Pope teaches three spiritual retreats in one day to more than 6,000 priests

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03/06/2016
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The Pope celebrated the Jubilee of priests and seminarians by teaching three meditations at three of the major basilicas in Rome.

The event began at ten o'clock at Saint John Lateran. Pope Francis spoke about mercy from the parable of the prodigal son. He titled it, 'From estrangement to celebration,' and focused on what he called 'embarrassed dignity,' a united tension that is so full of mercy.

POPE FRANCIS
'That is how we have to see ourselves: poised between our utter shame and our sublime dignity. Dirty, impure, mean-the sin of the priests, vanity,-  selfish, yet at the same time, with feet washed, called and chosen to distribute the Lordâ??s multiplied loaves, blessed by our people, loved and cared for. Only mercy makes this situation bearable.â?

Then he moved to Saint Mary Major, where he preached at noon. The Pope told the priests that mercy acts in the same way, regardless of the number of sins the person has.

POPE FRANCIS
'Godâ??s mercy does the same thing. It doesnâ??t 'paint' us a pretty face, or airbrush the reality of who we are, it isn't Photoshop. Rather, with the very threads of our poverty and sinfulness, - with these, and with our sins, with these - interwoven with the Fatherâ??s love, it so weaves us that our soul is renewed and recovers its true image, the image of Jesus.â?

Finally, at the third meditation taught at St. Paul Outside the Walls, he warned of the dangers that allow one to lose mercy within the Church.

POPE FRANCIS
'Our people forgive us priests many failings, except for that of attachment to money. The people do not forgive. This does not have so much to do with money itself, but the fact that money makes us lose the treasure of mercy.â? 

More than 6,000 priests from around the world participated in this televised retreat given by Pope Francis.

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