Better late than never: Here is a video of Pope emeritus Benedict XVI welcoming the 11 new cardinals present in Rome after they received the red hat from Pope Francis in the November 28 consistory. Hopefully you can get beyond the loud clicking of the cameras present. I (and many others, I am sure) have wondered for years how we could send men to the moon and yet not invent a professional camera that takes pictures quietly! EWTN Vatican on Instagram: “It is not part of the rite of the consistory, but by now the visit of the new cardinals to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has become a…”
As of today, the Vatican Publishing House is on Facebook and Twitter:
PAPAL PRAYER INTENTION FOR DECEMBER: FOR A LIFE OF PRAYER
Vatican News, in a video message accompanying the monthly prayer intention, notes that Pope Francis “speaks about the power of prayer to change reality and our hearts, and prays that, through a life of prayer, we may nourish our relationship with Jesus Christ.”
For weeks now, the papal weekly general audiences, live-streamed from the Apostolic Palace, have focused on prayer. In his prayer intention for December 2020, the Pope says he hopes our lives might be marked by prayer as was Jesus’ life: “the secret of Jesus’ life, and the key for us to be able to enter into dialogue with the Father, is prayer.”
Following is the text of the December 2020 prayer intention:
The heart of the Church’s mission is prayer.
Prayer is the key for us to be able to enter into dialogue with the Father.
Every time we read a short passage from the Gospel we hear Jesus speaking to us.
We have a conversation with Jesus.
We listen to Jesus and we reply.
And this is prayer.
By praying, we change reality.
And we change our hearts.
Our heart changes when we pray.
We can do many things, but without prayer, it does not work.
We pray that our personal relationship with Jesus Christ be nourished by the Word of God and a life of prayer.
In silence, everyone, each one in heartfelt prayer.
Click here for video with English subtitles: Pope’s December prayer intention: For a life of prayer – Vatican News
POPE AT GENERAL AUDIENCE: GOD BLESSES US DESPITE OUR SINS
Pope Francis this morning presided at the weekly general audience as it was live-streamed from the papal library of the Apostolic Palace, again focusing his reflections on prayer.
“Dear Brothers and Sisters,” he began, “in our continuing catechesis on Christian prayer, we now consider the importance of blessing as an essential dimension of prayer.”
He explained the meaning of the word “bless” by referring to the Italian word “benedire” which means ‘to speak well.” Therefore, “there is a God who ‘speaks well’. God sees every work of His hands as good and beautiful, when He creates man and woman, His creation is complete and is ‘very good’.”
While God creates, He “continually blesses life,” such as the animals, man and woman, and the Sabbath. Even men and women give blessings, aware that blessing possesses a special power that accompanies the person who receives it throughout his or her entire life. It opens up the person’s heart to allow God to change it.
Francis noted that, “God did not withhold his blessing even after we turned away in sin, rather He continues to desire our good. In the history of salvation, the greatest of God’s blessings is Jesus Christ himself. Saint Paul exhorts us to bless God, who has blessed us in Christ, and made us his beloved sons and daughters.”
“In response to God’s blessings,” said Pope Francis, “we in turn bless him, the source of all good, through our prayers of praise, adoration and thanksgiving. As the Catechism teaches: “The prayer of blessing is man’s response to God’s gifts” (No. 2626). May we always find joy in blessing the Father with gratitude for the infinite goodness he has shown us in giving us his Son.”
At the end of the audience catechesis, the Holy Father said, “I want to assure my prayers for Nigeria, where blood has unfortunately been spilled once more in a terrorist attack.”
He was referring to a massacre that took place on Saturday in the village of Zabarmari, in Borno State where over 100 farm workers were killed, with some witnesses saying many were beheaded. “May God welcome them in His peace and comfort their families, and convert the hearts of those who commit similar atrocities which gravely offend His name,” prayed Francis.
Vatican news reported that no one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but suspicions fell either on Boko Haram or a branch of the so-called Islamic State.
The Islamic insurgents have been responsible for at least 30,000 deaths over the past several years. The United Nations and Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari condemned Saturday’s killings, which mark the most violent attack on civilians in Nigeria this year.
CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO WITH ENGLISH COMMENTARY: Pope at Audience: God blesses us despite our sins – Vatican News
POPE PRAYS FOR EL SALVADOR MARTYRS 40 YEARS AFTER THEIR DEATH
40 years after their death, Pope Francis recalls the brave missionary women who were brutally murdered in El Salvador as they worked to make the lives of those suffering the county’s civil war easier.
By Vatican News staff writer
It was December 2, 1980, ten months after the start of the civil war in El Salvador, and eight since the murder of Salvadorian Archbishop, now Saint Oscar Romero, when four American women were brutally murdered.
The four women, missionaries offering humanitarian aid to El Salvador and neighboring countries, were seen as a threat to the right wing government, and accused by the regime of fomenting political opposition.
Sister Ita Ford, 40, and Sister Maura Clarke, 49, were both Maryknoll Sisters from New York; Sister Dorothy Kazel, 40, an Ursuline Sister from Cleveland; and Jean Donovan, 27, a lay missionary who was engaged to be married, also from Cleveland. All four were raped and murdered by five members of the El Salvadorean National Guard.
For more: Pope prays for El Salvador Martyrs 40 years after their death – Vatican News
COUNCIL OF CARDINALS REFLECTS ON LIFE OF THE CHURCH IN MIDST OF PANDEMIC
The Council of Cardinals gathered virtually on Tuesday afternoon for their regularly scheduled meeting.
By Vatican News
Due to the current health situation, the regularly scheduled meeting of the Council of Cardinals was held online on Tuesday afternoon. Cardinals Óscar A. Rodríguez Maradiaga, Reinhard Marx, Sean Patrick O’Malley, Oswald Gracias, and Fridolin Ambongo Besungu took part in the meeting from their respective countries, while Cardinals Pietro Parolin and Giuseppe Bertello and the Secretary of the Council, Bishop Marco Mellino, were connected from the Vatican. The Holy Father also participated in the meeting, connecting from Casa Santa Marta.
The Holy See Press Office announced the meeting in a statement Tuesday evening.
“After a brief greeting from Pope Francis,” the statement read, “the new member of the Council, Cardinal Ambongo Besungu, Metropolitan Archbishop of Kinshasa, was presented to the participants and some contributions were made on the life of the Church in the different continents, particularly in the present health situation.”
The statement continued, “The Secretary of the Council has summarized the steps taken in the drafting of the text of the new Apostolic Constitution, while in the meantime, the observations, amendments and proposals received from the Dicasteries consulted in recent months are being studied.”
Lastly, the statement noted that the next meeting of the Council of Cardinals is scheduled for the month of February.