APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION EVANGELII GAUDIUM OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS

1. THE JOY OF THE GOSPEL fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus. Those who accept his offer of salvation are set free from sin, sorrow, inner emptiness and loneliness. With Christ joy is constantly born anew. In this Exhortation I wish to encourage the Christian faithful to embark upon a new chapter of evangelization marked by this joy, while pointing out new paths for the Church’s journey in years to come.

I. A JOY EVER NEW, A JOY WHICH IS SHARED

2. The great danger in today’s world, pervaded as it is by consumerism, is the desolation and anguish born of a complacent yet covetous heart, the feverish pursuit of frivolous pleasures, and a blunted conscience. Whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor. God’s voice is no longer heard, the quiet joy of his love is no longer felt, and the desire to do good fades. This is a very real danger for believers too. Many fall prey to it, and end up resentful, angry and listless. That is no way to live a dignified and fulfilled life; it is not God’s will for us, nor is it the life in the Spirit which has its source in the heart of the risen Christ.

3. I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them; I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day. No one should think that this invitation is not meant for him or her, since “no one is excluded from the joy brought by the Lord”.[1] The Lord does not disappoint those who take this risk; whenever we take a step towards Jesus, we come to realize that he is already there, waiting for us with open arms. Now is the time to say to Jesus: “Lord, I have let myself be deceived; in a thousand ways I have shunned your love, yet here I am once more, to renew my covenant with you. I need you. Save me once again, Lord, take me once more into your redeeming embrace”. How good it feels to come back to him whenever we are lost! Let me say this once more: God never tires of forgiving us; we are the ones who tire of seeking his mercy. Christ, who told us to forgive one another “seventy times seven” (Mt 18:22) has given us his example: he has forgiven us seventy times seven. Time and time again he bears us on his shoulders. No one can strip us of the dignity bestowed upon us by this boundless and unfailing love. With a tenderness which never disappoints, but is always capable of restoring our joy, he makes it possible for us to lift up our heads and to start anew. Let us not flee from the resurrection of Jesus, let us never give up, come what will. May nothing inspire more than his life, which impels us onwards!

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Whispers in the Loggia: “This Is How God Is” – At First Audience, Francis “Steps Outside”

Whispers in the Loggia: “This Is How God Is” At First Audience, Francis “Steps Outside”

Continuing the weekly tradition of his predecessors, this morning saw Pope Francis’ first turn at the General Audience, his focus on Holy Week.

Speaking only in Italian, the new pontiff made it a point to note his intent to resume the topic begun by Benedict XVI in his Wednesday talks “after Easter.”

For now, though – just two weeks since his election – today’s appearance launches Francis into the intense cycle of Holy Week’s climactic days.

While Papa Bergoglio will celebrate and preach at the Chrism Mass in St Peter’s tomorrow morning, the widely-noted Evening Mass in Rome’s youth prison will be a private affair closed to press (even if photos might still emerge). By tradition, the pontiff doesn’t give the homily at the Good Friday liturgy in St Peter’s, but will likely offer closing remarks during the nighttime Via Crucis at the Colosseum.

In the Triduum’s home stretch, Francis will preside and preach the Easter Vigil in the Vatican basilica on Saturday night, and give his Urbi et Orbi message following the morning Mass in lieu of a liturgical sermon.

As future plans go, meanwhile, this morning the Vatican announced that the 266th bishop of Rome – the title by which Francis has most often defined himself – will formally take possession of his cathedral, St John Lateran, at an evening Mass on April 7th, the Second Sunday of Easter.

(Note: As seen above today, Francis has kept to employing his personal silver ring in everyday use, wearing the Fisherman’s Ring with which he was invested solelyfor major liturgies.)

 

Pope to Journalists I Love You So Much

<p><a href=’http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/pope-to-journalists-i-love-you-so-much-and-i-thank-you-for-everything/’>Pope to journalists: 'I love you so much and I thank you for everything' :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)</a>.</p>Vatican City, Mar 16, 2013 / 08:11 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis told thousands of journalists today he loved them and thanked them for their recent work.

“I love you so much and I thank you for all that you have done,” Pope Francis told over 5,000 journalists today at Paul VI Hall in the Vatican.

“We aren’t called to communicate about ourselves, but on this trinity of truth, goodness and beauty,” he told the journalists at 11:00 a.m. local time.

The newly elected Pope from Argentina spoke to them and their families on the third day of his pontificate.

“Your work needs study, sensibility, experience like all other professions, but needs to also give special attention to truth, goodness and beauty,” said the Pope.

“That is why we are so close because the Church exists to communicate precisely this,” he stated.

He thanked the journalists for their “hard work” covering the days since Benedict XVI announced his resignation adding that it is not easy to communicate to “a vast and varied public.”

“Be sure that the Church reserves a big attention to your precious work,” said the 76-year-old Argentinian.

The pontiff told the professionals that Jesus is the center of the Church and not himself.