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Papa Francis The First | His Holiness Papa Francisco

Called to Joy...

Joy, like love, is often a decision, an act of the will, rather than a spontaneous emotion. St. Francis knew this when he told his companion, Brother Leo, that perfect joy would be not reacting to violent rejection by the gatekeeper at his own friary. Pope Francis knew this when he wrote his apostolic exhortation on The Joy of the Gospel. Certainly Jesus knew it when he told his disciples, shortly before his own violent death, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete” (John 15:11). He was talking about the image of the vine and the branches, the pruning that must take place for a fruitful life.

IMG_2207I discovered this truth myself when I was writing Pope Francis and Our Call to Joy. My life at the time wasn’t especially happy or peaceful. But the work of writing pushed me to stay connected to the Gospel, to the roots of my own spiritual growth, to the encouraging words of Pope Francis. I surrounded myself with photos of the smiling, compassionate, down-to-earth pope. All of these things helped me to find the inner peace that’s a big part of Christian joy.

Now that the book is done, I’m called to be faithful to my own words. It can be a challenge some days, but it’s a challenge I choose to accept—with joy.

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"And now let us begin this journey, the Bishop and people, this journey of the Church of Rome, which presides in charity over all the Churches, a journey of brotherhood in love, of mutual trust. Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the whole world that there might be a great sense of brotherhood.

I will now give my blessing to you and to the whole world, to all men and women of good will."

-Papa Francis quote

He does not know you, yet he prays for you.
He will most likely never meet you, yet he loves you.

This is your chance to show your love, for as the Bible teaches, "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven."