Pope Francis says:True rest is found in Christ – not escapism

The commandment to rest on Sundays is an invitation to be centered on Christ and to give praise and thanksgiving for the gift of life, not to waste the day in distraction, Pope said it on Wednesday.
“For us Christians, the center of the Lord’s Day, Sunday, is the Eucharist, which means ‘thanksgiving.’ It is the day to say to God: thank you, thank you, Lord; thank you for life, for your mercy, for all your gifts,” the pope Francis said on Sept. 5.

Continuing his general audience catechists on the Ten Commandments,Pope Francis spoke about Sunday as “the day of rest,” which he said Christians may think is a simple and straightforward concept but is not.

He said that, Today society has a distorted view of rest, arguing that people only focus on what will be fun or what will bring them pleasure, and that the model of a successful person is someone who can afford many things, nice vacations, and to do whatever activities they please.

Pope said this kind of existence is “anesthetized,” however, filled with entertainment, alienation, and escape from reality – not true rest. “Man has never rested as much as today, yet man has never experienced as much emptiness as today!” he said.
“What then is rest according to this commandment?” he asked. “It is the moment of contemplation, it is the moment of praise, not of evasion. It is time to look at reality and say: how beautiful life is!”

The pope pointed to the example of those Christians who, though they are suffering from illness, have still “consoled us with a serenity that is not found in pleasure-seekers and hedonists! And we have seen humble and poor people rejoice in small graces with a happiness that tasted of eternity.”

This is how Catholics should aim to spend Sunday, he said. Not erasing the previous six with distractions but reflecting on the past week and thanking God for its blessings and its challenges; “making peace” with what has happened, saying: “Life is precious; it’s not easy, sometimes it’s painful, but it’s precious.”

Pope Francis discouraged Catholics from dwelling on bitterness, unhappiness, and discontent, and told them to open their hearts to accept even the difficult parts of their life, resisting the urge to run away from problems.
“Bending the heart to unhappiness, in fact, emphasizing reasons for discontent is very easy. Blessing and joy imply an openness to the good that is a mature movement of the heart,” he said.

He quoted the words of Genesis, at the end of the creation, when “God saw what he had done, and behold, it was very good.”

“And then begins the day of rest, which is God’s joy for what he has created,” he continued. “To be brought into authentic repose is a work of God in us.”

“Life becomes beautiful when the heart is opened to Providence and finds true what the Psalm says,” he concluded: “‘Only in God does my soul rest.’ This phrase from the Psalm is beautiful: ‘Only in God does my soul rest.’”

Archbishop Auza: Peace mediation calls for a “culture of encounter” involving all parties

Genuine negotiation in dispute settlement calls for a “culture of encounter” that places at the center of all political, social and economic activity with the human person, who enjoys the highest dignity, and respect for the common good.

Genuine peace mediation needs trustworthy mediators and must include all parties for a good that is mutually beneficial to all the parties involved, said Archbishop Bernadito Auza, the Holy See’s Apostolic Nuncio and Permanent Observer to the United Nations in New York.
Speaking on Wednesday at an open debate of the Security Council on mediation and settlement of disputes, the Vatican diplomat drew lessons from successful Holy See-mediated peace processes in disputes between Argentine and Chile, in Mozambique and recently in Colombia.

“The more demanding the path that leads to peace and understanding, the greater must be our efforts to acknowledge one another, to heal wounds, to build bridges, to strengthen relationships and support one another,”Archbishop Auza quoted the Pope Francis, and stressed that the culture of encounter, involving mutual respect and understanding, must be at the heart of not only settling disputes but also in daily life.

Human dignity and common good

Speaking about the Colombian peace process, Archbishop said that conflict resolution must be founded on the respect and defense of human dignity and the common good on it.   It is impossible, he said, to find a just way out of situations that generate violence without this principle of recognition and without the restoration of the dignity of those who suffered during conflicts.

Trustworthy mediators

And for mediation to be fair and impartial there must trustworthy mediators who are impartial, and persevering, in whom the parties in conflict can mutually trust.  Together they were work for the common purpose of achieving a good mutually beneficial to all the parties involved.

Another fundamental lesson one can draw from the Catholic Church’s mediation efforts is that all parties, not just the leadership, must be involved, including those who have suffered. Mediation, he said, involves listening and being close to the victims of injustices and violence of the conflict.

Holy See encourages culture of peace,compassion

Today’s vicious circle of violence, extremist ideologies, rights violations and the destruction of the environment can be countered only by protecting  human dignity and fostering a culture of peace, encounter and compassion.

Archbishop Bernadito Auza, the Holy See’s Apostolic Nuncio and Permanent Observer to the United Nations in New York made the remark at a high-level forum on the culture of peace on Wednesday.
Culture of peace

With today’s armed conflict between and within the states, terrorism and extremist ideologies, human rights violations and humanitarian abuses, as well as the devastation of the environment, the archbishop recalled the warning of Pope that we are descending into a “world war fought piecemeal”.  “This vicious cycle of violence” he said, “can only be broken by promoting and protecting the dignity of every human life, which must be defended and fostered to flourish within a culture of peace and through a culture of encounter animated by a sincere attitude of mutual respect and dialogue that is concretely manifested in mutual empathy and solidarity. “

“Works of solidarity are works of peace,” he stressed.


Pope Francis, the Filipino archbishop said, urges a spirit of compassion that embraces those in the vulnerable situations, like refugees and migrants who flee their homeland because of hunger, war, discrimination, poverty and environmental degradation.  This, the Vatican diplomat said, is an eminent expression of the culture of peace, which is the glue that binds together the mutually reinforcing fundamental pillars of the United Nations of upholding peace and security, of the respecting human rights and fostering development for all.

Mother Teresa

Addressing the high-level forum on the day the world observed the feast and death anniversary of Mother Teresa, September 5, Archbishop Auza said she embodied the spirit of the UN.  He recalled that before the Mother Teresa addressed the General Assembly on 26 October, 1985, UN Secretary-General Javier Pérez de Cuellar introduced her simply saying, “She is the United Nations. She is peace in this world.”

Pope to consecrated widows: Live a life of simplicity and humilty

In his prepared words to the women gathered, Pope Francis say that, underlined how "widowhood is a particularly difficult experience”, adding that some pour their energies into their children and grandchildren.

The Pope Franis said that with their consecration, the widows showed that it was possible, with the support and help of members of the Church, to live a life of service by exercising their family, professional and social responsibilities.

The Lord's gift

Your consecration in widowhood, noted by the Pope Francis, “is a gift that the Lord gives to his Church to remind all the baptized that the power of his merciful love is a path of life and holiness, which allows us to overcome the trials and be reborn in hope and in the joy of the Gospel.”

I invite you for, therefore, he said that, “to keep your gaze fixed on Jesus Christ and to cultivate the particular bond that unites you to Him. Because it is there, in the heart to heart with the Lord, listening to his word, that we draw the courage and perseverance to give…the best of ourselves through our consecration and our commitments.”

Simplicity and Humilty

The Pope Francis then urged the widows to use their experiences help the young and the poor, showing them the tenderness of the God and his closeness in love.
In this way, he went on to say, “I encourage you to live your consecration in daily life with simplicity and humility.”

Among those present on Thursday were the Fraternity of Our Lady of the Resurrection and the Community of Anne the Prophetess who are present in a number of countries and have been prematurely widowed. Their aim is to affirm the sustainability of married love anchored in Christ and intercede for couples.

Pope Paul VI who died 40 years ago underscored the centrality of man

Blessed Pope Paul VI who will be declared a saint on October 14, And he died 40 years ago on August 6, 1978.  Looking back at the 15-year pontificate, his postulator or promoter for canonization, Redemptorist Father Antonio Marrazzo, spoke to Vatican News saying Paul VI  gave a new direction to the Church’s journey on earth.  The Italian priest said that in his writings and the testament Paul VI revealed his understanding of man, especially as the image of God.

Man, image of God

The priest noted that 40 years after his death the Church continues to take a different path as indicated by the  Second Vatican Council and taught by Paul VI, which consists is putting man at the center, not so much in his anthropological aspect  as an end in itself but rather as an image of God - man as willed by God in his likeness, a man who has value and dignity".   

The Redemptorist priest explained that Paul VI had this outlook as a young priest and always showed his concern for the least, lost and last of the world.  According to Paul VI, we must regard man as God wants it – with tender mercy and the love that is not based on condemnation but on understanding and saving because in every man there will be an image of God that we must help re-emerge and resurface. 

Fr. Marrazzo said Paul VI was elected to carry forward the Second Vatican Council and guide it with a steady hand to make a "Samaritan" Church, the "handmaid of humanity" that is more inclined to "messages of trust" than "foreboding omens”. 
The postulator noted that Pope Paul’s earlier years in the Holy See’s diplomatic service was an art of listening and building peace.  Regarding the youth he focused on transmitting an intelligent and free faith, a culture thirsting for truth and open to dialogue.

As Archbishop of Milan, he showed a strong experience of Church of the people, close to the people together with its modernity.  

Unborn life

Pope Paul’s landmark encyclical “Humanae Vitae”, fifty years ago, the postulator said, affirmed the intimate union between the conjugal love and openness to life.  I

n this regard Fr. Marrazzo pointed out that both the miracles attributed to the intercession of Paul VI are regarding foetuses, i.e. unborn life.  Hence, he said that,  Paul VI could be regarded as the protector of unborn life. 

The Redemptorist priest explained that every miracle considered for Paul VI’s canonization is regarding a woman from Verona whose unborn child was in danger of being born dead or heavily deformed with a very slim chance of survival due to the lack of amniotic fluid. 

A gynecologist suggested to the family to pray to Paul VI around the time he was being beatified in October 2014.  The girl was born on Christmas day that year is healthy today, he said.  These two miracles, Fr. Marrazzo said, prove that from unborn life come forth persons who have already been considered children by God.