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Thursday, March 23, 2017
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Pope: The confessional is not like a dry cleaners
Pope: The confessional is not like a dry cleaners

During his homily at morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta on Tuesday, Pope Francis warned against treating the confessional like the dry cleaners, a place to make a quick transaction, wipe away our sins and steal a false pardon. He also stressed the need for Christians to be truly ashamed of their sins. The Pope drew on the morning's readings at Mass, beginning with the book of Daniel, which emphasized mankind coming before God with a humble

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Pope: May St Joseph help us dream great things
Pope: May St Joseph help us dream great things

Saint Joseph gives young people "the ability to dream, to risk, and to undertake the difficult tasks that they have seen in dreams." That was the message of Pope Francis during the morning Mass at the Casa Santa Marta today (Monday). The day's liturgy commemorated the Solemnity of St Joseph, which is normally celebrated on 19 March, but which is transferred when that date falls on a Sunday in Lent. In

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Watch: Bishops' prayer for Lent from the Holy Land
Watch: Bishops' prayer for Lent from the Holy Land

As we journey through Lent having made various achievable (and some fanciful) promises of abstinence, we look to the Holy Land to reflect on Christ's sacrifice and what it means to us. It's a good opportunity to contemplate the region and its people 2,000 years on. We see a land of tension and division, walls and suspicion. A group of bishops from around the world visited the Holy Land in

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Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 19  March 2017
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 19 March 2017

Water has such powerful connections with human beings; it forms part of our world and ourselves. Too much or too little is incredibly destructive for life. Some of us, as in the UK, live on an island, surrounded by sea. On land, rivers streams, books and becks irrigate and nourish the earth. I have very strong memories of childhood summers spent with our French relations in the Jura, France, a landscape of river springs

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Pope Francis: Those who don't care for the poor and homeless are damned
Pope Francis: Those who don't care for the poor and homeless are damned

The parable of the poor man, Lazarus, lying at the rich man's door, was at the heart of Pope Francis' homily this morning, during Mass at Casa Santa Marta. The Pope warned of the risks we run if we have the same uncaring attitude towards the poor and homeless people we see around us today. Reflecting on the Gospel story of Lazarus, from St Luke's Gospel, Pope Francis warned against those who place their trust in things of the flesh. Trusting in vanity, pride and

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Pope: Learn to do good through deeds not words
Pope: Learn to do good through deeds not words

Lenten conversion is an ongoing journey, and it is about learning to avoid evil and doing good with deeds not words, Pope Francis said during his homily at morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta on Tuesday. The Holy Father began by reflecting on the day's First Reading from the Prophet Isaiah which calls us to avoid evil and learn to do good. "Each one of us, every day, does something ugly," he said. adding that the Bible, in fact, says even "the most holy people sin

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Archbishop Roche's homily at Anglican Evensong in St Peter's
Archbishop Roche's homily at Anglican Evensong in St Peter's

Anglicans and Catholics must not simply recall the legacy of great saints from the past, but must pass on to others "what we have received ourselves in the hope of a reunited Christendom." That was the message from English Archbishop Arthur Roche, Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, to a historic celebration of Anglican Choral Evensong in St Peter's Basilica. Archbishop David Moxon, director of the Anglican

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Pope Francis: Transfiguration shows path towards Easter
Pope Francis: Transfiguration shows path towards Easter

Pope Francis visited the Roman parish of St Magdalene of Canossa on Sunday afternoon, meeting with young people and the sick and elderly before celebrating Mass with the parish community. His visit began with a conversation with the children and teenagers in the parish sports field. The Holy Father also met with parents and newborns baptized during the course of the year and with the elderly and sick of the parish in the parish hall. In off-the-cuff remarks, he told the infirm and elderly that "sickness is a Cross - as

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Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 12  March 2017
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 12 March 2017

It isn't surprising that mountains are understood as sacred and mysterious places , we discover that from the oldest traditions of our human ancestors they have been held in reverence and fear. Even the conquest of mountain peaks by skilled climbers cannot dent their mystique or power , they are one of the places on this little planet that humans have no control over for there is something mysterious and enhancing about being at the top of a mountain, even a small one. To look down over the world spread below is both a humbling and a magnificent

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What are they saying about Natural Law? Reflections on a conference in memory of Amanda Perreau-Saussine de Ezcurra
What are they saying about Natural Law? Reflections on a conference in memory of Amanda Perreau-Saussine de Ezcurra

Amanda Perreau-Saussine de Ezcurra died of cancer in 2012, only 18 months after the death of her first husband, Emile Perreau-Saussine. As a couple, they incarnated all that was best in Catholic intellectual life in Britain: they were intellectually courageous, open-minded, faithful, imaginative, wide-ranging, serious, wise and perceptive. Shortly before he died, Emile had finished his book Catholicism

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Sabeel Wave of Prayer for the Holy Land
Sabeel Wave of Prayer for the Holy Land

2017 marks 100 years since the Balfour Declaration, a declaration that gave birth to the injustice, suffering and dispossession of the Palestinian people. Sabeel does not want to this year to be only a time of looking back. Through our 10th International Conference this week, let us aspire to make 2017 a biblical year of Jubilee, a year in which we proclaim liberty to our land and for all its

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Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 5 March 2017
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 5 March 2017

I keep forgetting to look at the ending of Matthew's story about the Temptation of Jesus; this is of course because I get caught up trying to work out just how the 'Devil' is tempting him! So I wanted to enter the story by another route just to see if I can discover something new for myself. That last sentence; 'Then the devil left him and, behold,
angels came and ministered to him' (Mt 4:11) seems to me to be highly significant. Maybe I am being fanciful, but isn't it a sign that whatever

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Pope reflects on 'real' and 'false' Lent fasting
Pope reflects on 'real' and 'false' Lent fasting

During morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta on Friday, Pope Francis reflected on the day's readings, which speak about fasting - that is, the Pope explained, "about the penance that we are called to do in this time of Lent," in order to draw closer to the Lord. God delights in the "contrite heart," the Psalm says, "the heart of one who feels himself a sinner, who knows he is a sinner." In the first Reading, taken from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah, God rebukes the false religiosity of

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Reflection from South Africa: Dare to think
Reflection from South Africa: Dare to think

The famous American circus showman P T Barnum allegedly said "There's a sucker born every minute!" People are gullible, believing anything so long as you package it correctly, say it loud and often enough, and come across as being authoritative. It's the essence of political, economic and religious fundamentalism, the oxygen of populism, and the root of the violence and xenophobia that plagues our era. Consider xenophobia in its various forms we see in Europe, North

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Pope's prayer intention for March: Persecuted Christians
Pope's prayer intention for March: Persecuted Christians

Pope Francis' prayer intention for March is 'Support for Persecuted Christians: That persecuted Christians may be supported by the prayers and material help of the whole Church.' The Apostleship of Prayer has produced the Pope's Video on this prayer intention, with the help of Aid to the Church in Need. The full text of the Pope's video is below:

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Pope: The Christian is directed to follow Christ crucified
Pope: The Christian is directed to follow Christ crucified

The Christian is directed him to follow Christ crucified - not a disincarnate god - but God made flesh, Who bears in Himself the wounds of our brothers. That was the main message of Pope Francis in his homily during Mass at the Casa Santa Marta on Thursday morning. The invitation to be converted resounds strongly at the beginning of Lent. And the liturgy of the day, places this exhortation in the context of three realities: man, God, and the journey. The reality of man is that of choosing

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Novena to St Francis Xavier
Novena to St Francis Xavier

This novena, produced by the Jesuit Institute, is nine days of prayer, in the company of St Francis Xavier, through the letters he wrote. As a Jesuit, Francisco underwent and then, in turn, led others through the Spiritual Exercises of his great friend St Ignatius Loyola SJ. His writings reflect the spiritual insights and preoccupations of the Spiritual Exercises. We pray to know ourselves better, to discern the will of God for each of us in

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Pope Francis: Lent is a time to start breathing again
Pope Francis: Lent is a time to start breathing again

Continuing a long-standing tradition, Pope Francis celebrated Mass for Ash Wednesday at the Basilica of Santa Sabina on the Aventine hill in Rome. The Holy Father began his homily for the beginning of Lent with the words of the prophet Joel, from the first Reading: "Return to me with all your heart... Return to the Lord." These words, the Pope said, apply to everyone, and exclude no one; "we all want to return to the merciful heart of the Father." Lent, the Pope said, is a path that "leads to the

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 Pope Francis: 'we do not go to heaven in a carriage'
Pope Francis: 'we do not go to heaven in a carriage'

Pope Francis marked Ash Wednesday inviting the faithful to renew their hope in Christ's promises and their commitment to follow Him ever more closely. He was addressing the crowds gathered in St Peter's Square for the weekly General Audience. Pointing out that on Ash Wednesday we enter the liturgical time of Lent, Pope Francis said this time of penitence and mortification is actually a journey of hope as it is directs us on the path towards Resurrection, and help us renew our Baptismal identity.

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 Pope: 'true Christians have cheerful faces and eyes full of joy'
Pope: 'true Christians have cheerful faces and eyes full of joy'

As we enter the season of Lent, Pope Francis has invited us to reflect on our relationship to God and to money, as we can't serve both masters at the same time. His words came on Tuesday during morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta. Reflecting on the day's reading from the Gospel of St Mark, during Mass at Casa Santa Marta on Tuesday, Pope Francis recalled the story of the rich young man who wanted to follow the Lord, but whose wealth led him to follow money instead.

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 Cardinal Nichols urges faithful to offer the sick pastoral and spiritual care
Cardinal Nichols urges faithful to offer the sick pastoral and spiritual care

In a pastoral letter being read in parishes throughout the Diocese of Westminster today, the Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time, 26th February, His Eminence Cardinal Vincent Nichols urges the faithful not just to hand the sick over to professional care, but to offer them pastoral and spiritual care in their communities. He reflects on the diocesan season of prayer entitled 'Called to Serve the Sick' which is intended as a continuation of the Year of Mercy. Introducing this season, which began with Mass in honour of

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Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 26 February 2017
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 26 February 2017

There is a theme of consolation running through our readings, it's not explicitly stated but it's there and may help us at a time when huge shifts seem to be taking place all over our world. People do feel uncertain; puzzled perhaps because virtues like honesty, truthfulness, generosity and kindness rarely feature in the success stories of our public figures, for powerful personalities are not noted for their tenderness to others. Perhaps that's why Pope Francis catches imaginations as he has that touch of

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Countdown to Great Lent
Countdown to Great Lent

In our health, wealth and beauty conscious age, fasting might not hold the same meaning as it did for a more religiously inclined society, where the contrast between fast days and feast days helped people appreciate the meaning of the festival as well as appreciate the bounty nature can give us in it seasonal round. A student friend remarked that the ancient practice and discipline of fasting was what a number of people did today either because of health concerns or because they lived very rushed lives so

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Pope: If someone doesn't like you, pray for them
Pope: If someone doesn't like you, pray for them

On Sunday afternoon, Pope Francis visited the church of St Maria Josefa of the Heart of Jesus in Ponte di Nona in the east of Rome. During Mass, he stressed, that the path to holiness was forgiveness and prayer and that revenge and resentment has no place in the Christian life. After greeting parishioners and meeting a group of children, the Pope celebrated Mass telling the congregation present, never to go down the road of revenge or resentment. Instead, he said: "pray for those who want to do evil: this prevents wars and brings peace." It is also the Christian path to holiness,

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Pope: Christ's law of love overcomes law of retaliation
Pope: Christ's law of love overcomes law of retaliation

Sunday's Gospel is one of the Biblical passages that best expresses the Christian "revolution," Pope Francis told pilgrims gathered for the Angelus in St Peter's Square today. In the reading from Matthew's Gospel, describing part of the Sermon on the Mount, he said: "Christ shows the path of true justice, through the law of love that overcomes that of retaliation, that is, 'an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth'." Jesus does not ask His disciples simply to bear evils patiently, but to return good for evil: "Only in this way can the chains of evil be broken, and things can truly change."

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Displaying Articles 1 - 25 of 803
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