Charity is the key to heaven : Pope Francis

After 25 years of Pope Saint John Paul II, Pope Francis visits the Shrine of the Mother of Mercy, and reminds us that closing our hearts to others deprives us of Jesus, who is impressed on every human heart.

The value of fraternity
When we build walls and close our hearts out of fear of others, “we end up depriving ourselves of the Good News of Jesus”. The Pope said that the image of Jesus is imprinted on every human heart, making it possible for us to encounter God. 
Pope Francis said that we “feel the need” to acknowledge one another as brothers and sisters and experience “with joy and peace the value of fraternity”.
To share, to Enrich
“Thanks to ready communications and the freedom of circulation between our countries” numerous nationalities, Catholic and Orthodox, are able to freely visit the Mother of Mercy  said Pope Francis. He expressed “how good it would be” if this could be accompanied by “ease in establishing points of encounter and solidarity” in order to share those gifts “we have freely received”. This, according to Pope Francis, would be a “source of enrichment in our lives”.
Charity is key
“The Mother of Mercy, like every good mother, tries to bring her family together” pope said. “She whispers in our ear: ‘Look for your brother, look for your sister’”, opening the door to “a new dawn, a new day”.
“They cry out for us to bring them the healing light of charity. For charity is the key that opens to us the door of heaven”, just as God did for Lazarus.The Mother brings us to the very doorstep of this new day, where the “children and families with bleeding wounds await us”. Referring to Lk 16:19-31, he said that these wounds are not those of Lazarus in the parable, but that “they are the wounds of Jesus”. 
Bridges, not walls
The Pope concluded by saying that crossing this doorstep will lead us to “experience the power that purifies our way of dealing with our neighbours”. Asking that Mary our Mother “grant that we may regard their limits and faults with mercy and humility, thinking ourselves superior to no one.” and that Lithuania “be a country that chooses to build bridges, not walls”.
Pope to youth: Be part of Jesus’ revolution of tenderness
“Your lives are not a piece of theatre; they are real and concrete”. Those were the words of Pope Francis on Saturday to young people gathered in Cathedral Square in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius. He explained to them that, “if life were a piece theatre or a video game, it would be limited to a precise time, and have a beginning and an end, when the curtain falls or one team wins the game.” But, the Pope added, “life measures time differently; it follows God’s heartbeat.”
Never give up
Having heard the testimonies of two young people, Monica and Jonas, the Holy Father told the youth present, that there are times “when you think you are falling apart, fires from which you think you can never rebuild.” But, he continued, “think of all the times this Cathedral went up in flames and fell apart. Yet there were always people ready to start rebuilding; they refused to let themselves be overwhelmed by hardship: they never gave up.”
Addressing both Monica and Jonas, he said, that their hardships which included the life and death of Monica’s father and Jonas’ illness could have been devastating for them. “Yet here you are, sharing your experience, seeing it with the eyes of faith…”
We are all interconnected
Pope Francis stressed to the young people in the square the importance of community, family and friends, “don’t let the world make you believe that it is better to do everything on your own”, he said. “Don’t yield to the temptation of getting caught up in yourself, ending up selfish or superficial in the face of sorrow, difficulty or temporary success.” We are all interconnected, “networked”. Who we really are has to do with our being part of a people. Identity is not the product of a laboratory; it is not concocted in a test tube. Aim for holiness through your encounters and your fellowship with other people; be attentive to their needs.”
Referring again to the testimonies of the two young people, the Pope commended their willingness to help others which, he said, in turn gave them support and put their difficulties into perspective. “Seeing the frailty of others gives us perspective; it helps us not to go through life licking own wounds”, he commented.
Prayer and Song
During his discourse the Holy Father also noted the power of prayer and song. Embracing music, the Pope explained, was a way to open oneself to the interior life, and he added, that prayer, as well as being an experience of “spiritual warfare”, was also how “we learn to listen to the Spirit”.
Pope Francis then urged all the young people gathered, “not to be afraid to take part in the revolution to which Jesus invites us: the revolution of tenderness.” He invites us, “to step out of ourselves and to risk a face-to-face encounter with others.” “Don’t ever be afraid to put your trust in Jesus”, the Pope said, “to embrace his cause, the cause of the Gospel. Because he never jumps off the ship of our life; he is always there at life’s crossroads. Even when our lives go up in flames, he is always there to rebuild them.”