12/21/2014VATICAN Pope: At Christmas, once more, Christ comes by and knocks on the doors of our hearts, and we should not let him get away On the fourth Sunday of Advent, Francis emphasises two aspects in Mary's life, "a model to prepare for Christmas," namely her faith and her capacity to recognise God's time. "The example of Mary and that of her husband Joseph are an invitation to accept with total openness of mind Jesus, who became our brother out of love." What is more, "If you feel the desire to improve, Christ will come by and knock at your door: open it!" Vatican City (AsiaNews) - As he began the Marian prayer for the Angelus on
the fourth Sunday of Advent, Pope Francis said that at Christmas, Christ "passes
by and knocks at our heart. Let us not let him get away; let us throw open our doors
before him." Likewise, Mary "is an example of how to...
12/18/2014VATICAN Pope: God walks with us in history, and when we go wrong he correct history and brings it forward "Making history with his people means for God to walk with us and to test the ones he has chosen". But in the end He saves them: "Let us always remember, with confidence, even in the worst moments, even in times of illness, when we realize we have to ask for the Last Rites because there is no way out, to say: 'Lord, history did not start with me and will not end with me! You go ahead, I am willing to come with you'. And to put ourselves in the hands of the Lord".
12/17/2014VATICAN Pope: May God "convert the hearts of the violent who do not stop even before children" Prayers "for the victims of inhuman terrorist acts in recent days in Australia, Pakistan and Yemen." Tango dancers, a cake and birthday wishes in all languages for Francis' 78 years. The "meditations" on the family during the general audiences are part of a journey in which the Extraordinary Synod of October" was the first step."
12/16/2014IRAQ - VATICAN As 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' continues, Mosul bishop notes that Jesus is born amid refugee containers by Amel Nona Persecuted by the Islamic state, refugees have lost everything: belongings, home, jobs, school, and their future. Yet, their faith and mission remain strong. For them, almost 900,000 euros have been raised and sent. Pope Francis sends a message of closeness. The campaign continues according to the Patriarch of Baghdad's proposal of fasting and moderation at Christmas and New Year, with the money saved offered to the Christians of Mosul.
12/15/2014VATICAN For Pope, Catholics should avoid the "sins of the media: disinformation, slander and defamation" The "tasks" of those involved in social communication include speaking freely, without submissions to politics or economics; choosing the "path of understanding" the whole of reality; and avoiding attention-grabbing the user. "Genuine communication is not concerned with attention-grabbing. Alternating catastrophic alarmism and consolatory detachment - two extremes that we see continually in today's communication - are not a good service media offer to people."
12/14/2014VATICAN On the "Sunday of Joy", pope gives a prayer booklet, telling the faithful to "always carry it" After the Angelus prayer, Pope Francis gave the crowd a pocketbook of prayers "for the various times of the day and for different situations in life". Earlier, he had blessed the "Baby Jesus" figurines for Nativity scenes brought by the children from Roman oratories. He also said, "With Jesus, joy dwells in us". He also shared the Christmas candle in solidarity with Polish faithful.
12/12/2014VATICAN Pope, "compelled to ask that the future of Latin America be forged for the poor and those who suffer" Francis led today's Mass celebrating Our Lady of Guadalupe, the "great missionary who" brought "the Gospel to our America." The Marian canticle "professes that God delights in subverting ideologies and worldly hierarchies. He lifts up the lowly, comes to the aid of the poor and the little, he fills with goodness, blessings and hope those who trust in his mercy from generation to generation, while he casts down the rich, the powerful, and rulers from their thrones."
12/11/2014VATICAN For Pope, God loves us with the "tenderness of a mother," but "many times we want to control grace" God's grace "is closeness; it is tenderness. This rule is forever useful. If you are in a relationship with the Lord and you do not feel that He loves you tenderly, you are missing something; you have not understood what grace is; you have not received the grace that is this closeness." [. . .] If we had the courage to open our hearts to this tenderness of God, how much spiritual freedom we would have! How much!"
12/10/2014KOREA - VATICAN - PEACE 2015 Korean priest rescues N Korean women sold as slaves in China In his 2015 Message for Peace, Pope Francis mentions women "forced into marriage" and "sold for arranged marriages". About 90 per cent of North Korean women who flee to China are sold to brothels or Chinese husbands for US$ 2,000. A Korean priest, together with humanitarian organisations, buys them and brings them to South Korea.