It was a very busy weekend in Rome with many significant events that happened over the past few days. However, let’s begin with a quick review of the Pope’s message during Divine Mercy Sunday where he said, "Don't be afraid of shame, open hearts to God's mercy."
Also from Rome this morning, the Vatican released the much anticipated Apostolic Exhortation from Pope Francis: “Gaudete et Exsultate”, on the call to holiness in today’s world.
Much of the document was written in the second person, speaking directly to the individual reading it. "With this exhortation”, the Pope wrote, “I would like to insist primarily on the call to holiness that the Lord addresses to each of us, the call that he also addresses, personally, to you."
Stating that he was not writing a theological treatise on holiness, Pope Francis focused primarily on how the call to holiness is a personal call, something God asks of each Christian and which requires a personal response given one's state in life, talents, and circumstances. “God calls all Christians to be saints -- not plastic statues of saints, but real people who make time for prayer and who show loving care for others in the simplest gestures. Do not be afraid of holiness. It will take away none of your energy, vitality or joy."
An apostolic exhortation is the second-highest form of papal teaching, after an Encyclical Letter. The Pope has published two other apostolic exhortations, Evangelii Gaudium" ("The Joy of the Gospel"), published in 2013 and "Amoris Laetitia," ("The Joy of Love"), released in 2016. The entire text of "Amoris Laetitia" is available on our website listed below.
Interestingly enough, this new Apostolic Exhortation expands upon themes that the Pope spoke about in November of 2014 at a General Audience where he spoke about sainthood. I share with you now a portion of this report from CNS
And finally tonight, I leave you with this. The Holy Father also released his monthly prayer intention video last week where he asks us to join him in prayer this April specifically for “Those who have Responsibility for Economic matters."
In his prayer intention for the month of April, Pope Francis said: “Let us raise our voices together, asking that economists may have the courage to reject an economy of exclusion and know how to open new paths”. Have a look.
And that is all that we have time for today. Join us again tomorrow, when I bring you more news and stories from the Perspective of a Catholic Lens.
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