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QUOTES FROM POPE FRANCIS

“Guidance by the Holy Spirit is integral to sharing the Gospel with others and bringing them to Christ, ” Pope Francis said during the general audience Wednesday 2nd October ‘19

"To try to convince people that Jesus is God without the guidance of the Holy Spirit is not Evangelization, If there is no Holy Spirit there is no Evangelization.”

Evangelisation  is letting yourself be guided by the Holy Spirit, let him be the one to push you to the announcement.

Francis prayed that “The Holy Spirit will make baptised men and women who announce the Gospel to attract others not to themselves but to Christ, who know how to make room for God’s action, who know how to make others free and responsible before the Lord.”

"The young and the elderly are the certainty of the survival of a country and of the Church."

In his Monday morning homily (30th Sept) at the Vatican’s Santa Marta guesthouse, Pope Francis said the vibrant presence of elderly and young people in communities demonstrates the presence of God.

“The abundance of elderly people and children. This is the sign that when a people care for the old and for the young, and consider them a treasure, there is the presence of God, a promise of future.”

"When the elderly and young are together, this is the sign that a people cherishes life, there is a culture of hope: the care of the young and the elderly.”

“The sign of life, the sign of respect for life, of love for life, the sign of making life grow, this is the sign of the presence of God in our communities."

In his homily, the Pope also reflected on one of his favourite moments from a recent papal trip to Romania, when a grandmother held up her nephew as he passed by, as if saying:

“this is my triumph.”

“I would like to say a big thankyou to the team who organised the Pilgrimage.  I loved every minute of our trip to Ireland.”

“We had such a good time. The memories will stay with us for a long time to come.”

“I think you must have handpicked all the Pilgrims because all who took part were  lovely happy and caring people.”

“I cannot put into words how I feel after the PIlgrimage with you all. The Pilgrimage to Knock was just what I wanted to move on in my life.”

“We had a fantastic time – even better than last year if that could be possible.”

“I am boring people to death telling them about our trip, but the love and kindness shown by every single person I met had overwhelmed me.”

The 3rd Annual Massabielle Pilgrimages  to The West of Ireland 25th - 29th May 2019

 

Archbishop Oscar Romero said ‘Evangelisation is not merely our task, entrusted to us by a now retired and exhausted Saviour.  It continues to be his task and as followers we sometimes help.  This is what we are about: 

 

We plant seeds that will one day grow.  

We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold a future promise. 

We lay foundations that will need further development. 

We provide yeast that produces effects far beyond our capabilities. 

We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realising that. 

This enables us to do something and to do it very well. 

It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way,  an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest.’

 

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Epiphanies - moments of grace in daily life - Mary Murphy


The Miracle of Lourdes

That year, the part of France in which we were staying with friends was only a couple of hours away from Lourdes, and we all agreed that a trip was in order. The day we had chosen to travel was one of the hottest we had experienced since arriving. A molten sun beat down mercilessly, scorching the air about us, leaving us limpand exhausted; and filling my head, at least, with a dazed longing for cool Irish streams, for blessed, fresh, Irish rain.

And Lourdes! Lourdes was instantly disappointing. I had never been there before and I had expected to feel ... I don't know ... something ... some sense of holiness of the place ... anything to indicate that this was a special place, a place apart, a place that enabled one to transcend the limitations of ordinary experience.

Instead, I found myself resenting everything: the suffocating heat, the crowds, the noise, the shops and stalls, the haggling and chattering, the smells of food which were making my stomach lurch sickeningly. Like a disappointed child I wanted to go home immediately.

We went to the Grotto but I could feel nothing, just a huge lump in my throat that kept threatening to choke me. Time passed in a hot, dizzying swirl of noise, shapes and colours; I dimly heard someone say that the procession of the sick had started.

I could hear the sound of voices raised in song and then the sick came into view; some walking, some in wheelchairs, some on stretchers - so many sick and suffering humans. I saw faces gaunt and emaciated; I saw bodies shrivelled and wasted.  I heard prayers uttered in many different tongues. I saw beseeching eyes, supplicating hands; above all, I witnessed a strength of noble courage of a kind I had never witnessed so powerfully before.

The air about me now was charged with compassion and love, with an almost unbearable tenderness. The holiness of the place settled about me for the first time - a holiness borne out of the gift of human suffering offered over and over again to God with faith and hope and love.

I became aware that  the lump in my throat had dissolved and that the tears were coursing down my face.  I felt my soul rise to be at one with the suffering and I felt the healing deep in my heart's core.

No one leaves Lourdes without a gain in faith. Moral and spiritual cures are more marvellous than physical cures. Some go to Lourdes with lifetime prejudices, yet their minds are cleared in a sudden manner. Frequently scepticism gives way to faith; coldness and antagonism become whole hearted love of God. Again and again those who are not cured of bodily pain receive an increase of faith and resignation – true peace of soul.