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Archive by category: Pope Francis School of LifeReturn
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The Face of Mercy: New Document of Pope Francis

If there is one word that has characterized the pontificate of Pope Francis, it is the word mercy. As St. John Paul II before him—who called for a recourse to mercy “in this difficult, critical phase of the history of the Church and of the world” (Dives in Misericordia, 15)—Pope Francis has looked out onto today’s world situation and called for a revolution in tenderness. We see Francis modeling this revolution in his actions, in his gaze, in his words…all of which have captured the imagin...
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Heart to Heart with Pope Francis

I have always loved the readings of the Liturgy in the last couple weeks of November and the end of the liturgical year, particularly the book of Revelation. Just yesterday we began proclaiming the prophetic messages to the seven Churches. Those who are victorious I will feed from the tree of life!  We too want to stand one day robed in white, singing the song of the Lamb. In today's Strength for the Week, Pope Francis offers us some personal spiritual guidance on our journey. In the digital ma...
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Do You Wonder If God Loves You?

Do You Wonder If God Loves You?

Did you ever catch yourself secretly wondering whether or not God really, really has our best interest at heart? It is so easy to slip into thinking that doing the will of God is automatically tantamount to a life of suffering and woe. Instead, Jesus came to bring us life - abundant life! As Pope Francis reminds us we are called to encounter and become messengers of the joy of the Gospel!Paradoxically, however, we have to admit that the kingdom of God that Jesus preached and lived out in hi...
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Holding Fast

Holding Fast

So, how’s Lent? I’m guessing that on Ash Wednesday you walked up and rang the doorbell. Having stepped into the foyer of Lent’s home, let’s turn around and look again at the front door that opened to us that day–fasting. It’s also the back door that we’ll pass through on Good Friday, as we head out to the garden of Easter Sunday. Try not to cringe. The spiritual masters of every major religion, and even health gurus, hail the benefits of fasting to mind, soul, and body. Christian fasting,...
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How to Evangelize Without Saying a Word

The Catholic Church preaches the good news of Jesus Christ 24/7. Members of the Church preach in and outside of Church buildings. Every Catholic is engaged in "preaching." We, in fact, are a great body of preachers, of evangelizers, and we spread the Gospel as good news in many different ways. Most probably we associate preaching with the homily “preached” by the priest at Mass. Pope Francis, however, views preaching much more dynamically. Pope Francis, in The Joy of the Gospel, describes ho...
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How To Witness To Faith In Awkward Situations

It makes for an awkward situation. You run into a third-cousin-twice-removed whom you haven't seen in years, who (knowing what a devoted Catholic you are) is eager to tell you how appreciative he or she is that Pope Francis is “rewriting the rules” about a certain under-appreciated area of Church teaching. It's both an opportunity and a bit of a pickle. Are we supposed to set the record straight right away, assuring the speaker that Pope Francis is upholding the same Catechism as his predecess...
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How To Be A Neighbor On The Internet

The Vatican released today its customary Message of the Pope for World Communications Day. We celebrate World Communications Day this year on Sunday, June 1, 2014. The message—which contains the pope’s annual teaching on how to inhabit the world of communications with faith—is always released on the Memorial of St. Francis de Sales, January 23rd. This allows us time each year to reflect on the words of the Pope and incorporate them into our lives.  Here’s a few ...
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How to Have a Better Year

How to Have a Better Year

Did you start off 2014 by making some new year’s resolutions? If so, that’s great, and by all means keep it up. But if not, don’t let that become a reason to beat yourself up. Instead, think about how you’ve actually made positive changes in your life. All of us have improved in some area at some time in our lives. Usually we do that when we have enough motivation. As a rule, we don’t change because we made resolutions but because we have to respond to the demands o...
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A Secret for Increasing Joy in Life

A Secret for Increasing Joy in Life

As I’m writing this letter to you, a procession of cars carrying mourners is leaving the funeral home across the street from the coffee shop where I sit. A job interview is being conducted at the table next to mine. The candidate for the job is anxiously enumerating her past accomplishments, repeating too many times that she can "make it happen" and won’t be "a flash in the pan." I watch the people walking quickly down the sidewalk, bundled against the cold, carrying their secre...
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Living and Sharing Joy: an Advent Reflection

Living and Sharing Joy: an Advent Reflection

If you’re like me, you may be thinking, “Here we are again—on the cusp of Advent. How did that happen?” The season seems to catch us by surprise each year, especially with all the preoccupation over Thanksgiving arrangements and the distraction caused by Black Friday mania the day after.Yet this year we’ve received extra special incentive to pause on the brink of a new Church year and reflect on where we are and where we’re heading. Advent is a journey, after ...
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