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Pope Francis

Pope to award 2016 Ratzinger Prize to Inos Biffi and Ioannis Kourempeles

October 20, 2016. The winners of this year's Ratzinger Prize will be Inos Biffi and Ioannis Kourempeles. The former, an Italian priest, is an expert in Systematic Theology and History of Medieval Theology. The latter is Greek and an Orthodox. He is an expert in History of Dogmas and Dogmatic Theology. He will be the first Orthodox to be awarded the prize given by the Joseph Ratzinger Foundation, considered by many the Nobel Prize of Theology.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis sends his condolences to Thais after the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej

October 14, 2016. Pope Francis has sent a message to the Prime Minister of Thailand to express his condolences for the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. He was 88 years old, and his reign spanned seven decades. Pope Francis said he is "deeply saddened” and he expresses his closeness to the members of the royal family and the Thai people.
Pope Francis

Pope sends 100,000 dollars for Hurricane Matthew victims

October 14, 2016. Through the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum", Pope Francis will send $100,000 to the victims of Hurricane Matthew in Haiti. The money will fund relief efforts in the first stages of recovery after the devastating effects of the hurricane. With this gesture, the pope wants to express his "closeness of spirit and fatherly support” to everyone in the affected area.
Pope Francis

Pope authorizes new decrees of heroic virtues for four potential saints

October 11, 2016. Pope Francis authorized the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to promulgate the decree of heroic virtues to four people, who are being investigated by the Church for possible sainthood. The decrees were given to the following "Servants of God:”
Pope Francis

Pope Francis rejects death penalty on Twitter: #NoDeathPenalty

October 10, 2016. The Pope has has given his support via Twitter to the World Day Against the Death Penalty. The following message can be read in each of his nine accounts, in their respective languages: "Punishment should necessarily include hope! #NoDeathPenalty.”
Pope Francis

Pope Francis announces Synod about youth and vocation

October 6, 2016. It will be held in 2018 under the name "Youth, faith, and vocational discernment.” Preparations for the second Synod of bishops convened by Pope Francis are well underway.

Theme chosen for 2017 World Communications Day

September 29, 2016. The theme for the 2017 World Communications Day has officially been announced. Coming from the book of Isiah, the theme is: "Fear not, for I am with you: communicating hope and trust in our time.”
Pope Francis

Pope will not be able to travel to Israel on Friday to attend the funeral of Shimon Peres

September 28, 2016. Despite the rumors that Pope Francis will travel to Israel to attend Shimon Peres funeral, the Vatican has issued a statement officially announcing a confirmation for the pope's scheduled visit to Georgia and Azerbaijan will remain as planned on Friday. The pope spoke warmly about the former leader and sent out a telegram of condolences:
Pope Francis

Pope's schedule during his trip to Sweden

September 27, 2016. Pope Francis will travel to Sweden next October 31 and November 1, for the occasion of the Lutheran–Catholic Common Commemoration of the Reformation.This will be the 17th trip of his pontificate.

Third priest found dead in Mexico

September 26, 2016.Mexican priest, Alfredo Lopez Guillen, was found dead this weekend on a rural road about 350 km east of Mexico City, after being allegedly abducted and assaulted in his parish on Monday September 19. This is the third case of violence against priests in Mexico in just one week. On Monday, September 19, Fr. Nabor Jiménez and Fr. José Alfredo Juarez were also kidnapped in the church of Our Lady of Fatima. Hours later they found them lifeless in a ditch in Poza Rica, Veracruz. The Catholic Church wants clarification on the murders, because it is not yet known who could be the alleged perpetrators.

Pope: Good and evil never disappear. The trick is learning how to choose the right path


During his daily morning Mass, the Pope talked about the tug of war between the good and the bad. He says both never cease to exist, but the difference is that good Christians, he explained, learn to steer away from the evil path.  

"Let's reflect on the temptations Jesus faced out in the desert. The three things the devil tempts Jesus with are proposals to steer Him away from this path, the path of service, humility, humiliation and charity.” 

To follow the path of Jesus, the Pope recommends praying for the grace of wisdom so that Christians may learn to understand their heart and how to make it follow the path of Jesus. 

(Source: Vatican Radio) 
The Christian knows to guard his heart in order to distinguish what comes from God and what comes from the false prophets. That was the message of Pope Francis in the morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta, the first after the holiday season. The Pope said the way of Jesus is that of service and humility, a path that all Christians are called to follow.

Pope Francis took the words "Remain in the Lord,” from the first Reading from the Apostle John, as the starting point for his homily. It is a "counsel for life,” the Pope said, that John repeats "almost obsessively.” The Apostle shows "one of the attitudes of the Christian who wants to remain in the Lord: to understand what’s happening in one’s own heart.” For this reason he warns us, "Do not to trust every spirit, but test the spirits.” It is necessary, the Pope said, to know "the discernment of spirits,” to discern whether something helps us "remain in the Lord or takes us away from Him.” "Our heart,” he added, "always has desires, has cravings, has thoughts.” But "are these from the Lord or do some of these things take us away from the Lord?” That’s why the Apostle John exhorts us to "test” what we think and desire:

"If this goes along the line of the Lord, it will go well, but if not… Test the spirits to see if they really come from God, because many false prophets have come into the world. Prophets or prophecies or suggestions: ‘I want to do this!’ But this does not bring you to the Lord, it leads you away from Him. That’s why vigilance is necessary. The Christian is a man or a woman who knows to keep watch over his or her heart. And many times our heart, and with so many things that come and go, seems a local market: everything, you can find everything there… No! We need to test things - this is from the Lord, and this is not – in order to remain in the Lord.”

What, then, is the criterion to determine if something comes from Christ or from the antichrist? St. John, the Pope said, has a clear "simple” idea: "Every spirit that acknowledges Jesus Christ come in the flesh belongs to God, and every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus does not belong to God. This is the spirit of the antichrist.” But what does it mean, "to recognize that the Word is come in the flesh?” It means "recognizing the path of Jesus Christ,” recognising the He, "being God, He emptied Himself, He humbled Himself” even to "death on the Cross”:

"That is the path of Jesus Christ: abasement, humility, humiliation as well. If a thought, if a desire takes you along the road of humility and abasement, of service to others, is from Jesus. But if it brings you to the road of sufficiency, of vanity, of pride, along the path of an abstract thought, it is not from Jesus. We think of the temptations of Jesus in the wilderness: all three proposals the demon makes to Jesus are proposals that intended to take Him away from this path, the path of service, of humility, of humiliation, of charity. But the charity accomplished with His life, no? To the three temptations Jesus says no: ‘No, this is not my path!”
The Pope then invited everyone to think about what happens in their own hearts. What do we think and feel, what do we desire, do I examine the spirits? "Do I test what I think, what I want, what I desire - he asked - or do I accept it all” without discernment?

"So many times, our heart is a road, everything passes there… Put it to the test! And do I always choose the things that come from God? Do I know which are the things that come from God? Do I know the true criterion by which to discern my thoughts, my desires? Let us think of this, and let us not forget that the criterion is the Incarnation of the Word. The Word is come in the flesh: this is Jesus Christ! Jesus Christ who was made man, God made man, who lowered Himself, humbled Himself for love, in order to serve all of us. And may the Apostle John grant us this grace to know what is happening in our hearts, and to have the wisdom to discern what is of God and what is not of God.”

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