Pope: Message to Ecumenical Patriarch for feast of St Andrew

(Vatican Radio) At the end of his General Audience on Wednesday, Pope Francis greeted the church of Constantinople, and the “beloved Patriarch Bartholomew” on the occasion of the Feast of the Apostle St Andrew, traditionally held to be the founder of the See of Byzantium, which later became the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

Pope Francis expressed his desire to be united to the Patriarch and to the church of Constantinople, offering them his “best wishes for all possible goods, for all the blessings of the Lord, and a warm embrace.”

A delegation from the Holy See, bearing a message from Pope Francis, is in Istanbul for a visit to the Patriarchate on the Apostle’s feast day. The customary visit is reciprocated each year on the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul in Rome.

The Holy See delegation was led by Cardinal Kurt Koch, the President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. Cardinal Koch was accompanied by the Council’s Secretary, Bishop Brian Farrell, and the Under-secretary, Monsignor Andrea Palmieri. The delegation was joined in Constantinople by the Apostolic Nuncio in Turkey, Archbishop Paul Russell.

The delegation took part in the solemn Divine Liturgy offered by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew, in the patriarchal church of Saint George at the Phanar. They also met with the Patriarch, as well as with the synodal commission on relations with the Catholic Church.

Following the Divine Liturgy, Cardinal Koch delivered an autograph message of Pope Francis to the Ecumenical Patriarch, accompanied by a gift.

In the message, Pope Francis said the annual exchange of delegations is “a visible sign of the profound bonds that already unite us” as well as “an expression of our yearning for ever deeper communion.” In the journey toward full communion, he said, “we are sustained by the intercession not only of our patron saints, but by the array of martyrs from every age.”

Pope Francis also noted “the strong commitment” to re-establishing Christian unity expressed by the Great and Holy Council held in Crete in June. The Pope noted that relations between the churches have, at times, been marked by conflicts; “only prayer, common good works, and dialogue,” he said, “can enable us to overcome division and grow closer to one another.”

The Holy Father also wrote about the importance of theological dialogue, and especially the shared reflection on the relationship between synodality and primacy in the first millennium. This reflection, he said, “can offer a sure foundation for discerning ways in which primacy may be exercised in the Church when all Christians of East and West are finally reconciled.”

Finally, Pope Francis fondly recalled his meeting with Patriarch Bartholomew and other Christian leaders and representatives of various world religions in Assisi. The Assisi gathering, he said, was a joyful opportunity to deepen our friendship, which finds expression in a shared vision regarding the great questions that affect the life of the Church and of all society. He concluded his message with an assurance of prayer and best wishes for the Ecumenical Patriarch, and all those entrusted to his spiritual care. 

Here is the full text of Pope Francis’ message to Patriarch Bartholomew on the occasion of the Feast of Saint Andrew:

To His Holiness Bartholomaios

Archbishop of Constantinople
Ecumenical Patriarch

It gives me great joy, Your Holiness, to renew the tradition of sending a delegation to the solemn celebration of the feast of Saint Andrew the Apostle, patron of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, in order to convey my best wishes to you, my beloved brother in Christ, as well as to the members of the Holy Synod, the clergy and all the faithful gathered in remembrance of Saint Andrew.  In this way, I am pleased to respond to your custom of sending a delegation of the Church of Constantinople for the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, patron saints of the Church of Rome.

The exchange of delegations between Rome and Constantinople on the occasion of the respective feast days honouring the brother apostles Peter and Andrew is a visible sign of the profound bonds that already unite us.  So too, it is an expression of our yearning for ever deeper communion, until that day when, God willing, we may witness to our love for one another by sharing the same eucharistic table.  In this journey towards the restoration of eucharistic communion between us, we are sustained by the intercession not only of our patron saints, but by the array of martyrs from every age, who “despite the tragedy of our divisions… have preserved an attachment to Christ and to the Father so radical and absolute as to lead even to the shedding of blood” (Saint Pope John Paul II, Ut unum sint, 83).

It is for Catholics a source of real encouragement that at the Great and Holy Council held last June in Crete, the strong commitment to re–establishing the unity of Christians was confirmed.  Ever faithful to your own tradition, Your Holiness has always remained conscious of existing difficulties to unity and has never tired of supporting initiatives which foster encounter and dialogue.  The history of relations between Christians, however, has sadly been marked by conflicts that have left a deep impression on the memory of the faithful. For this reason, some cling to attitudes of the past.  We know that only prayer, common good works and dialogue can enable us to overcome division and grow closer to one another.

Thanks to the process of dialogue, over the last decades Catholics and Orthodox have begun to recognize one another as brothers and sisters and to value each other’s gifts, and together have proclaimed the Gospel, served humanity and the cause of peace, promoted the dignity of the human being and the inestimable value of the family, and cared for those most in need, as well as creation, our common home.  The theological dialogue undertaken by the Joint International Commission has also made a significant contribution to mutual understanding.  The recent document Synodality and Primacy in the First Millennium.  Towards a Common Understanding in Service to the Unity of the Church is the fruit of a longstanding and intense study by members of the Joint International Commission, to whom I extend my heartfelt gratitude.  Though many questions remain, this shared reflection on the relationship between synodality and primacy in the first millennium can offer a sure foundation for discerning ways in which primacy may be exercised in the Church when all Christians of East and West are finally reconciled.

I recall with great fondness our recent meeting in Assisi with other Christians and representatives of religious traditions gathered to offer a united appeal for peace throughout the world.  Our gathering was a joyful opportunity to deepen our friendship, which finds expression in a shared vision regarding the great questions that affect the life of the Church and of all society.

Your Holiness, these are some of my deepest hopes that I have wanted to express in a spirit of genuine fraternity.  In assuring you of my daily remembrance in prayer, I renew my best wishes for peace, health and abundant blessings upon you and all those entrusted to your care.  With sentiments of brotherly affection and spiritual closeness, I exchange with Your Holiness an embrace of peace in the Lord.

 

(from Vatican Radio)

from News.va http://ift.tt/2fCD2j9
via IFTTT

from Blogger http://ift.tt/2gwSES5

2017 message for World Day of Prayer for Vocations released

(Vatican Radio) The 2017 message for the World Day of Prayer for Vocations was released Wednesday entitled, “Led by the Spirit for Mission”.

Listen to Lydia O’Kane’s report

In the message for this 54th World Day of Prayer for Vocations, the Pope reflects on the missionary dimension of our Christian calling. 

The Holy Father says that “commitment to mission is not something added on to the Christian life as a kind of decoration, but is instead an essential element of faith itself.  A relationship with the Lord,” he adds, “entails being sent out into the world as prophets of his word and witnesses of his love.”

Even if at times when “we are conscious of our weaknesses and tempted to discouragement”, Pope Francis underlines,  “we need to turn to God with confidence”, and he reiterates that by “virtue of baptism, every Christian is a “Christopher”, a bearer of Christ, to his brothers and sisters.”

In the message divided into three subtitles, the first being “Jesus is anointed by the Spirit and sent”, the Holy Father explains that, “to be a missionary disciple means to share actively in the mission of Christ.”

In the second heading, “Jesus is at our side every step of the way”, Pope Francis describes how “the questions lurking in human hearts and the real challenges of life can make us feel bewildered, inadequate and hopeless.”  But he goes on to say, “if we contemplate the risen Jesus walking alongside the disciples of Emmaus we can be filled with new confidence.” 

In the third subtitle, “Jesus makes the seed grow”, the Pope says that, “it is important to let the Gospel teach us the way of proclamation.”  “The seed of the Kingdom”, he adds, “however tiny, unseen and at times insignificant, silently continues to grow, thanks to God’s tireless activity.” 

Concluding his message the Holy Father underlines that, “there can be no promotion of vocations or Christian mission apart from constant contemplative prayer and he encourages this kind of profound friendship with the Lord, “above all for the sake of imploring from on high new vocations to the priesthood and the consecrated life.”

Below find the English translation of the Message of His Holiness Pope Francis 2017 World Day of Prayer for Vocations

 

 

 

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

            In the last few years, we have considered two aspects of the Christian vocation: the summons to “go out from ourselves” to hear the Lord’s voice, and the importance of the ecclesial community as the privileged place where God’s call is born, nourished and expressed.

            Now, on this 54th World Day of Prayer for Vocations, I would like to reflect on the missionary dimension of our Christian calling.  Those who drawn by God’s voice and determined to follow Jesus soon discover within themselves an irrepressible desire to bring the Good News to their brothers and sisters through proclamation and the service of charity.  All Christians are called to be missionaries of the Gospel!  As disciples, we do not receive the gift of God’s love for our personal consolation, nor are we called to promote ourselves, or a business concern.  We are simply men and women touched and transformed by the joy of God’s love, who cannot keep this experience just to ourselves.  For “the Gospel joy which enlivens the community of disciples is a missionary joy (Evangelii Gaudium, 21).

            Commitment to mission is not something added on to the Christian life as a kind of decoration, but is instead an essential element of faith itself.  A relationship with the Lord entails being sent out into the world as prophets of his word and witnesses of his love.

            Even if at times we are conscious of our weaknesses and tempted to discouragement, we need to turn with God with confidence.  We must overcome a sense of our own inadequacy and not yield to pessimism, which merely turns us into passive spectators of a dreary and monotonous life.  There is no room for fear!  God himself comes to cleanse our “unclean lips” and equip us for the mission: “Your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out.  Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send and who will go for us?’  And I said, ‘Here am I, send me’” (Is 6:6-8).

            In the depths of their heart, all missionary disciples hear this divine voice bidding them to “go about”, as Jesus did, “doing good and healing all” (cf. Acts 10:38).  I have mentioned that, by virtue of baptism, every Christian is a “Christopher”, a bearer of Christ, to his brothers and sisters (cf. Catechesis, 30 January 2016).  This is particularly the case with those called to a life of special consecration and with priests, who have generously responded, “Here I am, Lord, send me!”  With renewed missionary enthusiasm, priests are called to go forth from the sacred precincts of the temple and to let God’s tender love overflow for the sake of humanity (cf. Homily at the Chrism Mass, 24 March 2016).  The Church needs such priests: serenely confident because they have discovered the true treasure, anxious to go out and joyfully to make it known to all (cf. Mt 13:44).

            Certainly many questions arise when we speak of the Christian mission.  What does it mean to be a missionary of the Gospel?  Who gives us the strength and courage to preach?  What is the evangelical basis and inspiration of mission?  We can respond to these questions by meditating on three scenes from the Gospels: the inauguration of Jesus’ mission in the synagogue at Nazareth (cf. Lk 4:16-30); the journey that, after his resurrection, he makes in the company of the disciples of Emmaus (cf. Lk 24:13-35) and, finally, the parable of the sower and the seed (cf. Mt 4:26-27).

            Jesus is anointed by the Spirit and sent.  To be a missionary disciple means to share actively in the mission of Christ.  Jesus himself described that mission in the synagogue of Nazareth in these words: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed to bring good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour” (Lk 4:18-19).  This is also our mission: to be anointed by the Spirit, and to go out to our brothers and sisters in order to proclaim the word and to be for them a means of salvation.

            Jesus is at our side every step of the way.  The questions lurking in human hearts and the real challenges of life can make us feel bewildered, inadequate and hopeless.  The Christian mission might appear to be mere utopian illusion or at least something beyond our reach.  Yet if we contemplate the risen Jesus walking alongside the disciples of Emmaus (cf. Lk 24:13-15), we can be filled with new confidence.  In that Gospel scene, we have a true “liturgy of the street”, preceding that of the word and the breaking of the bread.  We see that, at every step of the way, Jesus is at our side!  The two disciples, overwhelmed by the scandal of the cross, return home on the path of defeat.  Their hearts are broken, their hopes dashed and their dreams shattered.  The joy of the Gospel has yielded to sadness.  What does Jesus do? He does not judge them, but walks with them.  Instead of raising a wall, he opens a breach.  Gradually he transforms their discouragement.  He makes their hearts burn within them, and he opens their eyes by proclaiming the word and breaking the bread.  In the same way, a Christian does not bear the burden of mission alone, but realizes, even amid weariness and misunderstanding, that “Jesus walks with him, speaks to him, breathes with him, works with him.  He senses Jesus alive with him in the midst of the missionary enterprise” (Evangelii Gaudium, 266).

            Jesus makes the seed grow.  Finally, it is important to let the Gospel teach us the way of proclamation.  At times, even with the best intentions, we can indulge in a certain hunger for power, proselytism or intolerant fanaticism.  Yet the Gospel tells us to reject the idolatry of power and success, undue concern for structures, and a kind of anxiety that has more to do with the spirit of conquest than that of service.  The seed of the Kingdom, however tiny, unseen and at times insignificant, silently continues to grow, thanks to God’s tireless activity.  “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, and should sleep or rise night and day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he knows not how” (Mk 4:26-27).  This is our first reason for confidence: God surpasses all our expectations and constantly surprises us by his generosity.  He makes our efforts bear fruit beyond all human calculation.

            With this confidence born of the Gospel, we become open to the silent working of the Spirit, which is the basis of mission.  There can be no promotion of vocations or Christian mission apart from constant contemplative prayer.  The Christian life needs to be nourished by attentive listening to God’s word and, above all, by the cultivation of a personal relationship with the Lord in Eucharistic adoration, the privileged “place” for our encounter with God.

            I wish heartily to encourage this kind of profound friendship with the Lord, above all for the sake of imploring from on high new vocations to the priesthood and the consecrated life.  The People of God need to be guided by pastors whose lives are spent in service to the Gospel.  I ask parish communities, associations and the many prayer groups present in the Church, not to yield to discouragement but to continue praying that the Lord will send workers to his harvest.  May he give us priests enamoured of the Gospel, close to all their brothers and sisters, living signs of God’s merciful love.

            Dear brothers and sisters, today too, we can regain fervour in preaching the Gospel and we can encourage young people in particular to take up the path of Christian discipleship.  Despite a widespread sense that the faith is listless or reduced to mere “duties to discharge”, our young people desire to discover the perennial attraction of Jesus, to be challenged by his words and actions, and to cherish the ideal that he holds out of a life that is fully human, happy to spend itself in love.

            Mary Most Holy, the Mother of our Saviour, had the courage to embrace this ideal, placing her youth and her enthusiasm in God’s hands.  Through her intercession, may we be granted that same openness of heart, that same readiness to respond, “Here I am”, to the Lord’s call, and that same joy in setting out (cf. Lk 1:39), like her, to proclaim him to the whole world.

From the Vatican, 27 November 2016

First Sunday of Advent 

(from Vatican Radio)

from News.va http://ift.tt/2g5WnVY
via IFTTT

from Blogger http://ift.tt/2fQnIho

World Aids Day: Pope calls for solidarity and treatment for all

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has appealed to all persons to act in a responsible manner to prevent the spread of HIV-Aids.

Speaking during the weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square, the Pope recalled that on Thursday, 1st December, we mark World Aids Day which is promoted by the United Nations.

“Millions of people live with this illness and only half of them have access to life-saving therapies” he said.

The Pope invited all to pray for them and for their families and promote solidarity so that “also the poor can benefit from adequate diagnosis and treatment.

“I appeal to all to act in a responsible way in order to prevent the further spread of this disease” he said. 

HIV continues to be a major global public health issue. Recent statistics show that globally an estimated 36.7 million people are living with HIV (including 1.8 million children).

The vast majority of this number live in low- and middle- income countries

Since the start of the epidemic, an estimated 78 million people have become infected with HIV and 35 million people have died of AIDS-related illnesses. 

An estimated 25.5 million people living with HIV live in sub-Saharan Africa The vast majority of them (an estimated 19 million) live in east and southern Africa which saw 46% of new HIV infections globally in 2015. Around 40% of all people living with HIV do not know that they have the virus.

 

 

 

(from Vatican Radio)

from News.va http://ift.tt/2gjDFgQ
via IFTTT

from Blogger http://ift.tt/2gwWBX8

Pope: Christian humility is the virtue of “the childlike”

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis said on Tuesday that true Christian humility is the virtue of the childlike and is never a theatrical humility. His words came at his morning Mass celebrated in the chapel of the Santa Marta residence.

Taking his inspiration from the day’s readings the Pope’s homily was a reflection on how God reveals himself to the humble and childlike rather than the wise and learned as recounted in the gospel of Luke. He noted that the day’s first reading from the book of Isaiah is also full of references to little things such as the small shoot that “shall sprout from the stump of Jesse” rather than an army that will bring about liberation. Pope Francis went on to explain how in the Christmas story too the leading figures are the small and the humble.

“Then at Christmas, we see this smallness, this little thing: a baby, a stable, a mother, a father… little ones.  (They have) big hearts but the attitude of a child.  And the Spirit of the Lord, the Holy Spirit comes to rest on this shoot and this small shoot will have the virtue of the childlike and the fear of the Lord.  He will walk in the fear of the Lord. Fear of the Lord is not terror: no, it is putting into practice God’s commandment that he gave to our father Abram: ‘Live in my presence, be perfect,’ Humble – this is humility, fear of the Lord is humility.”

The Pope stressed that only the childlike are capable of fully understanding the sense of humility and the fear of the Lord because they walk in front of the Lord, watched over and protected, feeling that the Lord gives them the strength to journey forward and this is true humility.

“Living our humility, Christian humility means having this fear of the Lord which, I repeat, is not terror but is:‘You are God, I am a person, I journey forward in this way with the little things of life but walking in Your presence and trying to be perfect.’ Humility is the virtue of the childlike and this is true humility and not a rather theatrical humility: no, not that: the humility of somebody who said: ‘I am humble but proud of being so.’ No, that is not true humility. The humility of the childlike is that of somebody who walks in the presence of the Lord, does not speak badly about others, looks only at serving and feels that he or she is the smallest …. That is where their strength lies.

In the same way, the Pope continued, we see the great humility of that girl to whom God sent His Son and who immediately afterwards hastened to her cousin Elizabeth and who said nothing about what had happened. He said humility is like this, journeying in the presence of the Lord, happy, joyful because they are humble just as we see in today’s gospel reading.

“Looking at Jesus who rejoiced because God reveals his mystery to the humble, we can ask for the grace of humility for all of us, the grace of fear of God, of walking in his presence trying to be perfect. And in this way with this humility, we can be vigilant in prayer, carrying out works of brotherly charity and rejoicing and giving praise.”

(from Vatican Radio)

from News.va http://ift.tt/2gsfASw
via IFTTT

from Blogger http://ift.tt/2gBWWdK

Stephen Hawking present for audience with Pope Francis

(Vatican Radio) The eminent physicist Stephen Hawking was among those present at an audience with Pope Francis for the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

The Academy is meeting in Rome for its plenary session, on “Science and Sustainability: Impacts of Scientific Knowledge and Technology on Human Society and its Environment.” On Saturday, Dr Hawking gave a presentation on his No-Boundary proposal concerning the beginnings of the universe.

The plenary session of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences concludes on Tuesday. 

(from Vatican Radio)

from News.va http://ift.tt/2gaYhrt
via IFTTT

from Blogger http://ift.tt/2gCzt9M

Pope Receives Taoiseach Enda Kenny

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis received the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of Ireland, Enda Kenny, on Monday.

A communiqué from the Press Office of the Holy See reports that the Pope and Taoiseach held cordial discussions, in which they evoked the historical ties between the Holy See and Ireland, and underlined the continued contribution ensured by the Catholic Church in the fields of education and social service.

The Communiqué goes on to say the men also spoke of the importance of the role of Christians in the public sphere, especially in promoting respect for the dignity of every person, beginning with the weakest and most defenseless.

The conversation then continued with an exchange of views on Europe, with particular reference to migration, youth employment and the main challenges that the continent has to deal with, from the political point of view and institutional.

Kenny also met with the Secretary of State of the Holy See, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, who was accompanied by Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States. 

(from Vatican Radio)

from News.va http://ift.tt/2frZknw
via IFTTT

from Blogger http://ift.tt/2fsmL0c

Pope offers condolences on death of Father Kolvenbach

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent a telegram to the Superior General of the Jesuit Order, Father Arturo Sosa Abascal, expressing his “heartfelt condolences” on the death of Father Peter Hans Kolvenbach, the former head of the Society of Jesus.

Father Kolvenbach died in Beirut on Saturday, just a few days short of his 88th birthday.

In the telegram, sent in his own name, Pope Francis recalled Father Kolvenbach’s “integral fidelity to Christ and His Gospel,” which was joined to “a generous commitment in exercising his office with a spirit of service for the good of the Church.”

In the telegram, the Pope assured Father Sosa of his “prayers of suffrage, invoking, through the divine mercy, eternal peace” for Father Kolvenbach.

Here is the full text of the telegram for the death of Father Peter Hans Kolvenbach, S.J.:

Hearing the news of the pious death of the Reverend Father Peter Hans Kolvenbach, S.J., the former Superior General of the Company of Jesus, I desire to express to you and to the whole Jesuit family my heartfelt condolences. Recalling the integral fidelity of Father Kolvenbach to Christ and His Gospel, joined to a generous commitment in exercising his office with a spirit of service for the good of the Church, I lift up my prayers of suffrage, invoking, from the divine mercy, eternal peace for his soul. Spiritually present at the funeral rites, I cordially impart to you, to your brothers, and to those who share the sorrow for this loss, the Apostolic Blessing.

Francis, PP.

Vatican City, 27 November 2016

(from Vatican Radio)

from News.va http://ift.tt/2gyEAXo
via IFTTT

from Blogger http://ift.tt/2gz9COU

Pope: To meet Jesus, we must go on the journey

(Vatican Radio) The Christian faith is not a theory or a philosophy – it is the encounter with Jesus. That was the message of Pope Francis at the morning Mass at the Casa Santa Marta at the beginning of Advent. The Pope emphasized that in order to truly encounter Jesus we undertake the journey with three attitudes: vigilant in prayer, industrious in charity, exultant in praise.

Encountering Jesus: this is “the grace that we desire in Advent.” Pope Francis centred the homily for the Holy Mass on the theme of the encounter with the Lord. He noted first that in this period of the year, the Liturgy shows us many encounters with Jesus: with His Mother in the womb, with Saint John the Baptist, with the Shepherds, with the Magi. All this, he said, shows us that Advent is “a time for journeying and going forth to meet the Lord, that is, a time to not stand still.

Prayer, charity, and praise: how we encounter the Lord

And so we must ask ourselves how we can go forth to meet Jesus. “What are the attitudes that I must have in order to encounter the Lord?” How, the Pope asks, “must I prepare my heart for the encounter with the Lord?”

In the prayer at the beginning of the Mass, the Liturgy points out three attitudes: vigilance in prayer, industriousness in charity, and exultant in praise. That is, I must pray, with vigilance. I must be hardworking in charity – fraternal charity, not only giving alms, no; but being tolerant of the people who annoy me, being tolerant at home of the children when they make too much noise; or of the husband or wife when they are difficult; or the mother-in-law… I don’t know… but tolerant: tolerant… charity, always, but hard-working. And also the joy of praising the Lord: ‘Exulting in joy.’ That is how we must live this journey, this desire to encounter the Lord. To encounter Him in a good way. Not standing still. And we will encounter the Lord.

However, the Pope added, “there will be a surprise, because He is the Lord of surprises.” The Lord, too, “does not stand still.” “I am on a journey to encounter Him, and He is on a journey to encounter me, and when we meet one another we see that the great surprise is that He was seeking me before I began to seek Him.”

The Lord always goes before us in the encounter

Pope Francis said that this “is the great surprise of the encounter with the Lord: He sought us first. He is always first. He makes His journey in order to find us.” That is what happened with the Centurion:

The Lord always goes beyond, goes first. We take one step and He takes ten. Always. The abundance of grace, of His love, of His tenderness that never tires of seeking us. Even, at times, with small things: We think that encountering the Lord would be something magnificent, like that man of Syria, Naaman, who was a leper [did]. And it’s not simple… And he too had a great surprise at God’s way of acting. And our God is the God of surprises, the God that is seeking us, is awaiting us, and asks of us only the little step of good will.

We must have the “desire to encounter Him,” the Pope continued. And then He “helps us.” The Lord, he said, “will accompany us during our life. Although many times, perhaps, we seem to be far from Him, “He waits for us like the father of the prodigal son.”

Faith does not consist in knowing dogmas, but in encountering Jesus

“Often times,” he added, “He sees that we want to draw close, and He comes out to meet us. It is the encounter with the Lord: This is the important thing! The encounter.” Pope Francis said he was always struck by something Pope Benedict had said, “that the faith is not a theory, a philosophy, an idea; it is an encounter. An encounter with Jesus.” If, on the other hand, “one has not encountered His mercy,” it would be possible even “recite the Creed from memory” without necessarily having faith”:

The doctors of the Law knew everything, all the dogmas of that time, all the morals of that time, everything. They did not have faith, because their hearts were far from God. Drawing away or having the will to go forward to encounter. And this is the grace that we ask for today: ‘O God, our Father, raise up in us the desire to meet your Christ,’ with good works. To meet Jesus. And for this we remember the grace that we have asked in prayer, with vigilance in prayer, industriousness in charity, and exulting in praise. And so we will encounter the Lord and we will have a very beautiful surprise. 

(from Vatican Radio)

from News.va http://ift.tt/2gyEZsN
via IFTTT

from Blogger http://ift.tt/2fsj7Dp