» 10/02/2013, 00.00
Pope: the Church is "holy " not by our merit, but because God is holy
The Church is " made up of sinners ," but " the Lord wants us part of a Church that knows how to open its arms to welcome all ", " where everyone can be renewed, transformed , sanctified by His love." " Holiness does not consist primarily in doing extraordinary things , but in leaving God act ."
Vatican City ( AsiaNews) - The
Church is holy , " not by our own merits ," but because " it
comes from God who is holy , because Jesus , the Holy One of God, is united in
an indissoluble way to it , because it is guided by the Holy Spirit. " During
the General Audience dedicated today to the Creed Pope Francis focused on the
adjective " holy " that follows the statement " I believe One Holy
and Apostolic Church".
60 thousand people were present
in St Peter's Square , among whom as has become customary he toured in his open
topped jeep for almost half an hour, shaking hands and kissing babies. He
also " swapped "his skull cap with one of those present and waved for
a moment , an Argentine flag that he was passed.
how is it possible , he asked , to say that the Church is holy although "its
path through the centuries has been full of difficulties, problems , dark
moments , how can it be a holy Church made of sinful men , sinful women ,
sinful priests , nuns, bishops , cardinals, Popes". "How can this
be a holy Church? " .
answer is in the fact that "Christ loved the Church and gave all of himself
on the Cross . And this means that the Church is holy because it comes from God
who is holy, who is the faithful and does not abandon us to the power of death
It is holy because Jesus Christ, the Holy One of God , is united to it in an
indissoluble way, it is holy because it is guided by the Holy Spirit that purifies,
transforms , renews . It is not holy because of our merits, but because God
makes it holy
, it is the fruit of the Holy Spirit and his gifts . 'It is not us who make it
holy : it is God , the Holy Spirit , who in His love, makes the Church holy .
's true, we are a church of sinners , and as sinners we are called to be
transformed , renewed , sanctified by God in history There has been a
temptation of some who claimed : the Church is only the Church of the pure,
are totally consistent , and the others must leave . This is not true! This is
heresy. The Church, which is holy, does not reject sinners ; It reject any of
us! It does not reject anyone, because it calls to everyone, receives them, is open
to most distant of us, it calls us all to be enveloped by the mercy, tenderness
and forgiveness of the Father , Who gives everyone the chance to encounter Him
, to walk towards holiness . "
if "we all carry with us our sins", "the Lord wants to hear us say
to him, ' Forgive me , help me to walk, change my heart .' And the Lord can
transform hearts ! The God we encounter in
the Church is not a merciless judge , but the Father of the Gospel parable .
You may be like the son who left the house, who hit rock bottom in distancing
himself from God. When you have the
strength to say : I want to return home, you will find an
open door , God comes to you because He is always waiting for you. God is always
waiting for you ! God embraces you , kisses you and celebrates . This is how
the Lord is! This is tenderness of our Father , the Lord wants us part of a
church that knows
how to open its arms to welcome everyone, which is not home to a few, but
everyone's home , where everyone can be renewed, transformed , sanctified by His
love , the strongest and the weakest , the sinners , the indifferent , those
discouraged and lost. The Church offers all the possibility to pursue the path
of holiness, which is the path for a Christian; it helps us to encounter Jesus
Christ in the sacraments, especially the Eucharist and Confession ; it communicates
to us the Word of God, helps
us to live in love, the love of God toward all. Let us ask ourselves, are we a
Church that calls and welcomes sinners with open arms , that gives courage ,
hope, or are we a Church closed
in on itself. Are we are a church where
you can feel the love of God , which has drawn attention to others , in which
we pray for each other ? " .
Pope then asked one last question : "what can I do that I feel weak ,
frail , sinful ? God says do not be afraid of holiness , do not be afraid to
aim high , to be loved by God and to be purified ,
do not be afraid to let yourself be guided by the Holy Spirit . Let yourselves
be infected by the holiness of God. Every Christian is called to holiness , and
holiness does not consist primarily in doing extraordinary things , but
allowing God act. In the encounter between our weakness and
the power of His grace, in trusting in
his action that allows us to live in charity , to do everything with joy and
humility , for the glory of God and service to others . " "
Do not lose hope in holiness , let us all travel this path."
Pope: The piety gifted us by the Holy Spirit is not pietism, no to "false piety”
At the general audience, Francis continues his series on the gifts of the Holy Spirit speaking of mercy, which "indicates our belonging to God". "If the gift of piety makes us grow in our relationship and communion with God and leads us to live as His children, at the same time it helps us to pour this love out on others and recognize them as brothers and sisters”.
Pope: bishop or priest not at “loving” service of community "are wrong"
With the Sacrament of Holy Orders , the bishop or the priest are placed “at the head", or in other words "at the service" of the community entrusted to them , that is their "family" and not their "property". We must help them to continue "to pray, to listen to the Word of God which is their daily bread, to celebrate the Eucharist every day and to regularly go to confession" and "pray for those who are in trouble".
Pope: you cannot be a “part-time” Christian, "at certain moments, circumstances, choices"
At the general audience Francis talks about the truth that the Holy Spirit helps us to get know and that "always and totally involves our daily lives." In an era marked by relativism, Jesus is the answer to the question: is there "the" truth? "The truth does not grab you like an object, the truth is encountered. It is not a possession, it is an encounter with a Person." In his greetings in Italian he announces his desire to visit, Cagliari, Sardinia, "probably in September”, and in particular the shrine of Our Lady of Bonaria, connected to the founding of Buenos Aires.
Pope: "I ask for forgiveness for what we have done” to encourage divisions among Christians
At the general audience Francis retraces the steps of his journey to the Holy Land . Joining the Presidents of Israel and Palestine in prayer for peace. God bless the people of Jordan for their generous assistance to refugees . The Christian communities , "who are suffering so much". "The gratitude of the whole Church for the presence of Christians in that area and throughout the Middle East".
Pope: Heaven is, "more than a place" it is a "state" in which our deepest expectations will be fulfilled
"It is not an annihilation of the universe and all that surrounds us, rather it brings everything to its fullness of being, truth and beauty.." "From next Friday to Sunday I will travel to Turkey. I ask you all to join with me in prayer so that this visit of Peter to his brother Andrew bear fruits of peace, sincere dialogue between religions and concord for the Turkish nation."
Pope Francis tells young people that “genuine love” is not a “soap opera”, but Christians’ real identity card
In his homily for the Jubilee of Teens, Pope Francis asked questions and gave answers to the 70,000 present. Stressing the great ideal of love as giving oneself “without being possessive”, he noted that freedom is “being able to choose the good”. He warned young people “who dare not dream,” telling them that “If you do not dream at your age, you are already ready for retirement”. He also received funds raised for the Ukraine, and appealed for the release of bishops and the priests held in Syria.
Odd alliance between the US and Iranian fundamentalists
Washington is still preventing the use of US dollars in transactions with Iranian banks, preventing business with the outside world in spite of the nuclear deal. This way, the US is helping Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards, who want to torpedo the agreement in order to maintain their hold on power. Meanwhile, most Iranians hold down two or three jobs just to make ends meet. An unstable and bellicose Iran is a boon for arms sales. A report follows.
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