September 24

Reflection

Pope Francis has become immensely popular as a smiling figure relating to people in a warm and human way. Throughout his public life, Francis has been noted for his humility, his concern for the poor, and his commitment to interfaith dialogue. His mission to place the poor at the center of the church has impelled him to connect poverty with issues such as climate change, migration and the rethinking of capitalist economics. His critiques of environmental destruction have challenged those who would rather ignore its causes. In a harsh world, Francis has emphasized the healing mission of the church as servant and comforter. He has projected a merciful, welcoming tone in a church that had been shattered by scandals and identified with theological rigidity. For many Francis has become a ray of inspiration and hope, a model of true gospel teaching in an otherwise pragmatic and jaded public world.

Prayer

Those that have ears to hear, let them hear.
Mark 4:9

Action

As the visit of Pope Francis to the United States continues, listen to his words and analyze his public speeches to national and world leaders. What is his basic message? How will you respond?

Suggested Reading

Since many of you do not belong to the Catholic Church and others are non-believers, from the bottom of my heart I give this silent blessing to each and every one of you, respecting the conscience of each one of you but knowing that each one of you is a child of God.
Pope Francis

A little bit of mercy makes the world less cold and more just.
Pope Francis

Each of us has a vision of good and of evil. We have to encourage people to move towards what they think is good… Everyone has his own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them. That would be enough to make the world a better place.
Pope Francis

If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge? We shouldn’t marginalize people for this. They must be integrated into society.
Pope Francis

Human rights are not only violated by terrorism, repression or assassination, but also by unfair economic structures that creates huge inequalities.
Pope Francis

Every man, every woman who has to take up the service of government, must ask themselves two questions: ‘Do I love my people in order to serve them better? Am I humble and do I listen to everybody, to diverse opinions in order to choose the best path?’ If you don’t ask those questions, your governance will not be good.
Pope Francis

These days there is a lot of poverty in the world, and that’s a scandal when we have so many riches and resources to give to everyone. We all have to think about how we can become a little poorer.
Pope Francis

In Europe first and now in America, elected men have taken it upon themselves to indebt their people to create an atmosphere of dependency. And why? For their own selfish need to increase their own personal power.
Pope Francis

Because of us, thousands of species will no longer give glory to God by their very existence, nor convey their message to us. We have no such right.
Pope Francis

Doomsday predictions can no longer be met with irony or disdain. We may well be leaving to coming generations debris, desolation and filth. The pace of consumption, waste and environmental change has so stretched the planet’s capacity that our contemporary lifestyle, unsustainable as it is, can only precipitate catastrophes, such as those which even now periodically occur in different areas of the world. The effects of the present imbalance can only be reduced by our decisive action, here and now.
Pope Francis

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