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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

Pope’s letter to non-believers in Italian paper La Repubblica

Pope’s letter to non-believers in Italian paper La Repubblica

(Vatican Radio) Does God forgive non-believers? Does absolute truth exist? And is God merely a creation of the human mind?
In a lengthy letter to the former editor of the Italian daily ‘La Repubblica’, Eugenio Scalfari, Pope Francis shares reflections on these three questions and urges all non-believers to engage with Christians in an open and sincere conversation.

Listen to Philippa Hitchen’s report:

In the letter published on Wednesday, the Pope laments the impasse that has grown up over the centuries with those who see Christianity as ‘dark and superstitious,’ in opposition to the ‘light of reason’. 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

In first encyclical, pope celebrates faith as the light of human life

In first encyclical, pope celebrates faith as the light of human life

Pope Francis waves as he arrives to lead a general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican June 26. His first encyclical, “Lumen Fidei” (“The Light of Faith”), was released July 5. (CNS/Paul Haring)5

By Francis X. Rocca
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis’ first encyclical, “Lumen Fidei” (“The Light of Faith”), is a celebration of Christian faith as the guiding light of a “successful and fruitful life,” inspiring social action as well as devotion to God, and illuminating “every aspect of human existence,” including philosophy and the natural sciences.

The document, released July 5, completes a papal trilogy on the three “theological virtues,” following Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclicals “Deus Caritas Est” (2005) on charity and “Spe Salvi” (2007) on hope. Publication of the encyclical was one of the most awaited events of the Year of Faith which began in October 2012. Read more

Pope at audience: Counter a culture of waste with solidarity

Vatican Radio

Pope at audience: Counter a culture of waste with solidarity

(Vatican Radio) When stock markets drop ten points its ‘a tragedy’ but starving children, homeless people dying on our streets, people disposed of like trash – such as the unborn or the elderly – has become the norm.

This is the result of a culture of waste, of our being unable to ‘read the signs’ of God’s creation, His free gift to us, and of allowing money and not man rule society. A culture of solidarity should prevail over our culture of waste, because when we care for and cultivate creation – including the human person – when we share our resources, we all have enough.

This Wednesday Pope Francis dedicated his general audience with thousands of pilgrims and visitors to St Peter’s square to the UN World Environment Day. Emer McCarthy reports: 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: when Christians lack difficulties, ‘something is wrong’

Pope: when Christians lack difficulties, ‘something is wrong’

By Kevin Jones
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the Basilica of St. John Lateran on April 7, 2013. Credit: Stephen Driscoll/CNA.

Vatican City, May 28, 2013 / 04:08 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Faithful Christians will always face difficulties, said Pope Francis on Tuesday, warning that a worldly, career-based approach to faith avoids the suffering and persecution inherent in following Christ.

“Many Christians, tempted by the spirit of the world, think that following Jesus is good because it can become a career, they can get ahead,” the Pope said.

“When a Christian has no difficulties in life – when everything is fine, everything is beautiful – something is wrong.” Read more

POPE: NO WORSE POVERTY THAN PREVENTING PEOPLE FROM EARNING A LIVING

POPE: NO WORSE POVERTY THAN PREVENTING PEOPLE FROM EARNING A LIVING

Vatican City, 25 May 2013 (VIS) – Members of the “Centesimus Annus – Pro Pontefice” Foundation, which was established 20 years ago by Blessed John Paul II, were received this afternoon by Pope Francis during their annual international conference. This year’s theme is “Rethinking Solidarity for Work: Challenges of the 21st Century”.

In his address to them, the Bishop of Rome noted that the foundation bears the same name as an encyclical published by John Paul II on the centenary anniversary of “Rerum Novarum” and has, therefore, the Church’s social doctrine as the scope of its analysis and action. “Rethinking solidarity,” he said, “doesn’t mean questioning the recent Magisterium that, in fact, demonstrates ever more its vision and its relevance. Rather, ‘rethinking’ seems to me to mean two things: first of all combining the Magisterium with socio-economic development that, being constant and quick, always presents new aspects and second, ‘rethinking’ means going more in depth, reflecting further, to make all of a value’s worth emerge—solidarity in this case—which draws upon the Gospel profoundly, that is, upon Jesus Christ and thus contains inexhaustible potential.” Read more

Pope Francis at Mass: be salt of the earth

Vatican Radio

Pope Francis at Mass: be salt of the earth


 

 

 

(Vatican Radio) That Christians might spread the spiritual salt of faith, hope and charity: this was Pope Francis’ exhortation at Mass Thursday morning in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae residence in the Vatican. The Pope warned against the risk of becoming insipid, “Museum-piece Christians.”

In his homily, Pope Francis focused on the savour that Christians are called to give to their own lives and to others’. The Holy Father said that salt the Lord gives us is the salt of faith, hope and charity. But, he warned, we must be careful that this salt, which is given to us by the certainty that Jesus died and rose again to save us, “does not lose its flavour, does not lose its strength.” This salt, he continued, “is not for keeping, because if the salt is preserved in a bottle it does not do anything: it is good for nothing”:

Salt makes sense when you [use] it in order to make things more tasty. I also consider that salt stored in the bottle, with moisture, loses strength and is rendered useless. The salt that we have received is to be given out, to be given away, [in order] to spice things up: otherwise, it becomes bland and useless. We must ask the Lord not to [let us] become Christians with flavour-less salt, with salt that stays closed in the bottle. Salt also has another special feature: when salt is used well, one does not notice the taste of salt. The savour of salt – it cannot be perceived! What one tastes is the flavour of the food: salt helps improve the flavor of the meal.

“When we preach faith, with this salt,” said Pope Francis, “those who receive the proclamation, receive it each according to his peculiarity, as [happens when salt is used judiciously] on food.” So, “Each with his own peculiarities receives the salt and becomes better [for it].” The Holy Father went on to explain that the “originality” that Christian faith brings is therefore not something uniform:

The Christian originality is not a uniformity! It takes each one as he is, with his own personality, with his own characteristics, his culture – and leaves him with that, because it is a treasure. However, it gives one something more: it gives flavour! This Christian originality is so beautiful, because when we want to make a uniformity – all salted in the same way – things will be like when the woman throws in too much salt and one tastes only salt and not the meal. The Christian originality is this: each is as he is, with the gifts the Lord has given him.

“This,” the Pope continued, “is the salt that we have to give.” A salt that is “not to be kept, but to be given,” – and this, he said, “means a little [bit] of transcendence”: “To get out there with the message, to get out there with this richness that we have in salt, and give it to others.” On the other hand, he pointed out, there are two “ways out” for the salt to take, so that it does not spoil. First: to give the salt “in the service of meals, service to others, to serve the people.” Second: “transcendence toward the author of the salt, the creator.” The salt, he reiterated, “in order to keep its flavour, has need not only of being given through preaching,” but, “also needs the other transcendence, of prayer, of adoration”:

In this way is the salt conserved, [in this way it keeps] its flavor. With the worship of the Lord I go beyond myself to the Lord, and with the proclamation of the Gospel I go out of myself to give the message. If we do not do this, however – these two things, these two transcendences, to give the salt – the salt will remain in the bottle, and we will become ‘museum-piece Christians’. We can show the salt: this is my salt – and how lovely it is! This is the salt that I received in Baptism, this is what I received in Confirmation, this is what I received in catechesis – But look: museum-piece Christians! A salt without flavor, a salt that does nothing.

Cardinal Angelo Sodano and Cardinal Leonardo Sandri concelebrated, The Mass was attended by a group of priests and lay collaborators from the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.

Text from page http://en.radiovaticana.va/articolo.asp?c=694853
of the Vatican Radio website