Pope Francis 2018
Pope Francis 2018
Pope Francis 25.12.18: Urbi et Orbi
The Christmas message is all about a child who came to tell us that “God is a good Father and we are all brothers and sisters”. Without Jesus’ gift of fraternity, what we do to build a more just world would be “soulless and empty”. For this reason, my wish for a happy Christmas is a wish for fraternity.
Fraternity among individuals, regardless of nation, culture, ideology, or religion. Jesus revealed “God’s face” through a “human face”. The variety and differences we experience “are a source of richness”, like the variety of coloured tiles in the hands of a mosaic artist. God, who is our “parent”, binds us together and is the foundation and strength of our fraternity.
May the little Child whom we contemplate today in the manger, in the cold of the night, watch over all the children of the world, and every frail, vulnerable and discarded person. May all of us receive peace and consolation from the birth of the Saviour and, in the knowledge that we are loved by the one heavenly Father, realize anew that we are brothers and sisters and come to live as such.
Pope Francis 24.12.18 Christmas Eve Mass
The location of Jesus’ birth marks a turning point in the course of history.
Bethlehem means "house of bread", and that Mary laid Jesus in a manger. It is as if he wanted to say: ‘Here I am, as your food.’
Jesus gives us his very self, teaching us to live our lives in a new way: "not by devouring and hoarding, but by sharing and giving." We feed on Jesus, the bread of life, and are reborn in love, breaking the vicious cycle of grasping and greed.
In Scripture, humanity’s original sin was to take and eat a forbidden food. Mankind became greedy and voracious. Even today, a few people often eat splendid meals while a great many others go without even enough bread to survive.
Standing before the manger, we understand that the food of life is not material riches but love, not gluttony but charity, not ostentation but simplicity.
Jesus knows we need to be fed daily, so he offered himself every day of his life. Today too, on the altar, he becomes bread broken for us; he knocks at our door, to enter and eat with us.
If we welcome God into our hearts and allow Him to dwell there, history changes. For once Jesus dwells in our heart, the centre of life is no longer my ravenous and selfish ego, but the One who is born and lives for love.
Jesus invites us at Christmas to rise quickly from the table and to serve others, sharing our bread with those who have none.
Bethlehem is also called the "city of David". Before becoming king, David was a shepherd whom God chose to shepherd and lead His people.
On Christmas night, shepherds welcomed Jesus in the world. An angel appeared and said to them: "Be not afraid." We hear that phrase so often in the Gospels because God knows we are afraid due to our sin.
Bethlehem is the remedy for this fear, because despite man’s repeated ‘no’, God constantly says ‘yes’. He will always be God-with-us." God, makes Himself a little child so as not to frighten us.
The shepherds were not sleeping when the angel came; they were keeping watch. Our life can either be marked by waiting or by wanting. If we await the Lord amid the gloom of our problems we will receive his life.
But if we only spend our lives in selfish want, where all that matters are our own strengths and abilities our heart then remains barred to God’s light.
The shepherds set out immediately and take a risk for God by leaving their flocks unguarded. After seeing Jesus, they go off to proclaim his birth. To keep watch, to set out, to risk, to recount the beauty: all these are acts of love,
At Christmas, we all want to go up to Bethlehem. Today too, the road is uphill: the heights of our selfishness need to be surmounted, and we must not lose our footing or slide into worldliness and consumerism.
So we entrust ourselves to the Lord, "Take me upon your shoulders, Good Shepherd; loved by you, I will be able to love my brothers and sisters and to take them by the hand."
Pope Francis 23.12.18:
The doors of the Christian community are open
My thoughts go in particular to the families who are reunited in these days: may those who live far from their parents return home; may brothers and sisters strive to be together again... At Christmas it is beautiful and important to be together as a family.
There are many people however, who do not have this possibility for a number of reasons, my greetings and words go in particular to all those who are far from their family and from their land.
Dear brothers and sisters, our heavenly Father does not forget you and does not abandon you. If you are Christians, I wish that you may find in the Church a true family where you can experience the warmth of fraternal love.
The doors of the Christian community are open. Jesus is born for all and brings the love of God to all.
Pope Francis: December 2018
In the Service of the Transmission of Faith
If you want to share your faith through the word, you have to listen much and carefully.
Let us imitate the style of Jesus, who adapted himself to the people He had in front of Him so as to bring God’s love to them.
Let us pray that people, who are involved in the service and transmission of faith, may find, in their dialogue with culture, a language suited to the conditions of the present time, in their dialogue with people’s hearts, and above all, by listening much.
We all want peace. It is desired above all by those who suffer its absence.
We can speak with splendid words, but if there is no peace in our heart, there will be no peace in the world.
With zero violence and 100 percent tenderness, let us build the evangelical peace that excludes no one.
Let us pray together that the language of love and dialogue may always prevail over the language of conflict.
The Gospel says blessed are the poor, while the world says blessed are the rich. The Gospel says blessed are the meek, while the world says blessed are the proud . The Gospel says blessed are the pure , while the world says blessed are the sly and pleasure seekers.
These brother and sister saints today are not asking us to listen to the Gospel one more time but rather to put it into practice, to set out on the way of the Beatitudes.
It is not a question of doing extraordinary things, but of following this path every day that takes us to heaven, to our families, to our homes.
Pope Francis: October 2018
The Mission of Religious
Religious, with their prayer, poverty, and patience, are essential to the Church’s mission.
More than ever, with the challenges of today’s world, we need their complete dedication to proclaiming the Gospel.
Let us not allow ourselves to be robbed of missionary enthusiasm and let us pray that consecrated religious men and women may bestir themselves, and be present among the poor, the marginalized, and those who have no voice.
The Pope asks us to pray a Rosary daily that the Virgin Mary protect the Church in these times of crisis, and to pray to St. Michael the Archangel that he defend the Church from the attacks of the devil.
Pope Francis: September 2018 Young People in Africa
Africa is a wealthy continent, and its greatest, most valuable resource is its young people.
They should be able to choose between letting themselves be overcome by difficulty or transforming the difficulty into an opportunity.
The most effective way to help them in this choice is to invest in their education.
If young people don't have the possibility of education, what future can they have?
Let us pray that young people in Africa may have access to education and work in their own countries.
Pope Francis invites all to pray on the fourth World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, September 1, and says he is thankful for the “various initiatives” planned in various places by various religious denominations.
Pope Francis: "We have not succeeded in responsibly protecting creation"
Pope Francis visit to Ireland 25-26 August
World meeting of Families in Dublin
Pope Francis: August 2018 The treasure of Families
When speaking of families, often the image of a treasure comes to my mind.
Today's rhythm of life, stress, pressure at work, and also the little attention paid by institutions, could put them in danger.
It's not enough to talk about their importance: it's necessary to promote concrete means and to develop their role in society with a good family policy.
Together, let us ask Jesus that any far-reaching decisions of economists and politicians may protect the family as one of the treasures of humanity.
Pope Francis: July 2018 Priests and their Pastoral Ministry
That priests, who experience fatigue and loneliness in their pastoral work, may find help and comfort in their intimacy with the Lord and in their friendship with their brother priests.
Pope Francis - July 2018
The tiredness of priests... Do you know how often I think about it?
Priests, with their virtues and defects, work in many different areas.
Working on so many active fronts, they cannot remain inactive after a disappointment.
At such times, it's good for them to remember that the people love their priests, need them, and trust in them.
Let us pray together that priests, who experience fatigue and loneliness in their pastoral work, may find help and comfort in their intimacy with the Lord and in their friendship with their brother priests.
Pope Francis: June 2018 Social Networks
The Internet is a gift of God, but it is also a great responsibility.
Communication technology, its places, its instruments have brought with it a lengthening of horizons, a widening, for so many people.
It can offer immense possibilities for encounter and solidarity.
May the digital network not be a place of alienation. May it be a concrete place, a place rich in humanity.
Let us pray together that social networks may work towards that inclusiveness which respects others for their differences
In a video message to the II National Youth Meeting taking place in Argentina, Pope Francis invites young people to read the Gospel for at least two minutes a day, and he reflects on presence, communion, and mission
He invited them to carry a small book of the Gospels with them and to read it when they’re on the bus or sitting at home. It will change their lives, he said. “Why? Because you will encounter Jesus. You are encountering the Word.
That the lay faithful may fulfil their specific mission, by responding with creativity to the challenges that face the world today.
Pope Francis - May 2018
Lay people are on the front line of the life of the Church.
We need their testimony regarding the truth of the Gospel and their example of expressing their faith by practicing solidarity.
Let us give thanks for the lay people who take risks, who are not afraid and who offer reasons for hope to the poorest, to the excluded, to the marginalized.
Let us pray together this month that the lay faithful may fulfil their specific mission, the mission that they received in Baptism, putting their creativity at the service of the challenges of today's world.
Pope Francis 19.03.18 Gaudete et Exsultate
THE CALL TO HOLINESS IN TODAY'S WORLD
The Holy Father Pope Francis has released the Apostolic Exhortation 'Gaudete et Exsultate' on the call to holiness in today's world.
There is an emphasis on the document being practical and useful in modern times and it is not intended to be an academic or doctrinal text per se. As its accompanying summary document states, its goal is "to repropose the call to holiness in a practical way for our own time."
The call to holiness in one that cries out to all of us in our daily lives. Gaudete et Exsultate encourages us to take inspiration from the 'Saints next door' - people who may not be officially canonised but can be decisive in bringing about change. Pope Francis quotes Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross:
"The greatest figures of prophecy and sanctity step forth out of the darkest night. But for the most part, the formative stream of the mystical life remains invisible. Certainly the most decisive turning points in world history are substantially co-determined by souls whom no history book ever mentions. And we will only find out about those souls to whom we owe the decisive turning points in our personal lives on the day when all that is hidden is revealed."
Holiness is described as the "most attractive face of the Church" and is attainable despite the challenges of everyday life. Pope Francis wants people to know that they don't need special education or qualifications, nor to have taken religious vows to be holy - just an open
heart and a desire to spend some time with the Lord in prayer and by reading the Gospel. He also wants people to know that the Church makes available everything they need to become holy.
A far reaching and accessible document, 'Gaudete et Exsultate' examines many subjects tied in to our relationship with Christ - prayer, reading scripture, helping others, maintaining and upholding human dignity not to mention challenges to holiness such as the danger of gossip.
That economists may have courage to reject any economy of exclusion and know how to open new paths.
The economy cannot attempt only to increase profits by reducing the work force and thereby adding to the ranks of the excluded.
It must follow the path marked out by business leaders, politicians, thinkers, and leaders in society who place the human person in first place, and do everything possible to ensure that there are opportunities of dignified work.
Let us raise our voices together, asking that economists may have the courage to reject an economy of exclusion and know how to open new paths.
Pope Francis: 28.03.18 Holy Wednesday
Dear brothers and sisters: Tomorrow begins the Church’s celebration of the Paschal Triduum, in which we re-live the great mystery of the Lord’s death and resurrection. The Gospel message that Jesus died for our sins and rose to new life is a source of joy and hope for all the world. At the same time, it is a summons to our responsibility and mission as the Lord’s followers to proclaim the victory of the Risen Jesus by our lives. In Baptism, we were given a share in Christ’s passover from death to life. Each of us has been called to live fully this new life in union with him and in imitation of his loving concern for the least of our brothers and sisters. In the poor, the suffering, the lonely and all those in need, we are asked to see the face of Jesus, and to become, in him, a means of redemption and hope, life and resurrection for our world. May Mary, who knew both the sufferings of the cross and the joy of the resurrection, obtain for us the grace to be united ever more fully to the Risen Lord and to reflect in our lives the reconciling and transforming power of his divine love.
Pope Francis : March 2018 Formation in Spiritual Discernment
The Church today needs to grow in the ability of spiritual discernment. There are many ways of living life well, using it for serving human and Christian ideals. We were created by God out of love and to love. Every Christian ought to grow in the ability to “read within” his or her life, and to understand where and to what he or she is being called by the Lord, in order to carry on his mission. The times in which we live demand that we develop a profound capacity of discernment… To discern, from among all the voices we hear, which is the Lord’s voice, which is the voice of Him who guides us to the Resurrection, to Life, and the voice that frees us from falling into the “culture of death. Let us pray together that the Church may appreciate the urgency of formation in spiritual discernment, both on the personal and communitarian levels.
Pope Francis: Message for Lent 2018
Pope Francis: 01.02.18 Prayer Intentions for February 2018
Say "No" to Corruption
What is at the root of slavery, unemployment, and disregard for nature and goods held in common? Corruption, a process of death that feeds the culture of death.
Because the thirst for power and possessions knows no limits.
Corruption is not countered with silence.
We must speak about it, denounce its evils, and try to understand it so as to show our resolve to make mercy reign over meanness, beauty over nothingness.
Let us pray that those who have material, political or spiritual power may resist any lure of corruption.
Pope Francis visit to Chile and Peru
15th to 22nd January 2018
Pope Francis: 04.01.18 Prayer Intentions for January 2018