(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Thursday met with members of S.S. Lazio, the Rome sports club which is most famous for the Serie A football team of the same name.
The sports club was founded in 1900 to provide access to sports activates to all levels of society, since other clubs at the time were aimed at the wealthy.
“I encourage you, therefore, to continue to be welcoming, to value different talents,” Pope Francis. May your sports club always be an open house, where you are able to experience brotherhood and harmony among people.”
Pope Francis then spoke about their Latin motto, taken from Sallust: “Concordia res parvae crescunt, discordia maximae dilabuntur.”
“It would be interesting to ask if any of you know the translation… But maybe it’s better not!” Pope Francis joked.
“It is not really difficult: Concord will make small things flourish, discord will destroy great things,” explained the Holy Father. “Your long history has confirmed this ancient judgment: born as a small athletics club, ‘Lazio’ over the years has been enriched by diverse associated activities and has been organized in numerous sports sections.”
He praised the club for giving equal status to all sports, and how the members, athletes, and supporters of all ages are joined together by the “Olympic spirit” and the “desire for mutual solidarity.”
“In Italy – and it is also like this in my country, Argentina – you risk speaking always about football, and overlook other sports,” said Pope Francis. “Rather, each sporting discipline has its own value, not only physical or social, but also moral, since it offers the possibility to people – especially to children and young people – to grow in balance, self-control, sacrifice and loyalty to the others.”
The Pope reminded them the human person exists in unity of “spirit and body,” and encouraged them to cultivate both of these aspects in their sporting activities, not forgetting their religious and spiritual dimension.
“What sometimes happens is that a boy or a girl, for training or competition, misses Mass, or catechism,” Pope Francis said.
“This is not a good sign, it means that the person has lost the balance in his life. Just as well, we must not neglect study, friendships, or service to the poor,” he continued.
“Thanks be to God we have some beautiful examples of men and women athletes, even great champions, who never stopped living the faith and serving others,” Pope Francis said. “In fact, true sport encourages the building of a world with more fraternity and solidarity, contributing to the alleviation of injustice and of human and social distress.”
(from Vatican Radio)…
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis celebrated Mass in the chapel of the Santa Marta residence in the Vatican on Thursday. In remarks following the readings of the day, the Holy Father focused on the concrete and communicative character of authentic love.
True love is real and constant
In the Gospel reading, from the Gospel according to St. John (15:9-11), Our Lord asks us to abide in His love. “There are two criteria,” said Pope Francis, “which will help us to distinguish the true love, from that which is not true.” The first criterion is that love is, “more in deeds than in words,” it is not, “a soap opera tale,” or “a fantasy,” stories that “make our hearts beat a little faster, but nothing more.” True love is, “in hard facts.” Jesus warned his disciples “‘ Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.’”:
Click below to hear our report
“In other words, true love is real, it is in the works it does, it is a constant love. It is not a mere enthusiasm. Also, many times, love is a painful thing: the love we think of Jesus carrying the Cross. But the works of love are what Jesus teaches us in the passage from the 25th chapter of St. Matthew. He, who loves, does these things – the things for which we shall be judged: I was hungry, and you gave me to eat, and so on. Concreteness: even the Beatitudes, which are Jesus ‘pastoral plan’, are concrete.”
Pope Francis went on to note that one of the first heresies in Christianity was that of Gnosticism, which spoke of a “distant God” to whom there was no substance. The love of God the Father, on the other hand, “was concrete: He sent His incarnate Son to save us.”
Monks and nuns communicate … and so
The second criterion of love, he continued, is that it communicates, it does not remain isolated. Love gives itself and receives, it is the communication between the Father and the Son, a communication that ‘is’ the Holy Spirit”:
“There is no love without communicating, there is no isolate love. Some of you may wonder, though: ‘But Father, monks and nuns are isolated.’ But they communicate … and they do a lot of it: with the Lord, even with those who go to find a word of God … True love cannot isolate itself. If it is isolated, it is not love. To abide closed in on oneself is a spiritualist form of selfishness, of seeking its own profit … it is selfishness.’
Simple, but not easy because egoism attracts us
So, says Pope Francis, “To abide in the love of Jesus means doing things,” it is, “an ability to communicate, to dialogue, both with the Lord and with our brothers and sisters.”:
“It is as simple as that: but it is not easy. Because selfishness, self-interest, attracts us, and draws us to do nothing, draws us to not communicate. What does the Lord say of those who will abide in his love? ‘I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.’ The Lord who abides in the love of the Father is joyful, ‘and if you abide in my love, your joy shall be full’ – a joy that often comes along with the Cross. But that joy – Jesus himself told us – no one may take from you.”
The Pope concluded his homily with this prayer: “That the Lord might give us the grace of joy, that joy, which the world cannot give.”
(from Vatican Radio)…
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Thursday met with members of S.S. Lazio, the Rome sports club which is most famous for the Serie A football team of the same name. The sports club was founded in 1900 to provide access to sports activates to all levels of society, since other clubs at the time were…
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis celebrated Mass in the chapel of the Santa Marta residence in the Vatican on Thursday. In remarks following the readings of the day, the Holy Father focused on the concrete and communicative character of authentic love. True love is real and constant In the Gospel reading, from the Gospel according to…
Vatican City,7 May 2015 (VIS) – This morning Pope Francis received members of the joint committee of the Conference of European Churches (CEC), whose objective is facilitating ecumenism throughout the continent, where many of the divisions and wars between Christians began. The current situation is very different. Thanks to ecumenical dialogue, ecclesiastic communities have taken great steps on the path to reconciliation and peace, as demonstrated by the recent European Ecumenical Assemblies and the Ecumenical Charter written in Strasbourg, France in 2001. These are landmarks in the collaboration between the CEC and the Council of the Bishops’ Conferences of Europe (CCEE) that give rise to the hope of achieving full and visible union between believers in Christ. The Holy Father, who noted that the ecumenical journey, even with all its difficulties, is already an integral part of the process of reconciliation and communion, recalled that the conciliar decree Unitatis Redintegratio affirms that the division between Christians “damages the holy cause of preaching the Gospel to every creature”. “This is evident,” he stated, “when, for example, the European Churches and ecclesiastic communities have different points of view on important anthropological or ethical questions. Nevertheless, I hope that opportunities for common reflection in light of Sacred Scripture and shared tradition will not be lacking and that they will be fruitful … and that we might find common answers to the questions that contemporary society asks of Christians. The closer we are to Christ, the closer we are united among ourselves.” “ Today the European Churches and ecclesiastic communities face new and decisive challenges, that can only be effectively answered by speaking with one voice,” the Pope affirmed. “I am thinking, for example, of the challenges of legislation that, in the name of a misunderstood principle of tolerance wind up blocking citizens from freely expressing and practicing their religious convictions peacefully and legitimately. Moreover, faced with the attitude that Europe seems to have toward the dramatic and often tragic emigration of thousands of persons fleeing war, persecution, and misery, the European Churches and ecclesiastic communities have the duty to promote solidarity and hospitality. European Christians are called upon to intercede with prayer and by actively working to bring dialogue and peace to current conflicts.”…