Tag Archives: Francis

Pope Francis: Beware the ‘false peace’ that comes from the devil


Pope Francis greets pilgrims in St. Peters Square before the Wed. general audience April 16, 2014. Credit: Daniel Ibanez/CNA.

Pope Francis greets pilgrims in St. Peters Square before the Wed. general audience April 16, 2014. Credit: Daniel Ibanez/CNA

Vatican City, Aug 7, 2015 / 07:00 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis on Friday told a group of youth that the greatest challenge in his vocation so far has been finding true peace, and encouraged them to learn how to discern between this peace and the one offered by the devil.

“I would say finding peace in the Lord. That peace that only Jesus can give, in work and chores,” the Pope said Aug. 7. in response to the question, posed by one of the youth he met with in audience that day.

“The key is finding that peace which means that the Lord is with you and helps you,” he said.

Francis then stressed the importance of knowing how to tell the difference between peace from God, and the false peace offered by the devil.

True peace, he said, always comes from Jesus, and is sometimes “wrapped” in the cross, while the other, false peace that only makes you “kind of happy” comes from the devil.

“We have to ask for this grace to distinguish, to know true peace,” the Pope said, explaining that while on the outside we might think everything is ok and that we’re doing good, “way down inside is the devil.”

“The devil always destroys. He tells you this is the way and then leaves you alone,” he continued, adding that the devil is “a poor payer; he always rips you off.”

A sign of this peace, Francis said, is joy, because true joy is something that only Jesus can give.

The challenge for both them and himself “is to find the peace of Jesus, also in difficult moments, to find Jesus’ peace and to recognize that peace which has make-up on it,” the Pope said.

He made his comments during an audience with more than 1500 members of the International Eucharistic Youth Movement. They are meeting in Rome from Aug. 4-10 in honor of the 100th anniversary of their founding in 1915. The theme for the gathering is “Joy be with you.”

Six of the youth present, from Italy, Indonesia, Argentina, Brazil, Taiwan, and France got to meet the Pope personally and ask him questions on things that affect their daily life.

Among the topics discussed were tensions and conflicts within families and society, the discernment between true and false peace, signs of hope in the world and deepening one’s relationship with Jesus in the Eucharist.

In his response to the question on conflict, Pope Francis noted how there are many conflicts present in the world, and said that we should neither be afraid of them nor seek them out. Some conflicts, he said, can be good and help us to understand differences.

One problem with the world’s current conflicts is that “one culture doesn’t tolerate another,” he said, and pointed to the Rohingya as an example.

Rohingya people are an Indo-Aryan ethnic group largely from the Rakhine state of Burma, in west Myanmar. Since clashes began in 2012 between the state’s Buddhist community and the long-oppressed Rohingya Muslim minority, more than 100,000 Rohingya’s have fled Myanmar by sea, according to the U.N.

In order to escape forced segregation from the rest of the population inside rural ghettos, many of the Rohingya – who are not recognized by the government as a legitimate ethnic group or as citizens or Myanmar – have made the perilous journey at sea in hopes of evading persecution.

In May Pope Francis spoke out after a number of Rohingya people – estimated to be in the thousands – were stranded at sea in boats with dwindling supplies while Southeastern nations such as Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia refused to take them in.

This, he told the youth, “is called killing. It’s true. If I have a conflict with you and I kill you, its war.”

Conflict is normal when so many different cultures exist in one country, the Pope observed, but emphasized that there must be mutual respect in order for these conflicts to be resolved.

He said that dialogue is the best resolution to the great social problems of today, and pointed to the persecution of Christians in the Middle East as an example of when one culture doesn’t respect the identity or faith of another.

Yesterday Pope Francis wrote a letter to the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem S.B. Fouwad Toual for the Aug. 8 anniversary of the first arrival of Iraqi refugees in Jordan.

In his letter, the Pope thanked Jordan for welcoming the refugees, saying their actions bear witness to Christ’s resurrection.

He also noted how these refugees are “victims of fanaticism and intolerance, often under the eyes and silence of all,” and called on the international community to step up their efforts in putting an end to the persecution of Christians and other religious minorities.

In his speech to the youth, Francis said that even if you disagree with another culture’s practice, “Respect. Look for the good in it. Respect. In this way, conflicts are resolved with respect for the identity of others. Conflicts are resolved with dialogue.”

Another question posed to the Pope was if he sees true signs of joy in amid the problems of the 21st century.

Pope Francis responded by saying that the signs are there, and that one of them is seeing so many youth gathered together who believe that Jesus is truly in the Eucharist.

He also pointed to the family, noting that right now there are many strong tensions between generations.

Often when we speak of generations, parents and children come to mind, but grandparents are frequently left out, Francis observed.

“Grandparents are the great forgotten of this time,” he said, and encouraged the youth to speak to their grandparents, who are sources of wisdom due to the memory they have of life, tensions, conflicts and faith.

“Always when you meet your grandparents you find a surprise. They are patient, they know how to listen…don’t forget grandparents, understand?”

The last question the Pope answered, posed by a youth named Maradona, was what he would say to young people so that they might discover the depth of the Eucharist.

Francis immediately turned to the Last Supper, where Jesus gave us his body and blood for our salvation.

“The memory of Jesus…is there. The memory of the gesture of Jesus who then went to the Mount of Olives to start his Passion,” which is a personal act of love for each individual, he said.

The Pope stressed that Mass is not a ritual or a ceremony like what we see in the military or cultural celebration. Instead, going to Mass means going to Calvary with Jesus, where he gave his life for us, the Pope said.

In order to deepen in the mystery of the Eucharist, Francis suggested remembering St. Paul’s invitation to “remember Jesus Christ. When they are there at the table, he is giving his life for me. And so you deepen in the mystery.”

Pope Francis concluded by saying that although “we are at war” and there are so many conflicts, there are also many good and beautiful things, such as the hidden everyday saints among the people of God.

“God is present and there are so many reasons to be joyful. Take courage and go forward!” he finished.
via
http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/whats-pope-francis-biggest-challenge-finding-true-peace-25749/

 

Saint of the Day for Saturday, January 24th, 2015: St. Francis de Sales


Large families are schools of solidarity and sharing, Francis affirms


Pope Francis greets pilgrims during the General Audience held Jan. 8, 2014. Credit: Kyle Burkhart/CNA.

Pope Francis greets pilgrims during the General Audience held Jan. 8, 2014. Credit: Kyle Burkhart/CNA

Large families are schools of solidarity and sharing, Francis affirms

Credit for this message of Hope and Peace >>  here <<

.- In an address on Sunday to Italy’s National Numerous Family Association, Pope Francis thanked the members of large families for their cultivation of virtues that benefit society at large, as well as themselves.

“The fact of having brothers and sisters is good for you,” he said Dec. 28 to the children among the some 7,000 members of large families from across Italy at the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall.

“The sons and daughters of large families are more inclined to fraternal communion from early childhood. In a world that is frequently marred by selfishness, a large family is a school of solidarity and sharing; and these attitudes are of benefit to all society.”

The audience was on the occasion of the association’s tenth anniversary, and marked the feast of the Holy Family.

“You have come here with the most beautiful fruits of your love,” he said to the parents of the families. “Maternity and paternity are gifts from God, but your task is to receive this gift, to be amazed by its beauty and to let it shine in society. Each of your children is a unique creation that will never be repeated in the history of humanity. When we understand this, that each person is willed by God, we are astonished by the great miracle that is a child! A child changes your life!”

We have all seen, he reminded them, men and women who have profoundly changed “when a child arrives,” adding that a child is “the unique fruit of love,” coming from and growing in love.

“You, children and young people, are the fruit of the tree that is the family: you are good fruit when the tree has good roots – grandparents – and a good trunk – the parents,” Pope Francis said. “The great human family is like a forest, in which the trees bear solidarity, communion, fidelity, support, security, happy moderation, friendship. The presence of large families is a hope for society.”

This, he said, “is why the presence of grandparents is very important: a valuable presence both in terms of practical assistance, but above all for their contribution to education. Grandparents conserve the values of a people, of a family, and they help parents transmit them to their children. Throughout the last century, in many countries in Europe, it was the grandparents who transmitted the faith.”

“Dear parents, thank you for your example of love for life that you protect from conception to its natural end, in spite of all the difficulties and burdens of life, that unfortunately public institutions do not always help you to bear.”

He lamented that while the Italian constitution calls for particular regard for large families, this is only “words” and is “not adequately reflected in the facts.”

Considering Italy’s low birth rate, he voiced hope that it’s politicians and public administrators would give large families “all due support.”

“Every family is a cell of society, but the large family is a richer, more vital cell, and the state has much to gain by investing in it.”

In light of this, he affirmed the National Numerous Family Association, and groups like it, for advocating for large families in the European nations, and for being “present and visible in society and in politics.”

He concluded by praying in particular “for those families most affected by the economic crisis, those in which the mother or father have lost their jobs and in which the young are unable to find work, and those families in which the closest relationships are marked by suffering and who are tempted to give in to loneliness and separation.”

Pope Francis Leads Christmas Eve Mass at the Vatican: from NBC News (they are not afraid of Christmas like other news agencies are: I’d say good for them!)


Pope Francis Leads Christmas Eve Mass at the Vatican

Pope Francis celebrated Christmas Eve with a late-night Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican on Wednesday, after placing a phone call to Iraqi refugees forced to flee their homes by Muslim militants. Francis told refugees at the tent camp in Ankawa, a suburb of Irbil in northern Iraq, that they were like Jesus, forced to flee because there was no place for them. For Christians, Christmas marks the birth of Jesus in a Bethlehem barn manger, chosen because there was no room for his parents at an inn.

Vatican-Christmas Mass - 2014

Vatican-Christmas Mass – 2014 (Click to access the Mass at NBC News)

Pope condemns CIA tactics, calls for improvements to prison system in law talk|viaTruth24.com


VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis has condemned the practice of extraordinary renditions used by the CIA after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

In a speech to the International Association of Penal Law on Thursday, Francis also called life prison terms “hidden death sentences” and denounced the use of preventive detention as a “hidden, illegal punishment.”

He urged all people of good will to fight against the death penalty and to work to improve prison conditions overall so that inmates’ dignity is respected.

Francis urged the international community to stop renditions, saying it was an “abuse” for countries to allow suspects to be kidnapped from their territory and transferred to torture centers. He said the principle of the dignity of each human being must prevail over everything.

via Pope condemns CIA tactics, calls for improvements to prison system in law talk.Truth24.com

Saint of the Day for Saturday, October 4th, 2014: St. Francis of Assisi


Saint of the Day for Saturday, October 4th, 2014:

 

 

 

St. Francis of Assisi (circa 1182-1220)

St. Francis of Assisi (circa 1182-1220) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

St. Francis of Assisi

 

 

 

Founder of the Franciscan Order, born at Assisi in Umbria, in 1181. In 1182, Pietro Bernardone returned from a trip to France to find out his wife had given birth to a son. Far from being excited or … continue reading

 

 

 

 

 

More Saints of the Day

 

 

 

 

today’s holiday: Feast of St. Clare of Assisi


Feast of St. Clare of Assisi

There were a number of women who joined the Second Order of St. Francis, but the first and most famous was St. Clare (c. 1194-1253). She was joined 16 days later by her sister, Agnes; other women, referred to as the Poor Ladies, were eventually drawn to the hard life that Clare had chosen, and the religious order that she and Francis founded is known today as the Poor Clares. Clare died in 1253 and was canonized on August 12, 1255. Her feast day was eventually moved to August 11, the date of her death according to the revised Roman Catholic calendar. More… Discuss

TODAY’S SAINT: St. Francis de Sales


St. Francis de Sales

 
St. Francis de Sales

St. Francis de Sales

    Feastday: January 24
    Patron Saint of Journalists, Writers
    1567 – 1622
    Born in France in 1567, Francis was a patient man. He knew for thirteen years that he had a vocation to the priesthood before he mentioned it to his family. When his father said that he wanted Francis to be a soldier and sent him to Paris to study, Francis said nothing. Then when he went to Padua to get a doctorate in law, he still kept quiet, but he studied theology and practiced mentalprayer while getting into swordfights and going to parties. Even when his bishop told him if he wanted to be a priest that he thought that he would have a miter waiting for him someday, Francis uttered not a word. Why did Francis wait so long? Throughout hislife he waited for God’s will to be clear. He never wanted to push his wishes on God, to the point where most of us would have been afraid that God would give up!

    God finally made God’s will clear to Francis while he was riding. Francis fell from his horse three times. Every time he fell the sword came out of the scabbard. Every time it came out the sword and scabbard came to rest on the ground in the shape of the cross. And then, Francis, without knowing about it, was appointedprovost of his diocese, second in rank to the bishop.

    Perhaps he was wise to wait, for he wasn’t a natural pastor. His biggest concern on being ordained that he had to have his lovely curly gold hair cut off. And his preaching left the listeners thinking he was making fun of him. Others reported to the bishop that this noble-turned- priest was conceited and controlling.

    Then Francis had a bad idea — at least that’s what everyone else thought. This was during the time of the Protestant reformation and just over the mountains from where Francis lived was Switzerland — Calvinist territory. Francis decided that he should lead an expedition to convert the 60,000 Calvinists back to Catholicism. But by the time he left his expedition consisted of himself and his cousin. His father refused to give him any aid for this crazy plan and thediocese was too poor to support him.

    For three years, he trudged through the countryside, had doors slammed in his face and rocks thrown at him. In the bitter winters, his feet froze so badly they bled as he tramped through the snow. He slept in haylofts if he could, but once he slept in a tree to avoid wolves. He tied himself to a branch to keep from falling out and was so frozen the next morning he had to be cut down. And after three years, his cousin had left him alone and he had not made one convert.

    Francis’ unusual patience kept him working. No one would listen to him, no one would even open their door. So Francis found a way to get under the door. He wrote out his sermons, copied them by hand, and slipped them under the doors. This is the first record we have of religious tracts being used to communicate with people.

    The parents wouldn’t come to him out of fear. So Francis went to the children. When the parents saw how kind he was as he played with the children, they began to talk to him.

    By the time, Francis left to go home he is said to have converted 40,000 people back to Catholicism.

    In 1602 he was made bishop of the diocese of Geneva, in Calvinist territory. He only set foot in the city of Geneva twice — once when the Pope sent him to try to convert Calvin’s successor, Beza, and another when he traveled through it.

    It was in 1604 that Francis took one of the most important steps in his life, the step toward holiness and mystical union with God.

    In Dijon that year Francis saw a widow listening closely to his sermon — a woman he had seen already in a dream. Jane de Chantal was a person on her own, as Francis was, but it was only when they became friends that they began to become saints. Jane wanted him to take over her spiritual direction, but, not surprisingly, Francis wanted to wait. “I had to know fully what God himself wanted. I had to be sure that everything in this should be done as though his hand had done it.” Jane was on a path to mystical union with God and, in directing her, Francis was compelled to follow her and become a mystic himself.

    Three years after working with Jane, he finally made up his mind to form a new religious order. But where would they get a convent for their contemplative Visitation nuns? A man came to Francis without knowing of his plans and told him he was thinking of donating a place for use by pious women. In his typical way of not pushing God, Francis said nothing. When the man brought it up again, Francis still kept quiet, telling Jane, “God will be with us if he approves.” Finally the man offered Francis the convent.

    Francis was overworked and often ill because of his constant load of preaching, visiting, and instruction — even catechizing a deaf man so he could take first Communion. He believed the first duty of a bishop was spiritual direction and wrote to Jane, “So many have come to me that I might serve them, leaving me no time to think of myself. However, I assure you that I do feel deep-down- within-me, God be praised. For the truth is that this kind of work is infinitely profitable to me.” For him active work did not weaken his spiritual inner peace but strengthened it. He directed most people through letters, which tested his remarkable patience. “I have more than fifty letters to answer. If I tried to hurry over it all, i would be lost. So I intend neither to hurry or to worry. This evening, I shall answer as many as I can. Tomorrow I shall do the same and so I shall go on until I have finished.”

    At that time, the way of holiness was only for monks and nuns — not for ordinary people. Francis changed all that by giving spiritual direction to lay people living ordinary lives in the world. But he had proven with his own lifethat people could grow in holiness while involved in a very active occupation. Why couldn’t others do the same? His most famous book, INTRODUCTION TO THE DEVOUT LIFE, was written for these ordinary people in 1608. Written originally as letters, it became an instant success all over Europe — though some preachers tore it up because he tolerated dancing and jokes!

    For Francis, the love of God was like romantic love. He said, “The thoughts of those moved by natural human love are almost completely fastened on the beloved, their hearts are filled with passion for it, and their mouths full of its praises. When it is gone they express their feelings in letters, and can’t pass by a tree without carving the name of their beloved in its bark. Thus too those who love God can never stop thinking about him, longing for him, aspiring to him, and speaking about him. If they could, they would engrave the name of Jesus on the hearts of all humankind.”

    The key to love of God was prayer. “By turning your eyes on God in meditation, your whole soul will be filled with God. Begin all your prayers in the presence of God.”

    For busy people of the world, he advised “Retire at various times into the solitude of your own heart, even while outwardly engaged in discussions or transactions with others and talk to God.”

    The test of prayer was a person’s actions: “To be an angel in prayer and a beast in one’s relations with people is to go lame on both legs.”

    He believed the worst sin was to judge someone or to gossip about them. Even if we say we do it out of love we’re still doing it to look better ourselves. But we should be as gentle and forgiving with ourselves as we should be with others.

    As he became older and more ill he said, “I have to drive myself but the more I try the slower I go.” He wanted to be a hermit but he was more in demand than ever. The Pope needed him, then a princess, then Louis XIII. “Now I really feel that I am only attached to the earth by one foot…” He died on December 28, 1622, after giving a nun his last word of advice: “Humility.”

    He is patron saint of journalists because of the tracts and books he wrote. 

    from Wikipedia

     

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