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Just reminding erryone of my current location #rio #papafrancis #skyline #beautiful

Posted by on 7-22-13

El Jueves salgo para Puerto Rico y estare participando del JMJ en PR. Un Evento unido al JMJ de Brasil. Seran dias de mucha gracia, poder y misericordia. Contamos con sus oraciones! Para mas info porfavor visiten www.jmj2013pr.com #jmj #jmj2013pr #brasil #puertorico #unasolaiglesia #jovenes #catholic #catolico #papafrancis

Posted by on 7-22-13

“Não tenho ouro nem prata.. Vim aqui transmitir o maior presente que recebi nessa vida: Jesus Cristo” – Papa Francisco, no Palácio Guanabara, na sua chegada no Rio de Janeiro

Posted by on 7-22-13

Nada mejor que coger cosas de los hoteles y encontrartelas un tiempo mas tarde #recuerdoson #abril2013 #antequera #campeonatoespañaporescuelas #catalunya #buenequipo #genialrelevo #granada #bocadecaballo #dientesdeleon #mojopicon #bananas #pasajeros #titofrancis #papafrancis #yayofrancis #quierovolver

Posted by on 7-22-13

El papa Francisco acaba de recitar: “Necesitamos santos sin velo, sin sotana. Necesitamos santos de jeans y zapatillas. Necesitamos santos que vayan al cine, escuchen musica y paseen con sus amigos. Necesitamos santos que coloquen a Dios en primer lugar y que sobresalgan en la Universidad. Necesitamos santos que busquen tiempo cada dia para rezar y que sepan enamorar en la pureza y castidad, o que consagren su castidad. Necesitamos santos modernos, santos del siglo XXI con una espiritualidad insertada en nuestro tiempo. Necesitamos santos comprometidos con los pobres y los necesarios cambios sociales. Necesitamos santos que vivan en el mundo, se santifiquen en el mundo y que no tengan miedo de vivir en el mundo. Necesitamos santos que tomen Coca Cola y coman hot-dogs, que sean internautas, que escuchen iPod. Necesitamos santos que amen la Eucaristia y que no tengan vergüenza de tomar una cerveza o comer pizza el fin de semana con los amigos. Necesitamos santos a los que les guste el cine, el teatro, la musica, la danza, el deporte. Necesitamos santos sociables, abiertos, normales, amigos, alegres, compañeros. Necesitamos santos que esten en el mundo y que sepan saborear las cosas puras y buenas del mundo, pero sin ser mundanos”. Amen!!!!!!! (Esta parte la dije yo) :) #santidadenjeans #santidad #PapaFrancis #Iglesia #yes #holiness

Posted by on 7-21-13

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Ask a Franciscan: Why Is There So Much Injustice?...

Posted on May 11, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Q. If God is all-powerful and all-good, why does evil exist? I have heard the theories of human free will, responsibility, and weakness after Adam and Eve’s fall. We simply don’t know why God allows what God allows. Why is there so much unbearable injustice in the world?

A. The evidence of human suffering is undeniable. If someone uses that fact as a reason not to believe in God, the suffering doesn’t disappear. In fact, it may be even harder to handle.

As a group, are atheists more compassionate than people who believe in God? I don’t see any evidence to support such a generalization. Although some atheists work in soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and similar services, they rarely, if ever, sponsor them officially.

People are killed by hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, catastrophic fires, and other causes. But most people never cite these as reasons not to believe in God or not to believe in God’s overall providence.

No, what they do cite are obviously human evils: murder, theft, abuse of children or vulnerable adults, and genocide that fill our daily news.

God did not have to create stars, rocks, flowers, birds, or people. God did all of that out of love, acting in perfect freedom. We never act with the same freedom, but every time we act in more genuine freedom, we are acting as people made in God’s image and likeness.

Most human suffering is caused by an abuse of human freedom. God could, of course, have created a world in which human freedom could not be abused. That would be the ultimate demonstration of micromanaging. In such a world, however, we could make no sense of authentic love or God-given freedom.

The evil that we encounter all too often does not indicate a lack of due diligence on God’s part, but rather a failure on humans’ part to use their freedom in a way that acknowledges God as the ultimate source of our freedom.

Later this month, we celebrate the anniversary of Christ’s birth, the most powerful reminder of God’s infinite and continuing love.

Do you have a question for Father Pat? Send them to Ask@FranciscanMedia.org!

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Photo: hikrcn/Shutterstock

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Thank You, Mom...

Posted on May 8, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

I have a confession to make: I don’t like children.

Let me rephrase: I don’t like children I’m not related to or know in some capacity. The sound of a crying child in a grocery store sends me right to the Chilean wine section. If an angry child in a restaurant raises his voice one too many times, I want to dive under the table. And I can’t even talk about kids in theaters.

But I was a child, too, once.

I’ve always believed that one of my mom’s greatest accomplishments is that she survived my upbringing without being whisked away to an institution. My sister and I gave it our best effort, but we were wholly outmatched. Mom could seldom be rattled.

In truth, I was a good kid, but I was no picnic. Observe: When I was too young to govern myself, I used to rip the wigs off mannequins, halt escalators (the little red button at the top was simply too tempting), and dive into coin fountains for midwinter swims—and that was just when she took me to the mall. For obvious reasons, it didn’t happen often. Looking back, I realize that Mom never broke a sweat. Like all good mothers, she knew when to use restraint and when to reprimand.

It would be a shoddy world without our mothers. Regardless of our age, there’s something calming about her company. Hundreds of people breeze in and out of our lives. Good mothers—and good fathers, yes—are some of the few who leave those crucial chapters in our personal histories.

Life doesn’t simplify with age. Even today, my life can be a messy, complicated exercise. Problems and stresses can be like a sea of toys scattered around a child’s bedroom. Growing up, I rarely felt the need to clean my room—and little has changed as an adult. Problems are everywhere. With Mother’s Day approaching, I have an opportunity to say to her, simply, “Thank you.” And, perhaps not so simply, “I’m sorry.”

Take a moment to share your love for mom by sending her a Catholic Greetings’ e-card for Mother’s Day!

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Photo: conrado/Shutterstock

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God’s Love Has a Name and a Face...

Posted on May 7, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Our blog today is an excerpt from Franciscan Media’s new book The Spirit of Saint Francis: Inspiring Words from Pope Francis, edited by Alicia von Stamwitz.

What is God’s love? It is not something vague, some generic feeling. God’s love has a name and a face: Jesus Christ, Jesus. Love for God is made manifest in Jesus. For we cannot love air…. Do we love air? Do we love all things? No, no we cannot; we love people and the person we love is Jesus, the gift of the Father among us.

It is a love that gives value and beauty to everything else; a love that gives strength to the family, to work, to study, to friendship, to art, to all human activity. It even gives meaning to negative experiences, because this love allows us to move beyond these experiences, to go beyond them, not to remain prisoners of evil. It moves us beyond, always opening us to hope, that’s it! Love of God in Jesus always opens us to hope, to that horizon of hope, to the final horizon of our pilgrimage. In this way our labors and failures find meaning. Even our sin finds meaning in the love of God because this love of God in Jesus Christ always forgives us.

He loves us so much that he always forgives us.

—Pope Francis
Angelus, St. Peter’s Square
Sunday, August 11, 2013

To learn more about The Spirit of Saint Francis: Inspiring Words from Pope Francis, click here.

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Photo: CNS photo/Paul Haring

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The Day I Met Pope Francis...

Posted on May 6, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

“God always surprises us; he bursts our categories; he wreaks havoc with our plans. And he tells us: Trust me; do not be afraid; let yourself be surprised.”

I couldn’t have agreed more with Pope Francis when I heard him preach these words. It was October 13, 2013. I was standing in St. Peter’s Square with my father and my 4-month-old baby. As I watched him on the large-screen TVs from half a mile away, it was all the more amazing to think that, just the day before, we had kissed his ring and spoken with the pope face-to-face.

Gift of a Lifetime
The opportunity to meet Pope Francis had come as a surprise. In fact, our entire visit to Rome was the result of an unexpected invitation.

Fewer than two months earlier, on August 27, I had been awake at midnight feeding my baby, Gianna Agnes, when I heard a ding as an e-mail landed in my inbox. Who’s e-mailing me in the middle of the night? I wondered. A quick glance revealed the subject line: “Greetings from Rome.” I didn’t know anybody in Rome, so this was all the more curious. Opening the message, I was astonished to see a note from the Pontifical Council for the Laity inviting me to participate in a study seminar commemorating the 25th anniversary of St. John Paul II’s apostolic letter Mulieris Dignitatem (“On the Dignity and Vocation of Women”). Baffled at how they had obtained my name and e-mail address, I reread the e-mail in disbelief. How on earth had I been added to this list?

My confusion was quickly trumped by my excitement. Attending this seminar seemed too good to be true. Mulieris Dignitatem wasn’t just any papal paper. This was a document that had radically changed my life. This letter was largely responsible for my return to Catholicism after a period of deep anger and hostility toward the Church.

Through these reflections, I had come to realize that as a woman I had an irreplaceable mission in the heart of the Church. I had also begun to comprehend the nobility of motherhood, both spiritual and physical. The letter helped me appreciate motherhood as a gift to humanity, a blessing for women, and a vocation from God.

This blog is taken from the article “Meeting Pope Francis” by Gina Loehr and Al Giambrone from St. Anthony Messenger magazine. To read the entire article click here.

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Photo from L’Osservatore Romano

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7 Ways to Thank Mom...

Posted on May 5, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

It would be a scary world without our mothers.

Moms are proof that God loves us. Regardless of our age, our location, or our independence, there’s something unmistakably comforting about them. Franciscan Media and Servant Books offers titles that would make excellent gifts for moms who are looking for faith-affirming reading.

Created to Relate: God’s Design for Peace and Joy: This book explains the natural gift women have for building and maintaining life-giving relationships.

Walk Softly and Carry a Great Bag: On-the-God Devotions: Author Teresa Tomeo provides daily reflections to soothe the souls of  Christian women everywhere.

The Spirit of Saint Francis: Inspiring Words from Pope Francis: Published in cooperation with the Vatican, this original collection brings the life and legacy of Saint Francis of Assisi to life through the pope’s uplifting and challenging words.

Sisterhood of Saints: Daily Guidance and Inspiration: In this page-a-day book for women, Melanie Rigney gives us a wellspring of interesting and diverse female saints who aptly show the way to be better disciples of Christ.

What Teens Want You to Know (But Won’t Tell You): From over two decades of listening to young people tell him things they were not telling their parents, Roy Petitfils learned that often what teens think and feel most deeply might not be what you think.

When Faith Causes Family Friction: Dr. Ray Tackles the Tough Questions: Do you ever feel like raising kids in the faith is a losing battle? Let Dr. Ray Guarendi show you the guilt-free way to live your faith and share it peacefully with those you love.

Woman of Strength: Learning from the Proverbs 31 Woman: In this book of meditations, you will meet the real woman of Proverbs 31: dignified, strong, caring, creative, and resourceful.

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Photo: arek_malang/Shutterstock

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ASK FATHER: “We don’t go to Mass to adore Jesu...

Posted on May 4, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

From a reader…

QUAERITUR:

Last summer I heard a bishop say, “We don’t go to Mass to adore Jesus…” (I was too shocked to hear why we do go.) Last week, my own priest in his homily, said something to the effect that we go to Mass to support each other in our journey as Christians.

I can support my friends over coffee; they aren’t why I come to Mass.

Am I wrong to have adoration as my primary focus?? Doesn’t Adoration, Contrition, Thanksgiving, Supplication still apply?

Is this confusion why we have to sing constantly during the Communion procession? There is no silence for personal prayers of gratitude and love.

I’ve tried to ask for clarification, but those who are committed to this community model become very agitated when I question. It’s pretty much the universal model in our diocese. Am I really that far off base? Please some direction or explanation. If I’m wrong, I will do my best to go along with this, but the best spin I can put on it is that it’s rude to ignore our Lord, and I believe it’s probably a lot worse than rude.

We don’t go to Mass to adore Jesus?

Huh!  Who knew?

A wag once said,

“To pray the liturgy is to really enter into the mystery of God, to allow ourselves to be brought to the mystery, and to be in the mystery. [We are all] gathered here to enter into the mystery: this is the liturgy. It is God’s time, it is God’s space, it is the cloud of God that surrounds all of us. To celebrate the liturgy is to have this availability to enter into the mystery of God, to enter into His space, His time, to entrust ourselves to this mystery. We would do well today to ask the Lord to give to each of us this ‘sense of the sacred’ — this sense that makes us understand that it is one thing to pray at home, to pray in Church, to pray the Rosary, to pray so many beautiful prayers, to make the Way of the Cross, so many beautiful things, to read the Bible — [but] the Eucharistic celebration is something else. In the celebration we enter into the mystery of God, into that street that we cannot control: only He is the unique One — the glory, the power — He is everything. Let us ask for this grace: that the Lord would teach us to enter into the mystery of God.”

Entering into that mystery is another way of saying adoration.

In the Holy Mass, God touches earth and gives us a glimpse of heaven. The Second Person of the Blessed Trinity becomes truly present in the Eucharistic elements.

God is really there.

Adoration seems like a reasonable response.

Adoration of the God who made us could be among the reasons for going to Mass.

So, keep adoring. And keep ignoring silly things that some people say, even if they wear pointy hats and rings.

Oh… and that wag?  That was Pope Francis on 10 February 2014.

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Pope Francis did two really cool things...

Posted on May 4, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

First, yesterday, Pope Francis went to a parish near Ostia (Rome’s ancient port where St. Augustine’s mother, St. Monica, died – today is her feast in the traditional calendar). Before saying Mass, His Holiness heard confessions!

Fathers… hear confession!

Second, the Pope sent a message for the 750th anniversary of the death of Dante.

If you haven’t read the Divine Comedy you just haven’t read enough yet. It is key.

I recommend the translations by either…

Dorothy Sayers

 

or…

Anthony Esolen

 

And don’t just read the Inferno and stop.  Go on and read also Purgatorio and Paradiso.

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Pope Francis did two really cool things...

Posted on May 4, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

First, yesterday, Pope Francis went to a parish near Ostia (Rome’s ancient port where St. Augustine’s mother, St. Monica, died – today is her feast in the traditional calendar). Before saying Mass, His Holiness heard confessions!

Fathers… hear confession!

Second, the Pope sent a message for the 750th anniversary of the death of Dante.

If you haven’t read the Divine Comedy you just haven’t read enough yet. It is key.

I recommend the translations by either…

Dorothy Sayers

 

or…

Anthony Esolen

 

And don’t just read the Inferno and stop.  Go on and read also Purgatorio and Paradiso.

FacebookEmailPinterestGoogle GmailShare/Bookmark

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‘A Bruised and Dirty Church’...

Posted on May 1, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Our blog today is an excerpt from Franciscan Media’s new book The Spirit of Saint Francis: Inspiring Words from Pope Francis, edited by Alicia von Stamwitz.

Let us go forth, then, let us go forth to offer everyone the life of Jesus Christ. Here I repeat for the entire Church what I have often said to the priests and laity of Buenos Aires: I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security.

I do not want a Church concerned with being at the center and then ends by being caught up in a web of obsessions and procedures.

If something should rightly disturb us and trouble our consciences, it is the fact that so many of our brothers and sisters are living without the strength, light and consolation born of friendship with Jesus Christ, without a community of faith to support them, without meaning and a goal in life.

More than by fear of going astray, my hope is that we will be moved by the fear of remaining shut up within structures which give us a false sense of security, within rules which make us harsh judges, within habits which make us feel safe, while at our door people are starving and Jesus does not tire of saying to us: “Give them something to eat” (Mk 6:37).
—Pope Francis, Apostolic Exhortation , Evangelii Gaudium, 49, November 24, 2013

To learn more about The Spirit of Saint Francis: Inspiring Words from Pope Francis, click here.

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CNS photo/Paul Haring

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Ask a Franciscan: Is It a Sin Not to Be ‘Green...

Posted on Apr 30, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Q: Dear Friar Pat: I hear different things from different Christians. Some think that being sensitive to ecological issues is a matter of faith. Others dismiss it as a fad and based on faulty science. Is someone committing a sin by denying the moral implications of ecological choices?

A: Releasing toxic chemicals into a river during the night would be sinful, whether done by an individual or a company. That’s why it is done when it is unlikely to be detected. Choosing to drive to work rather than take public transportation may not be the most responsible ecological choice, depending on your circumstances, but it is hardly a sin. The basic moral principle here is that the right of private property is very real but not absolute.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches: “Man’s dominion over inanimate and other living beings granted by the Creator is not absolute; it is limited by concern for the quality of life of his neighbor, including generations to come; it requires a religious respect for the integrity of creation” (2415).

Dismissing ecology as a fad based on faulty science sounds more like a political slogan than the conclusion of a properly formed conscience. Ultimately, polluting air, water, or soil is a form of theft because it deprives other people of a healthy environment to which they have a natural right.

Do you have a question for Father Pat? Send them to Ask@FranciscanMedia.org!

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Image: Victor Tongdee/Shutterstock

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Ask a Franciscan: Is It a Sin Not to Be ‘Green...

Posted on Apr 30, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Q: Dear Friar Pat: I hear different things from different Christians. Some think that being sensitive to ecological issues is a matter of faith. Others dismiss it as a fad and based on faulty science. Is someone committing a sin by denying the moral implications of ecological choices?

A: Releasing toxic chemicals into a river during the night would be sinful, whether done by an individual or a company. That’s why it is done when it is unlikely to be detected. Choosing to drive to work rather than take public transportation may not be the most responsible ecological choice, depending on your circumstances, but it is hardly a sin. The basic moral principle here is that the right of private property is very real but not absolute.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches: “Man’s dominion over inanimate and other living beings granted by the Creator is not absolute; it is limited by concern for the quality of life of his neighbor, including generations to come; it requires a religious respect for the integrity of creation” (2415).

Dismissing ecology as a fad based on faulty science sounds more like a political slogan than the conclusion of a properly formed conscience. Ultimately, polluting air, water, or soil is a form of theft because it deprives other people of a healthy environment to which they have a natural right.

Do you have a question for Father Pat? Send them to Ask@FranciscanMedia.org!

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Image: Victor Tongdee/Shutterstock

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April Showers...

Posted on Apr 29, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

April showers are yielding to May flowers, right? During the past month, I’ve been watching two flowering trees in my backyard very closely. Two years ago I picked up a Dogwood tree and a Redbud tree from Lowe’s, with dreams of having clarions of spring out my back window. That’s the way that Cathy and I both remember our days working as lay missioners in Appalachia many years back. The dreary mountains of winter would gradually be decorated with striking white and red highlights from these two trees that flourish in the roughest of landscapes.

Each has legends tied to the Easter story. One legend is that Judas, realizing the gravity of his sin, hanged himself from a Redbud tree, which is red to this day. (I think it’s a European legend, since Redbuds don’t grow in the Holy Land.) The Dogwood flowers, shaped as white crosses with their seeds as the crown of crucifixion in the center, signify the resurrection of Christ. Death yielding to life, themes of spring, themes of Easter—what better way to kick off the season than with a backyard reminder? Both trees came from the store two years ago in full bloom.

Last year I could still call my tree a Redbud, technically—there was a single redbud on a single branch. I took a closeup picture of it for my cellphone wallpaper. (The Dogwood blossomed well, on the other hand.)

This year I’ve watched through the April showers to see if the trees even were still alive! Everything looked so dry and dead. But, sure enough, the warmth and showers called forth life from the trees. The Dogwood looked bit stilted until just the other day, when I noticed the blooms are full, declaring spring happening! And the Redbud tree is coming along, with a scattering of blossom that surely will increase next year.Dogwood blossoms

“I wonder as I wander,” as the words of the John Niles’s Appalachian hymn goes. Though we sing it at Christmas, it’s as much about the Easter season that’s happening now until Pentecost. As we make our way through life’s pilgrimage, don’t the signs of nature tell us something about our own lives?

I wonder as I wander out under the sky
How Jesus the Saviour did come for to die
For poor on’ry people like you and like I;
I wonder as I wander out under the sky.

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‘Virgin Made Church’...

Posted on Apr 28, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

We do not know when Francis wrote “A Salutation of the Blessed Virgin Mary,” a short litany praising the mother of Jesus under many titles. After addressing her as lady, queen, and mother of God, Francis calls Mary “the virgin made Church.” He would have agreed with later scholars who have called her “the first Christian disciple.”

Francis goes on to greet Mary as God’s palace, tabernacle, dwelling, robe, servant, and mother. He ends with a praise of all holy virtues that come through the help of the Holy Spirit to make us faithful to God.

Although previous Christian writers had described Mary as a pattern, type, or model of the Church, Francis was the first person we know of to use the expression “virgin made Church.”

By rejecting everything material as evil, the Albigensians in Francis’ day effectively wiped out any devotion for Mary’s role in the Incarnation—much less for later modeling what being a disciple of Jesus means. May she who pondered God’s actions in her life and prayed over them help us to do the same, always deepening our conversion as disciples of the Lord.

This blog was taken from Pat’s “Dear Reader” column in St. Anthony Messenger. To subscribe to this award-winning publication, click here.

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Photo: Minerva Studio/Shutterstock

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The Gift of Joy...

Posted on Apr 27, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Our blog today is an excerpt from Franciscan Media’s new book The Spirit of Saint Francis: Inspiring Words from Pope Francis, edited by Alicia von Stamwitz.

Read the Gospel. Read the Gospel. We have spoken about it, do you remember? To read a passage of the Gospel every day; and to carry a little Gospel with us, in our pocket, in a purse, in some way, to keep it at hand. And there, reading a passage, we will find Jesus. Everything takes on meaning when you find your treasure there, in the Gospel. Jesus calls it “the Kingdom of God,” that is to say, God who reigns in your life, in our life; God who is love, peace and joy in every man and in all men. This is what God wants and it is why Jesus gave himself up to death on the cross, to free us from the power of darkness and to move us to the kingdom of life, of beauty, of goodness and of joy.

To read the Gospel is to find Jesus and to have this Christian joy, which is a gift of the Holy Spirit.

Dear brothers and sisters, the joy of finding the treasure of the Kingdom of God shines through, it’s visible. The Christian cannot keep his faith hidden, because it shines through in every word, in every deed, even the most simple and mundane: the love that God has given through Jesus shines through.

—Pope Francis

To learn more about The Spirit of Saint Francis: Inspiring Words from Pope Francis, click here.

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A curious lacuna in ‘Misericordiae vultus’, th...

Posted on Apr 23, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

From a reader…

QUAERITUR:

Today I was reading Misericordiae vultus and noticed that, in section 15 on the Works of Mercy, [Pope Francis] gives both full lists of 7 works, and then goes on to expand on all 7 of the Corporal Works but only 6 of the Spiritual.

The Spiritual Work he doesn’t expand on is “admonish the sinner.”

I’ve checked the English, Latin, Spanish, and Italian versions online to make sure one clause didn’t just drop out accidentally. Not there in any of them.

Thoughts on this?

Sure.  I have thoughts about this.  But I can only speculate.

It’s a no brainer, for a Year of Mercy, to urge people to practice the all the Corporal and all the Spiritual Works of Mercy.  All of them, and not just the easy ones.  Right?

Perhaps someone should ask Fr. Lombardi.

The moderation queue is ON.

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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."