Pope's message

Stories from the (hopefully) weekly catholic perspectives piece that has to do with Pope Francis' weekly message.

POPE’S MESSAGE | Readings at Mass offer God’s ‘real-time’ help

Pope Francis and Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of Kiev-Halych, head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, released doves at the end of the pope’s meeting with the Ukrainian Catholic community Jan. 28 at the Basilica of Santa Sophia in Rome. The pope offered a reflection on the theme of a multiyear renewal effort in Ukrainian Catholic parishes around the world.

VATICAN CITY — Listening to the Scripture readings at Mass is hearing God speak directly to His people, offering spiritual sustenance and needed guidance for life's difficult journey, Pope Francis said.

For that reason, the prescribed texts should never be skipped or substituted at Mass, lectors should read clearly and people should always listen with an open heart so that the words may eventually bear fruit in good deeds, the pope said at his weekly general audience Jan. 31.

POPE’S MESSAGE | Don’t compromise on protecting minors from abuse

Pope Francis greeted a 99-year-old blind woman Jan. 20 along the parade route in Trujillo, Peru.

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis said he told the bishops and priests of Chile to be uncompromising when it comes to protecting minors from sexual abuse and to trust that God will purify and renew His Church during this time of trial.

Problems and conflicts must never be swept under the rug, he also said, because they can be resolved only through openness and dialogue.

At his weekly general audience Jan. 24 in St. Peter's Square, the pope told an estimated 15,000 pilgrims and visitors about his Jan. 15-21 visit to Chile and Peru.

POPE’S MESSAGE | Pray with courage, conviction, not mindlessly like a parrot

Pope Francis burned incense as he celebrated Mass marking the World Day of Migrants and Refugees Jan. 14 in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican. See story, page 26.

VATICAN CITY — Prayer is a "high stakes" endeavor, requiring courage, perseverance and patience, Pope Francis said.

Courage is needed to stick one's neck out and "challenge the Lord," pursuing and confronting Him with one's appeals, the pope said Jan. 12 in the homily at Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

"If prayer isn't courageous, it isn't Christian," he said.

POPE’S MESSAGE | Don’t rush through silence at Mass

Silent prayer of Mass should not be hurried, Pope Francis said in his weekly audience Jan. 10. St. Matthew parishioner Martha Buck at the funeral Mass for Sister Antona Ebo at St. Alphonsus Liguori "Rock" Church in November.

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has described the silence that precedes the opening prayer at Mass an opportunity for Christians to commend to God the fate of the Church and the world.

At his weekly general audience Jan. 10, the pope urged priests "to observe this brief silence and not hurry. ... I recommend this to the priests. Without this silence, we risk neglecting the reflection of the soul."

Continuing his series of audience talks on the Mass, Pope Francis spoke about the Gloria and the opening prayer.

POPE’S MESSAGE | Don’t confess other’s faults, own up to sins

Pope Francis received a bouquet of flowers at his general audience Jan. 3 in Paul VI hall at the Vatican.

VATICAN CITY — Fear and the shame of admitting one's own sins leads to pointing fingers and accusing others rather than recognizing one's own faults, Pope Francis said.

"It's difficult to admit being guilty, but it does so much good to confess with sincerity. But you must confess your own sins," the pope said Jan. 3 at his first general audience of the new year.

POPE’S MESSAGE | Get to Mass early; don’t calculate how late you can be

Pope Francis blew out a candle on a 13-foot-long pizza at a special meeting to celebrate his 81st birthday Dec. 17 at the Vatican’s Paul VI hall. A group of children receiving assistance from the Vatican’s St. Martha Dispensary, a maternal and pediatric clinic, gave the pope a birthday party Dec. 17 marked with singing, dancing and a cake adorned with gold and white fondant decorations.

VATICAN CITY — Don't be late for Mass believing the introductory rites don't matter, Pope Francis told visitors and pilgrims.

The words and gestures that open the celebration help the faithful come together as one and prepare them to listen to the Word of God and celebrate the Eucharist worthily, he said Dec. 20 at his weekly general audience.

"It is not a good habit to be looking at the clock" and calculating how much of the beginning of Mass would be OK to miss and still fulfill one's obligation, he said.

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