Pope Francis on St. Joseph the Sleeper

Speaking to families in the Philippines, Pope Francis gave this little meditation on St. Joseph.  I love it!  The basic organization is: Joseph sleeps; Joseph rises; Joseph gives witness.  And we families should be like Joseph!


pope francisThe Scriptures seldom speak of Saint Joseph, but when they do, we often find him resting, as an angel reveals God’s will to him in his dreams. In the Gospel passage we have just heard, we find Joseph resting not once, but twice. . . .

It is important to dream in the family. All mothers and fathers dream of their sons and daughters in the womb for 9 months. They dream of how they will be. It isn’t possible to have a family without such dreams. When you lose this capacity to dream you lose the capacity to love, the capacity to love is lost. I recommend that at night when you examine your consciences, ask yourself if you dreamed of the future of your sons and daughters. Did you dream of your husband or wife? Did you dream today of your parents, your grandparents who carried forward the family to you? It is so important to dream and especially to dream in the family. Please don’t lose the ability to dream in this way. How many solutions are found to family problems if we take time to reflect, if we think of a husband or wife, and we dream about the good qualities they have. Don’t ever lose the memory of when you were boyfriend or girlfriend. That is very important.

annunciation-to-josephJoseph’s rest revealed God’s will to him. In this moment of rest in the Lord, as we pause from our many daily obligations and activities, God is also speaking to us. He speaks to us in the reading we have just heard, in our prayer and witness, and in the quiet of our hearts. Let us reflect on what the Lord is saying to us, especially in this evening’s Gospel. There are three aspects of this passage which I would ask you to consider: resting in the Lord, rising with Jesus and Mary, and being a prophetic voice.

Resting in the Lord. Rest is so necessary for the health of our minds and bodies, and often so difficult to achieve due to the many demands placed on us. But rest is also essential for our spiritual health, so that we can hear God’s voice and understand what he asks of us. Joseph was chosen by God to be the foster father of Jesus and the husband of Mary. As Christians, you too are called, like Joseph, to make a home for Jesus. You make a home for him in your hearts, your families, your parishes and your communities.

To hear and accept God’s call, to make a home for Jesus, you must be able to rest in the Lord. You must make time each day for prayer. But you may say to me: Holy Father, I want to pray, but there is so much work to do! I must care for my children; I have chores in the home; I am too tired even to sleep well. Maybe I should try a saatva mattress. If we do not pray, we will not know the most important thing of all: God’s will for us. And for all our activity, our busy-ness, without prayer we will accomplish very little. . . .

Next, rising with Jesus and Mary. Those precious moments of repose, of resting with the Lord in prayer, are moments we might wish to prolong. But like Saint Joseph, once we have heard God’s voice, we must rise from our slumber; we must get up and act (cf. Rom 13:11). Faith does not remove us from the world, but draws us more deeply into it. Each of us, in fact, has a special role in preparing for the coming of God’s kingdom in our world. . . .

Finally, the Gospel we have heard reminds us of our Christian duty to be prophetic voices in the midst of our communities. Joseph listened to the angel of the Lord and responded to God’s call to care for Jesus and Mary. In this way he played his part in God’s plan, and became a blessing not only for the Holy Family, but a blessing for all of humanity. With Mary, Joseph served as a model for the boy Jesus as he grew in wisdom, age and grace (cf. Lk 2:52). When families bring children into the world, train them in faith and sound values, and teach them to contribute to society, they become a blessing in our world. God’s love becomes present and active by the way we love and by the good works that we do.

-Pope Francis

An Aparecida Prayer for the New Year

The Aparecida Conference began, on May 13, 2007, with an address by Pope Benedict XVI.  The Aparecida Document concludes by quoting extensively from that beautiful address.

The words below come from that quotation: they are words from both Pope Benedict and Aparecida, and thus the future Pope Francis.

I simply point out the Christocentrism: “stay with us, Lord.”  In this New Year, let us recall our deep need for the presence of Jesus in our lives.

Note that it first speaks of Jesus “enlightening our minds” through his word: our meditation on Scripture is a central way Jesus “stays with us.” And this “helps us to experience the beauty of believing” in him.

But then it speaks of how we need his presence: in our families, in our homes, and especially among the most vulnerable and the young.  Stay with us, Lord!


POPEStay with us, Lord, keep us company, even though we have not always recognized you. Stay with us, because all around us the shadows are deepening, and you are the Light; discouragement is eating its way into our hearts: make them burn with the certainty of Easter. We are tired of the journey, but you comfort us in the breaking of bread, so that we are able to proclaim to our brothers and sisters that you have truly risen and have entrusted us with the mission of being witnesses of your resurrection.


Stay with us, Lord, when mists of doubt, weariness or difficulty rise up around our Catholic faith; you are Truth itself, you are the one who reveals the Father to us: enlighten our minds with your word, and help us to experience the beauty of believing in you.


Remain in our families, enlighten them in their doubts, sustain them in their difficulties, console them in their sufferings and in their daily labors, when around them shadows build up which threaten their unity and their natural identity. You are Life itself: remain in our homes, so that they may continue to be nests where human life is generously born, where life is welcomed, loved and respected from conception to natural death.


Remain, Lord, with those in our societies who are most vulnerable; remain with the poor and the lowly, with indigenous peoples and Afro-Americans, who have not always found space and support to express the richness of their culture and the wisdom of their identity.


Remain, Lord, with our children and with our young people, who are the hope and the treasure of our Continent, protect them from so many snares that attack their innocence and their legitimate hopes. O Good Shepherd, remain with our elderly and with our sick. Strengthen them all in faith, so that they may be your disciples and missionaries!


-Conclusion of Aparecida Document, quoting Benedict XVI, “Inaugural Address of the Fifth Conference, Aparecida”

John Paul II on the Importance of Consecrated Life

Last Sunday we began the liturgical year 2015. Pope Francis has declared this a “Year of Consecrated Life,” a year to think about the importance of religious life. We will explore that importance throughout this year.

Today let us begin with a quotation from St. John Paul II’s Familiaris Consortio. John Paul is often called the “pope of the family.” No one has done so much to declare the dignity of the married vocation as John Paul. But that should not make us forget that, as John Paul himself says, “the Church, throughout her history, has always defended the superiority of this charism [of consecrated life] to that of marriage, by reason of the wholly singular link which it has with the Kingdom of God.”

Religious life reminds us that what marriage symbolizes is the marriage of the soul, and the Church, with Christ. It reminds us that marriage is at the service of holiness – that marriage is not a replacement for radical consecration, but a place where it is called out. We who are married need the witness of religious life to call us deeper into the true meaning of our vocation.

Let us pray for and encourage vocations to consecrated life. And let us keep ourselves close to them, that we may always be inspired by their necessary witness.

pope-john-paul-IIVirginity or celibacy for the sake of the Kingdom of God not only does not contradict the dignity of marriage but presupposes it and confirms it. Marriage and virginity or celibacy are two ways of expressing and living the one mystery of the covenant of God with His people. When marriage is not esteemed, neither can consecrated virginity or celibacy exist; when human sexuality is not regarded as a great value given by the Creator, the renunciation of it for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven loses its meaning. . . .

In virginity or celibacy, the human being is awaiting, also in a bodily way, the eschatological marriage of Christ with the Church, giving himself or herself completely to the Church in the hope that Christ may give Himself to the Church in the full truth of eternal life. The celibate person thus anticipates in his or her flesh the new world of the future resurrection.

By virtue of this witness, virginity or celibacy keeps alive in the Church a consciousness of the mystery of marriage and defends it from any reduction and impoverishment.

Virginity or celibacy, by liberating the human heart in a unique way, “so as to make it burn with greater love for God and all humanity,” bears witness that the Kingdom of God and His justice is that pearl of great price which is preferred to every other value no matter how great, and hence must be sought as the only definitive value. It is for this reason that the Church, throughout her history, has always defended the superiority of this charism to that of marriage, by reason of the wholly singular link which it has with the Kingdom of God. . . .

Christian couples therefore have the right to expect from celibate persons a good example and a witness of fidelity to their vocation until death. Just as fidelity at times becomes difficult for married people and requires sacrifice, mortification and self-denial, the same can happen to celibate persons, and their fidelity, even in the trials that may occur, should strengthen the fidelity of married couples.

-St. John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio, “On the Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World”

Thomas Aquinas on the Many Members of the Body

What does it mean to call the Church the Body of Christ? On the one hand, it has something to do with unity with him: his Holy Spirit is the soul of the Church; the Church is so united that it is as if one person with Jesus. So “mystical body of Christ” indicates some kind of mystical union.

On the other hand, there is St. Paul’s frequent teaching about “many parts, one body.” (This is so ubiquitous in Paul as to be arguably his central teaching, his deepest insight after seeing Jesus as the one he persecuted when he persecuted the Church: most obviously in Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12-14, Ephesians 1, Ephesians 5, Colossians 1.) In this sense “body” means diversity in unity: “For as in one body we have many members, and all the members do not have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us . . . .”

What is the connection between these senses of “body”? I recently found a great passage about it in Thomas Aquinas’s Commentary on Ephesians 1.

St Thomas AquinasPaul says, “he has made him the head over all things for the Church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.” He explains Christ’s power in relation to the Church. . . .

Now a head is related to the other members in three ways: first, by its preeminent placement; second, by the diffusion of powers, since the senses of the other members are derived from their connection to the head; last, by sharing the same nature as the members. . . .

When he says, “which is his body,” he explains what he means, by adding, “and his fullness.” For if someone asks why, in a natural body, there are so many different members, namely head, hands, mouth, etc., the answer is that by their many kinds of actions, they serve the soul, for the soul is the cause, and principle of those actions, and the power of those actions is originally in the soul.

For the body was made for the soul, not the reverse. In this way, the natural body could be called “the fullness of the soul,” for unless there were all the members of the body, the soul could not accomplish all its operations.

It is similar with Christ and the Church. The Church was instituted for Christ, so that the Church is called “his fullness,” the fullness of Christ – that is, so that all the actions which are in Christ’s power could be in a certain sense “filled out” in the members of the Church: when all the spiritual sensitivities, and gifts, and whatever else is in the Church – all of which are first superabundantly in Christ – come forth from him into the members of the Church, and are made perfect in those members.

So Paul adds, “who fills all in all”: namely when the wise one who is a member of the Chruch receives from him the perfect wisdom which is in Christ; the just one receives perfect justice; etc.

St. John Paul II on “Celebrating the Gospel of Life”

pope-john-paul-IIBecause we have been sent into the world as a “people for life”, our proclamation must also become a genuine celebration of the Gospel of life. This celebration, with the evocative power of its gestures, symbols and rites, should become a precious and significant setting in which the beauty and grandeur of this Gospel is handed on.

For this to happen, we need first of all to foster, in ourselves and in others, a contemplative outlook. Such an outlook arises from faith in the God of life, who has created every individual as a “wonder” (cf. Ps 139:14). It is the outlook of those who see life in its deeper meaning, who grasp its utter gratuitousness, its beauty and its invitation to freedom and responsibility.

It is the outlook of those who do not presume to take possession of reality but instead accept it as a gift, discovering in all things the reflection of the Creator and seeing in every person his living image (cf. Gen 1:27; Ps 8:5). This outlook does not give in to discouragement when confronted by those who are sick, suffering, outcast or at death’s door. Instead, in all these situations it feels challenged to find meaning, and precisely in these circumstances it is open to perceiving in the face of every person a call to encounter, dialogue and solidarity.

It is time for all of us to adopt this outlook, and with deep religious awe to rediscover the ability to revere and honour every person, as Paul VI invited us to do in one of his first Christmas messages.(108) Inspired by this contemplative outlook, the new people of the redeemed cannot but respond with songs of joy, praise and thanksgiving for the priceless gift of life, for the mystery of every individual’s call to share through Christ in the life of grace and in an existence of unending communion with God our Creator and Father.

. . .

We are called to express wonder and gratitude for the gift of life and to welcome, savour and share the Gospel of life not only in our personal and community prayer, but above all in the celebrations of the liturgical year. Particularly important in this regard are the Sacraments, the efficacious signs of the presence and saving action of the Lord Jesus in Christian life. The Sacraments make us sharers in divine life, and provide the spiritual strength necessary to experience life, suffering and death in their fullest meaning.

Thanks to a genuine rediscovery and a better appreciation of the significance of these rites, our liturgical celebrations, especially celebrations of the Sacraments, will be ever more capable of expressing the full truth about birth, life, suffering and death, and will help us to live these moments as a participation in the Paschal Mystery of the Crucified and Risen Christ.

In celebrating the Gospel of life we also need to appreciate and make good use of the wealth of gestures and symbols present in the traditions and customs of different cultures and peoples. There are special times and ways in which the peoples of different nations and cultures express joy for a newborn life, respect for and protection of individual human lives, care for the suffering or needy, closeness to the elderly and the dying, participation in the sorrow of those who mourn, and hope and desire for immortality.

. . .

Part of this daily heroism is also the silent but effective and eloquent witness of all those “brave mothers who devote themselves to their own family without reserve, who suffer in giving birth to their children and who are ready to make any effort, to face any sacrifice, in order to pass on to them the best of themselves”.

In living out their mission “these heroic women do not always find support in the world around them. On the contrary, the cultural models frequently promoted and broadcast by the media do not encourage motherhood. In the name of progress and modernity the values of fidelity, chastity, sacrifice, to which a host of Christian wives and mothers have borne and continue to bear outstanding witness, are presented as obsolete …

“We thank you, heroic mothers, for your invincible love! We thank you for your intrepid trust in God and in his love. We thank you for the sacrifice of your life … In the Paschal Mystery, Christ restores to you the gift you gave him. Indeed, he has the power to give you back the life you gave him as an offering” (homily for St. Gianna Beretta Molla).

-St. John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae

Thomas Aquinas on the Greatness of the Apostles

I stumbled on this interesting passage in which Thomas Aquinas, commenting on Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, bursts out in praise of the greatness of the Apostles. I knew the tradition had greater devotion than we often do to the Apostles, but I enjoyed reading a sober mind express that devotion.

We each have vocations, and God gives us grace for our vocations. But think of the vocation of the Apostles: to found the Church, to set out when there was no one to help them, to begin the traditions, both of liturgy and of doctrine, on which the Church infallibly stands.

Next time you see a statue of an apostle, imagine what riches of grace God gave them. Love the Church, which is one, holy, catholic and apostolic, and receive her as a gift from Christ. And imagine the power of grace, that could build such a Church, with such depth of wisdom, to stand through the ages as a beacon of hope.

 St Thomas AquinasFirst Paul says: by the riches of his grace, all the faithful, you the same as we, have redemption and the remission of sins through the blood of Christ – but that grace superabounds in us, that is, it is more abundant in the apostles than in others.

We see then the gall, not to mention the error, of those who presume to compare the other saints to the apostles in terms of grace and glory. For it is clear from these words that the apostles have greater grace than any other saints, after Christ and the Virgin Mother.

One might say that the other saints can attain the same merit as the apostles, and thus can receive the same greatness of grace. To this we say that it is true, if by “grace” you mean “merit” – but that is not grace, as Paul says in Romans 11:6.

And thus, as God preordains some saints for higher honors, so he pours into them a more abundant grace – just as he gave a truly singular grace to Christ the man, whom he assumed into the unity of his person. And the glorious virgin Mary, whom he chose as mother, he filled both body and soul with grace.

And so to the apostles: as he called them to unique majesty, he bestowed on them the privilege of a unique grace, which Paul mentions in Romans: we ourselves are given the first fruits of the Spirit (8:23). It is therefore insolent to compare any saint to the apostles.

The grace of God superabounded in the apostles in all wisdom. For the apostles were put forward as pastors of the Chuch. As Jeremiah says: I will give you pastors according to my own heart, and they will pasture you with knowledge and doctrine (3:15)

Now pastors require two things, namely that they be sublime in the knowledge of divine things, and industrious in religious deeds. For those beneath them must be instructed in the faith, and for this is necessary wisdom, which is knowledge of divine things, and so he says [in Ephesians], in all wisdom. I will give you a mouth and wisdom, against which your adversaries cannot speak or resist (Luke 21:15).

Also, they must govern those beneath them in exterior things, and this requires prudence. For they govern the temporalities of the Church, and thus he says prudence. Therefore be prudent (Matt 10:16). Thus we see the advantages given to the apostles with regard to the excellence of wisdom.

Next he speaks of their advantage with regard to the excellence of revelation, that the mystery was made known to us, as if he says, “our wisdom is not that we would know the natures of things, and the movement of the stars, etc., but Christ alone.” For I judge myself not to know anything among you, except Christ Jesus (1 Cor 2:2). Thus he says, the mystery, that is, the sacred secret, namely the mystery of the incarnation, which was hidden from the beginning.

-Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on Ephesians

St. John Paul II on “Schools of Prayer”

Too little known is John Paul II’s spiritual testimony Novo Millennio Ineunte, “At the Close of the Great Jubilee Year 2000.” As we begin the new millennium, said the great Pope, above all we must “contemplate the face of Christ.” And he explains why. The quotation below nicely frames this in terms of evangelization, a nice contact with the Aparecida document.

We often hear of how people today want “spirituality, but not religion.” We can approach that phenomenon with scolding. But John Paul approaches it with evangelization. They want spirituality? We have that! And we have it more deeply, because we can enter into the journey “totally sustained by grace”: Christ graces us new depths of spirituality.

Notice that at the end he says “our Christian communities” – not “some communities,” or “here or there,” but any “Christian community” worthy o the name – must “become schools of prayer.”

And schools, finally, that by teaching us to fall in love with Christ teach us also the true meaning of falling in love with our neighbor.

pope-john-paul-II Is it not one of the “signs of the times” that in today’s world, despite widespread secularization, there is a widespread demand for spirituality, a demand which expresses itself in large part as a renewed need for prayer? Other religions, which are now widely present in ancient Christian lands, offer their own responses to this need, and sometimes they do so in appealing ways. But we who have received the grace of believing in Christ, the revealer of the Father and the Saviour of the world, have a duty to show to what depths the relationship with Christ can lead.

The great mystical tradition of the Church of both East and West has much to say in this regard. It shows how prayer can progress, as a genuine dialogue of love, to the point of rendering the person wholly possessed by the divine Beloved, vibrating at the Spirit’s touch, resting filially within the Father’s heart. This is the lived experience of Christ’s promise: “He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him” (Jn 14:21).

It is a journey totally sustained by grace, which nonetheless demands an intense spiritual commitment and is no stranger to painful purifications (the “dark night”). But it leads, in various possible ways, to the ineffable joy experienced by the mystics as “nuptial union”. How can we forget here, among the many shining examples, the teachings of Saint John of the Cross and Saint Teresa of Avila?

Yes, dear brothers and sisters, our Christian communities must become genuine “schools” of prayer, where the meeting with Christ is expressed not just in imploring help but also in thanksgiving, praise, adoration, contemplation, listening and ardent devotion, until the heart truly “falls in love”. Intense prayer, yes, but it does not distract us from our commitment to history: by opening our heart to the love of God it also opens it to the love of our brothers and sisters, and makes us capable of shaping history according to God’s plan.

What “Christian communities” are you part of? How could they become better “schools of prayer”?

Aparecida on Christ and Culture

The following quote makes an interesting argument, moving from one point to another in perhaps an unexpected way.

The first point is specifically about Latin American culture. When the Gospel came to the Indians, it did not hurt their culture, it liberated it. By itself that is perhaps a happy, pat-ourselves-on-the-back Catholic triumph.

But Aparecida draws an important conclusion about culture in general. Today there is a great concern, including among some Catholics, to rediscover cultural particularity: a sense of place, a distinct way of life, artistic traditions, etc. The quotation below simply argues that this need not be opposed to the universality of the Church, of truth, and of the Gospel. The best way to really live local culture is to set it free through encounter with the truth who is Christ, and the universality which is the global Church.

Two other conclusions: first, within the truth of Christ – not outside it – we discover the true place of dialogue, of appreciating and affirming legitimate differences. I, an Anglo-American, can appreciate the best in Latin American, African, or Asian culture precisely through our contact in the Truth which is Christ.

And second, Christ is the truth. If you really want truth, if you really want culture, seek ye first his face, his kingdom, his righteousness. Don’t start with culture; find culture in Christ.

brazil-popeThe proclamation of Jesus and of his Gospel did not at any point involve an alienation of the pre-Columbian cultures, nor was it the imposition of a foreign culture. Authentic cultures are not closed in upon themselves, nor are they set in stone at a particular point in history, but they are open, or better still, they are seeking an encounter with other cultures, hoping to reach universality through encounter and dialogue with other ways of life and with elements that can lead to a new synthesis, in which the diversity of expressions is always respected as well as the diversity of their particular cultural embodiment.

Ultimately, it is only the truth that can bring unity, and the proof of this is love. That is why Christ, being in truth the incarnate Logos, “love to the end”, is not alien to any culture, nor to any person; on the contrary, the response that he seeks in the heart of cultures is what gives them their ultimate identity, uniting humanity and at the same time respecting the wealth of diversity, opening people everywhere to growth in genuine humanity, in authentic progress.

-The Aparecida Document

Pope Francis on Being Evangelized by the Poor

The following words from Pope Francis take us to the heart of the “preferential option for the poor.” They are a brilliant challenge.

Francis points out that the poor are not only to be recipients of our largesse. They should teach us. We need to see in their faces what suffering really means – especially us middle-class Americans who are so isolated from true suffering. He contrasts an “activist” way of approaching the poor with a “contemplative” one.

The latter part of the quotation urges the importance of including the poor in the Church. Think of all the pastoral initiatives you know: how many of them are not directly focused on the rich and powerful – missions to lawyers, to intellectuals, to colleges, to people online, through middle-class white pop culture, etc.? But if we need to contemplate the poor, what happens to us when we exclude them? What happens to our witness if we only go to those who can materially benefit us?

Notice, by the way, that the harshest, most challenging words here on the centrality of the poor to our apostolate are quotations from St. John Paul II.

pope francisThis is why I want a Church which is poor and for the poor. They have much to teach us. Not only do they share in the sensus fidei [i.e., they too have insight into the meaning of our faith], but in their difficulties they know the suffering Christ. We need to let ourselves be evangelized by them.

The new evangelization is an invitation to acknowledge the saving power at work in their lives and to put them at the centre of the Church’s pilgrim way. We are called to find Christ in them, to lend our voice to their causes, but also to be their friends, to listen to them, to speak for them and to embrace the mysterious wisdom which God wishes to share with us through them.

Our commitment does not consist exclusively in activities or programmes of promotion and assistance; what the Holy Spirit mobilizes is not an unruly activism, but above all an attentiveness which considers the other “in a certain sense as one with ourselves” (St. Thomas). This loving attentiveness is the beginning of a true concern for their person which inspires me effectively to seek their good.

This entails appreciating the poor in their goodness, in their experience of life, in their culture, and in their ways of living the faith. True love is always contemplative, and permits us to serve the other not out of necessity or vanity, but rather because he or she is beautiful above and beyond mere appearances: “The love by which we find the other pleasing leads us to offer him something freely” (St. Thomas).

The poor person, when loved, “is esteemed as of great value” (St. Thomas), and this is what makes the authentic option for the poor differ from any other ideology, from any attempt to exploit the poor for one’s own personal or political interest. Only on the basis of this real and sincere closeness can we properly accompany the poor on their path of liberation.

Only this will ensure that “in every Christian community the poor feel at home. Would not this approach be the greatest and most effective presentation of the good news of the kingdom?”(JP II) Without the preferential option for the poor, “the proclamation of the Gospel, which is itself the prime form of charity, risks being misunderstood or submerged by the ocean of words which daily engulfs us in today’s society of mass communications” (JP II).

Since this Exhortation is addressed to members of the Catholic Church, I want to say, with regret, that the worst discrimination which the poor suffer is the lack of spiritual care. The great majority of the poor have a special openness to the faith; they need God and we must not fail to offer them his friendship, his blessing, his word, the celebration of the sacraments and a journey of growth and maturity in the faith. Our preferential option for the poor must mainly translate into a privileged and preferential religious care.

-Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium

Pope Benedict on Loving our Neighbor – Today

Pope Francis’s concern for social justice sometimes makes people nervous. What they perhaps don’t realize is that he’s saying the same thing as his predecessors.

Below is a brief passage from Pope Benedict’s inaugural encyclical, on love. He warns us that sometimes our social thinking is more worried about progress than about real live people today. Yes, we should work for a more efficient market down the road. But let us keep everything subservient to real live human beings.

What could this mean for us, in our day-to-day life?

POPEWhat we have here, though, is really an inhuman philosophy. People of the present are sacrificed to the moloch of the future—a future whose effective realization is at best doubtful.

One does not make the world more human by refusing to act humanely here and now. We contribute to a better world only by personally doing good now, with full commitment and wherever we have the opportunity, independently of partisan strategies and programmes.

The Christian’s programme —the programme of the Good Samaritan, the programme of Jesus—is “a heart which sees”. This heart sees where love is needed and acts accordingly.

–Pope Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est?