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Friday, July 1, 2016
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Pope Francis:  it's one thing to talk mercy, another to live it
Pope Francis: it's one thing to talk mercy, another to live it

Today the Lord invites us to make a serious examination of conscience, Pope Francis said on Thursday during a special Jubilee audience at St Peter's Square. It's one thing to talk mercy but quite another to live it, he said. Mercy is not an abstraction or a lifestyle and, paraphrasing the words of St James the Apostle, mercy without works is dead in itself. Pope Francis reflected on the text of Matthew 25:31 as he spoke about acts of mercy toward others. What makes mercy come alive is its dynamism to meet the spiritual and material needs of others, he said.

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Text: Father Tony Nye at Farm Street Sunday evening Mass
Text: Father Tony Nye at Farm Street Sunday evening Mass

Special prayers were said for the victims, loved ones, and families of the 12 June Orlando massacre, at the evening Mass at Farm Street in Mayfair on Sunday - marking the end of Pride weekend. Music was provided by the Soul Sanctuary Gospel Choir. There was an exhibition of photographs of the 49 young people who lost their lives. (See the full list of names in the ICN Prayer Request section). Father Tony Nye SJ gave the following homily, reflecting on the day's readings:

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Pope Francis: Prayer opens the door to closed hearts
Pope Francis: Prayer opens the door to closed hearts

In his homily during Mass for the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul today in St Peter's Basilica, Pope Francis focused on the themes of "closing" and "opening" in the lives of the two patrons of Rome. The Church must avoid the risk of closing in on itself out of persecution and fear, the Pope said. At the same time, she must be able to see "the small openings through which God can work." Prayer, he said, "enables grace to open a way out from closure to openness, from fear to courage, from sadness to joy. And we can add: from division to unity."

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Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons: 26 June 2016
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons: 26 June 2016

Given that those of us in the UK have been part of a seismic shift in the political direction of our country, how do these words of Jesus, quoted by Luke, seem to you? Jesus said: "No one who sets a hand to the plough 
and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God." I guess some of you reading this will feel that the earth you know and understand has shifted its axis, some will be fearful, some resentful, others hopeful, the uncertain waters ahead cannot be fathomed as of yet!

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Pope invites us all to ask for God's healing touch
Pope invites us all to ask for God's healing touch

During his weekly General Audience on a very hot and sunny Wednesday, attended by thousands of pilgrims in St Peter's Square, Pope Francis reflected on the Gospel story of the leper who was healed by Jesus as a sign of God's mercy and forgiveness. As Jesus reached out and touched the unclean man, he said, so we must never be afraid to reach out and touch the poor and those most in need. At the same time, he said, the Lord invites each of us to feel our own need and to ask for his healing touch.

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Pope Francis: Look in the mirror before judging others
Pope Francis: Look in the mirror before judging others

Before judging others we should look at ourselves in the mirror, Pope Francis said in his homily during Mass at Casa Santa Marta on Monday. In his last Mass with a homily there ahead of the summer break, the Holy Father pointed out that what distinguishes God's judgment from ours is not "omnipotence" but "mercy. Judgment belongs to God alone, so if we do not want to be judged, we should not judge others says Pope Francis. Reflecting on the day's Gospel, the Pope said "all of us want the Lord to look upon us with kindness" on Judgment Day and that

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Sunday Reflection with Canon Pat Browne - There is no THEM and US
Sunday Reflection with Canon Pat Browne - There is no THEM and US

Since we met at Mass last weekend we have had the most horrendous massacre of young people in the gay club in Orlando last Sunday and then the murder of the young MP Jo Cox on Thursday. The cutting short of young life in a most cruel and violent way by other human beings - deranged? Misguided? Certainly full of hatred. The reaction of a Jesuit priest in the United States called James Martin was to say: "We must stand with the people of Orlando in their grief. But we must also stand with the LGBT community too in theirs.

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Pope Francis: 'True conversion opens us to those most in need'
Pope Francis: 'True conversion opens us to those most in need'

During his special Jubilee Audience for the month of June in St Peter's Square today (Saturday), Pope Francis reflected on Jesus' call to conversion which was expressed not in judgment but in closeness to sinners and mercy to those in need. Reflecting on the Gospel passage in which the Risen Jesus encounters his disciples on the road to Emmaus, Pope Francis said Jesus' call to conversion is an experience of unmerited love which leads to openness to others, especially to the poor. He said the theme of conversion is present throughout the Bible, especially in

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Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 19th  June 2016
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 19th June 2016

Paul's words to the Galatians 'you are all one in Christ Jesus' are stunning in their universality for anyone who is a follower of Christ. They call us to sweep away all divisions, for our common baptism into Christ's life, our faith in Christ Jesus make us all children of God through him. Now, I hear those words, I preach about them, but if I dig deep into the recesses of my heart and soul do I actually believe them? I certainly don't live by them because due to all kinds of reasons my prejudices get in the way of my judgment, sometimes I am not even fully aware of them.

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Pope Francis: 'Our Father' is cornerstone of our prayer life
Pope Francis: 'Our Father' is cornerstone of our prayer life

During Mass at Casa Santa Marta on Thursday morning, Pope Francis said prayers are not magic words for Christian, but when we pray the 'Our Father' we can feel God looking at us and this prayer should be the cornerstone of our prayer life. Taking his inspiration from the Gospel reading where Jesus teaches his disciples to pray the Our Father, the Pope's homily was a reflection on the value and meaning of prayer in the life of a Christian. He noted that Jesus always used the word "Father" in the most important or challenging moments of his life,

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Pope Francis: Recognize the Lord in refugees, the poor, the disabled
Pope Francis: Recognize the Lord in refugees, the poor, the disabled

Pope Francis encouraged believers to open their eyes and hearts to God's love for the poor and to the gift of healing that he offers to all who turn to him in faith. His words came during the weekly General Audience with pilgrims in St Peter's Square. Reflecting on Jesus' miracle of restoring sight to a blind man on the way to Jericho as recounted in the Gospel of Luke, he said the blind man was sitting on the roadside begging and pointed out that, until not long ago, a person with disability had no choice but to live on charity. "That blind man, Francis said,

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Pope Francis: Praying for our enemies can heal our hearts
Pope Francis: Praying for our enemies can heal our hearts

Praying for our enemies can heal our hearts: that was Pope Francis' message at Mass in Casa Santa Marta on Tuesday morning. Recalling his own childhood in Argentina, when people prayed that dictators would go to hell, the Pope recalled how Jesus himself tells us to love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us. Reflecting on the day's Gospel of St Matthew where Jesus tells his disciples to love their enemies, Pope Francis noted that this instruction was in contrast to what the Doctors of the Law taught in those days:

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Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 12th June 2016
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 12th June 2016

Whilst I was musing on what to share with you, I kept turning to the Gospel (Luke 7: 36-8:3) and reflected on the different mention of women in the ministry and life of Jesus. Jesus visits to Simon the Pharisee's home to share a meal. Though Simon is a perceptive and religious man, for some unaccountable reason he neglects the basic tenet of hospitality to guests, Jesus' feet remain unwashed, nor given the welcome kiss or anointed with scented oil. Instead we have the extraordinary scene of a wealthy woman, washing the unwashed feet with her tears of repentance,

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Pope Francis on the lesson of Elijah
Pope Francis on the lesson of Elijah

Pope Francis focused on three attitudes that are characteristic of the Christian, during Mass at Casa Santa Marta yesterday; 'standing' before God in 'silence' to hear His voice and readiness to 'go out' into the world to proclaim what one has heard to others. The Pope warned against the danger of paralyzing fear in one's life. In the First Reading of the Day, the Holy Father recalled how Elijah was victorious, how he "fought so much for the faith," and defeated hundreds of idolaters on Mount Carmel. But then, he reaches breaking point.

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 Pope: Those who say 'its this or nothing' are heretics not Catholics
Pope: Those who say 'its this or nothing' are heretics not Catholics

Pope Francis warned against excessive rigidity, saying those within the Church who tell us "it's this or nothing" are heretics and not Catholics. His comments came during morning Mass on Thursday at Casa Santa Marta. In his homily the Pope reflected on the harm caused by those who do the opposite of what they preach and urged them to free themselves from a rigid idealism that prevents reconciliation between each other.

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Pope Francis: Prayer lights up Christian life
Pope Francis: Prayer lights up Christian life

"In this age lacking in social friendship, our first task is that of building community" Pope Francis said today in his Twitter message. The Holy Father expressed the same ideas during morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta. Reflecting on the Gospel of the day, Pope Francis recalled how Jesus told his disciples "you are the salt of the earth"... "you are the light of the world." Christians must be salt and light, but never self-serving. Salt must add flavour and light must illuminate the other.

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Pope: 'The Beatitudes offer roadmap for Christian life'
Pope: 'The Beatitudes offer roadmap for Christian life'

Pope Francis urged Christians to follow the guidance of the Beatitudes, in his homily at Mass in Casa Santa Marta this morning (Monday}. Reflecting on the Sermon on the Mount, Pope Francis said Jesus' teaching on that occasion did not erase the old law; rather it 'perfected' it bringing it to its fullness: "This is the new law, the one we call 'the Beatitudes'. It's the Lord's new law for us." He described this teaching as the "roadmap for Christian life" which gives us the directions to move forward on the right path.

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Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 5th June 2016
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 5th June 2016

One of the lessons I learnt from a wise spiritual father is that God's mercy is certainly not like mine; it is unconditional in its compassion. When we fall out with friends or family, situations can get worse because though we go through the motions of forgiveness, we cannot let go of a grievance, real or imagined. This can make us childishly jealous, resentful and angry, raking up the past to get at one another, often by pointing out how ungrateful people are a towards us! Saint John Climacus wrote: "Some people with a hot temper do not worry about it

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Text: Pope Francis at Mass with priests in St Peter's Square: Seek out, include, rejoice
Text: Pope Francis at Mass with priests in St Peter's Square: Seek out, include, rejoice

This celebration of the Jubilee for Priests on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus invites us all to turn to the heart, the deepest root and foundation of every person, the focus of our affective life and, in a word, his or her very core. Today we contemplate two hearts: the Heart of the Good Shepherd and our own heart as priests. The Heart of the Good Shepherd is not only the Heart that shows us mercy, but is itself mercy. There the Father's love shines forth; there I know I am welcomed and understood as I am; there, with all my sins and

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Pope's third meditation at retreat for priests
Pope's third meditation at retreat for priests

The theme of the Pope's third meditation at a spiritual retreat held on Thursday at the Papal Basilica of St Paul's Outside the Walls was "the good odour of Christ and the light of his mercy." At the heart of his reflection were the Works of Mercy saying as priests, "being merciful is not only "a way of life", but "the way of life", adding, "there is no other way of being a priest." Drawing from the passage of the Lord's encounter with the woman caught in adultery, the Pope explained that when Jesus says "Go and sin no more", "his command has to do with the future, to

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Pope Francis' second meditation at Retreat for Priests
Pope Francis' second meditation at Retreat for Priests

Pope Francis delivered his second meditation for the retreat for priests at the papal Basilica of St Mary Major. Thursday's retreat is part of the Jubilee for Priests taking place from 1-3 June. In his second mediation, Pope Francis reflected on the "vessel of mercy." "Our sin is like a sieve, or a leaky bucket," he said, "from which grace quickly drains." But God keeps forgiving us, and applies mercy to our weakness, creating a clean heart within us. It is precisely our experience of mercy that leads us to be merciful to others.

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Pope leads retreat for Jubilee of Priests - first meditation
Pope leads retreat for Jubilee of Priests - first meditation

Pope Francis led a retreat for priests on Thursday, offering a series of three meditations on the theme of mercy. The retreat was part of the Jubilee of Priests, one of a series of special Jubilees for various groups within the Church during the Holy Year of Mercy. The Jubilee for Priests began on Wednesday, and will conclude on Friday, on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The Holy Father delivered his meditations for the priest's retreat in the Papal Basilicas of St John Lateran, St Mary Major, and St Paul's Outside the Walls.

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Pope: It's not enough to ask how much we pray, but how we pray
Pope: It's not enough to ask how much we pray, but how we pray

Tens of thousands of pilgrims crowded St Peter's Square on Wednesday for the General Audience with Pope Francis. The Holy Father continued his catechesis for the Jubilee Year of Mercy, saying: "true prayer is born of a heart which repents of its faults and failings, yet pleads for the grace to live the great commandment of love of God and neighbour." The Pope was referring to the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector in which Jesus contrasts the arrogance and self-righteousness of the Pharisee's prayer with the tax collector's humble

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Pope Francis: Christians serve with joy, not a frown
Pope Francis: Christians serve with joy, not a frown

Pope Francis urged Christians to serve other people, without delay or hesitation, saying if we learnt how to reach out in this way, the world would be a very different place. His remarks came during his homily at the morning Mass in Casa Santa Marta today where he used the example of the Blessed Virgin Mary for his reflections on the theme of Christians at the service of others. May 31st was the final day of the month dedicated to Mary and the Pope used the day's readings to illustrate Mary's courage, her helping hand and concern for others and above

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Pope reflects on memory, prophecy, hope
Pope reflects on memory, prophecy, hope

In his homily during Mass at Casa Santa Marta on Monday morning, Pope Francis focused on the threefold theme of the dynamic unity in Christian life, the signs of which are living memory, the prophetic spirit, and the sure horizon of hope. In the Gospel passage of the day - from the Gospel according to St Mark (12:1-12), Jesus addresses the Priests, Scribes and Pharisees with the parable of the murderous tenant-farmers.

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Displaying Articles 1 - 25 of 649
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