PAPAL MEDITATIONS IN ROMAN BASILICAS FOR JUBILEE OF PRIESTS
The Jubilee for Priests began on Wednesday, and concludes tomorrow, June 3, the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus with Mass presided over by Pope Francis. Tpday, Thursday, the Holy Father gave three meditations for the priests present in Rome for their Jubilee (photos: news.va).
ST JOHN LATERAN:
In his first meditation this morning in St. John Lateran, Francis said, “God’s name is mercy. If we reflect on this natural feeling of mercy we begin to see how God Himself can be understood in terms of this defining attribute by which Jesus wished to reveal Him to us.”
In his cathedral church, Pope Francis focused on the parable of the prodigal son. He reflected on the “embarrassed dignity” of the son who returned to his father – he is embarrassed by what he has done, but his father restores him to his dignity. Mercy, the Pope said, helps us to maintain the balance between acknowledging that we are sinners, and recognizing our dignity as children loved by the Father. If we can see ourselves in the place of the son, who was shown mercy by the father, we in turn will be led to be merciful to others.
“Mercy, seen in feminine terms, is the tender love of a mother who, touched by the frailty of her new-born baby, takes the child into her arms and provides everything it needs to live and grow (rehanim). In masculine terms, mercy is the steadfast fidelity of a father who constantly supports, forgives and encourages his children to grow. Mercy is the fruit of a covenant; that is why God is said to remember his covenant of mercy (hesed). At the same time, it is an utterly free act of kindness and goodness (eleos) rising up from the depths of our being and finding outward expression in charity.” (http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-leads-retreat-for-jubilee-of-priests)
ST MARY MAJOR:
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis delivered his second meditation for the retreat for priests at the papal Basilica of St Mary Major. Thursday’s retreat is part of the Jubilee for Priests taking place from 1-3 June.
In his second mediation, Pope Francis reflected on the “vessel of mercy.” “Our sin is like a sieve, or a leaky bucket,” he said, “from which grace quickly drains.” But God keeps forgiving us, and applies mercy to our weakness, creating a clean heart within us. It is precisely our experience of mercy that leads us to be merciful to others.
This, the Pope said, is seen in the life of saints, such as Peter and Paul, John, Augustine, Francis, and Ignatius. In fact, it is precisely those who have experienced mercy who often are the “best practitioners of mercy.”
But it is the sinless Virgin Mary who is the “simple yet perfect vessel that receives and bestows mercy.” The Holy Father contrasted Mary’s “yes” to grace with the sin of the prodigal son, the subject of his first meditation.
Pope Francis, recalling his visit to Mexico and his prayer before the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, reflected on the maternal gaze of the Blessed Virgin.
He concluded his second meditation by leading the priests in the Salve Regina. (http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-francis-second-meditation-for-the-retreat-for
ST. PAUL’S OUTSIDE THE WALLS:
The theme of the Pope’s third meditation at a spiritual retreat held on Thursday at the Papal Basilica of St. Paul’s Outside the Walls was “the good odor of Christ and the light of his mercy.”
At the heart of his reflection were the Works of Mercy, he said that, as priests, “being merciful is not only “a way of life,” but “the way of life,” adding, “there is no other way of being a priest.”
Drawing from the passage of the Lord’s encounter with the woman caught in adultery, the Pope explained that when Jesus says “Go and sin no more, “his command has to do with the future, to help her to make a new start and to “walk in love.” Such is the sensitivity of mercy, the Holy Father continued. “ it looks with compassion on the past and offers encouragement for the future.”
Focusing his attention of the Sacrament of Confession Pope Francis noted that “people come to confession because they are penitent. They come to confession because they want to change.”
During his meditation, the Pope also invited priests to let themselves “be moved by people’s situation, which at times is a mixture of their own doing, human weakness, sin and insuperable conditionings. He went on to say, “we have to be like Jesus, who was deeply moved by the sight of people and their problems…” http://www.news.va/en/news/st-pauls-outside-the-walls-popes-third-meditation
POPE FRANCIS TO ANSWER QUESTIONS FROM YOUTH IN NEW BOOK
Are you a young person who has a question for Pope Francis?
If so, just visit http://askpopefrancis.scholasoccurrentes.org/pope-francis-en-gb/ and learn how to contact the Holy Father.
The site explains its goal, saying “Pope Francis invites young people from around the world to send him questions through the website www.askpopefrancis.com. They can ask him whatever is in their hearts, be it out of interest, doubt or curiosity. The pontiff will reply to some of them in a book to be published in upcoming months in various languages and countries—in Italy by Mondadori.
“The project was done in collaboration with Scholas Occurrentes, an international organization of Pontifical right created by Pope Francis that works with youths and education with the aim of promoting social integration and the culture of encounter for peace.
“This will lead to the creation of a veritable ‘social book’ that uses new forms of communication to put people from every corner of the globe in touch with the Holy Father—a great virtual dialogue between Pope Francis and youths achieved thanks to a new technological and publishing platform developed by the startup eFanswer.”
EWTN ACQUIRES CHURCHPOP
Online Media Platform Targets Millennials with Shareable Content
Irondale, AL (EWTN) – EWTN Global Catholic Network has announced the acquisition of ChurchPOP, a fun, informative and inspirational online platform of “shareable Christian culture,” which can be found at churchpop.com. In addition to the primary ChurchPOP service, the acquisition also includes ChurchPOP Español and ChurchPOP Português.
“The content available on the ChurchPOP platforms provides a terrific vehicle to engage millennials and others who might not be reached by more traditional religious media,” said EWTN Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael P. Warsaw. “Throughout our 35-year history, EWTN has always been at the forefront of the new evangelization, using every possible form of media to carry out our mission. The addition of ChurchPOP to the EWTN family will enable us to continue to expand our audiences around the globe.”
“I’m honored to be working with EWTN,” said ChurchPOP founder and Editor-in-Chief Brantly Millegan. “I credit our present success to the great writers who contribute to ChurchPOP and to our readers, who help spread the word about the websites. Thanks to the backing of EWTN, we have big plans for the future of ChurchPOP.”