POPE FRANCIS PRAYS FOR THOSE WORKING IN THE MEDIA – POPE AT AUDIENCE: A PURE HEART SEES GOD

POPE FRANCIS PRAYS FOR THOSE WORKING IN THE MEDIA

Pope Francis prayer intention for Wednesday’s Mass at the Casa Santa Marta was “for all who work in the media, who work to communicate…. They are working so that people are not so isolated; for the education of children, to help us to bear this time of isolation.”

In his homily, the Holy Father focused on the struggle between Jesus and the Doctors of the Law over His identity. Jesus, he said, ultimately backs them into a corner, and they resort to insults and blasphemy.

To read a summary of his homily and to see the video of the papal Mass: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope-francis/mass-casa-santa-marta/2020-04/pope-francis-daily-mass-prays-for-media-workers.html

POPE AT AUDIENCE: A PURE HEART SEES GOD

Pope Francis focused the catechesis of his general audience on the sixth Beatitude, which promises that those with a pure heart will see God.

By Francesca Merlo (vaticannews)
The sixth Beatitude promises that those with a pure heart will see God. Pope Francis began his catechesis explaining that anyone who seeks the face of God shows the desire for a “personal relationship” with Him.

Like the disciples at Emmaus, “blindness” comes from a foolish and slow heart, said the Pope. In this case, “one sees things clouded”, he added.

The Lord opens the disciples’ eyes at the end of their journey, which culminates in the breaking of the bread.

“Here lies the wisdom of this Beatitude,” said the Pope. “To be able to contemplate it, it is necessary to look deep within our hearts and make space for God”.

“To see God it is not necessary to change our glasses or the place from which we are looking. Our heart needs to be liberated from its own deceit. When we realize that our worst enemy is often hidden within our own hearts, this is a decisive maturation process. That is the most noble battle against the interior deceptions generated by our sins”

To understand what “purity of heart” is, we must recall that in the Bible, “the heart does not consist solely in sentiments”. It is the “most intimate” part of the human being: “the interior space where a person is him or herself”, said the Pope.

The ‘pure of heart’ are not born that way. They have “lived an interior simplification, learning to renounce evil in itself”. The Bible calls this process “circumcision of the heart,” said the Pope. It is an inner purification that implies recognising the part of the heart that is under the influence of evil. This helps us to be led by the Holy Spirit, “through this journey of the heart to ‘see God’”.

In this beatific vision there is a future dimension: “the joy of the Kingdom of Heaven”, said the Pope. But there is also another, he continued: “To see God means discerning the designs of Providence in what happens, recognising His presence in the Sacraments, in our brothers and sisters, above all the poor and suffering, and to recognise God where He manifests Himself.”

A lifelong path of liberation begins in the furrow of the Beatitudes. This path is the Holy Spirit’s work, God’s work, when we give Him space.

“We are not afraid,” concluded the Pope. “Let us open the doors of our hearts to the Holy Spirit so that He may purify us and lead us on this journey towards joy and peace”.

THE GENERAL AUDIENCE: THE BEATITUDES, CORONAVIRUS, SYRIA, GOOD FRIDAY MEDITATIONS BY PRISONERS

What fun! I was quoted, but not by name, in the last sentence of this story about the coronavirus in Italy when Courtney quotes a “colleague who said ‘Christ is in Quarantine’” – that was my blog title a few days ago! https://www.foxnews.com/media/american-italy-coronavirus-quarantine-travel-restrictions

The Vatican announced today that on Sunday, March 15, Pope Francis’ private Mass in the chapel of the Santa Marta residence will be transmitted on live TV from 7 to approximately 7:30 am. (Check online with Vatican media).

THE GENERAL AUDIENCE: THE BEATITUDES, CORONAVIRUS, SYRIA, GOOD FRIDAY MEDITATIONS BY PRISONERS

Following is the English language catechesis of the Pope’s general audience today. The audience was filmed in the library of the Apostolic Palace. The monsignors from the Secretariat of State who recite the catechesis in diverse languages joined the Holy Father in the library.

Dear Brothers and Sisters: In our continuing catechesis on the Beatitudes, we now turn to the fourth Beatitude: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” (Mt 5:6). Jesus speaks not only of hungering and thirsting for personal and social justice, but also points to a deeper yearning for righteousness in the eyes of God. Psalm 63 expresses this thirst thus: “O God, you are my God, I pine for you; my heart thirsts for you” (v. 1). Saint Augustine puts it similarly: “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you” (Confessions, I, 1). This desire lies within every human heart and finds its fulfilment in Christ, who through the paschal mystery has reconciled us to the Father and calls us to share with everyone the Good News of our justification. The Beatitude promises us that by promoting justice in this highest sense, we will find true satisfaction, for our thirsting for righteousness will be quenched by the love God pours out upon his children.

After greetings in diverse languages, the Pope said in Italian:

At this moment, I would like to address all the sick who have the virus and who suffer from the disease, and to the many who suffer uncertainties about their diseases. I sincerely thank the hospital staff, the doctors, the nurses and the nurses, the volunteers who in this difficult moment are beside the people who suffer. I thank all Christians, all men and women of good will who pray for this moment, all united, whatever the religious tradition to which they belong. Thank you very much for this effort.

But I would not want this pain, this very strong epidemic to make us forget the poor Syrians, who have been suffering on the border between Greece and Turkey: a people suffering for years. They must escape from war, from hunger, from disease. Let’s not forget the brothers and sisters, many children, who are suffering there. I affectionately greet you, dear Italian-speaking brothers and sisters. I encourage you to face every situation, even the most difficult, with fortitude, responsibility and hope.

I would also like to thank the parish of the “Due Palazzi” prison in Padua: thank you very much. Yesterday I received the draft of the Via Crucis, which you did for the next Good Friday. Thank you for all working together, the whole prison community. Thanks for the depth of your meditations.

POPE AT AUDIENCE: MEEKNESS UNITES US, ANGER DRIVES US APART – COUNCIL OF CARDINALS REVISING NEW APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTION

POPE AT AUDIENCE: MEEKNESS UNITES US, ANGER DRIVES US APART

Turning his attention to the third Beatitude of Matthew’s Gospel – “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” – Pope Francis said a meek person is kind and without violence, and refuses to grow angry when passions run high.
(Vaticannnews)

“Anyone can seem meek when all is calm,” he told pilgrims at the general audience in the Paul VI Hall, “but how do we react when ‘under pressure’ or are attacked, offended, or assaulted?”

Jesus, said the Pope, is a model of meekness especially in how He suffered the Passion.

Pope Francis added that the Scriptures use the term “meek” for the poor and those without land.

So Jesus’ statement that the meek will inherit the earth would seem contradictory. But he promises it all the same, said the Pope. “It is the Promised Land. …That land is a promise and a gift for the people of God, and becomes a sign of something much greater than a piece of ground.”

He said the third Beatitude ultimately points us to our heavenly homeland.

The Pope went on to describe the traits of a meek disciple of Christ. “He or she has learned to defend their peace, their relationship with God, and the gifts of God: mercy, fraternity, trust, and hope.” Anger is the opposite of meekness, and destroys many important things when left uncontrolled.

“Anger has caused many brothers to cease speaking to one another. Meekness unites; anger divides.”

A person who is meek, concluded the Pope, is able to “win over hearts and save friendships, because people get angry but then they calm down.”

“This is how we can rebuild with peace.”

COUNCIL OF CARDINALS REVISING NEW APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTION

The 33rd meeting of the Council of Cardinals was dedicated to a re-reading of the new document that will replace (the 1988) “Pastor Bonus” as well as a consideration of proposed amendments to the text.
By Vatican News

The Council of Cardinals met again this week for their regularly scheduled meeting in the Vatican.

According to a statement of the Holy See Press Office, Cardinals Pietro Parolin, Óscar A. Rodríguez Maradiaga, Reinhard Marx, Seán Patrick O’Malley, Giuseppe Bertello, and Oswald Gracias were present for the meeting, along with the secretary of the council, Archbishop Marcello Semeraro, and the assistant secretary, Bishop Marco Mellino.

Pope Francis was present for the proceedings, with the exception of the meeting on Wednesday morning that took place during the general audience. The final session took place on Wednesday afternoon, with Pope Francis in attendance.

The text of the new Apostolic Constitution on the reform of the Roman Curia, which has been revised in light of the contributions offered by the various dand by some experts, was the subject of an in-depth re-reading and revision by the Council. The cardinals also followed some suggestions received in recent weeks from cardinals resident in Rome who had not yet had the opportunity to send their proposals.

The reading of the text will continue at the next session, set for April 2020.

THE BEATITUDES, AN IDENTITY CARD FOR CHRISTIANS

THE BEATITUDES, AN IDENTITY CARD FOR CHRISTIANS

Pope Francis began a new series of catecheses this morning at the weekly general audience and announced that he would be focusing on the Beatitudes that Jesus proposed in his celebrated Sermon on the Mount.

“Dear Brothers and Sisters,” he began. “Today we begin a new series of catechesis on the Beatitudes in Matthew’s Gospel. Jesus’ teaching provides a kind of ‘identity card’ for Christians. Like Moses on Sinai, Jesus gives these ‘new commandments’ from a hillside. He does not impose them but instead proposes them as the path to true happiness in the future that God promises to his faithful people.

Francis explained that “each Beatitude is composed of three parts: the opening word ‘Blessed’, followed by the situation in which those who are called blessed find themselves – poor in spirit, mourning, thirsting for justice – and finally the reason for which they are blessed.”

The Holy Father noted that, “the Beatitudes teach that we are blessed not by our present situation, but rather by the new condition that is ours by God’s grace. This first sermon of Jesus thus presents eight ‘doors’ through which we can encounter the power of God’s love to transform our lives and history. The Beatitudes point us beyond our limitations, tears and failures towards that Paschal joy born of Christ’s own victorious passage from death to life.”

The following photos were taken by EWTN/CNA’s Daniel Ibanez:

Here are the Beatitudes that Pope Francis will be studying in upcoming weeks.

Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the land.

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the clean in heart,
for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.

Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

VATICAN INSIDER AND THE ARCHBISHOP OF ERBIL, IRAQ – SPIRITUAL EXERCISES: THE BEATITUDES OF THIRST

In case you missed the link I posted on Twitter and on Facebook, here is video of the final morning of Pope Francis and members of the Roman Curia on retreat in Ariccia, as well as their return to Vatican City (Vatican Media): https://youtu.be/HJ6bwXvJG2A

VATICAN INSIDER AND THE ARCHBISHOP OF ERBIL, IRAQ

Welcome to Vatican Insider on this last weekend of February when my very special guest in the interview segment is Archbishop Bashar Ward of Erbil, northern Iraq to whom I spoke during his brief time in Rome with other Chaldean bishops on their ad limina visit. We spoke after he had appeared on EWTN’s News Nightly show and just before his departure for the U.S. where he has been giving talks at universities and creating both awareness of and funding for the plight of Christians in Iraq. As you may know, there are strong Chaldean Catholic communities in Detroit and San Diego in the United States.

In the United States, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (there is a list of U.S. stations at http://www.ewtn.com) or on channel 130 Sirius-XM satellite radio. Outside the U.S., you can listen to EWTN radio on our website home page by clicking on the right side where you see “LISTEN TO EWTN.” Vatican Insider airs Saturday mornings at 9:00am (ET). On the SKY satellite feed to the UK and parts of Europe, VI airs on audio channel 0147 at 11:30 am CET on Saturdays, and 5:30am and 10pm CET on Sundays. It’s also available on demand on the EWTN app and on the website. CHECK YOUR TIME ZONE. Here’s a link to download VI to your iTunes library: http://www.ewtn.com/se/pg/DatService.svc/feed/~LE.xml For VI archives: http://www.ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/file_index.asp?SeriesId=7096&pgnu=

SPIRITUAL EXERCISES: THE BEATITUDES OF THIRST

Pope Francis and the Roman Curia concluded their spiritual exercises this morning – a retreat that had begun late last Sunday afternoon on the theme “In praise of Thirst.”

The last meditation of Fr.José Tolentino Mendoça focussed on the “Beatitudes of Thirst” and concluded his cycle of meditations on thirst.
By Sr.Bernadette Mary Reis, fsp

The Beatitudes: Matthew sets the scene on the mountain. We therefore understand that “He is creating a parallel between Jesus and the figure of Moses—between the presentation of the Old Law, the Decalogue, and that of the New Law, the Beatitudes.”

The Beatitudes are our path

The Beatitudes are more than a law. They are, rather “ configuration of life, a true existential call.”In this way, they enlighten the path for the Church and for humanity as we journey toward an eschatological horizon.

The Beatitudes are a self-portrait of Jesus

Jesus’ Beatitudes are not only words that he proclaimed. “They represent the key by which to read his entire life.” We find in Jesus a model for living each of the Beatitudes. Above all, for us Christians, they are a “elf-portrait of the one who pronounced them.” Fr. Tolentino says that for Jesus this self-portrait “is an image of himself which he is constantly revealing to us and imprints on our hearts.” It is the model that we should use in order to “transform our own image.”

How are we proclaiming the Beatitudes?

God desires that our life be lived according to the beatitudes. “But what have we made of the Gospel of the Beatitudes? How have we proclaimed it? How do we put it into practice?” Do we see those who mourn, those who are in need of consolation, those who hunger and thirst for justice, the peacemakers?” If we do, Fr.Tolentino observes, “by being at their side,” the Church will rediscover her mission.

Beatitude people

The parable that best describes “Beatitude people” is that of the wedding guests (Luke 14:15-24). After the invited guests refuse to come, the “poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame” are invited. “The Church is not an exclusive club, closed, happy in measuring who to exclude. She must keep the doors open and, in an inclusive key, mirror in herself the world’s crossroads.”

THE SIX NEW BEATITUDES OF POPE FRANCIS – BE SALT AND LIGHT: EXPRESS FAITH IN PRAYER, SACRAMENTS AND SERVICE TO THE SUFFERING

THE SIX NEW BEATITUDES OF POPE FRANCIS

In his homily this morning at Mass for the small Catholic population of Sweden, Pope Francis focussed on the Beatitudes as recounted in the day’s Gospel according to Matthew, and added some “new” Beatitudes of his own.

In what was the final event of his overnight stay in southern Sweden to mark the start of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, the Holy Father celebrated Mass under gray skies and very chilly temperatures in a stadium in Malmo, where the faithful included Catholics from other Nordic countries as well as Filippino immigrants who work in these nations. (photo: news.va)

malmo-mass

“The Beatitudes,” said Francis, “are the image of Christ and consequently of each Christian.  Here I would like to mention only one: ‘Blessed are the meek’.  Jesus says of himself: ‘Learn from me for I am meek and lowly in heart’.  This is his spiritual portrait and it reveals the abundance of his love.  Meekness is a way of living and acting that draws us close to Jesus and to one another.  It enables us to set aside everything that divides and estranges us, and to find ever new ways to advance along the path of unity.

He explained that “the Beatitudes are in some sense the Christian’s identity card.  They identify us as followers of Jesus.  We are called to be blessed, to be followers of Jesus, to confront the troubles and anxieties of our age with the spirit and love of Jesus.  Thus we ought to be able to recognize and respond to new situations with fresh spiritual energy.”

Pope Francis then created his own list of six Beatitudes: “Blessed are those who remain faithful while enduring evils inflicted on them by others, and forgive them from their heart.  Blessed are those who look into the eyes of the abandoned and marginalized, and show them their closeness.  Blessed are those who see God in every person, and strive to make others also discover him.  Blessed are those who protect and care for our common home.  Blessed are those who renounce their own comfort in order to help others.  Blessed are those who pray and work for full communion between Christians.  All these are messengers of God’s mercy and tenderness, and surely they will receive from him their merited reward.”

Pope Francis’ homily was quite beautiful, encouraging all of us aim high, as the saints did, and to remember that today’s Solemnity of All Saints, is a “celebration of holiness.  A holiness that is seen not so much in great deeds and extraordinary events, but rather in daily fidelity to the demands of our baptism.  A holiness that consists in the love of God and the love of our brothers and sisters.  A love that remains faithful to the point of self-renunciation and complete devotion to others.”

Click here for that full homily:  http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-celebrates-mass-at-malmo

BE SALT AND LIGHT: EXPRESS FAITH IN PRAYER, SACRAMENTS AND SERVICE TO THE SUFFERING

Following Mass in the Malmo stadium Tuesday, Solemnity of All Saints, Pope Francis had a message for the faithful before reciting the Angelus. Thanking God for his visit, Francis said, “As Catholics, we are part of a great family and are sustained in the same communion.  I encourage you to express your faith in prayer, in the sacraments, and in generous service to those who are suffering and in need.  I urge you to be salt and light, wherever you find yourselves, through the way you live and act as followers of Jesus, and to show great respect and solidarity with our brothers and sisters of other churches and Christian communities, and with all people of good will.” (photo news.va)

malmo-angelus

The Pope noted that, “In our life, we are not alone; we have the constant help and companionship of the Virgin Mary.  Today she stands before us as first among the saints, the first disciple of the Lord.  We flee to her protection and to her we present our sorrows and our joys, our fears and our aspirations.  We put everything under her protection, in the sure knowledge that she watches over us and cares for us with a mother’s love.

Francis asked those present to keep him in their prayers, adding, “I keep you all very present in my own. Now, together, let us turn to Our Lady and pray the Angelus.”

Earlier the Pope expressed his “gratitude to Bishop Anders Arborelius of Stockholm for his kind words, and to the civil authorities and all who helped in the planning and execution of this visit.” He also greeted the president and the secretary general of the Lutheran World Federation, the archbishop of the Church of Sweden, members of the ecumenical delegations and the diplomatic corps present for the occasion.