Today one can read the Gospel also on so many technological instruments. You can carry the whole Bible on your mobile phone, on your tablet. It is important to read the Word of God, by any means, but by reading the Word of God: Jesus speaks to us there! And welcome it with an open heart. Then the good seed will bear fruit!
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Our families need to ask for the gift of the Spirit! Through prayer, even in the busiest times, we give time back to God, we find the peace that comes from appreciating the important things, and we encounter the joy of God's unexpected gifts. Through daily prayer may our homes become, like the house of Martha and Mary, places where Jesus always finds a warm welcome.
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I believe that it is truly important for everyone to confront in dialogue the historical reality of the Reformation, its consequences and the responses it elicited. Catholics and Lutherans can ask forgiveness for the harm they have caused one another and for their offenses committed in the sight of God. Together we can rejoice in the longing for unity which the Lord has awakened in our hearts, and which makes us look with hope to the future.
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In this work (peace building), the role of religion is fundamental. It is not possible to build bridges between people while forgetting God, ... But the converse is also true: it is not possible to establish true links with God while ignoring other people. Hence it is important to intensify dialogue among the various religions, and I am thinking particularly of dialogue with Islam.
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When exhaling this air, we announced Jesus Christ risen by the same Spirit. No one can live without breathing. It is the same for the Christian: without praise and mission there is not Christian life. And with praise, worship. We rarely speak about worship. What do we do when we pray? We ask things of God, we give thanks. But worshipping and adoring God is part of breathing - praise and worship.
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Can we who have had the joy of knowing that we are not orphans, that we have a Father, be indifferent to this city which asks of us, perhaps even unwittingly, without being aware of it, a hope that will help it look to the future with greater confidence and serenity? We cannot remain indifferent. . . . Words without witness are hot air. Words do not suffice. It must be the true witness that Paul speaks of.
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There is another important point: encountering the poor. If we step outside ourselves we find poverty. Today-it sickens the heart to say so-the discovery of a tramp who has died of the cold is not news. Today what counts as news is, maybe, a scandal. A scandal: ah, that is news! Today, the thought that a great many children do not have food to eat is not news. This is serious, this is serious! We cannot put up with this! Yet that is how things are. We cannot become starched Christians, those over-educated Christians who speak of theological matters as they calmly sip their tea.
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If anyone feels offended by my words, I would respond that I speak them with affection and with the best of intentions, quite apart from any personal interest or political ideology. My words are not those of a foe or an opponent. I am interested only in helping those who are in thrall to an individualistic, indifferent and self-centred mentality to be freed from those unworthy chains and to attain a way of living and thinking which is more humane, noble and fruitful, and which will bring dignity to their presence on this earth.
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The Bishops of the Philippines have asked that this year be set aside as the 'Year of the Poor.' I hope that this prophetic summons will challenge everyone, at all levels of society, to reject every form of corruption which diverts resources from the poor, and to make concerted efforts to ensure the inclusion of every man and woman and child in the life of the community.
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In mission, also on a continental level, it is very important to reaffirm the family, which remains the essential cell of society and the Church; young people, who are the face of the Church's future; women, who play a fundamental role in passing on the faith and who are a daily source of strength in a society that carries this faith forward and renews it.
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Legal systems, at both the national and international level, are therefore required to recognize, guarantee and protect religious freedom, which is a right intrinsically inherent in human nature, in man's dignity as a free being, and is also an indicator of a healthy democracy and cone of the main sources of the legitimacy of the State. Religious freedom ... favors the development of relationships of mutual respect between the different Confessions and their healthy collaboration with the State and political society, without confusion of roles and without antagonism.
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We have begun a throw away culture. This tendency is seen on the level of individuals and whole societies; and it is being promoted! In circumstances like these, solidarity, which is the treasure of the poor, is often considered counterproductive, opposed to the logic of finance and the economy. While the income of a minority is increasing exponentially, that of the majority is crumbling.
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Without prolonged moments of adoration, of prayerful encounter with the word, of sincere conversation with the Lord, our work easily becomes meaningless; we lose energy as a result of weariness and difficulties, and our fervor dies out. The Church urgently needs the deep breath of prayer, and to my great joy groups devoted to prayer and intercession, the prayerful reading of God's word and the perpetual adoration of the Eucharist are growing at every level of ecclesial life.
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While the earnings of a minority are growing exponentially, so too is the gap separating the majority from the prosperity enjoyed by those happy few. This imbalance is the result of ideologies which defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation. Consequently, they reject the right of states, charged with vigilance for the common good, to exercise any form of control.
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The family is threatened by growing efforts on the part of some to redefine the very institution of marriage, by relativism, by the culture of the ephemeral, by a lack of openness to life... These realities are increasingly under attack from powerful forces, which threaten to disfigure God's plan for creation.
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There are saints in the Roman Curia, among the cardinals, priests, religious, sisters and laity. They work hard, and also do things that are often hidden. I know some who concern themselves with feeding the poor or who give up their free time to work in a parish. As always, the ones who aren't saints make the most noise ... a single tree falling makes a sound, but a whole forest growing doesn't.
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If the seminary is too large, it ought to be divided into smaller communities with formators who are equipped really to accompany those in their charge. Dialogue must be serious, without fear, sincere. It is important to recall that the language of young people in formation today is different from that in the past: we are living through an epochal change. Formation is a work of art, not a police action. We must form their hearts. Otherwise we are creating little monsters. And then these little monsters mold the People of God. This really gives me goose bumps.
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Now, at the end of my visit to the Philippines, I commend you to Him, to Jesus who came among us as a child. May He enable all the beloved people of this country to work together, protecting one another, beginning with your families and communities, in building a world of justice, integrity and peace.
And there is this fact of the twelve baskets: why twelve? What does it mean? Twelve is the number of the tribes of Israel, symbolically it represents all the people. And this tells us that when food is shared equally, with solidarity, nobody is devoid of the necessary, each community can meet the needs of the poorest. Human ecology and environmental ecology go hand in hand.
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Above all I ask leaders and legislators and the entire international community above all to confront the reality of those who have been displaced by force, with effective projects and new approaches in order to protect their dignity, to improve the quality of their life and to face the challenges that are emerging from modern forms of persecution, oppression and slavery.
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[T]he "home" represents the most precious human treasures, that of encounter, that of relations among people, different in age, culture and history, but who live together and together help one another to grow. For this reason, the "home" is a crucial place in life, where life grows and can be fulfilled, because it is a place in which every person learns to receive love and to give love.
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Today, we need a Church capable of walking at people's side, of doing more than simply listening to them.... At times we lose people because they don't understand what we are saying, because we have forgotten the language of simplicity and import an intellectualism foreign to our people.... We cannot keep ourselves shut up in parishes, in our communities, when so many people are waiting for the Gospel.
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The first reform must be the attitude. The ministers of the Gospel must be people who can warm the hearts of the people, who walk through the dark night with them, who know how to dialogue and to descend themselves into their people's night, into the darkness, but without getting lost. The people of God want pastors, not clergy acting like bureaucrats or government officials.
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American Catholics are committed to building a society which is truly tolerant and inclusive, to safeguarding the rights of individuals and communities, and to rejecting every form of unjust discrimination. With countless other people of good will, they are likewise concerned that efforts to build a just and wisely ordered society respect their deepest concerns and their right to religious liberty.
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The annual World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation will offer individual believers and communities a fitting opportunity to reaffirm their personal vocation to be stewards of creation, to thank God for the wonderful handiwork which he has entrusted to our care, and to implore his help for the protection of creation, as well as his pardon for the sins committed against the world in which we live...
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Let us not grow tired of knocking at God's door. Let us go to the heart of God through Mary, our whole life, every day, knocking at the door of God's heart! Mary prays - prays together with the community of disciples, and teaches us to have full faith in God, in his mercy. This is the power of prayer!
I entered the diocesan seminary. I liked the Dominicans, and I had Dominican friends. But then I chose the Society of Jesus, which I knew well because the seminary was entrusted to the Jesuits. Three things in particular struck me about the Society: the missionary spirit, community and discipline.
All of us must care for life, cherish life, with tenderness, warmth...to give life is to open (our) heart, and to care for life is to (give oneself) in tenderness and warmth for others, to have concern in my heart for others. Caring for life from the beginning to the end. What a simple thing, what a beautiful thing..So, go forth and don't be discouraged. Care for life. It's worth it.
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Breathing is made up of two stages: inhaling, the intake of air, and exhaling, the letting out of air. The spiritual life is fed, nourished, by prayer and is expressed outwardly through mission: inhaling and exhaling. When we inhale, by prayer, we receive the fresh air of the Holy Spirit.
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...we must also acknowledge that the majority of the men and women of our time continue to live daily in situations of insecurity, with dire consequences. Certain pathologies are increasing, with their psychological consequences; fear and desperation grip the hearts of many people, even in the so-called rich countries; the joy of life is diminishing; indecency and violence are on the rise; poverty is becoming more and more evident. People have to struggle to live and, frequently, to live in an undignified way.
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Education cannot be neutral. It is either positive or negative; either it enriches or it impoverishes; either it enables a person to grow or it lessens, even corrupts him. The mission of schools is to develop a sense of truth, of what is good and beautiful. And this occurs through a rich path made up of many ingredients. This is why there are so many subjects - because development is the results of different elements that act together and stimulate intelligence, knowledge, the emotions, the body, and so on.
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To be prophets, in particular, by demonstrating how Jesus lived on this earth, and to proclaim how the kingdom of God will be in its perfection. A religious must never give up prophesising Let us think about what so many great saints, monks and religious men and women have done, from St Anthony the Abbot onward. Being prophets may sometimes involve making ruido [Spanish for noise]. I do not know how to put it Prophecy makes noise, uproar, some say 'a mess.' But in reality, the charism of religious people is like yeast: prophecy announces the spirit of the Gospel..
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From the peak of Chimborazo (volcano) to the Pacific coast, from the Amazon rainforest to the Galapagos Islands, may you never lose the ability to thank God for what he has done and is doing for you, may you never lose the ability to protect what is small and simple, to care for your children and your elderly, to have confidence in the young, and to be constantly struck by the nobility of your people and the singular beauty of your country.
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In the Gospel we have just heard, Jesus, the Master, teaches the crowds and the small group of his disciples by accommodating himself to their ability to understand. ... Jesus does not seek to 'play the professor.' Instead, he seeks to reach people's hearts, their understanding and their lives, so that they may bear fruit.
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We have so many priests who have gone half way ... it's sad that they did not manage to go the whole way; they have something of the employee in them, something of the bureaucrat in them and this is not good for the Church. Please be careful you don't fall into this! You are becoming pastors in the image of Jesus, the good pastor. Your aim is to resemble him and act on behalf of him amidst his flock, letting his sheep graze.
Men, to exist, to become complete and mature, need to feel the joy of fatherhood. When a man does not have this desire, something is missing in this man, it is like an incomplete life: a life that stops half way. The grace of fatherhood; of giving life to others, of pastoral paternity, of spiritual paternity is a gift from God.
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