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Day: October 26, 2017

Pope sends message for Social Week on the dignity of work

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Thursday sent a video message to participants in the 48th Social Week for Italian Catholics gathered in the Sardinian city of Cagliari.
In the lengthy message, the pope focuses on the dignity of work and the importance of putting people, not profits, at the heart of all economic systems.
Listen to our report:

Recalling that in the Bible, there are many people defined by the type of work they do – from farmers and fishermen, to carpenters or administrators – Pope Francis says God calls us through our jobs to put our skills and talents at the service of the common good.
He talks about the different kinds of work, including that which degrades, humiliates or exploits people through slavery, the arms trade, the black market, or jobs which offer no security from one month to the next.
The pope speaks of his own conversations with so many people living in fear of losing their jobs. Such precariousness is “immoral”, he says, as it “kills” people’s dignity, damaging their health, their families and the whole of society.
He mentions also those who work in dangerous or unhealthy conditions, leading to the deaths and injuries of hundreds of people here in Italy. He expresses his solidarity with all those who are unemployed or underemployed and are losing hope of ever finding a decently paid job.
The global economic system, the pope says, is focused on consumerism and not on human dignity or protection of the environment. But this is as dangerous as trying to cycle on a bicycle with flat tyres, he exclaims!
Finally the pope points to signs of hope, embodied by those who seek to create better working conditions and more trusting, respectful relationships in the workplace. Technological innovations must be put to the service of people and not be seen as an economic idol in the hands of the powerful.
(from Vatican Radio)…

Pope Francis speaks with ISS commander and crew

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis spoke via satellite link with the crew of the International Space Station on Thursday. Astronaut Randolph Bresnik of the US commands the current, 53rd ISS expedition, which has a complement of 5 mission specialists: Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli; Russian astronauts Sergey Ryanzansky and Alexander Misurkin; and US astronauts Joe Acaba and Mark Vande Hei.
Click below to hear our report

The video link-up lasted about 20 minutes, with the Holy Father speaking to the astronauts from the “auletta” of the Paul VI Hall, in the presence of the President of the Italian Space Agency (ASA), Roberto Battiston, and the Director of Earth Observation Programmes of the European Space Agency (ESA), Josef Aschbacher.
During the course of the virtual visit, Pope Francis asked questions of the astronauts, on topics ranging from the place of humanity in the universe, to the difference in perspective that living on the ISS brings, to the role of the “That Love which moves the sun and the other stars,” in their work of understanding, to their reasons for desiring to explore space. Watch the full video below…

(from Vatican Radio)…

Pope at daily Mass: Easy-going Christians don’t exist

(Vatican Radio) “Jesus calls us to change our lives, to change paths, calls us to conversion .” And this means fighting against evil, even in our own hearts, “a struggle that does not give you ease, but gives you peace.” That was the message of Pope Francis in his reflection during the morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta . Inspired by the day’s Gospel , Pope Francis explained that this is the “fire” that Jesus sets on earth – a fire, he said, that calls for change:
“Changing our way of thinking, changing our way of feeling. Your heart, which was worldly, pagan, now becomes Christian with the strength of Christ: to change, this is conversion. And changing your manner of acting: your works must change.”
It is, he continued, a conversion that “involves everything, body and soul, everything.” Pope Francis emphasized:
“It is a change, but it is not a change that is made with make-up. It is a change that the Holy Spirit makes, within. And I have to make it mine so that the Holy Spirit can act. And this means a battle, fighting!”
“Easy-going Christians, who don’t fight, don’t exist,” the Pope added. “Those are not Christians, they are lukewarm .” The tranquility necessary for sleep can be found “even with a pill,” he said, “but there are no pills” for inner peace. “Only the Holy Spirit,” can give “that peace of the soul that gives strength to Christians.” And, he said, “we must help the Holy Spirit,” by “making space in our hearts.” A daily examination of conscience “can help us in this,” the Pope said. It can help us “to fight against the maladies the enemy sows,” which he called “maladies of worldliness .”
“The fight Jesus wages against the devil, against evil, is not something old, it is a modern thing, a thing of today, of all days,” Pope Francis said, because “the fire that Jesus has come to bring us is in our hearts.” And so we must allow Him to enter, and must “ask ourselves, each day: how have I passed from worldliness, from sin, to grace? Have I made room for the Holy Spirit, so that He could act?”
“The difficulties in our lives are not resolved by watering down the truth. The truth is this: Jesus has brought fire, and struggle. What am I going to do?”
For conversion, Pope Francis concluded, “a generous and faithful heart” is needed: “generosity that always comes from love,” and “is faithful, faithful to the Word of God.”

(from Vatican Radio)…

Pope Francis receives Church of Scotland delegation

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Thursday addressed representatives from the Church of Scotland telling them that the mutual purification of memory is one of the most significant fruits of our common ecumenical journey.
Listen to our report: 

In his remarks to representatives of the Church of Scotland on Thursday, Pope Francis recalled that their meeting was taking place during the fifth centenary of the Reformation, which the Holy Father himself joined in commemorating last year in Lund, Sweden.
The Pope then gave thanks to the Lord for was he called “the great gift of being able to live this year in true fraternity, no longer as adversaries, after long centuries of estrangement and conflict.”
He went on to say that,  “this has been possible, with God’s grace, by the ecumenical journey that has enabled us to grow in mutual understanding, trust and cooperation. 
“ The mutual purification of memory is one of the most significant fruits of this common journey , the Holy Father said, adding, the past cannot be changed, yet today we at last see one another as God sees us.”
Addressing those gathered, Pope Francis underlined that “in the spirit of the Gospel, we are now pursuing the path of humble charity that leads to overcoming division and healing wounds.  He continued, we have begun a dialogue of communion, employing language befitting those who belong to God.  Such language is essential to evangelization , for how can we proclaim the God of love if we do not love one another?”
Persecuted Christians
During his discourse, the Pope turned his attention in particular to  those Christians who today face grave trials and sufferings, enduring persecution for the name of Jesus. 
The Holy Father said, “so many of them bear a heavy cross as they profess their faith, many to the point of martyrdom. 
He also emphasized that the dialogue directed to full unity, “our witness and our shared service, our commitment to pray for one another and to overcome the wounds of the past were also a response that is owed to them.”
Concluding his remarks Pope Francis expressed the hope that the journey to visible unity would continue daily and “bear rich fruits for the future, as it has in the recent past.”
(from Vatican Radio)…