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The Pope’s bold new vision

The Pope’s bold new vision
November 26th, 2013
12:11 PM ET

The Pope’s bold new vision

Opinion by the Rev. James Martin, Special to CNN 

(CNN)  Pope Francis on Tuesday issued a bold new document in Vatican parlance an “apostolic exhortation” called Evangelii Gaudium or “The Joy of the Gospel.”

In this document, he sets out an exciting new vision of how to be a church. In all my years as a Catholic, I cannot remember a papal document that was so thought-provoking, surprising and invigorating. Frankly, reading it thrilled me.

To me, it seems that with each new homily, address, interview, general audience message and letter, Francis is challenging himself and us with three questions, each of which flows naturally from the other:

First, why not look at things from a new perspective? Second, why not be open to doing things in a new way? And third, why not have a new vision for the church?

And what is Francis’ vision for the church?

Read more

Greed destroys, money is God’s gift to use to help others, pope says

Greed destroys, money is God’s gift to use to help others, pope says


By Carol Glatz Catholic News Service

POPE-MONEY Oct-21-2013 (350 words) xxxi

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Money by itself isn’t a problem, but greed and an attachment to money cause evil and destroy families and relationships, Pope Francis said.

“Money is needed to bring about many good things,” he said in his morning Mass homily Oct. 21, “but when your heart is attached (to money), it destroys you.”

“How many destroyed families have we seen because of money problems, sibling against sibling, father against child,” he said during the Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, according to Vatican Radio. Read more

Encyclical Letter – Lumen Fidei (The Light of Faith)

ENCYCLICAL LETTER
LUMEN FIDEI
OF THE SUPREME PONTIFF
FRANCIS
TO THE BISHOPS PRIESTS AND DEACONS
CONSECRATED PERSONS
AND THE LAY FAITHFUL
ON FAITH

1. The light of Faith: this is how the Church’s tradition speaks of the great gift brought by Jesus. In John’s Gospel, Christ says of himself: “I have come as light into the world, that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness” (Jn 12:46). Saint Paul uses the same image: “God who said ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts” (2 Cor 4:6). The pagan world, which hungered for light, had seen the growth of the cult of the sun god, Sol Invictus, invoked each day at sunrise. Yet though the sun was born anew each morning, it was clearly incapable of casting its light on all of human existence. The sun does not illumine all reality; its rays cannot penetrate to the shadow of death, the place where men’s eyes are closed to its light. “No one — Saint Justin Martyr writes — has ever been ready to die for his faith in the sun”.[1] Conscious of the immense horizon which their faith opened before them, Christians invoked Jesus as the true sun “whose rays bestow life”.[2] To Martha, weeping for the death of her brother Lazarus, Jesus said: “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” (Jn 11:40). Those who believe, see; they see with a light that illumines their entire journey, for it comes from the risen Christ, the morning star which never sets. Read more

Examine what prevents intimacy with Christ, Pope says

Examine what prevents intimacy with Christ, Pope says

Pope Francis leads the Bishops of Italy in a solemn Profession of Faith in St. Peter’s Basilica for their 65th General Assembly May 23, 2013. Credit: Stephen Driscoll/CNA.

Vatican City, May 29, 2013 / 12:06 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The faithful need to examine their lives to find the “riches” that prevent them from “getting close to Jesus” like the young man who refuses to give his possessions to the poor in order to follow Christ.

Pope Francis focused his homily May 27 on the episode in the Gospel in which Jesus asks a young man to give all his riches to the poor and then follow him. However, rather than following Christ’s call, the young man goes away sad.

During his daily Mass at the Domus Sanctae Marthae, Pope Francis told those present that we all have “riches” that create obstacles in our intimacy with Jesus. Read more

Pope says everyone can do good, regardless of belief

Pope says everyone can do good, regardless of belief

Vatican City, May 22, 2013 / 04:03 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Every human person despite his or her beliefs can do good, and a sharing in good works is the prime place for encounter among those who disagree, Pope Francis said at his Mass today.

“The Lord created us in his image and likeness, and we are the image of the Lord, and he does good and all of us have this commandment at heart: do good and avoid evil. All of us,” the Pope taught in his homily May 22 at St. Martha’s residence in the Vatican.

“We must meet one another doing good. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: we will meet one another there.” Read more

Vatican: Passion of Our Lord Sermon [Full text]

Vatican Radio

Vatican: Passion of Our Lord Sermon [Full text]

(Vatican Radio) In silent procession, wearing red vestments, Pope Francis made his way down the nave of St Peter’s basilica as the sunset over the dome on Friday evening. There before the High Altar, he lay prostrate in prayer. This was the opening act of the liturgy of Our Lord’s Passion, the central commemoration of Good Friday, the memorial of Christ’s suffering and death for the salvation of mankind.

Emer McCarthy reports:

The Holy Father stood as three deacons, two Franciscans and a Dominican, chanted the account of the Passion according to St. John. As is tradition, the papal preacher, Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, delivered the Good Friday Sermon, this year titled “Justified as a Gift through Faith in the Blood of Christ”. Read more

Pope: Open you hearts to the sweetness of God’s forgiveness

Vatican Radio

Pope: Open you hearts to the sweetness of God’s forgiveness

(Vatican Radio) Tuesday of Holy Week was marked in the Vatican by morning mass presided by Pope Francis in the chapel of Casa Sancta Marta. Holy See press office director Fr. Lombardi has informed press that the Pope has decided to stay at the residence close to the Paul VI audience hall for now. Pope Francis has moved into a larger apartment and goes each day to the Apostolic Palace for work. Tuesday mornings congregation was composed of guests currently lodging at the residence along with the Holy Father.

Commenting on the Gospel of the day, John Chapter 13, which recounts Judas’ betrayal of Christ, the Pope noted “everyone experiences the dark night of the sinner”, but Jesus “has an embrace” for us all. Read more

Spirituality at Work: Spiritual Support for Our Co-Workers

 By Woodeene Koenig-Bricker

How can we support co-workers who are going through difficult times in their lives? Sometimes we prefer to take the ostrich approach: if I don’t talk about the divorce or the surgery or the child on drugs or the death then maybe they won’t bring it up either. Or we opt for the awkward quick sympathy: I’m really sorry to hear about (blank). Now, how about that project?

It’s natural and understandable to want to avoid getting into the depths of another’s troubles. Who wants to hear all the gory details when there is work to be done? (Or even when there isn’t work to be done!) However, as followers of Christ, we are asked to do a little more and be a little more than ordinary workers.

Having gone through several difficult situations myself and having had colleagues go through many, I have a few suggestions on how we can be of spiritual support to our co-workers. Read more

The Spirituality of Work

The Spirituality of Work

By Brian Diehm

Human work participates in God’s ongoing creation, and leads to holiness in the world.

Catholic Way –

It seems difficult at times to reconcile the toil and “worldliness” of work with a Christian’s call to holiness. For the lay faithful, however, work is a means of sanctification, not only for himself but for the world around him. In obedience to God’s command to “fill the earth and subdue it,” our daily work participates in extending His will through every part of His creation. Christians are called to be conscious of how their work contributes to building the Kingdom of God on earth, to their growth as human beings, and to their growth in holiness.

For many Christians, holiness is matter of weekly public worship and private prayer. They would not call themselves holy, in the way that they see the Church hierarchy as “religious” by nature and calling. However, secular vocation is part of our holiness as lay Christians. Through our work, we achieve sanctification and return to God the gifts of life. If we fail to understand the sanctity of our work, we can fail to revere God’s ongoing creation in our daily tasks, and be unable to draw strength from the communion with God that our work represents. Work has a singular dignity in God’s plan, and we must understand the sanctifying nature of our work. Read more