“Christian prayer is not a way of being a little bit at peace with oneself or finding some interior harmony; we pray in order to bring all to God, to entrust the world to Him,” Pope Francis said on Saturday. He was delivering a homily at an evening Mass in the Italian port city of Genoa. The Mass at the Kennedy Square seafront was the final event of his day-long visit to the city, during which he met the clergy and religious, youth, prisoners, children and staff of a pediatric hospital and lunched with the poor and the marginalized.
Prayer – God’s power and strength
Commenting on the scripture readings of Sunday, the Pope explained that in Christ’s Ascensio n “the power of Jesus, the strength of God” is revealed that has “linked earth with heaven for us”. And this power continues even today and will last forever in Christ’s unceasing prayers and intercession for us before the Father, every moment….especially at every Mass. And “Jesus has gifted this capacity to intercede also to us, to his Church, that has the power and also the duty to intercede and pray for all.”
The power of prayer lies in anchoring ourselves on God with our burdens, persons and situations in order not to be submerged by what he described as this “evil of living”. Prayer allows God to enter our time. “ Prayer is intercession. It’s not tranquility, it’s charity ,” the Pope stressed.
The Pope said our power lies not in triumphing or shouting loud according to the logic of the world but in exercising the ‘gentle power of prayer’, with which one can even stop wars and obtain peace.
Proclamation – reachig out, not closed in
Another power of Jesus revealed in the Ascension is that of proclamation. When Jesus sent his disciples to proclaim Him with the power of the Holy Spirit, He trusted us with all our shortcomings. And in this, a great imperfection that we need to overcome immediately is that of closing ourselves. It’s because the Gospel cannot be shut in and sealed, because God’s love is dynamic and wants to reach others . Hence to proclaim Him, one needs to go out, come out of oneself.
With the Lord is it is forbidden to relax in acquired comforts. A Christian is always on the move with the Lord towards other. He is a pilgrim, a missionary, a hopeful marathon man, gentle but intent on walking, the Pope said. The Lord desires that the proclamation goes ahead with his strength, not with that of the world, with the limpid and meek strength of joyful witnessing. This, the Pope said, is urgent.
(from Vatican Radio)…
“Faith works primarily through charity and without it, it is dead. So I encourage you to carry out your delicate work motivated by charity”, said Pope Francis to the staff members of “Giannini Gaslini” Pediatric Hospital during his day long visit to the Italian city of Genoa on Saturday.
The Pope said that he couldn’t miss this visit where children are cared for, because the suffering of children is certainly something very difficult to accept. And added that it is there that the Lord called him to be, though briefly, close to the children and their relatives. “Often and again I ask myself: ‘Why do children suffer?’, and I don’t find any explantion,” the Pope said. “I only look at the crucifix and stand still there.”
Pope Francis commended the devoted service of the hospital staff, the President of the Foundation, the Archbishop of Genoa, physicians, paramedics, the various specialized staff, as well as the Cappucchin Friars Minor and all those who assist and help the children with love and dedication and said that they in fact also need their gestures of friendship, of understanding, of affection and paternal and maternal support.
This institute is an act of love of Senator Gerolamo Gaslini he said who in honour of his daughter who died of a tender age had founded the hospital by sacrificing all he had: companies, establishments, property, money, and even his home. This is why this hospital is known and appreciated in Italy and around the world and has a special role of continuing to be a symbol of generosity and solidarity he said. In founding of the Hospital he observed, Gaslini said: “It is my firm will that this Institute has the Catholic faith as its foundation and guide […] that it ferments every activity and comforts every pain.” The pope called them to often think of the “good Samaritan” of the Gospel- attentive to the needs of their small patients, accepting tenderly their fragility, and seeing the Lord in them. Whoever serves the sick with love serves Jesus who opens the Kingdom of Heaven he affirmed.
The Pope hoped that the Hospital, faithful to its mission, will continue its appreciated work of care and research through the generous and disinterested contribution and contribute to all categories and at all levels. He concluded assuring the staff, patients and their relatives of his prayer and blessings.
Earlier on Wednesday linking-up live via telephone to a parish radio in Genova that broadcasts a Wednesday weekly programme especially dedicated to the children’s hospital, Pope Francis told the little patients that it is with joy that he is preparing to be with them.
“Istituto Giannina Gaslini” is a tertiary level pediatric hospital affiliated to the University of Genoa and is considered one of the foremost children’s hospitals in Europe and is formally recognized as a Scientific Institute for Research, Hospitalization and Healthcare.
(from Vatican Radio)…
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis met with the bishops, priests, religious and seminarians of the Archdiocese of Genoa and the whole region of Liguria on Saturday, during the course of a one-day pastoral visit.
The questions from clergy and religious came from two secular priests, Don Andrea Carcasole and Don Pasquale Revello: the President of the Italian Union of Women Religious Superiors for the Liguria Region; and Fr. Andrea Caruso, O.F.M. Cap.
Their queries focused on the search for ways to maintain hope and nourish the interior life of faith in today’s frenetic world – and the Holy Father’s responses centered on the imitation of Christ, the fostering of a sense of fraternity among the clergy and of genuine diocesan ecclesial unity, and the cultivation of a rich, mission-focused interior life of prayer.
“What we want,” said Pope Francis, “is pastoral conversion, missionary conversion.”
The Pope also condemned the practice – diffuse in Latin America and at one time not too long ago present also in Italy and other places, of encouraging poor young women to join a religious congregation as novices – often in order to shore up diminishing numbers – and then to abandon the girls and young women for whom religious life is not their calling.
“It is a scandal,” said Pope Francis.
“Work [to foster vocations – (It. lavoro vocazionale )] is difficult, but we must do it,” he said. “It is a challenge,” Pope Francis continued. “We need to be creative.”
(from Vatican Radio)…
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis began an intense day-long pastoral visit to Genoa on Saturday morning, with a meeting with workers, management, industrialists, union leaders and representatives of unemployed persons at the ILVA steel works in the city.
World of Labour
Pope Francis’ meeting with the world of labour included four questions regarding the issues ranging from the challenges of ossified and unresponsive bureaucracy to the dehumanizing effects of technology and large forces on the workplace and the labour market: one each from a worker, an entrepreneur, a business-owner, and a union representative.
Right and Duty to Work for All
In each of his responses, Pope Francis focused on the primacy of the human person over the reality and rights of labour and capital, insisting that only a correct vision of human nature can inform and direct our efforts to build a just and harmonious society.
The Pope also insisted forcefully on work as something given to man in the order of creation, and essential to genuine human flourishing.
“It is necessary, therefore, to look fearlessly and a sense of responsibility on the technological transformations of the economy and of life, he said, “without resigning ourselves to the ideology that seems to be gaining a foothold wherever one looks, which envisions a world in which only a half or maybe two-thirds of employable people actually work, and the others maintained with a welfare cheque.”
“It must be clear,” Pope Francis continued, “that the true objective to reach is not ‘income for all’ but ‘work for all’.”
Also on the Agenda
With a departure at 7AM, the schedule of the visit to the northern Italian port city on the Ligurian coast included five other major appointments, in addition to the meeting with the “world of labour”:
With the Bishops, priests, seminarians, and religious of Liguria, along with lay curial collaborators and representatives of other religious confessions at the Cathedral of San Lorenzo;
An encounter with young people attached to the Diocesan Mission at the Marian Sanctuary of the Madonna della Guardia;
Lunch at the sanctuary with a number of poor and homeless persons, refugees, and prisoners;
A moment with children from the various departments of the Giannina Gaslini Pediatric Hospital;
Solemn Mass at the Piazzale Kennedy, named for the first Catholic President of the United States.
We will be brining you coverage of the trip throughout the day.
(from Vatican Radio)…
Pope Francis has begun a one-day
visit to the northern Italian port city of Genoa to meet with workers, poor and
homeless people, refugees and prisoners. His opened his visit at ILVA, a
troubled steel-making company, where workers in hard hats awaited him. The visit
puts a focus on the plight of workers whose lives have been made precarious by
years of economic crisis. He traveled through a large factory hall in a
small electric car, waving and reaching out to shake hands with admirers, many
of whom held small white-and-yellow papal flags. People snapped photos with
smart phones and said “viva il papa!” _ which means “long live the pope!” Later the pontiff is to
also meet with poor and homeless people as well as refugees and prisoners.