A Triple Header for Pope Francis

Holy Father, Pope Francis, St. Peter's Square, Catholic Church

In the past few days, the Holy Father has gifted the world with not one, but three addresses worth contemplating. 

The first took place on Sunday, October 13 as Pope Francis consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary before a throng of more than 100 thousand people. I can hardly imagine what it would have been like to be there… I suggest that you take special note of the three things the Holy Father asks us to reflect on: 1. God surprises us, 2. God asks us to be faithful, and 3. God is our strength.

To help you along, let me pose these questions:

1. When in your life has God surprised you? How?

2. Have you been faithful to God consistently throughout your life? When weren’t you? Why?

3. Do you always give thanks to God when something good happens? Why or why not?

Here is the link to the full text of the Pope’s homily during the Holy Mass:

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2013/10/13/pope_consecrates_world_to_immaculate_heart_of_mary_/en1-736956

At noon today (Rome time), the Holy Father gave an address to the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization. I didn’t see this one covered broadly in the media, and so I want to draw your attention to it. The entire text is packed with good stuff, but one paragraph in particular stood out for me:

So many people have fallen away from the Church. It’s a mistake to put the blame on one side or the other, in fact, it’s not about talking about fault. There are responsibilities in the history of the Church and of her men, in certain ideologies and also in individual persons. As children of the Church we must continue on the path of Vatican Council II, stripping ourselves of useless and harmful things, of false worldly securities which weigh down the Church and damage her true face.

I think of all the people in my life, all those I have met, and all those who I’ve heard others tell about that have been hurt by, or left the Church entirely, and I ask myself, “What part did I play in their departure?” “What part could I play in their return?”

Think about that for yourself. It’s a toughie.

Here’s the link to the full text of Pope Francis’ address, a real gem:

http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-s-address-to-the-plenary-assembly-of-the-pontifical-council-for-promoting-the-new

Finally, a wowser, given by the Holy Father on Saturday, to participants in the Seminar of Study on the theme “God Entrusts the Human Being to Woman” (cf. MD, 30), organized by the Pontifical Council for the Laity, in comemoration of 25th anniversary of the Apostolic LetterMulieris dignitatem of Blessed John Paul II.

I promise you he will get hung by the mainstream media for this one. It’s just too juicy not to twist. Why? Because he touched upon the touchy – woman’s vocation to bear life, as in get pregnant and give birth. Now, he goes on to unfold that in all it’s importance and beauty, both in terms of spiritual and physical motherhood, but I expect that to be skipped by the culture of death lackies.

What’s more, Pope Francis delineates the awesome value of woman to the Church and world, explaining that she has countless more qualities and abilities than simply bearing children. The main streamers probably won’t catch that, either.

The best, best part (as far as I’m concerned), is the part in which the Holy Father declares woman’s special gift – a particular sensitivity to the “things of God.” Bingo.

Here, however, there are two dangers that are always present, two opposed extremes that mortify woman and her vocation. The first is to reduce maternity to a social role, to a task, even if noble, but which in fact puts to one side woman with her potentials, does not appreciate her fully in the building of the community, either in the civil or the ecclesial ambit. And, as a reaction to this, there is the other danger, in the opposite sense, that of promoting a sort of emancipation that, to occupy the areas taken away from the male, abandons the female with the precious traits that characterize her. And here I would like to stress how woman has a particular sensibility for the “things of God,” especially in helping us to understand mercy, tenderness and the love that God has for us. I like to think also that the Church is not the “il” Church [the masculine], it is “la” Church [the feminine]. The Church is woman, is Mother, and this is beautiful. You must give thought to reflecting further on this.

Here’s the link to the full text of Pope Francis’ address. You might want to read it for yourself before it gets all turned around…

http://visnews-en.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-church-must-address-role-of-women.html

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