POPE TALK …
Reflect on the seven sorrows of Mary, our Mother
Our Lady bore sorrows with strength; it was not a false distress, but just the heart destroyed by grief. The first is the prophecy of Simeon; the second is the flight to Egypt; the third is the three days of anguish when the child Jesus was in the temple; fourth is meeting Jesus on his way to Calvary; the fifth is the death of Jesus, to see her Son crucified; the sixth is the carrying of Jesus dead body in her hands and the seventh is Jesus’ burial. Christian piety follows this path of the Madonna who accompanies Jesus. She did not ask herself to be a quasi-redeemer or a co-redeemer. The Redeemer is one and this title does not double.
Don’t be afraid to let the Holy Spirit purify your heart
It is the Holy Spirit who leads us away from our sins and towards purity of heart. This is a decisive maturity. The noblest battle is against the inner deceptions that generate our sins. We see in the sixth beatitude, blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. The pure of heart live in the presence of the Lord, preserving in the heart what is worthy of the relationship with Him. This inner purification implies the recognition of that part of the heart which is under the influence of evil, in order to learn the art of always allowing oneself to be taught and led by the Holy Spirit. And so, through this path of the heart, we come to see God.
Trust in the mercy and justice of God
Everyone is in debt to God’s mercy. Mercy is the very heart of God. God precedes us and forgives us first. By receiving his forgiveness, we in turn become capable of forgiving. Be like Mother Teresa during the coronavirus crisis. There are many small acts of love and kindness one can do for others without leaving the house. For example, a hot meal, a caress, a phone call… They are familiar gestures of attention to the details of everyday life that make life meaningful and that create communion and communication among us.
Have no fear to say ‘yes’ to vocations
Every vocation is born of that gaze of love with which the Lord came to meet us. We will succeed in discovering and embracing our vocation once we open our hearts in gratitude and perceive the passage of God in our lives. The vocational discernment is not simply a decision we make as isolated individuals. Vocation, more than our own choice, is a response to the Lord’s unmerited call. The Lord calls us because he wants to enable us, like Peter, to ‘walk on water’. Every vocation brings with it responsibility to take charge of our lives and place them at the service of the Gospel.
Amid coronavirus isolation, Catholics are united in Christ.
As many Catholics are unable to attend Mass or gather because of the coronavirus pandemic, we are invited to rediscover the Church’s spiritual communion as the Body of Christ, united in prayer. It is the time of deepening the value of the communion which unites all members of the Church. It is a union that is nourished with prayer, and also with spiritual communion in the Eucharist, a highly recommended practice when it is not possible to receive the sacrament. United with Christ we are never alone, but we form a single Body, of which He is the Head. Remember the love of Jesus has no measure.
Pope Francis says…
- Be strong in faith amid coronavirus trial.
- Showing and receiving God’s mercy are central aspects of Christian life.
- The defense of life for the Church is not an ideology, it is the maternal concern of the Church.
- Christian identity is not an identity card that says ‘I am a Christian,’ It is discipleship.
- Most people think of the pope, not God, when they hear ‘Catholic’
- To enter into the mystery is not dreaming; it is precisely ‘to worship’.
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