Monday, March 17, 2014

POPE FRANCIS "The merciful heart does not condemn, but forgives, forgets..."

(Vatican Radio) To find mercy we must first forgive. It is through forgiveness that our hearts, and the world, are filled with peace. This was the overarching theme of Pope Francis’ homily during Monday morning’s Mass at the Casa Santa Marta.

“Be merciful as your Father is merciful.” Commenting on these words of Jesus, the Pope added that “it is not easy to understand this attitude of mercy” because we are habitually judgmental. “We are not [the sorts of people] who naturally [allow for understanding and mercy.”]

“To be merciful,” he said, “two attitudes are needed. The first is knowledge of oneself”. This self-knowledge means that we acknowledge “we have done many bad things: we are sinners!” And, when faced with the need for repentance, “the justice of God transforms us in mercy and forgiveness.” However, we must have shame for our sins. 

“It is true none of us have murdered anyone, but many little things, many daily sins, every day… and when someone thinks: ‘ But what a small heart: I have done this against the Lord!’ And he is ashamed! He is ashamed before God, and this shame is a grace: it is the grace of being sinners. ‘I am a sinner, and I am ashamed before You and ask your forgiveness.’ It is simple, but very difficult, to say: ‘I have sinned.’”
Often, Pope Francis said, we blame others for our sins, like Adam and Eve did. “Maybe,” he continued “someone else did help me, facilitated the way to do it, but I did it myself! 

If we [think like] this, how much good will occur, because we will be humble!” And “with this attitude of penitence we are more able to be merciful, because we feel within us the mercy of God,”. Just like in the Our Father: “Forgive, as we are forgiven.” Therefore, “if I do not forgive, I am somewhat out of the game!”

The other attitude we need to have in order to be merciful, the Pope continued, is to have a large heart, because “a small” and “egotistical heart is incapable of mercy.”

“Make the heart grow! ‘But I myself am a sinner.’ ‘Who am I to judge?’ This statement, ‘Who am I to judge this? Who am I to gossip about this?... Who am I, who have done the same or worse?’ The heart grows! And the Lord says, ‘Judge not, and you will not be judged! Condemn not, and you will not be condemned! Forgive, and you will be forgiven! Give, and you will receive!’ This [is] generosity of heart! And what will you receive? A good measure, pressed down and overflowing will be poured into your lap. And the image of the person of the person who goes out to collect the wheat with the apron and makes the apron larger so as to receive more, more wheat. If you have a wide, large heart, you can receive more.”
The merciful heart, said Pope Francis, “does not condemn, but forgives, forgets” because God has forgotten my sins; God has forgiven my sins. Enlarge the heart. This is beautiful,” the Pope said: “You are merciful.”

“Merciful men and women have a wide, wide heart: always forgiving others and thinking about their [own] sins. This is the way of mercy for which we must ask. But if all of is, if all people, individuals, families, neighbourhoods, had this attitude, how much peace there would be in the world – how much peace in our hearts! Because mercy brings us peace. Always remember: ‘Who am I to judge? Have shame and enlarge your heart. May the Lord give us this grace.”

Text from Vatican Radio website 

POPE FRANCIS meets with President of Argentina Cristina de Kirchner

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Monday received Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, President of the Republic of Argentina at the Domus Santa Marta.

President de Kirchner was accompanied by her official delegation.

The Argentinean leader had already met Pope Francis on two occasions: the first on 18 March 2013, the day prior to the Mass for the Inauguration of his Pontificate in which she participated; the second on 28 July 2013, when she participated in the concluding Mass for World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro. 

The aim of the visit on Monday was to present the Holy Father with the greetings and good wishes of the people of Argentina on the occasion of the first anniversary of his Pontificate.

According to the press release, the Pope awaited the arrival of President Kirchner at the front door of the Domus Santa Marta shortly after 1pm. The audience took place in a room on the ground floor, first with the entire Delegation, afterwards, with the President alone. 

At about 1.30pm, the Pope and the President lunched together privately.

Text from the Vatican Radio website 

Novena Prayer to Saint Patrick - Share

Novena Prayer to St. Patrick: (say for 9 days)
Blessed saint Patrick, glorious Apostle of Ireland, who didst become a friend and father to me for ages before my birth, hear my prayer and accept, for God, the sentiments of gratitude and veneration with which my heart is filled. Through thee I have inherited that faith which is dearer than life. I now make thee the representative of my thanks, and the mediator of my homage to Almighty God. Most holy Father and patron of my country, despise not my weakness; remember that the cries of little children were the sounds that rose, like a mysterious voice from heaven, and invited thee to come amongst us. Listen, then, to my humble supplication; may my prayer ascend to the throne of God, with the praises and blessings which shall ever sanctify thy name and thy memory.
May my hope be animated by the patronage and intercession of our forefathers, who now enjoy eternal bliss and owe their salvation, under God, to thy courage and charity. Obtain for me grace to love God with my whole heart, to serve him with my whole strength, and to persevere in good purposes to the end, o faithful shepherd of the Irish flock, who wouldst have laid down a thousand lives to save one soul, take my soul, and the souls of my countrymen, under thy special care. Be a father to the Church of Ireland and her faithful people.
Grant that all hearts may share the blessed fruits of that Gospel thou didst plant and water. Grant that, as our ancestors of old had learned, under thy guidance, to unite science with virtue, we too, may learn, under thy patronage, to consecrate all Christian duty to the glory of God. I commend to thee my native land, which was so dear to thee while on earth. Protect it still, and, above all, direct its chief pastors, particularly those who teach us. Give them grace to walk in thy footsteps, to nurture the flock with the word of life and the bread of salvation, and to lead the heirs of the Saints thou hast formed to the possession of that glory which they, with Thee, enjoy in the kingdom of the Blessed: through Christ Jesus, our Lord. Amen. V. Pray for us, O glorious saint Patrick. R. And obtain for us the intention of this Novena.