Pope Francis' Advice Carry the Gospels in Your Pocket and Read a Little Everyday to Fill "...the soul with the words of Jesus." FULL TEXT




Clementine Hall
Thursday, January 12, 2023
Mister Chief of Police,
Mr. Prefect and Mr. Manager,
Dear Officials and Agents!
I welcome you to this traditional appointment, in which greetings are exchanged at the beginning of the new year. I sincerely thank the Chief of Police for his kind words and I greet all of you, members of the Public Security Inspectorate at the Vatican. My thoughts also go to your families, to your colleagues who are not present, as well as, with gratitude, to the chaplains who accompany you spiritually on your daily journey.
This meeting offers me the opportunity to renew to each of you the expression of my heartfelt gratitude for the service you carry out with self-denial and a spirit of sacrifice. And I think of hot, hot, hot days and cold, cold, cold days… You get it right, don't you? Your presence in St. Peter's Square and in the area adjacent to the Vatican is extremely important for the protection of public order. I am admired for the work displayed during the gatherings of the faithful and pilgrims who come from all over the world to meet the Pope and to visit the tomb of the Apostle Peter and pray over those of his successors, most of which are in the Vatican Basilica.
And I cannot forget, then, your generous commitment on the occasion of my travels in the city of Rome and on pastoral visits to Italy. For all this, I sincerely reiterate my esteem and my appreciation for the availability and for the attentive and qualified service. I'll tell you one thing: I'm ashamed to disturb you so much, I'd like to go alone… I'm ashamed, but thanks!, it has to be done. This service, while fulfilling your duties as officials of the Italian State, also manifests the good relations that exist between Italy and the Holy See.
Dear friends, I encourage you to persevere in the ideals and resolutions which inspire your life and your behavior in the exercise of the delicate tasks entrusted to you. I hope that your work, often done with sacrifices and risks, will always be animated by the desire to help your neighbor and the community. May the birth of the Lord Jesus, which we have just celebrated, always keep alive in you the Christian sense of fraternity and solidarity. I invite you to rediscover the ever new beauty and strength of the Gospel, and to let it enter your consciences and your life in an incisive way, courageously bearing witness to God's love in every environment, even in that of work. The power of the Gospel. To understand the Gospel you have to read it. Allow me to give you some advice: have a small Gospel, small and pocket-sized. Carry it in your pocket, carry it in your bag and then when you are here, there, and you have some time, read a little bit. Every day some contact with the Gospel. If one has it with him, it's easier. And this sows the soul with good things and slowly fills the soul with the words of Jesus. This is advice, you will see.
In my Message on the occasion of the recent World Day of Peace, I stressed that, even when the events of our existence and of history are sadly full of difficulties and sometimes dramatic, "we are called to keep our hearts open to hope, trusting in God who becomes present, accompanies us with tenderness, sustains us in our efforts and, above all, directs our journey" (n. 1). Your service too can be a sign of God's closeness to the brothers and sisters you meet every day and who expect a gesture of courtesy and welcome from you. This is a concrete way of being peacemakers, "craftsmen" of peace. This receiving people, listening to people, helping people, with kindness. And how much need there is today for people who work for peace not with fine words, but with deeds, carefully carrying out their duty in the service of the common good!
With these wishes, I wish to offer my best wishes for the new year to each of you and to your family members. I entrust all of you to the maternal protection of the Most Holy Virgin and of Saint Michael the Archangel, so that they may intercede with the Lord and obtain prosperity and harmony for you and keep you from all danger. May my Blessing always accompany you, which I cordially impart to each one of you and to your families. And please don't forget to pray for me. Thank you!
Source: Vatican.va