Words of encouragement from Pope Francis

STRONG IN THE FACE OF TRIBULATION

The Church in Communion: A Sure Support in time of trial

The Vatican has released this free book of Pope Francis’ homilies and prayers for difficult times and is available to download in English – search for the title “Strong in the face of Tribulation” The book is 192 pages so think before you print!

Here is an extract from the forward –

For many members of the faithful, the impossibility of participating in the liturgy and partaking of the Sacraments aggravates this condition of uncertainty, discomfort and confusion, even though the Church invites us to renew our faith in the Risen Christ, who conquered death, and made it the place of the sure encounter with the loving face of the Father.

The present difficulties have stimulated the creativity and inventiveness of many priests, who by using the new means of communication, make themselves present in the life of their communities and families confined to their homes in semi-deserted cities. The evidence of what is happening demands that we to live this time for the benefit of all, especially for those most at risk, in the solitude of our homes, hospitals and nursing homes. Of course, the questions of faith remain, for not even as believers have we been educated recently to live through such crises, to experience ecclesial communion in spite of separation and distance, without yielding to the temptation of an entirely personal devotion.

It is useful to remember that it is certainly not the first time that humanity, and Christians, have found themselves facing these types of events. Christian faith, lived daily in its essential elements, generates an outlook on reality. It provides the possibility of glimpsing the hand of a God who is a good Father and who has loved us so much that He sacrificed His Son for us.

The Church thus bears in the treasury of her living tradition, a treasury of wisdom, of hope, the opportunity to continue to experience – in solitude or even in isolation – that we are truly “one” thanks to the action of the Holy Spirit.

This book is intended to be a little help offered to all, so as to know how to discern and experience God’s closeness and tenderness in pain, in suffering, in solitude and in fear. Of course, faith does not eliminate pain; ecclesial communion does not eliminate anguish. Rather, it does illuminate reality and reveal that it is pervaded by the love and hope based not on our abilities, but on the One Who is faithful and never abandons us.

 

Lord, may you bless the world, give health to our bodies and comfort our hearts.

You ask us not to be afraid. Yet our faith is weak and we are fearful.

But you, Lord, will not leave us at the mercy of the storm.

Tell us again: “Do not be afraid” (Mt 28:5). And we, together with Peter,

“cast all our anxieties onto you, for you care about us” (cf 1Pet 5:7).

Along with prayers and intercessions there are Pope Francis’s words and messages from Homilies, Angelus and Regina Coeli beginning on 9th March 2020 through to the Second Sunday of Easter. An inspiring and comforting read.

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