joy

POPE'S MESSAGE | God wants people to dream big, not listen to cynics

Pope Francis greeted pilgrims as he arrived for his weekly audience Aug. 30 in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican. The pope continued a series of talks on Christian hope, encouraging people to ignore “disappointed and unhappy people … those who cynically plead not to cultivate hope in life.”

VATICAN CITY — God wants people to live with hope and joy — not bitterness — and to dream with Him of a better world, Pope Francis said.

"Please, make sure we do not pay attention to disappointed and unhappy people; let us not listen to those who cynically plead not to cultivate hope in life," he said Aug. 30 at his weekly general audience.

People must ignore those who try to crush enthusiasm and smother "youthful euphoria," he said. Instead, Christians must cultivate a "healthy utopia" based on what God wants for the world.

Editorial | God’s vision is perfectly clear

Diamond ring beams and solar flares during near totality of the solar eclipse on Aug. 21.

Praise be to you, my Lord." These are the words that open Pope Francis' encyclical on ecology and care for God's creation. Quoting St. Francis of Assisi's Canticle of the Sun, the pope reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us.

This was apparent on Aug. 21 when many in the archdiocese witnessed a total solar eclipse. What a spectacular scene as a false dusk settled in mid-afternoon, the sun's heat was tempered, cicadas sang, street lights glowed, and stars and planets winked.

I THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW | The joy of repentance draws people to God’s peace

All three readings for the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time celebrate the power of God to change human hearts.

The selections begin with Jeremiah's complaint against God, alleging that God deceived him and also that Jeremiah let himself be deceived. Several chapters earlier he stated, "When I found your words, I devoured them; they became my joy and the happiness of my heart, because I bore your name, O Lord, of hosts. ... Under the weight of your hand I sat alone because you filled me with indignation."

MAN OF THE HOUSE | Little simplicities offer big lessons

On a pleasantly warm evening, 8-year-old Colin and I are hanging out in the front yard of his house. And my grandson gives me a spiritual lesson.

"Aw," says Colin, looking at their well-groomed lawn. "Where did all the dandelions go?" Immediately, I think: Dandelions are weeds. Weeds are bad. I wish my lawn didn't have so many of those dastardly weeds. But ... "I wanted to pick some of them," he says.

Joyous priests, joyous retirement

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The retirement age in America is 65 years old, which is relatively young in priestly terms.

Though new retirees sometimes move to Florida, cruise the U.S. in RVs or travel the globe, clergy have at least another 10 years in full-time ministry, maybe more. Retirement age is 75, but with the permission of the archbishop, priests may remain on active duty as health permits.

POPE'S MESSAGE | Like expectant moms, live in joyful expectation of embracing God

Pope Francis embraced a man while meeting disabled people at his general audience Feb. 1 in Paul VI hall at the Vatican. The pope continued a series of talks on Christian hope, with a look at St. Paul’s First Letter to the Thessalonians (5:4-11) and what it teaches about the Christian belief in life after death.

VATICAN CITY — Christian hope isn't about believing in something that may or may not come true, like hoping tomorrow's weather will be pleasant, according to Pope Francis.

"Christian hope is the expectation of something that already has been fulfilled and that certainly will be attained for each one of us," that is, knowing Christ died and is truly risen so that all of humanity may gain salvation and live together with God, the pope told his weekly general audience Feb. 1.

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