinals present in Rome. Emer McCarthy reports: RealAudio
In his homily, the Pope thanked the cardinals for coming to concelebrate with him: "Thank you - he said - because I really feel welcomed by you". Commenting on the readings of the day, the Holy Father highlighted three aspects of the Church: Its missionary activity, born of persecution; the fact that it is a Mother Church which gifts us the faith that is our identity and that you cannot find Jesus outside of the Church; the joy of belonging to the Church bringing Jesus to others. In short the joy of being an evangelizer:

Below we publish a Vatican Radio transcript and translation of the Holy Father’s Homily for Mass with the Cardinals in the Pauline Chapel.
I thank His Eminence, the Cardinal Dean, for his words: thank you very much, Your Eminence, thank you.
I also thank all of you who wanted to come today: Thank you. Because I feel welcomed by you. Thank you. I feel good with you, and I like that.
The [first] reading today makes me think that the missionary expansion of the Church began precisely at a time of persecution, and these Christians went as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, and proclaimed the Word. They had this apostolic fervor within them, and that is how the faith spread! Some, people of Cyprus and Cyrene - not these, but others who had become Christians - went to Antioch and began to speak to the Greeks too. It was a further step. And this is how the Church moved forward. Whose was this initiative to speak to the Greeks? This was not clear to anyone but the Jews. But ... it was the Holy Spirit, the One who prompted them ever forward ... But some in Jerusalem, when they heard this, became 'nervous and sent Barnabas on an "apostolic visitation": perhaps, with a little sense of humor we could say that this was the theological beginning of the Doctrine of the Faith: this apostolic visit by Barnabas. He saw, and he saw that things were going well.

And so the Church was a Mother, the Mother of more children, of many children. It became more and more of a Mother. A Mother who gives us the faith, a Mother who gives us an identity. But the Christian identity is not an identity card: Christian identity is belonging to the Church, because all of these belonged to the Church, the Mother Church. Because it is not possible to find Jesus outside the Church. The great Paul VI said: "Wanting to live with Jesus without the Church, following Jesus outside of the Church, loving Jesus without the Church is an absurd dichotomy." And the Mother Church that gives us Jesus gives us our identity that is not only a seal, it is a belonging. Identity means belonging. This belonging to the Church is beautiful.

And the third idea comes to my mind - the first was the explosion of missionary activity; the second, the Mother Church - and the third, that when Barnabas saw that crowd - the text says: " And a large number of people was added to the Lord" - when he saw those crowds, he experienced joy. " When he arrived and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced ": his is the joy of the evangelizer. It was, as Paul VI said, "the sweet and comforting joy of evangelizing." And this joy begins with a persecution, with great sadness, and ends with joy. And so the Church goes forward, as one Saint says - I do not remember which one, here - "amid the persecutions of the world and the consolations of the Lord." And thus is the life of the Church. If we want to travel a little along the road of worldliness, negotiating with the world - as did the Maccabees, who were tempted, at that time - we will never have the consolation of the Lord. And if we seek only consolation, it will be a superficial consolation, not that of the Lord: a human consolation. The Church's journey always takes place between the Cross and the Resurrection, amid the persecutions and the consolations of the Lord. And this is the path: those who go down this road are not mistaken.

Let us think today about the missionary activity of the Church: these [people] came out of themselves to go forth. Even those who had the courage to proclaim Jesus to the Greeks, an almost scandalous thing at that time. Think of this Mother Church that grows, grows with new children to whom She gives the identity of the faith, because you cannot believe in Jesus without the Church. Jesus Himself says in the Gospel: " But you do not believe, because you are not among my sheep." If we are not "sheep of Jesus," faith does not some to us. It is a rosewater faith, a faith without substance. And let us think of the consolation that Barnabas felt, which is "the sweet and comforting joy of evangelizing." And let us ask the Lord for this "parresia", this apostolic fervor that impels us to move forward, as brothers, all of us forward! Forward, bringing the name of Jesus in the bosom of Holy Mother Church, and, as St. Ignatius said, "hierarchical and Catholic." So be it.

Papa Francesco: i cristiani tiepidi costruiscono piccole Chiese, ma non è la Chiesa di Gesù VATICAN CITY, April 20, 2013 -Vatican Radio

 

I cristiani tiepidi sono quelli che vogliono costruire una Chiesa a propria misura, ma non è la Chiesa di Gesù: è quanto ha detto oggi il Papa durante la Messa nella Cappellina della Domus Sanctae Marthae. Erano presenti i volontari del Dispensario pediatrico “Santa Marta” in Vaticano, affidato alle Figlie della Carità di San Vincenzo de’ Paoli, che da 90 anni sostiene i bambini e le famiglie bisognose di Roma senza distinzione di religione o nazionalità. Accanto al Papa come chierichetti, due bambini. Il servizio di Sergio Centofanti

La prima comunità cristiana, dopo la persecuzione, vive un momento di pace, si consolida, cammina e cresce “nel timore del Signore e con il conforto dello Spirito Santo”: il Papa commenta la lettura degli Atti degli Apostoli. E’ questa l’aria stessa in cui vive e respira la Chiesa, chiamata a camminare alla presenza di Dio e in modo irreprensibile:

“E’ uno stile della Chiesa. Camminare nel timore del Signore è un po’ il senso dell’adorazione, la presenza di Dio, no? La Chiesa cammina così e quando siamo in presenza di Dio non facciamo cose brutte né prendiamo decisioni brutte. Siamo davanti a Dio. Anche con la gioia e la felicità: questo è il conforto dello Spirito Santo, cioè il dono che il Signore ci ha dato - questo conforto - che ci fa andare avanti”. 

Nel Vangelo proposto dalla liturgia del giorno molti discepoli ritengono duro il linguaggio di Gesù, mormorano, si scandalizzano e alla fine lasciano il Maestro: 

“Questi si sono allontanati, se ne sono andati, perché dicevano ‘quest’uomo è un po’ speciale, dice delle cose che sono dure e noi non possiamo… E’ un rischio troppo grande andare su questa strada. Abbiamo buon senso, eh? Andiamo un po’ indietro e non tanto vicino a Lui’. Questi, forse, avevano una certa ammirazione per Gesù, ma un po’ da lontano: non immischiarsi troppo con questo uomo, perché dice delle cose un po’ strane…”.

Questi cristiani – afferma il Papa – “non si consolidano nella Chiesa, non camminano alla presenza di Dio, non hanno il conforto dello Spirito Santo, non fanno crescere la Chiesa”:

“Sono cristiani di buon senso, soltanto: prendono le distanze. Cristiani - per così dire – ‘satelliti’, che hanno una piccola Chiesa, a propria misura: per dirlo proprio con le parole di Gesù nell’Apocalisse, ‘cristiani tiepidi’. La tiepidezza che viene nella Chiesa… Camminano soltanto alla presenza del proprio buon senso, del senso comune … quella prudenza mondana: questa è una tentazione proprio di prudenza mondana”. 

Papa Francesco pensa ai tanti cristiani “che in questo momento danno testimonianza del nome di Gesù, anche fino al martirio”. Questi – afferma - non sono ‘cristiani satelliti’, perché “vanno con Gesù, sulla strada di Gesù”:

“Questi sanno perfettamente quello che Pietro dice al Signore, quando il Signore gli fa la domanda: ‘Anche voi volete andare, essere ‘cristiani satelliti’?’. Gli rispose Simon Pietro: ‘Signore da chi andremo? Tu hai parole di vita eterna’. Così da un gruppo grande diventa un gruppo un po’ più piccolo, ma di quelli che sanno perfettamente che non possono andare da un’altra parte, perché soltanto Lui, il Signore, ha parole di vita eterna”. 

Il Papa, infine, eleva questa preghiera: 

“Preghiamo per la Chiesa, perché continui a crescere, a consolidarsi, a camminare nel timore di Dio e con il conforto dello Spirito Santo. Che il Signore ci liberi dalla tentazione di quel ‘buon senso’, tra virgolette, dalla tentazione di mormorare contro Gesù, perché è troppo esigente, e dalla tentazione dello scandalo. E così sia”.

 

 

 

Pope Francis: Church is in a love story April 24, 2013 -Vatican Radio

The Church is not a bureaucratic organization, but a love story. This was Pope Francis’ message during Wednesday’s Mass in the Chapel of the Casa Santa Marta.

Attending the Mass this morning were employees of the Institute for the Works of Religion, commonly called the Vatican bank. Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragán, President Emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care, concelebrated Mass with the Holy Father.

The day’s readings tell the story of the growth of the first Christian community. In his homily, the Pope warned against being tempted to make "deals" simply to get "more partners in this enterprise."

Instead, he said, “the road that Jesus willed for His Church is otherwise: the way of difficulties, the way of the Cross, the way of persecution . . . And this makes us wonder: what is this Church? Because it seems it is not a human enterprise."

The Church, he said, is "something else." The disciples do not make the Church – they are the messengers sent by Jesus. And Christ was sent by the Father: “The Church begins there,” he said, “in the heart of the Father, who had this idea . . . of love. So this love story began, a story that has gone on for so long, and is not yet ended. We, the women and men of the Church, we are in the middle of a love story: each of us is a link in this chain of love. And if we do not understand this, we have understood nothing of what the Church is."

The temptation is to focus on the growth of the Church without taking the path of love: "But the Church does not grow by human strength. Some Christians have gone wrong for historical reasons, they have taken the wrong path, they have raised armies, they have waged wars of religion: that is another story, that is not the story of love. Yet we learn, with our mistakes, how the story of love goes. But how does it increase? Jesus said simply: like the mustard seed, it grows like yeast in the flour, without noise."

A head of state once asked how big the Pope’s army was. The Church does not increase “through military might”, said Pope Francis, but through the power of the Holy Spirit. This is because the Church is not just another organisation: “she is Mother” he said. The Pope commented on the number of mothers present at the Mass. “How would you feel,” he asked, “if someone said: she’s a domestic administrator? 'No, I am the mother!' And the Church is Mother. And we are in the middle of a love story that continues thanks to the power of the Holy Spirit. All of us together are a family in the Church, who is our Mother."

The Pope concluded his reflection with a prayer to Mary, asking that she might "give us the grace of the spiritual joy of participating in this love story."



Pope:Pope: The courage to do great things, the humility to appreciate little things April 25, 2013 -Vatican Radio

In his homily for Mass Thursday morning at the Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis focused on how Christians should proclaim the Good News as mandated by Jesus and recounted in the Gospel of Mark read during the Liturgy of the Word. Emer M cCarthy reports: RealAudioMP3

Celebrating the Feast of St. Mark the Evangelist, the Pope said in sharing the Gospel, Christians should have courage to do great things, but at the same time, the humility to appreciate the little things.

Present for the liturgy Thursday morning were members of the Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, accompanied by the Secretary General Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, and a group of police from the Vatican Gendarmerie.

Pope Francis' homily focused on the passage from the Gospel of St. Mark which describes the Ascension of the Lord Jesus. Before ascending into heaven He sends the apostles to preach the Gospel "to the end of the world", not only in Jerusalem or in Galilee.

Go “all over the world. The horizon ... great horizon... And as you can see, this is the mission of the Church. The Church continues to preach this to everyone, all over the world. But she does not go forth alone: she goes forth with Jesus. So they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord acted with them'. The Lord works with all those who preach the Gospel. This is the magnanimity that Christians should have. A pusillanimous Christian is incomprehensible: this magnanimity is part of the Christian vocation: always more and more, more and more, more and more, always onwards!"

"The First Letter of St. Peter - the Pope said - defines the style of Christian preaching as one of humility:

"The style of evangelical preaching should have this attitude: humility, service, charity, brotherly love. 'But ... Lord, we must conquer the world!'. That word, conquer, doesn’t work. We must preach in the world. The Christian must not be like soldiers who when they win the battle make a clean sweep of everything”.

The Christian - continued the Pope - "proclaims the Gospel with his witness, rather than with words." And with a dual disposition, as St. Thomas Aquinas says: a great soul that is not afraid of great things, that moves forward towards infinite horizons, and the humility to take into account the small things. "This is divine – observed the Pope – it is like a tension between the great and the small" and "Christian missionary activity" proceeds "along this path."
The Gospel of St. Mark - said the Pope - ends with "a beautiful phrase" where it says that Jesus was working with the disciples, confirming "the word with accompanying signs”.

"When we go forth with this magnanimity and humility, when we are not scared by the great things, by the horizon, but also take on board the little things - humility, daily charity - the Lord confirms the Word. And we move forward. The triumph of the Church is the Resurrection of Jesus. But there is first the Cross. Today we ask the Lord to become missionaries in the Church, apostles in the Church but in this spirit: a great magnanimity and also a great humility. So be it”.

 

 Pope: Preparing for the heavenly homeland- April 26, 2013 -Vatican Radio

Our journey of faith is not one of alienation, but prepares our hearts to see the beautiful face of God: this was Pope Francis’ message during Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae. On Friday Mass was attended by Staff from the Vatican Typography, the Vatican Labor Office and Vatican State Police. Emer McCarthy reports: RealAudioMP3 
The Gospel of the day recounts Jesus saying to his disciples: “Do not let your hearts be troubled”.


"These words of Jesus are really beautiful words. In a moment of farewell, Jesus speaks to his disciples, really from the heart. He knows that his disciples are sad, because they realize that things are not going well. He says: Do not let your hearts be troubled. And he starts to talk like that, just like a friend, even with the attitude of a pastor. I say, the music in the words of Jesus is how the pastor should behave, like a shepherd with his sheep, right? ... Do not let your hearts be troubled. Have faith in God, in me '. And what does he start to talk about? About Heaven, about the definitive homeland. 'Have faith in me': I remain faithful, it is as if he said that, right? ... Like an engineer, like an architect He tells them what He will do: 'I am going to prepare a place, in my Father’s house is my dwelling'. And Jesus goes to prepare a place for us. " 


Pope Francis asked: "What is that place like? What does 'prepare a place' mean? Does it mean renting a room up there? ‘Prepare a place’, means preparing our ability to enjoy the chance - our chance - to see, to feel, to understand the beauty of what lies ahead, of that homeland towards which we walk ".
"And all of Christian life is the work of Jesus, the Holy Spirit to prepare a place, prepare our eyes to be able to see ... 'But, Father, I see fine! I don’t need glasses! ': But that's another type of vision .... Think of those who are suffering from cataracts and have to undergo an operation to remove them: they can still see, but after surgery what do they all say? 'I never thought you could see so well without glasses!'. Our eyes, the eyes of our soul they need, they have to be prepared to contemplate the beautiful face of Jesus. Our hearing must be prepared in order to hear the beautiful things, the beautiful words. Above all our hearts must be prepared: prepared for love, to love more".
In our life’s journey – said Pope Francis- the Lord prepares our hearts "with trials, with consolations, with tribulations, with good things":


"The whole journey of life is a journey of preparation. Sometimes the Lord has to do it quickly, as he did with the good thief: he only had a few minutes to prepare him and he did it. But the normal run of things goes this way, no?: in preparing our heart, eyes, hearing to arrive in this homeland. Because that is our homeland. 'But, Father, I went to a philosopher and he told me that all these thoughts are an alienation, that we are alienated, that life is this, the concrete, and no-one knows what’s beyond ...'. Some think this is so ... but Jesus tells us that it is not so and says, 'Have faith in me'. This I tell you is the truth: I do not cheat, I do not deceive. "


"Preparing for heaven - said the Pope – means beginning to greet him from afar. This is not alienation: this is the truth, this is allowing Jesus to prepare our hearts, our eyes for the beauty that is so great. It is the path of beauty and" the path to the homeland. " 
Pope Francis concluded with a prayer that the Lord will give us " this strong hope," the courage and the humility to allow the Lord to prepare “our eyes, our hearts, our hearing” for the heavenly homeland, "the definitive dwelling. So be it. "

 

 

 

Pope Francis: Proclaim Jesus with Joy - April 27, 2013 -Vatican Radio

 

Pope Francis, during Mass at the Casa Santa Martha on Saturday morning, invited people to proclaim Jesus with joy and to avoid being "closed in on ourselves". Speaking to those gathered which included employees of the Vatican Post Office and the Santa Martha Pediatic Dispensary, the Pope focused on the theme of Evangelization during his homily.
Reflecting on a reading from the Acts of the Apostles, the Holy Father posed a question, why did many people close themselves off to hearing the word of the Lord in Antioch, where the community of Christ’s disciples had gathered.
The reason is, Pope Francis explained, "Simply, because they had closed hearts, they were not open to the newness of the Holy Spirit. They believed that everything had been said, that everything was as they thought it should be and therefore they felt like defenders of the faith and began to speak against the Apostles…”
The Pope went to say that the closed off attitude of this group also can apply to all closed off groups in history. These are the people he continued, "that do not have the freedom to open up to the Lord":

Communities such as these think they are defending the truth, Pope Francis explained, but what they are really doing is spreading gossip and slander, They look inwards and end up destroying each other.

But it is the Lord’s community that goes forward, these communities are open to the Holy Spirit, they spread the Word of God. This, the Holy Father, added, is a criteria for the Church, our own consciences, our parish communities and our religious communities.
The Pope concluded by saying, look at how Jesus sends us to evangelize, he wants us to proclaim his name with joy. And Pope Francis underlined that we should not be "afraid of the joy of the Spirit," and not be "closed in on ourselves." Listen to this report by Lydia O'Kane 


 

 

 Pope: Shame is a true Christian virtue - April 29, 2013 -Vatican Radio

http://en.radiovaticana.va/global_images/x.gif The Confessional is not a ‘dry cleaners’ where our sins are automatically washed away and Jesus is not waiting there to ‘be at us up’, but to forgive us with the tenderness of a father for our sins. Moreover, being ashamed of our sins is not only natural, it’s a virtue that helps prepare us for God's forgiveness. This was the central message of Pope Francis’ homily Monday morning during Mass celebrated with staff from the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA) and religious present in Casa Santa Marta. Emer McCarthy reports: RealAudioMP3 
Commenting on the First Letter of St. John, which states " God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all," Francis Pope pointed out that "we all have darkness in our lives," moments "where everything, even our consciousness, is in the dark”, but this - he pointed out - does not mean we walk in darkness:

"Walking in darkness means being overly pleased with ourselves, believing that we do not need salvation. That is darkness! When we continue on this road of darkness, it is not easy to turn back. Therefore, John continues, because this way of thinking made him reflect: 'If we say we are without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us'. Look to your sins, to our sins, we are all sinners, all of us ... This is the starting point. But if we confess our sins, He is faithful, He is so just He forgives us our sins, cleansing us from all unrighteousness…The Lord who is so good, so faithful, so just that He forgives. "

"When the Lord forgives us, He does justice" - continued the Pope - first to himself, "because He came to save and forgive", welcoming us with the tenderness of a Father for his children: "The Lord is tender towards those who fear, to those who come to Him "and with tenderness," He always understand us”. He wants to gift us the peace that only He gives. " "This is what happens in the Sacrament of Reconciliation" even though "many times we think that going to confession is like going to the dry cleaner" to clean the dirt from our clothes:

"But Jesus in the confessional is not a dry cleaner: it is an encounter with Jesus, but with this Jesus who waits for us, who waits for us just as we are. “But, Lord, look ... this is how I am”, we are often ashamed to tell the truth: 'I did this, I thought this'. But shame is a true Christian virtue, and even human ... the ability to be ashamed: I do not know if there is a similar saying in Italian, but in our country to those who are never ashamed are called “sin vergüenza’: this means ‘the unashamed ', because they are people who do not have the ability to be ashamed and to be ashamed is a virtue of the humble, of the man and the woman who are humble. "

Pope Francis continued: “ we must have trust, because when we sin we have an advocate with the Father, "Jesus Christ the righteous." And He "supports us before the Father" and defends us in front of our weaknesses. But you need to stand in front of the Lord "with our truth of sinners", "with confidence, even with joy, without masquerading... We must never masquerade before God." And shame is a virtue: "blessed shame." "This is the virtue that Jesus asks of us: humility and meekness".

"Humility and meekness are like the frame of a Christian life. A Christian must always be so, humble and meek. And Jesus waits for us to forgive us. We can ask Him a question: Is going to confession like to a torture session? No! It is going to praise God, because I, a sinner , have been saved by Him. And is He waiting for me to beat me? No, with tenderness to forgive me. And if tomorrow I do the same? Go again, and go and go and go .... He always waits for us. This tenderness of the Lord, this humility, this meekness .... "


This confidence, concluded Pope Francis "gives us room to breathe." "The Lord give us this grace, the courage to always go to Him with the truth, because the truth is light and not the darkness of half-truths or lies before God. It give us this grace! So be it. " 

 

 

 

Pope: A worldly Church cannot transmit the Gospel - April 30, 2013 -Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) A worldly Church is a weak Church. The only way to stop this from happening is to entrust the Church to the Lord through constant prayer. This was the message at the heart of Pope Francis’ homily during Mass Tuesday morning, celebrated with staff from the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, also known as APSA. Emer McCarthy reports: RealAudioMP3 
"We can safeguard the Church, we can cure the Church, no? We do so with our work, but what’s most important is what the Lord does : He is the only One who can look into the face of evil and overcome it. The prince of the world comes but can do nothing against me: if we don’t want the prince of this world to take the Church into his hands, we must entrust it to the One who can defeat the prince of this world. Here the question arises: do we pray for the Church, for the entire Church? For our brothers and sisters whom we do not know, everywhere in the world? It is the Lord's Church and in our prayer we say to the Lord: Lord, look at your Church ... It' s yours. Your Church is [made up of ] our brothers and sisters. This is a prayer that must come from our heart".

Then, Pope Francis remarked that "it is easy to pray for the grace of the Lord", "to thank Him" or when "we need something." But it is fundamental that we also pray to the Lord for all, for those who have "received the same Baptism," saying "they are Yours, they are ours, watch over them".

"Entrust the Church to the Lord is a prayer that makes the Church grow. It is also an act of faith. We can do nothing, we are poor servants - all of us - of the Church: it is He who keeps her going and holds her and makes her grow , makes her holy, defends and protects her from the prince of this world and what he wants the Church to become, in short more and more worldly. This is the greatest danger! When the Church becomes worldly, when she has the spirit of the world within herself, when that peace which is not that of the Lord - that peace when Jesus says, 'I leave you peace, my peace I give you', not as the world gives it - when she has that worldly peace, the Church is a weak Church, a defeated Church, unable to transmit the Gospel, the message of the Cross, the scandal of the Cross ... She cannot transmit this if she is worldly”.

During his homily, Pope Francis returned several times to the importance of prayer to entrust "the Church to the Lord", the path to "the peace that only He can give":

"Entrust the Church to God, entrust the elderly, the sick, the children, the youth ... 'Safeguard your Church Lord ': she is yours! With this attitude, He will give us, in the midst of tribulations, the peace that only He can give . This peace which the world cannot give, that peace that cannot be bought, that peace which is a true gift of the presence of Jesus in the midst of his Church. Entrusting the Church that is in distress: there are great tribulations, persecution ... there are. But there are also small tribulations: the small tribulations of illness or family problems ... entrust all this to the Lord guard your Church in tribulation, so she does not lose faith, so she does not lose hope. " 

Pope Francis concluded : "May the Lord make us strong so we do not lose faith, so we do not lose hope”. Entrusting the Church to the Lord “will do us and the Church good. It will give us great peace [and although] it will not rid us of our tribulations, it will make us stronger in our sufferings”. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Pope: Shame is a true Christian virtue - April 29, 2013 -Vatican Radio

http://en.radiovaticana.va/global_images/x.gif The Confessional is not a ‘dry cleaners’ where our sins are automatically washed away and Jesus is not waiting there to ‘be at us up’, but to forgive us with the tenderness of a father for our sins. Moreover, being ashamed of our sins is not only natural, it’s a virtue that helps prepare us for God's forgiveness. This was the central message of Pope Francis’ homily Monday morning during Mass celebrated with staff from the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA) and religious present in Casa Santa Marta. Emer McCarthy reports: RealAudioMP3 
Commenting on the First Letter of St. John, which states " God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all," Francis Pope pointed out that "we all have darkness in our lives," moments "where everything, even our consciousness, is in the dark”, but this - he pointed out - does not mean we walk in darkness:

"Walking in darkness means being overly pleased with ourselves, believing that we do not need salvation. That is darkness! When we continue on this road of darkness, it is not easy to turn back. Therefore, John continues, because this way of thinking made him reflect: 'If we say we are without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us'. Look to your sins, to our sins, we are all sinners, all of us ... This is the starting point. But if we confess our sins, He is faithful, He is so just He forgives us our sins, cleansing us from all unrighteousness…The Lord who is so good, so faithful, so just that He forgives. "

"When the Lord forgives us, He does justice" - continued the Pope - first to himself, "because He came to save and forgive", welcoming us with the tenderness of a Father for his children: "The Lord is tender towards those who fear, to those who come to Him "and with tenderness," He always understand us”. He wants to gift us the peace that only He gives. " "This is what happens in the Sacrament of Reconciliation" even though "many times we think that going to confession is like going to the dry cleaner" to clean the dirt from our clothes:

"But Jesus in the confessional is not a dry cleaner: it is an encounter with Jesus, but with this Jesus who waits for us, who waits for us just as we are. “But, Lord, look ... this is how I am”, we are often ashamed to tell the truth: 'I did this, I thought this'. But shame is a true Christian virtue, and even human ... the ability to be ashamed: I do not know if there is a similar saying in Italian, but in our country to those who are never ashamed are called “sin vergüenza’: this means ‘the unashamed ', because they are people who do not have the ability to be ashamed and to be ashamed is a virtue of the humble, of the man and the woman who are humble. "

Pope Francis continued: “ we must have trust, because when we sin we have an advocate with the Father, "Jesus Christ the righteous." And He "supports us before the Father" and defends us in front of our weaknesses. But you need to stand in front of the Lord "with our truth of sinners", "with confidence, even with joy, without masquerading... We must never masquerade before God." And shame is a virtue: "blessed shame." "This is the virtue that Jesus asks of us: humility and meekness".

"Humility and meekness are like the frame of a Christian life. A Christian must always be so, humble and meek. And Jesus waits for us to forgive us. We can ask Him a question: Is going to confession like to a torture session? No! It is going to praise God, because I, a sinner , have been saved by Him. And is He waiting for me to beat me? No, with tenderness to forgive me. And if tomorrow I do the same? Go again, and go and go and go .... He always waits for us. This tenderness of the Lord, this humility, this meekness .... "


This confidence, concluded Pope Francis "gives us room to breathe." "The Lord give us this grace, the courage to always go to Him with the truth, because the truth is light and not the darkness of half-truths or lies before God. It give us this grace! So be it. " 

 

 

 

Pope: A worldly Church cannot transmit the Gospel - April 30, 2013 -Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) A worldly Church is a weak Church. The only way to stop this from happening is to entrust the Church to the Lord through constant prayer. This was the message at the heart of Pope Francis’ homily during Mass Tuesday morning, celebrated with staff from the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, also known as APSA. Emer McCarthy reports: RealAudioMP3 
"We can safeguard the Church, we can cure the Church, no? We do so with our work, but what’s most important is what the Lord does : He is the only One who can look into the face of evil and overcome it. The prince of the world comes but can do nothing against me: if we don’t want the prince of this world to take the Church into his hands, we must entrust it to the One who can defeat the prince of this world. Here the question arises: do we pray for the Church, for the entire Church? For our brothers and sisters whom we do not know, everywhere in the world? It is the Lord's Church and in our prayer we say to the Lord: Lord, look at your Church ... It' s yours. Your Church is [made up of ] our brothers and sisters. This is a prayer that must come from our heart".

Then, Pope Francis remarked that "it is easy to pray for the grace of the Lord", "to thank Him" or when "we need something." But it is fundamental that we also pray to the Lord for all, for those who have "received the same Baptism," saying "they are Yours, they are ours, watch over them".

"Entrust the Church to the Lord is a prayer that makes the Church grow. It is also an act of faith. We can do nothing, we are poor servants - all of us - of the Church: it is He who keeps her going and holds her and makes her grow , makes her holy, defends and protects her from the prince of this world and what he wants the Church to become, in short more and more worldly. This is the greatest danger! When the Church becomes worldly, when she has the spirit of the world within herself, when that peace which is not that of the Lord - that peace when Jesus says, 'I leave you peace, my peace I give you', not as the world gives it - when she has that worldly peace, the Church is a weak Church, a defeated Church, unable to transmit the Gospel, the message of the Cross, the scandal of the Cross ... She cannot transmit this if she is worldly”.

During his homily, Pope Francis returned several times to the importance of prayer to entrust "the Church to the Lord", the path to "the peace that only He can give":

"Entrust the Church to God, entrust the elderly, the sick, the children, the youth ... 'Safeguard your Church Lord ': she is yours! With this attitude, He will give us, in the midst of tribulations, the peace that only He can give . This peace which the world cannot give, that peace that cannot be bought, that peace which is a true gift of the presence of Jesus in the midst of his Church. Entrusting the Church that is in distress: there are great tribulations, persecution ... there are. But there are also small tribulations: the small tribulations of illness or family problems ... entrust all this to the Lord guard your Church in tribulation, so she does not lose faith, so she does not lose hope. " 

Pope Francis concluded : "May the Lord make us strong so we do not lose faith, so we do not lose hope”. Entrusting the Church to the Lord “will do us and the Church good. It will give us great peace [and although] it will not rid us of our tribulations, it will make us stronger in our sufferings”.