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Thursday, May 26, 2016
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Pope Francis: We cannot achieve holiness on our own
Pope Francis: We cannot achieve holiness on our own

During his homily at Mass at Santa Marta on Tuesday morning, Pope Francis reflected on one of the readings, from the First Letter of St Peter, which he called a "small treatise on holiness." Holiness means "to walk in the presence of God without reproach," he said. Holiness cannot be bought. Neither can it be earned by human strength. No, "the simple holiness of all Christians ... ours - the kind we are called to every day," said the Pope, "can only be attained with the help of four essential elements: courage, hope, grace, and conversion."

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Pope Francis: The Christian identity card is joy
Pope Francis: The Christian identity card is joy

No Christian can exist without joy: that's what Pope Francis said in his homily during Mass this morning at Casa Santa Marta. The Holy Dather stressed that even through life's difficulties, Christians knows they can trust in Jesus and find hope. The Pope also reminded the congregation they should not allow riches to dominate their lives because they ultimately lead to sadness. Commenting on the First Letter of St Peter, Francis pointed out that, even if we are plagued by trials, we can never lose the joy of knowing that God "regenerated us in

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Pope: We need attachment to truth, understanding of human frailty
Pope: We need attachment to truth, understanding of human frailty

Announcing the word of God should never be separated from an understanding of human weakness. That was Pope Francis' message during morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta on Friday. Commenting on the Gospel in which Christ speaks with the Pharisees about adultery, he said the Lord overcomes the human vision which would reduce the vision of God to a casuistic equation. The Gospel, the Pope said, is full of examples of the Pharisees and doctors of the law attempting to trap Jesus by catching Him off guard,

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Pope Francis: Where there is love there is hope
Pope Francis: Where there is love there is hope

During his Angelus address this morning Pope Francis told pilgrims in St Peter's Square that the feast of the Holy Trinity invites us all "to engage in the daily events to be the leaven of communion, of consolation and of mercy." Reflecting on the Gospel of St John, the Pope said that Jesus knew how to be close to the realization of the Father's plan, which will be fulfilled by his death and resurrection; "for this, Pope Francis continued, he wants to ensure his followers that he will not abandon them because his mission will be prolonged by the Holy Spirit."

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Trinity Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons -  May 22nd 2016
Trinity Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - May 22nd 2016

How do you communicate God to others? How do you find God yourself? Those are two questions I often ask myself. I've never found the Christian view of God as Trinity an impossible conundrum, maybe because I was helped to approach it by a wise old monk who used the expressions of prayer and worship to show me a theology of relationship and connection that we glimpse through a symbolic world. How can I describe God as an eternal presence beyond and outside of my life yet recognize in Jesus the generosity of God living, pitching his tent

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Pope: Rich people who exploit the poor are bloodsuckers
Pope: Rich people who exploit the poor are bloodsuckers

Exploiting working people to enrich oneself is like sucking blood - it's a mortal sin. That was the message of Pope Francis in his homily at morning Mass at the Casa Santa Marta on Thursday. The day's first reading, taken from the Letter of Saint James, is a forceful warning to the rich who accumulate wealth by exploiting the people. "Riches in themselves are good," the Pope explained, but they are "relative, not absolute" goods. He criticized the so-called "theology of prosperity" -

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Pope: Social climbers, money and power, harm the Church
Pope: Social climbers, money and power, harm the Church

Pope Francis urged Christians to overcome the lure of worldliness and human ambition and warned against social climbers who are tempted to destroy the other in order to reach the top. The path of Jesus is in serving others, the Holy Father said during his homily at morning Mass in Casa Santa Marta today. In the Gospel reading, Jesus' disciples were arguing among themselves over who was the greatest. Pope Francis reflected on the dangers of power, money, ambition and vanity, noting that Jesus was warning his disciples about

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Pope Francis: One proves love - not with words, but with deeds
Pope Francis: One proves love - not with words, but with deeds

'Today, we celebrate the great feast of Pentecost, which brings to completion the Easter season, 50 days after the Resurrection of Christ. The liturgy invites us to open our minds and our hearts to the gift of the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus promised several times to His disciples, that He has obtained with His Resurrection. Jesus Himself implored the Father for this, as attested to in today's Gospel, which takes place at the Last Supper. Jesus tells His disciples: "If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the

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Pope Francis: We were made to be God's children. It is in our DNA
Pope Francis: We were made to be God's children. It is in our DNA

"We were made to be God's children. It is in our DNA", Pope Francis said during his homily for Pentecost Sunday during Mass in St Peter's Basilica... "I will not leave you orphans" (Jn 14:18)... The central purpose of Jesus mission, which culminated in the gift of the Holy Spirit, was to renew our relationship with the Father, a relationship severed by sin, to take us from our state of being orphaned children and to restore us as his sons and daughters.

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Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons 15 May 2016  - Pentecost
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons 15 May 2016 - Pentecost

What does Pentecost mean to you? I've asked myself that question over the past ten days, trying to see put myself in that upper room with the disciples. What I begin to understand is the stark reality that these people were frightened, closed in, yes psychologically and literally, not wanting to face the outside world and fearful of it, and yet the command of their Lord was to 'go out' to the ends of the earth and proclaim the Good News'! So often in the Gospels Jesus tell his followers not to be afraid, to trust and follow him, yet even after

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Pope: Christians seek unity, those who sow weeds divide
Pope: Christians seek unity, those who sow weeds divide

Jesus prays for the unity of Christians, but within the Church there are those who sow weeds (Pope Francis used the Italian word 'zizzanieri') - those who divide and destroy the community with their tongues. That was the message of Pope Francis at Thursday's morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta. Before the Passion, Jesus prays for "the unity of believers, of the Christian community," so that they might be one--as He and the Father are one--that the world might believe. Pope Francis took this passage as the starting point for his homily.

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Pope advises young people to listen to the Holy Spirit
Pope advises young people to listen to the Holy Spirit

Pope Francis said missionaries are compelled by the Holy Spirit to dedicate their lives to service even in the most distant places. The Holy Father was reflecting on the day's Gospel, during Tuesday morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta, which describes Paul's departure from the community at Miletus. He felt compelled by the Holy Spirit to go to Jerusalem, knowing he would never see the community in Melitus again. This call from the Spirit was an irresistible drive to give his life in the service of Christ.

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Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons: 8 May -  Feast of the Ascension
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons: 8 May - Feast of the Ascension

Are any of you, like me, Ascension Thursday people? I mean those who feel that somehow the placing of this feast on the Sunday nearest to it isn't really necessary. It's bad enough when we find the Epiphany celebrated on the 2/3rd January, somehow the rhythm and cadences of the season don't fit into this 'pastoral provision'. Somehow that deep, ancient link with the lunar calendar and Holy Pascha matters, a reminder that we are not simply bound by solar time, but are linked to the power of our little moon as well!

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Pope Francis: No pain can take away Christian hope and joy
Pope Francis: No pain can take away Christian hope and joy

A Christian will experience joy even in the midst of pain because we live in the hope that God will give us a joy nobody can take away - that was the main message in Pope Francis' homily this morning during Mass at Casa Santa Marta. Reflecting on the day's reading where Jesus warns his disciples of a coming sadness but says it will be transformed later into a cry of joy, Pope Francis reflected in his homily on how Christians should always maintain their joy and hope, even in the midst of pain. He used the example of a woman in labour,

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Pope Francis leads prayer vigil dedicated to all who are suffering
Pope Francis leads prayer vigil dedicated to all who are suffering

Pope Francis presided over a prayer vigil in St Peter's Basilica on Thursday, dedicated to all those who are suffering and seek consolation. Members of one family and two individuals who have undergone different types of suffering in their lives testified to the gathering about their painful experience and how they were helped to recover from it. During the vigil the reliquary of Our Lady of Tears of Syracuse were on display inside the basilica for the veneration of the faithful.

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Prayers for the elections
Prayers for the elections

Britain goes to the polls today, 5 May 2016, in the biggest set of elections to be held, outside of a general election, for many years. The following elections will be taking place: Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly, Northern Ireland Assembly, Local council elections in England, Mayor of London and London Assembly and the Police and crime commissioner elections. The following prayers

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Pope Francis: 'God loves each and every one of us'
Pope Francis: 'God loves each and every one of us'

God loves each and Pope Francis every one of us and like the Good Shepherd in the parable, he does not want a single person to be lost. This was the main theme of Pope Francis' catechesis with thousands of people gathered in St Peter's Square for the General Audience today. The Holy Father said the Lord uses the image of the shepherd who leaves his flock to go in search of one lost sheep to express God's closeness to sinners. He emphasized that God does not want even a single person to be lost and that in his infinite mercy,

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Pope: Many Christians are confused or  'mummified' in their faith
Pope: Many Christians are confused or 'mummified' in their faith

Many people are following Christianity in a confused way, forgetting that Jesus is the only true path, Pope Francis said in his morning homily during Mass at Casa Santa Marta. In the day's Gospel reading, Jesus tells the Apostles 'I am the way' - Pope Francis reflected on the need for Christians to consistently follow Jesus and not get waylaid or blocked on their journey of faith. He said there are many different types of Christians who are following Jesus in a confused manner like the mummified Christian, the vagabond Christian, the

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Text: Cardinal at Migrants' Mass in honour of St Joseph the Worker
Text: Cardinal at Migrants' Mass in honour of St Joseph the Worker

Today we come together to pray. Prayer is our key activity. We pray for courage and compassion, especially for refugees fleeing for their lives and safety; and we pray for migrants, far from home, striving to make their way and play their part. The reading we have heard from the Acts of the Apostles has a remarkable resonance. We hear of Paul and his companions setting out from the port to Troas to make the 100 mile sea crossing to Neapolis. Troas is in northern Turkey. Neapolis is in Greece. This is a crossing of the same sea that

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Pope: The Holy Spirit strengthens us even during persecution
Pope: The Holy Spirit strengthens us even during persecution

The Holy Spirit gives us strength, so that we may bear witness to the Lord in times of persecution - even to the point of sacrificing our lives - but also through the small persecutions such as gossip and criticism. This was theme of Pope Francis' homily during morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta on Monday. As we near Pentecost, the readings increasingly focus on the Holy Spirit. The Acts of the Apostles tell us that the Lord opened the heart of a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatria who came to hear St Paul.

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Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons -  1 May 2016
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 1 May 2016

It's good to know a bit of church history, not only does it give us all kinds of surprises, but sometimes the past, if it is understood correctly, can act as an antidote to some of the unsubstantiated statements that good people produce when they think they are right and want to prove their point, especially about matters of faith. You all know the kind of thing I mean and I am sure all of us have fallen into the trap of thinking or saying, 'it's always been done this way in the church, so we can't change'. I'm not knocking anybody but it seems to me that a little historical humility doesn't come amiss from time to time.

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Pope warns Christians against leading double lives
Pope warns Christians against leading double lives

During morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta on Friday, Pope Francis warned Christians against having double lives - displaying an outer facade of light but having darkness in their hearts. He urged them to walk in the light and not tread dark paths, saying God's truth cannot be found there. Reflecting of St John's First Letter, Pope Francis spoke of the eternal struggle against sin, saying we must be pure like the Father but even if we sin we can count on his pardon and his tenderness. He stressed the Apostle's warning to believers to tell the truth

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Pope:  There has always been resistance to 'surprises of the Spirit'
Pope: There has always been resistance to 'surprises of the Spirit'

The Holy Spirit has been the guiding light of the Church from the beginning, Pope Francis said in his homily this morning during Mass at Casa Santa Marta on Thursday, but he said, from the beginning there has always been resistance to 'surprises of the Spirit'. The Holy Father was reflecting on the reading from Acts of the Apostles which describe the division and resistance within the early Church in Jerusalem. It's the Spirit who, from the very beginning, gives strength to the apostles to proclaim the Gospel and it's the Spirit who

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Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 24th April 2016
Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 24th April 2016

I read on one of those church blogs a recent comment about those of us priests trained in the 70's who had deviated from the faith because we had adopted worldly positions. It was unclear just what these worldly positions were, but the inference was obvious (the blogger was a younger priest), we (because I was trained then and ordained in 1979 we are yesterday's message). I don't normally spend much time looking at this stuff, its simply opinion, but it's amazing just how many people think they have a divine right on their

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Saint George's Day Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons
Saint George's Day Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons

I can remember several years ago discussions which suggested that St George was not a suitable patron saint, most of the comments were directed at the mythology of George slaying the dragon and the apparent lack of historical evidence for his life, not helped by a confusion of identity with another George. But times are a changing and it seems St George, like a few other ancient saints, have plenty to share with us. We do know a bit about him, born around 280 probably in Lydda modern day Syria/Palestine, into a Christian family.

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Displaying Articles 1 - 25 of 620
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