Tag: Pope Francis

‘They Open for Us The Way to Heaven’ – Pope Francis On World Day Of The Poor

‘They Open for Us The Way to Heaven’ – Pope Francis On World Day Of The Poor

Pope on World Day of the Poor: They open for us the way to heaven.

Pope Francis is offered bread as he leads a special Mass to mark the new World Day of the Poor in Saint Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, November 19, 2017 – REUTERS.

 

Pope Francis celebrated Mass on Sunday – the XXXIII Sunday in Ordinary Time and the first-ever World Day of the Poor – in St. Peter’s Basilica. The Holy Father announced the World Day of the Poor during the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, and entrusted its organization and promotion to the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization.

There were some 4 thousand needy people in the congregation for the Mass, after which Pope Francis offered Sunday lunch in the Paul VI Hall.

Speaking off the cuff to guests at the luncheon, the Holy Father said, “We pray that the Lord bless us, bless this meal, bless those who have prepared it, bless us all, bless our hearts, our families, our desires, our lives and give us health and strength.” The Holy Father went on to ask God’s blessing on all those eating and serving in soup kitchens throughout the city. “Rome,” he said, “is full of this [charity and good will] today.”

The World Day of the Poor is to be marked annually, on the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time.

In the homily he prepared for the occasion and delivered in St. Peter’s Basilica following the Gospel reading, Pope Francis said, “In the poor, Jesus knocks on the doors of our heart, thirsting for our love.” He went on to say, “When we overcome our indifference and, in the name of Jesus, we give of ourselves for the least of his brethren, we are his good and faithful friends, with whom he loves to dwell.”

Reminding the faithful that it is precisely in the poor, we find the presence of Jesus, who, though rich, became poor (cf. 2 Cor 8:9), and that there is therefore in each and every poor person, a “saving power” present, Pope Francis said, “[I]f in the eyes of the world they have little value, they are the ones who open to us the way to heaven.”

“For us,” the Pope continued, “it is an evangelical duty to care for them, as our real riches, and to do so not only by giving them bread, but also by breaking with them the bread of God’s word, which is addressed first to them.

“To love the poor,” Pope Francis said, “means to combat all forms of poverty, spiritual and material: and it will also do us good. Drawing near to the poor in our midst will touch our lives. It will remind us of what really counts: to love God and our neighbour. Only this lasts forever, everything else passes away.

Source:

Vatican Radio

Pope Francis Pens A Hand Written Letter To Disabled Soldier He Met In Columbia

Pope Francis Pens A Hand Written Letter To Disabled Soldier He Met In Columbia

Pope Francis pens a handwritten letter to disabled soldier he met in Colombia

Pope Francis sent a handwritten letter to a disabled soldier he met in Colombia this fall, thanking him for a special gesture at the Bogota airport, when the soldier gave him his military cap.

The pope told the soldier that their encounter touched him so much that he placed a photo of it in his study.

The pontiff’s letter was addressed to the special ops Marine Edwin Restrepo. Restrepo, who has been in a wheelchair for 13 years, after he stepped on an anti-personnel blast mine during a search and secure operation near the town of Zambrano.

Restrepo lost part of an arm and a leg, and he also went blind. Nevertheless, he learned to read Braille and after finishing school, began a law career. He also learned how to walk with his new prosthesis.

Restrepo briefly met Pope Francis at the Catam airport in Bogota on Sept. 10 before the pontiff left for Villavicencio during his apostolic trip to Colombia. He handed the Pope his soldier’s cap and asked the Holy Father to pray for the soldiers and police in Colombia.

The pope’s letter is dated Oct. 16 and was read and delivered to the soldier Nov. 9 by Bishop Suescún Mutis of the Colombian military diocese.

The Holy Father wrote in his letter, “Dear Brother, I don’t know your name but I haven’t forgotten the spontaneous gesture you made this past September 10 at the Catam airport before my departure for Villavicencio.”

Referring to the military cap Restrepo handed him, Francis wrote, “That gesture touched my heart, and I didn’t give your soldier’s cap to my aide (as I normally do with the things people give me). Instead I wanted to take it with me, a memento and symbol of your devotion and love for your country, as captured in the photo.”

The pope told Restrepo that “that soldier’s cap accompanied me during the trip. I thought of you often, and of so many of your companions injured fighting for your people.”

After returning to Rome, “I couldn’t let go of it, and I placed it next to the photo and the news article that came out in L’Osservatore Romano next to the picture of the Blessed Virgin above the little altar that I have in my study that I often pray in front of. So every time I pray there, I pray for You, your fallen and injured comrades and for Colombia.”

“And once again I say ‘Thanks!’ to you. Thanks for your gesture, thanks for your love for your country. And, please, I ask you to not forget to pray for me. May Jesus bless you and the Blessed Virgin care for you. Fraternally, Francisco,” the text concludes.

Source:

EWTN

 

 

 

You Are Probably Stealing From The Poor, Read What The Pope Said

You Are Probably Stealing From The Poor, Read What The Pope Said

During his pontificate, Pope Francis has ardently pleaded with the world to address the dire situation around the world’s food supply. Keeping in line with his simple and pragmatic nature, he proposes that everyone make one simple change that can make a major impact: reducing food waste.

“Throwing away food is like stealing from the table of the poor and the hungry,” he said.

Roughly one-third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tons — is wasted. That is enough to feed all those who struggle or die from hunger. In the United States alone, 40% of all food is thrown away and never eaten.

“This culture of waste has made us insensitive even to the waste and disposal of food, which is even more despicable when all over the world, unfortunately, many individuals and families are suffering from hunger and malnutrition,” the Pope said.

“Once our grandparents were very careful not to throw away any leftover food. Consumerism has led us to become used to an excess and daily waste of food, to which, at times we are no longer able to give a just value.”

In an unprecedented move, Pope Francis personally spoke today at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, where he marked World Food Day by calling for governments to work together to address the problem of hunger. Drawing a standing ovation, he said that population control is not the answer, but instead, a change in lifestyle and the use of resources.

“We cannot make do by saying ‘someone else will do it,” said Pope Francis

Right now, almost 900,000,000 people struggle with hunger every day. Every single second, a person dies from hunger. This is a tragedy of mind-numbing proportions. While many in the west throw food away without a second thought, people are literally dying. But, as Pope Francis said, you cannot expect someone else to address the issue.

To help the poor and hungry get access to life-saving nutrition, The Pontifical Mission Societies have created MISSIO, a new and innovative Catholic crowd-funding platform that allows you to directly assist Catholic missions and projects all over the world.

MISSIO allows you to search through life-giving and life-saving projects – ones providing for basic needs, others extending the Good News of the Gospel to remote areas, and still more, bringing the light of the Lord’s loving-kindness to those in the darkest circumstances. With MISSIO, you can choose one of these missions of Pope Francis and donate directly to them, knowing that 100% of your donation will go directly there. You can also share them on social media and reignite the discussion and remind people of these forgotten situations, so others can support the projects also.

Launched by Pope Francis himself, the MISSIO platform offers a direct connection to change-makers who work on the “front lines” making a difference for the poor and forgotten through direct, daily service.

MISSIO is powered by The Pontifical Mission Societies, the Catholic Church’s official support organization for overseas missions since 1822, providing for a global network of people who are making a difference for communities in need around the globe.

Remember the words of Isaiah 58:10:

If you offer your food to the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the afflicted,
then your light shall rise in the darkness
and your gloom be like the noonday.

Check out MISSIO today and start giving!

Credit: ucatholic

Mass Is For The Eucharist Not Pictures – Pope Francis

Mass Is For The Eucharist Not Pictures – Pope Francis

Mass is for the Eucharist not Pictures…Pope Francis

Wednesday a fiery Pope Francis chastised those who spend Mass talking to others, looking at their phone or even taking pictures during papal liturgies, saying these are distractions that take focus away from the “heart of the Church,” which is the Eucharist.

“The Mass is not a show: it is to go to meet the passion and resurrection of the Lord,” the Pope said Nov. 8. “The Lord is here with us, present. Many times we go there, we look at things and chat among ourselves while the priest celebrates the Eucharist… But it is the Lord!”

In particular, Francis condemned the use of cell phones to take photos at papal Masses. At one point during the Mass the priest says, “we lift up our hearts,” he said. “He does not say, ‘We lift up our phones to take photographs!’”

“It’s a bad thing! And I tell you that it gives me so much sadness when I celebrate here in the Piazza or Basilica and I see so many raised cellphones, not just of the faithful, even of some priests and even bishops.”

“But think: when you go to Mass, the Lord is there! And you’re distracted. (But) it is the Lord!”

During the general audience, Pope Francis said the Eucharist would be the new focus of his weekly catechesis for the year, because “it is fundamental for us Christians to understand well the value and meaning of the Holy Mass to live more and more fully our relationship with God.”

In the Eucharist we rediscover, through our senses, what is essential, he said. Just as the Apostle Thomas asked to see and touch the wounds of Jesus after his resurrection, we need the same thing: “to see him and touch him to be able to recognize him.”

In this way, the Sacraments meet this very “human need” of ours, he said. And in the Eucharist, in particular, we find a privileged way to meet God and his love.

The Second Vatican Council was inspired by the desire to help Christians understand the beauty of the encounter in the Eucharist even better, he continued. This is why “it was necessary first to implement, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, an adequate renewal of the liturgy.”

A central theme emphasized at Vatican II was the liturgical formation of the faithful, which Francis said is also the aim of the series of catechesis he began today: to help people “grow in the knowledge of this great gift God has given us in the Eucharist.”

As a side note, Francis asked if people had noticed the chaotic way children make the sign of cross at Mass, moving their hand all over their chest, and asked people to teach children to make the sign of the cross well.

“We need to teach children to do the sign of the cross well,” he said, noting that this is how Mass begins, because just as Mass begins this way, “so life begins, so the day begins.”

Concluding his reflection on the Mass and the Eucharist, Pope Francis said that he hopes that through these brief weekly lessons everyone will rediscover the beauty “hidden in the Eucharistic celebration, and which, when revealed, gives a full meaning to the life of everyone.”

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