A Catholic Monthly Magazine

On Mercy, Mission, Forgiveness and the American Circus

Pope FrancisMercy and Mission

Day by day we enter into the life of this Holy Year of Mercy. With His grace, the Lord guides our steps as we cross the Holy Door and comes towards us so as to stay always with us, despite our shortcomings and our contradictions.

Let us never tire of asking His forgiveness, as when we are weak His closeness makes us stronger and allows us to live our faith with greater joy.

When we receive good news or have a good experience it is natural that we wish to communicate it to others. … The joy we feel inspires us to do so. It should be the same when we encounter the Lord. Indeed, the concrete sign we have truly encountered Jesus is the joy we feel in communicating this to others too. This is not proselytism, but rather it is a gift: I give you what makes me joyful. Reading the Gospel we see that this was also the experience of the first disciples. … Encountering Jesus is the same as encountering His love. This love transforms us and makes us able to transmit to others the strength that it gives us.

We could say that on the day of our Baptism each one of us is given another name alongside the one we receive from our mother and father, and this name is ‘Christopher,’ which means ‘Christ-bearer.’

The Christian is a bearer of Christ. … But the mercy we receive from the Father is not given to us as a private consolation, but rather makes us instruments to enable others to receive the same gift. There is a wonderful circularity between mercy and mission.

Living mercy makes us missionaries of mercy, and being missionaries enables us increasingly to grow in God’s mercy. So, let us take seriously the fact of being Christians, and let us commit ourselves to living as believers, because only in this way may the Gospel touch the people’s hearts, opening them to receive the grace of love.

Source: VIS 30 January 2016

God’s constant forgiveness

God continually offers us His forgiveness, He helps us to welcome Him and to be aware of our evil so as to free ourselves of it. God does not seek our condemnation, only our salvation. God does not wish to condemn anyone! … The Lord of Mercy wishes to save everyone. … The problem is letting Him enter into our heart. All the words of the prophets are an impassioned and love-filled plea for our conversion.

God’s heart is the heart of a Father Who loves all His children and wants them to live in goodness and justice, and therefore to live in fullness and happiness. A Father’s heart that goes beyond our meagre concept of justice so as to open up to us the immense horizons of His mercy. A Father’s heart that does not treat us or repay us according to our sins, as the Psalm says.

It is precisely a Father’s heart that we encounter when we go to the confessional. Perhaps it will tell us something to better understand our evil, but at the confessional we all go in search of a father who will help us change our life; a father who gives us the strength to go on; a father who forgives us in God’s name.

Source: VIS 3 February 2016

Pope & American CircusThe American Circus

The Pope recently enjoyed a performance from an Italian troupe called the American Circus.

He told the performers, “you create beauty and beauty always brings us closer to God.”

The pope went on to say that the group was a positive example “for all of us. The seduction of an easy life, to end up with good results without effort, this is a temptation. You offer us a witness that life without constant exertion is a mediocre life. I thank you so much for your example.”

Source: Catholic Online, 3 February 2016

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