Pope Francis has urged Catholics to read the Bible every day, and keep the Gospel to hand on our mobile phones.
Comparing the Bible to a "love letter" from God to mankind, the Pope said yesterday that Catholics should be "open" to His word, rather than going to him with rote prayers."
"To follow Jesus, mere good works are not enough; we have to listen daily to his call," Francis said. "He, who alone knows us and who loves us fully, leads us to push out into the depth of life."
"That is why we need His word: so that we can hear, amid the thousands of other words in our daily lives, that one word that speaks to us not about things, but about life," said the Pope during a homily at a Mass marking the first Day of the Word of God.
He observed that Jesus came to speak with everyone through his words and through his life, and began his ministry with a "very simple phrase: 'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.'"
The nearness of God is the main message of all of Christ's sermons, he said. "The One who dwells in heaven has come down to earth; he became man. He has torn down walls and shortened distances. We ourselves did not deserve this: He came down to meet us." Pope Francis added: "He wants to stay with us and give us the beauty of life, peace of heart, the joy of being forgiven and feeling loved."
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