Pope Francis Homilies

Pope Francis General Audience 07.12.22

Pope Francis Angelus 04.12.22

I wish everyone a good Sunday and a good continuation of the Advent journey. This Thursday, we will celebrate the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. To her intercession let us entrust our prayer for peace, especially for the tortured Ukrainian people.

Please, do not forget to pray for me. Enjoy your lunch and arrivederci!

04.12.22

Pope Francis Angelus 04.12.22

The way of humility

Excerpt below, for the full transcript click on the picture link above

Today, the Second Sunday of Advent, the Gospel for the Liturgy presents the figure of John the Baptist. The text says that John “wore a garment of camel’s hair”, that “his food was locusts and wild honey” (Mt 3:4), and that he was inviting everyone to conversion. And he was saying this: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” (v. 2) And he was preaching the nearness of the Kingdom. In short, he was an austere and radical man, who at first sight might appear to be harsh and could instil a certain fear. But then again, we can ask ourselves why the Church proposes him each year as our primary traveling companion during this Season of Advent. What is hidden underneath his severity, behind his apparent harshness? What is John’s secret? What is the message the Church gives us today with John?

In reality, the Baptist, more than being a harsh man, is a man who is allergic to duplicity. Listen well to this: allergic to duplicity. For example, when the Pharisees and Sadducees, who were known for their hypocrisy, approach him, his “allergic reaction” is quite strong! In fact, some of them probably went to him out of curiosity or to gain something because John had become quite popular. These Pharisees and Sadducees believed they had it all together and, faced with the Baptist’s blunt appeal, justified themselves, saying: “We have Abraham as our father” (v. 9). Thus, due to duplicity and presumption, they did not welcome the moment of grace, the opportunity to begin a new life. They were closed in the presumption of being right. So, John tells them, “Bear fruit in keeping with repentance!” (v. 8) This is a cry of love, like the cry of a father who sees his son ruining himself and says to him, “Don’t throw your life away!” In essence, dear brothers and sisters, hypocrisy is the greatest danger because it can even ruin the most sacred realities. Hypocrisy is a serious danger. This is why the Baptist – as Jesus would be later – is harsh with hypocrites. We can read, for example, the 23rd chapter of Matthew where Jesus speaks really strongly to the hypocrites of that time. And why do the Baptist as well as Jesus do this? To shake them up. Instead, those who sensed they were sinners went “out to him [John], and they were baptized by him, confessing their sins” (v. 5). Therefore, bravura is not important to welcome God, humility is. This is the path to welcome God. Not bravura – “We’re strong, We are great people!” No, no. Humility. I am a sinner. But not in the abstract, no – “because of this and this and this”. Each of us needs to confess our own sins, our own failings, our own hypocrisy. It requires getting off the pedestal and being immersed in the water of repentance.

Dear brothers and sisters, John and his “allergic reactions” make us think. Are we not at times a bit like those Pharisees? Perhaps we look at others from top to bottom, thinking that we are better than them, that we have our lives under control, that we don’t need God, or the Church, or our brothers or sisters on a daily basis. We forget that in one case is it legitimate to look down on someone else: when it is necessary to help them get up. This is the only case; the others are not legitimate. Advent is a moment of grace to take off our masks – every one of us has them – and line up with those who are humble, to be liberated from the presumption of the belief of being self-sufficient, to go to confess our sins, the hidden ones, and to welcome God’s pardon, to ask forgiveness from those whom we have offended. This is how to begin a new life. There is only one way, the way of humility – to be purified from the sense of superiority, from formalism and hypocrisy, to see ourselves, along with our brothers and sisters, as sinners, and to see Jesus as the Saviour who comes for us, not for the others, for us, just as we are, with our poverty, misery and failings, above all with our need to be raised up, forgiven and saved.

And let us remember one thing: with Jesus, there is always the possibility of beginning again. It’s never too late. There is always the possibility to begin again. Be courageous. He is near to us and this is the time of conversion. Everyone might think: “I have this situation inside, this problem that I am ashamed of”. But Jesus is next to you. Begin again. There is always the possibility of taking a step forward. He is waiting for us and never gets tired of us. He never gets tired! And we are annoying, but he never gets tired! Let us listen to John the Baptist’s appeal to return to God. And let us not let this Advent go by like days on the calendar because this is a moment of grace, a grace for us too, here and now! May Mary, the humble servant of the Lord, help us to meet Him, Jesus, and our brothers and sisters on the way of humility, which is the only one that will help us go ahead.

04.12.22 e

Pope Francis December 2022

For volunteer not-for-profit organizations

Let us pray that volunteer non-profit and human development organizations may find people willing to commit themselves to the common good and ceaselessly seek out new paths of international cooperation.

The world needs volunteers and organizations committed to seeking the common good.

Yes, this is a word that many today would like to erase: “commitment.”

And the world needs volunteers who commit to the common good.

Being a volunteer who helps others is a choice that makes us free; it opens us to other people’s needs —to the demands of justice, to the defense of the poor, to the care of creation.

It means being artisans of mercy: with our hands, with our eyes, with an attentive ear, with our closeness.

And being a volunteer means working with the people you serve. Not just for the people, but with the people. Working with the people.

The work of volunteer not-for-profit organizations is much more effective when they collaborate with each other and with governments.

By working together, however few resources they have, they do their best and make the miracle of the multiplication of hope a reality.

We have a great need to multiply hope!

Let us pray that volunteer non-profit and human development organizations may find people willing to commit themselves to the common good and ceaselessly seek out new paths of international cooperation.

December 2022

Pope Francis General Audience 30.11.22

True Consolation

Excerpt below, for the full transcript click on the picture link above

As we continue our reflection on discernment, and in particular on the spiritual experience called “consolation”, which we spoke about the other Wednesday, we ask: how can we recognize true consolation? It is a very important question for a good discernment, so as not to be deceived in the search for our true good.

We can find some criteria in a passage from the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola. “We ought to note well the course of the thoughts”, says Saint Ignatius, “and if the beginning, middle and end is all good, inclined to all good, it is a sign of the good Angel; but if in the course of the thoughts which he brings it ends in something bad, of a distracting tendency, or less good than what the soul had previously proposed to do, or if it weakens it or disturbs the soul, taking away its peace, [taking away the] tranquillity and quiet, which it had before, it is a clear sign that it proceeds from the evil spirit, enemy of our profit and eternal salvation” (no. 333). Because it is true: there is true consolation, but there are also consolations that are not true. And therefore, we need to understand well the process of consolation: how does it come and where does it lead me? If it leads me to something wrong, that is not good, the consolation is not true, it is “fake”, let’s say.

And these are valuable indications, that merit a brief comment. What does it mean that the beginning is inclined to good, as Saint Ignatius says of good consolation? For example, I have the thought of praying, and I note that it accompanies affection towards the Lord and neighbour, it invites gestures of generosity, of charity: it is a good beginning. It can instead happen that such a thought emerges to avoid a job or task that has been entrusted to me: every time I have to wash the dishes or clean the house, I have a strong urge to pray! This happens, in convents. But prayer is not an escape from one’s tasks; on the contrary, it is an aid in realizing the good we are required to do, here and now. This regards the beginning.

Then there is the middle: Saint Ignatius said that the beginning, the middle and the end had to be good. The beginning is this: I want to pray so as not to wash the dishes: go, wash the dishes, and then go to pray. Then there is the middle: that is to say what comes afterwards, what follows that thought Remaining with the previous example, if I begin to pray and, like the pharisee in the parable (cf. Lk 18:9-14), I tend to be self-satisfied and to disdain others, perhaps with a resentful and sour spirit, then these are signs that the evil spirit has used that thought as a key to enter into my heart and to transmit his feelings to me. If I go to pray, and it comes to mind to do so like the famous Pharisee – “Thank you Lord, because I pray, I am not like other people who do not seek you, who do not pray” – that prayer ends badly there. That consolation of praying is to feel like a peacock in front of God. And this is the wrong way.

And then there is the end: the beginning, the middle and the end. The end is an aspect we have already encountered, namely: where does a thought take me? For example, where does the thought of prayer take me? For instance, it can happen that I work hard for a good and worthy task, but this pushes me to stop praying, because I am busy with many things; I find I am increasingly aggressive and angry, I feel that everything depends on me, to the point of losing confidence in God. Here, evidently, there is the action of the evil spirit. I start praying, but then in prayer I feel omnipotent, that everything must be in my hands because I am the only one who knows how to get things done: evidently there is no good spirit there. It is necessary to examine well the path of our sentiments, of consolation, at the moment in which we want to do something; at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end.

The style of the enemy – when we speak about the enemy, we speak about the devil, because the devil exists, he is there! – his style, we know – is to present himself in a devious, masked way: he starts from what is most dear to us and then, little by little, reels us in: evil enters secretly, without the person being aware of it. And with time, gentleness becomes hardness: that thought reveals itself for what it truly is.

Hence the importance of this patient but indispensable examination of the origin and the truth of our thoughts; it is an invitation to learn from experiences, from what happens to us, so as not to continue to repeat the same errors. The more we know ourselves, the more we sense where the evil spirit enters, his “password”, the entrance to our heart, which are the points to which we are most sensitive, so as to pay attention to them in the future. Each one of us has their more sensitive spots, the weak spots in their personality: and the evil spirit enters there, and leads us down the wrong path, or takes us away from the true, right path. I go and pray but he leads me away from my prayer.

A daily examination of conscience is so important: before ending the day, stop a moment. What happened? Not in the newspapers, not in life: what happened in my heart? Was my heart attentive? Did it grow? Did it go through everything unaware? What happened in my heart? And this examination is important, it is the valuable effort of rereading experience from a particular point of view. Noticing what happens is important, it is a sign that God's grace is working in us, helping us to grow in freedom and awareness. We are not alone: the Holy Spirit is with us. Let us see how things went.

Genuine consolation is a sort of confirmation that we are doing what God wants of us, that we are walking on his paths, that is, on the paths of life, joy, and peace. Discernment, in fact, is not simply about what is good or the greatest possible good, but about what is good for me here and now: this is what I am called to grow on, setting limits to other proposals, attractive but unreal, so as not to be deceived in the search for the true good.

Brothers and sisters, it is necessary to understand, to go ahead in understanding what happens in my heart. And this is why an examination of conscience is necessary, to see what happened today. “Today I got angry, I didn’t do that…”: But why? Going beyond the “why” to look for the root of these mistakes. “But, today I was happy but I was bored because I had to help those people, but at the end I felt filled by that help” – and there is the Holy Spirit. Learning to read what happened during the day in the book of our heart. Do it: it will take just two minutes, but it will do you good, I assure you.

30.11.22 e


The Gospel in your pocket

How do we receive the Word of God? The response is clear: As one receives Jesus Christ. The Church tells us that Jesus is present in the Scripture, in His Word.

Always carry a small Gospel with you in your purse, in your pocket, and read a passage from the Gospel during the day. Not so much to learn something, but mostly to find Jesus, because Jesus actually is in His Word, in His Gospel. Every time I read the Gospel, I find Jesus. - Pope Francis 01.09.14

Daily Readings - read the entire New Testament over a 2 year period (reading plan courtesy of Gideon International)

The Bible Online

Pope Francis Angelus 27.11.22

God is near and is coming

Excerpt below, for the full transcript click on the picture link above

In the Gospel of today’s Liturgy we hear a beautiful promise that introduces us to the Time of Advent: “Your Lord is coming” (Mt 24:42). This is the foundation of our hope, it is what supports us even in the most difficult and painful moments of our life: God is coming, God is near and is coming. Let us never forget this! The Lord always comes, the Lord visits us, the Lord makes himself close, and will return at the end of time to welcome us in his embrace. Before this word, we ask ourselves: How will the Lord come? And how will we recognize him and welcome him? Let us dwell briefly on these two questions.

The first question: how will the Lord come? Very often we hear it said that the Lord is present on our path, that he accompanies us and speaks to us. But perhaps, distracted as we are by many things, this truth remains merely theoretical for us; yes, we know that the Lord is coming but we do not live according to this truth, or we imagine that the Lord will come in a spectacular way, perhaps through some miraculous sign. And instead, Jesus says that he will come as in “the days of Noah” (cf. v. 37). And what did they do in the days of Noah? Simply, the normal, everyday things of life, as always: “eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage” (v. 38). Let us bear this in mind: God is hidden in our life, he is always there – he is concealed in the commonest and most ordinary situations in our life. He does not come in extraordinary events, but in everyday things; he manifests himself in everyday things. He is there, in our daily work, in a chance encounter, in the face of someone in need, even when we face days that seem grey and monotonous, it is right there that we find the Lord, who calls to us, speaks to us and inspires our actions.

However, there is a second question: how can we recognize and welcome the Lord? We must be awake, alert, vigilant. Jesus warns us: there is the danger of not realizing his coming and being unprepared for his visit. I have recalled on other occasions what Saint Augustine said: “I fear the Lord who passes by” (Sermons, 88, 14.13), that is, I fear that he will pass by and I will not recognize him! Indeed, Jesus says that those people in the time of Noah ate and drank “and they did not know until the flood came and swept them all away” (v. 39). Pay attention to this: they did not realize anything! They were absorbed in their own things and did not realize that the flood was about to come. Indeed, Jesus says that, when he will come, “two men will be in the field; one is taken and one is left” (v. 40). In what sense? What is the difference? Simply that one was vigilant, he was waiting, capable of discerning God’s presence in daily life, whereas the other was distracted, “pulled along”, and did not notice anything.

Brothers and sisters, in this time of Advent, let us be shaken out of our torpor and let us awaken from our slumber! Let’s try to ask ourselves: am I aware of what I am living, am I alert, am I awake? Do I try to recognize God’s present in daily situations, or am I distracted and a little overwhelmed by things? If we are unaware of his coming today, we will also be unprepared when he arrives at the end of times. Therefore, brothers and sisters, let us remain vigilant! Waiting for the Lord to come, waiting for the Lord to come close to us, because he is there, but waiting alert. And may the Holy Virgin, Woman of waiting, who knew how to perceive the passing of God in the humble and hidden life of Nazareth and welcomed him in her womb, help us in this journey of being attentive to wait for the Lord who is among us and passes by.

27.11.22e

Pope Francis General Audience 30.11.22

I greet the English-speaking pilgrims taking part in today’s Audience, especially those from England, Australia, Vietnam and the United States of America. I pray that each of you, and your families, may experience a blessed Advent in preparation for the coming, at Christmas, of the newborn Jesus, Son of God and Saviour of the world. God bless you!

Brothers and sisters, we have entered the season of Advent full of hope and we fervently implore the Prince of Peace to bring consolation to our wounded hearts, as well as to nations tried by wars and crises of every kind, for a dignified and serene life. God bless you!

My thoughts, as usual, go to the young, the sick, the elderly and the newlyweds. The liturgical season of Advent, which has just begun, invites us to go out to meet the Lord who comes with prayer, penance and works of charity. Prepare yourselves to celebrate the birth of Jesus by listening assiduously to the Word of God and responding generously to his grace.

Today we are celebrating the Feast of the Apostle St Andrew, brother of Simon Peter, Patron of the Church in Constantinople, where a Delegation of the Holy See went, as usual. I wish to express my special affection to my dear brother Patriarch Bartholomew I and to the entire Church of Constantinople. May the intercession of the Holy Brother Apostles, Peter and Andrew, soon grant the Church to enjoy fully her unity and peace to the whole world, especially at this moment in dear and tormented Ukraine, always in our hearts and prayers.

30.11.22

Pope Francis Holy Mass and Angelus 20.11.22


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