"Walking in darkness means being overly pleased with ourselves, believing that we do not need salvation. That is darkness! When we continue on this road of darkness, it is not easy to turn back. Therefore, John continues, because this way of thinking made him reflect: 'If we say we are without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us'. Look to your sins, to our sins, we are all sinners, all of us ... This is the starting point. But if we confess our sins, He is faithful, He is so just He forgives us our sins, cleansing us from all unrighteousness…The Lord who is so good, so faithful, so just that He forgives. "
"When the Lord forgives us, He does justice" - continued the Pope - first to himself, "because He came to save and forgive", welcoming us with the tenderness of a Father for his children: "The Lord is tender towards those who fear, to those who come to Him "and with tenderness," He always understand us”. He wants to gift us the peace that only He gives. " "This is what happens in the Sacrament of Reconciliation" even though "many times we think that going to confession is like going to the dry cleaner" to clean the dirt from our clothes:
"But Jesus in the confessional is not a dry cleaner: it is an encounter with Jesus, but with this Jesus who waits for us, who waits for us just as we are. “But, Lord, look ... this is how I am”, we are often ashamed to tell the truth: 'I did this, I thought this'. But shame is a true Christian virtue, and even human ... the ability to be ashamed: I do not know if there is a similar saying in Italian, but in our country to those who are never ashamed are called “sin vergüenza’: this means ‘the unashamed ', because they are people who do not have the ability to be ashamed and to be ashamed is a virtue of the humble, of the man and the woman who are humble. "
Pope Francis continued: “ we must have trust, because when we sin we have an advocate with the Father, "Jesus Christ the righteous." And He "supports us before the Father" and defends us in front of our weaknesses. But you need to stand in front of the Lord "with our truth of sinners", "with confidence, even with joy, without masquerading... We must never masquerade before God." And shame is a virtue: "blessed shame." "This is the virtue that Jesus asks of us: humility and meekness".
"Humility and meekness are like the frame of a Christian life. A Christian must always be so, humble and meek. And Jesus waits for us to forgive us. We can ask Him a question: Is going to confession like to a torture session? No! It is going to praise God, because I, a sinner , have been saved by Him. And is He waiting for me to beat me? No, with tenderness to forgive me. And if tomorrow I do the same? Go again, and go and go and go .... He always waits for us. This tenderness of the Lord, this humility, this meekness .... "
Text from a page of the Vatican Radio website.
All during Lent, I talked about going to confession. I hope and pray that many of you did. However, lest you think that confession is just for Lent, let me remind you that confession is a sacrament all year ‘round. Every two weeks is a good rule of thumb. Remember that we don’t have to wait and commit a “really big one” before we go. We receive many graces each and every time we seek the Sacrament of Reconciliation. And, of course, if you haven’t gone in a long time, GO! On this wonderful topic the Pope just gave a beautiful homily. I have posted a part of it below and, whether you go weekly or have not been in a long time, it is well worth the read. Remember, we are ALL sinners.
Direct from Denver and the Denver Catholic Register:
DENVER, Colo. – Pope Francis will have a piece of Colorado with him when he celebrates Mass and feeds his flock with the precious body and blood of Christ.
After a chance connection, a Colorado man seized the opportunity to send silver extracted from the mine “In God We Trust” to a silversmith in Argentina charged with crafting the pope’s new liturgical vessels.
The whole idea was inspired by the Holy Spirit, said Zachary Urban, parishioner of Sts. Peter and Paul Parish in Wheat Ridge.
“It all kind of fell together,” Urban said. “It is definitely a rare opportunity to be a part of this.”
Urban shipped 3 ounces of silver extracted from the gold in a mine in Alma, Colo., to Adrian Tallarols in Buenos Aires during Holy Week. The silver will be used to craft one of several vessels needed during Mass, including a chalice and spoon.
The holy vessels will then be presented to the pope in Rome.
“We wanted to make this happen as a gift on behalf of our parish and the citizens of Colorado to give something from Colorado to be used by the pope,” Urban said.
Before the silver was sent, Father Jason Thuerauf of Sts. Peter and Paul blessed it with holy water.
The opportunity first arose after Urban remembered his connection to Tallarols, a seventh-generation silversmith. It was on his honeymoon in Argentina that 34-year-old Urban and his wife, Melinda, were shopping in the city and decided to look at the handiwork inside the silversmith’s store. They purchased an item and discovered Tallarols had made vessels for Pope Emeritus Benedict.
“He has a picture of him at the time presenting the chalice to Pope Benedict,” Urban said.
After their honeymoon, Urban stayed in touch with the silversmith through email and Facebook messages.
On the day of Pope Francis’ selection as the new leader of the 2,000-year-old Church, Urban thought of his Argentine friend.
“When he was elected that day it clicked that the pope is from Argentina and my friend is from Argentina,” he recalled.
The next day, Urban sent a Facebook message to Tallarols asking if he was going to make new liturgical vessels for the pope, and if so, if he could send silver from Colorado for him to use.
Tallarols said yes.
“Then I had to go about trying to find silver,” Urban said.
After talking with a multitude of people, Urban found a Fort Collins man who had a private reserve of silver, some pieces of which came from the “In God We Trust” mine.
“That was a sign we were going in the right direction,” he said.
He spent $145 to purchase the rectangle of silver extracted from gold found in the mine.
Feeling that a FedEx envelope was not a reverent way to ship the blessed material, Urban carefully tucked the silver into a Maplewood box marked with the sign of the Holy Spirit.
The silver was then shipped to Tallarols’ workshop in Argentina. The silversmith will use the silver to craft, among other items, a chalice, plate and spoon. The spoon is used in Eastern-rite Catholic Churches Divine Liturgy to give parishioners Communion under both species.
The silver that will be mixed with silver from South America is symbolic, Urban said, of the Church’s unity.
“It has a lot of symbolism in mixing the different cultures together and different pieces of the Catholic Church together,” he said. “I think it provides an opportunity to show we all become one Church together.”
Today I am happy to present my GUEST BLOGGER who comes to us all the way from ROME. Seán is a seminarian for the Diocese of Colorado Springs and is studying at The Pontifical North American College (PNAC) in Rome. He is a first year theologian and will be ordained to the priesthood in 2016. I am very thankful that he has taken the time from his studies to send us a reflection from Rome. I hope that we will be able to hear from him again from time to time. Please keep Seán in your prayers as he pursues his vocation to the priesthood. Without further ado, I present Seán…
When I arrived in Rome this past July to continue my studies and formation for the Priesthood, I never imagined that my first year would entail so many historic events at the neighboring Vatican Hill. This past Wednesday was without question, one of those memorable days. I was blessed with the opportunity to be in St. Peter’s Square as the white smoke started to come out of the chimney over the Sistine Chapel. The crowd itself was great witness to the life of the Church. In the crowd there were many young people and many others from all over the world. Some of the other seminarians from my college encountered people ranging from Protestants to atheists. It is incredible to see how the Holy Spirit draws souls into the life of the Body of Christ. When the new pope was named, I am sure that you readers back home knew more about what was going on than we did. No one knew who it was or where he was from. The scene of St. Peter’s façade, wet from the rain, aglow with the many lights, and a man in white, our Pope, standing in the center was incredible. When he asked for a moment of silence for us to pray that God would bless him in his ministry to the Universal Church, not a sound was heard; a truly incredible feat for a crowd so large and diverse. This Lent in the Eternal City has been a unique and historic time for our Holy Mother the Church. May the Holy Spirit ever continue to guide the men that are placed as the shepherds of so many souls. May our Mother Mary be with Pope Francis as he succeeds Pope Emeritus Benedict in the Petrine Office. Viva il Papa!
Here is something to think about. What are the odds of having three popes in one picture? This was sent to me by a priest friend. Just something to think about.
The last few days have been very exciting! We saw the election of a new Pope and, on a much smaller scale, I received my Call to Orders. What is that you ask? Well, in order for a man to be ordained, he must be called by Holy Mother Church. It doesn't matter how much he may want to serve, if the church doesn't ask him then it is not going to happen. This applies to deacons, priests and Bishops. In the case of the first two, Deacons and Priests, this invitation from Holy Mother Church comes through the Bishop or, in the case of religious orders, the competent major Superior. Their decision to extend the invitation is based upon the recommendation of faculty members and votes from the clergy overseeing the man's formation. This letter states that the Bishop or Superior is calling the man to appear at a certain place, at a certain time to receive ordination to the appropriate order. Thus, I have been called by Bishop Sheridan to appear on May 25, 2013 at 10:00 A.M. to receive the ordination to the diaconate. All very exciting. It is one thing to know that this will happen, and another thing entirely when it actually happens. But, enough about me...
I would like to know what your first impressions are about Pope Francis. Please leave me a comment. I am anxious to hear thoughts beyond the seminary walls.
Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum. Habemus Papam. Eminentissimum ac Reverendissimum Dominum. Dominum Georgium Marium Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae Cardinalem Bergoglio Qui nomen sibi imposuit Franciscum.
Viva il Papa
And with those words, the world received the news of its new Pope Francis. Jorge Mario Bergoglio was chosen by the College of Cardinals to lead the Catholic Church. The 76 year-old Jesuit was the archbishop of Buenos Aires and that gives us a number of firsts. He is the first Jesuit ever to become pope, the first pope from the Americas (this hemisphere, Latin America, Argentina, etc) and the first pope to take the name Francis after St. Francis of Assisi. What a wonderful start! What does this all mean? I would like to refer to a very respected Vatican observer, Rocco Palmo, who says this on his blog:
By choosing the name of the founder of his community's traditional rivals, the 266th Roman pontiff – the first from the American continent, home to more than half of the 1.2 billion-member church – has signaled three things: his desire to be a force of unity in a polarized fold, a heart for the poor, and his intent to "repair God's house, which has fallen into ruin"... that is, to rebuild the church.
I am sure that the papers will be filled with his information and mis-information over the next few days. Let us remember the new pope in our prayers.
O God, who in your providential design willed that your Church be built upon blessed Peter, whom you set over the other apostles, look with favor, we pray, on Francis, our Pope, and grant that he, whom you have made Peter’s successor, may be for your people a visible source and foundation of unity in faith and of communion.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.
The full splendor of the Catholic Church was on display today as the Conclave began. As we know now, the first vote resulted in black smoke (no Pope), but that was expected. So now we move into the second day of the Conclave and anxiously await the decision.
If you were not able to watch the Cardinals process into the Sistine Chapel, I have embedded it below and you can also view it on my video page or on the Vatican website. It is a beautiful ceremony and well worth the time to watch.
Let us continue to pray for our Holy Mother Church.
Today is the day, and so the Conclave begins. The Cardinals are swearing in as I write this. In fact it is the Cardinal Bishops that are swearing in right now. Very Exciting!! You will note that the oaths are taken individually showing the gravity of the situation. You can of course follow this live on EWTN, and if you don't have access to a television, you can follow the live stream on your computer. The link is on their website and you can find it HERE.
In case you, like I, have trouble trying to remember the time difference to Rome, I have placed a clock with Rome time on the front page and on the sidebar of my blog just to the right.
Now for the smoke signals, they will occur twice a day according to the press release, unless, of course, we have a new pope:
Since there are two votes each morning and afternoon, Fr. Lombardi stated that the 'fumata' (smoke signalling the election or non-election of a pontiff) that is produced from the burning of the ballots from those two voting processes could be expected around 12:00pm, in the case of the morning, or 7:00pm, in the case of the evening, unless the first of the two votes produces an election. In such an instance, the “fumata” would obviously take place earlier.
Let us continue in earnest to pray for the Cardinal Electors as they select, under the Guidance of the Holy Spirit, our new Roman Pontiff.
O God, eternal shepherd, who govern your flock with unfailing care, grant in your boundless fatherly love a pastor for your Church who will please you by his holiness and to us show watchful care. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit. one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
*From the Collect of the Mass for the election of a Pope or Bishop, Roman Missal, 3rd edition.
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I am a Roman Catholic Priest for the Diocese of Colorado Springs. I am currently assigned to St. Dominic Catholic Church in Security, CO.
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