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Quake aftermath continues to torment ancient town of Amatrice as the death toll rises

August 25, 2016. Rescue teams continue to work tirelessly with the hope of finding new survivors, but the number of deaths will increase as there are still dozens missing. Italy's civil protection agency has announced that 190 have dead in the affected areas in the province of Rieti are overcome, while 57 were killed in the province of Ascoli. During the night, there have been up to 60 new tremors of between 3 and 4 degrees of magnitude. Rescuers worked overnight in the most affected Arquata del Tronto, Pescada< g> del Tronto, Accumoli< g> and Amatrice. The most dramatic situation exists in Amatrice, the largest municipality affected, and where 2,000 people live, but in the summer months doubles its population with vacationers and many tourists who had come to enjoy the weekend party pasta "amatriciana,” a dish that has its origins here. More than 1,000 people have been displaced by the quake.
World

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Pope conveys “solidarity and spiritual closeness” for the victims of wildfire in Portugal

August 16, 2016. The fire has killed at least five people and caused hundreds to evacuate their homes. The Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin addressed a letter, on behalf of Pope Francis, to the bishop of Funchal, Antonio Carrilho. The letter was read during the celebration of Holy Mass for Our Lady of the Mount, Patroness of Funchal. In the letter, Pope Francis expressed his condolences and sorrow over the loss of life and property in the Portuguese island of Madeira, where wildfires have killed at least five people and caused hundreds to evacuate their homes. Pope Francis conveys "solidarity and spiritual closeness” for the victims and those displaced by the wildfires and prayed for the wounded and asked them to have "courage and consolation in Christian hope” for all involved.
World

Pope sends condolences to North America in wake of Hurricane Earl

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Pope Francis

Pope Francis officially establishes the commission to study the diaconate of women

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Vatican

Federico Lombardi appointed new president of The Ratzinger Foundation

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Pope's Mass: praying is a bit like 'annoying' God so that he listens to us

2013-12-06

Ask and insist, without the fear to annoy, because a Christian is sure that God listens to him. That was the main idea behind Pope Francis' homily on Friday at Casa Santa Marta.

POPE FRANCIS
"He can do it. When or how He will do it, we won't know. That is the reassurance of prayer. The need to say, truthfully, to the Lord: 'I am blind, Lord. I am in need. I have this sickness, I committed this sin, I have this pain.' But always with truth. Let us think if our prayer has need, and if it's sure. Need, because we say the truth ourselves, and security, because we believe the Lord can do what we ask of him.”

The Pope cited as an exampled the people who throughout the Gospel asked Jesus for help, and they received it. They, he said, never gave up, and they trusted in Him.

SUMMARY OF THE POPE'S CATECHESIS
Source: Vatican Radio

Pope Francis spoke on the theme of prayer on Friday, saying when we pray it’s a bit like annoying God so that he listens to us. His remarks came during his homily at the morning mass in the Santa Marta guesthouse.

Speaking at Mass, Pope Francis said "prayer has two attitudes: it’s needy and at the same time it’s certain of the fact that God, in his own way and his own time, will answer our need." A person who prays, he continued, "doesn’t fear disturbing God and nourishes a blind faith in His love." The Pope recalled how Jesus himself taught us to pray like the annoying friend who begs for food at midnight or like the widow with the corrupt judge. Another example he quoted was the gospel account of how the lepers approached Jesus, saying to him, "if you want, you can cure us.”

"Maybe this sounds strange,” the Pope said, "but praying is a bit like annoying God so that he listens to us. He stressed the importance of praying with insistence and not giving up after the first few attempts. "Jesus said "ask” but he also said to us, "Knock at the door” and he or she who knocks at the door makes a noise, disturbs or annoys.”

Therefore, Pope Francis continued, "prayer is insisting to the point of annoyance but also with an unshakeable certainty.” Just like the blind people in the Gospel who asked Jesus to be healed and when he asked them if they believed he could cure them, they assured him they did. The Pope concluding by saying that Jesus feels our need when we pray and also feels that we are certain of his help and that we’re speaking the truth about ourselves. 


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