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Celebration, Work & Prayer

1st Catechesis by Pope Francis on the Family - Celebration
General Audience, Wednesday 12 August 2015 - in Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese & Spanish

"Dear Brothers and Sisters, Good morning!
Today we open a short series of reflections on the three dimensions that articulate, so to speak, the rhythm of family life: celebration, work, prayer.

Let’s begin with celebration. Today we will speak about celebration. And let’s say straight away that celebration is the invention of God. Let us recall the conclusion of the story of Creation in the Book of Genesis, which we have heard: “And on the seventh day God finished his work which he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all his work which he had done in creation” (2:2-3). God himself teaches us the importance of dedicating time to contemplate and enjoy what has been done well in work. I speak of work, naturally, not only in the sense of employment and profession, but in the broader sense: every action by which we as men and women cooperate in God’s creative work.

Thus celebration is not lazily lounging in an armchair, or the euphoria of foolish escape. No, celebration is first and foremost a loving and grateful look at work well done; we celebrate work. You too, newlyweds, are celebrating the work of a fine period of engagement: and this is beautiful! It is the time to look at your children, or grandchildren, who are growing up, and to think: how beautiful! It’s the time to look at our home, the friends we host, the community that surrounds us, and to think: what a good thing! God did this when he created the world. And he does so again and again, because God is always creating, even at this moment!

It may happen that a celebration occurs in difficult or sorrowful circumstances, and perhaps we celebrate “with a lump in our throat”. Yet, even in these cases, we ask God for the strength not to empty it completely. You mothers and fathers really understand this: how many times, for love of your children, you are able to swallow your sorrows so as to let them enjoy the celebration, to savour the good taste of life! There is so much love in this!

In the workplace too, at times — without neglecting our duties — we are able to let “infiltrate” a glint of celebration: a birthday, a wedding, a birth, just as a farewell or a new arrival..., it’s important. It’s important to celebrate. These are family moments in the inner workings of the productive machinery: it does us good!

A true moment of celebration brings work to a pause, and it is sacred, because it reminds men and women that they are made in the image of God, who is not a slave to work, but its Lord, and thus we too must never be slaves to work, but its “lords”. There is a commandment about this, a commandment which concerns everyone, without exception! Yet we know that there are millions of men and women and even children who are slaves to labour! At this time there are slaves, they are exploited, slaves to labour and this is against God and against the dignity of the human person! The obsession with economic profit and technical hyper-efficiency put the human rhythms of life at risk, for life has its human rhythms. The time for rest, especially on Sunday, is ordained for us so that we can enjoy what is not produced and not consumed, not bought and not sold. Instead we see that the ideology of profit and consumerism even wants to feed on celebration: it too is sometimes reduced to a “business”, to a way of making and spending money. But is this what we are working for? The greed of consumerism, which leads to waste, is an ugly virus which, among other things, makes us end up even more tired than before. It harms true labour and consumes life. Irregular rhythms of celebration often make victims of the young.

Ultimately, the time for celebration is sacred because God is there in a special way. Sunday Eucharist brings to the celebration every grace of Jesus Christ: his presence, his love, his sacrifice, his forming us into a community, his being with us.... And like this every reality receives its full meaning: work, family, the joys and trials of each day, even suffering and death; everything becomes transfigured by the grace of Christ.

The family is endowed with an extraordinary ability to understand, guide and sustain the authentic value of the time for celebration. How beautiful family celebrations are, they are beautiful! Sunday celebrations in particular. It is surely no coincidence that celebrations which have room for the whole family are those that turn out the best!

Family life itself, regarded through the eyes of faith, looks better to us than the toils that cost us. It looks to us like a masterpiece of simplicity, beautiful precisely because it is not artificial, not false, but able to incorporate within itself all aspects of real life. It looks to us like something “very good”, as God says at the completion of the creation of man and woman (cf. Gen 1:31). Thus, celebration is a precious gift of God; a precious gift that God gave to the human family: let’s not spoil it!"

"Chers amis de langue française, je suis heureux de vous saluer, particulièrement les membres de l’Association Claire Amitié, avec Mgr Yves Patenôtre, et la jeunesse franciscaine de Bitche. Que votre séjour à Rome soit pour tous l’occasion de redécouvrir, en famille, le vrai sens de la fête ! Que Dieu vous bénisse !

[Sono lieto di salutare i pellegrini di lingua francese, in particolare i membri dell’Associazione Claire Amitié con Mons. Yves Patenôtre, e la gioventù francescana di Bitche. Il vostro soggiorno a Roma sia per tutti l’occasione di riscoprire in famiglia in vero senso della festa. Dio vi benedica!]

I offer an affectionate greeting to all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present at today’s Audience, including those from Malta, Zimbabwe, the Philippines, and Trinidad and Tobago. May your families celebrate daily the Lord’s love and mercy, and be a sign of his abiding presence in the world. May God bless you all!

[Saluto cordialmente i pellegrini di lingua inglese presenti a questa Udienza, specialmente quelli provenienti da Malta, Zimbabwe, Filippine e Trinidad e Tobago. Le vostre famiglie celebrino tutti i giorni l’amore e la misericordia del Signore, e siano un segno della Sua presenza costante nel mondo. Dio vi benedica tutti!]

Sehr herzlich grüße ich die Pilger deutscher Sprache, die an dieser Audienz teilnehmen. Tun wir alles, um den Sonntag und die Feiertage in unseren Familien gut zu leben und so die Gemeinschaft unter uns und mit dem Herrn zu vertiefen! Ich wünsche euch einen schönen Urlaub und einen guten Aufenthalt in Rom. Von Herzen segne ich euch alle.

[Con affetto saluto i pellegrini di lingua tedesca presenti a quest’Udienza. Impegniamoci a vivere bene la domenica e le feste, nelle nostre famiglie, per intensificare la comunione tra noi e con il Signore! Vi auguro buone vacanze e un buon soggiorno a Roma. Di cuore vi benedico tutti.]

Saludo cordialmente a los peregrinos de lengua española, en particular a los grupos provenientes de España y Latinoamérica. Que el Señor nos conceda a todos vivir el tiempo de descanso, las fiestas, la celebración del domingo, con los ojos de la fe, como un precioso regalo que ilumina nuestra vida familiar. Muchas gracias.

[Saluto cordialmente i pellegrini di lingua spagnola, in particolare i gruppi provenienti da Spagna e America latina. Che il Signore conceda a tutti noi di vivere il tempo del riposo, le feste, la celebrazione della Domenica, con gli occhi della fede, come un dono prezioso che illumina la nostra vita familiare. Grazie mille.]

Dirijo uma saudação cordial a todos os peregrinos de língua portuguesa. Sois chamados a ser testemunhas do Evangelho no mundo, transfigurados pela alegria e pela graça misericordiosa que Jesus nos dá cada domingo na Santa Missa. Desça sobre vós e sobre vossas famílias a bênção de Deus.

[Rivolgo un cordiale saluto a tutti i pellegrini di lingua portoghese. Siete chiamati ad essere testimoni del Vangelo nel mondo, trasfigurati dalla gioia e dalla grazia misericordiosa che Gesù ci dona ogni Domenica nella Santa Messa. Scenda su di voi e sulle vostre famiglie la benedizione di Dio. ]

أُرحّبُ بالحجّاجِ الناطقينَ باللغةِ العربيّة، وخاصةً بالقادمينَ منالشرق الأوسط. أيّها الإخوةُ والأخواتُ الأعزّاء، إنّ الإنسان المخلوق على صورة الله ومثاله مدعوٌّ أيضًا للراحة والعيد، ويوم العيد بالنسبة لنا نحن المسيحيّين هو يوم الأحد، يوم الربّ. أيتّها العائلات العزيزة، حتى في أنماط زمننا السريعة، لا تفقدوا معنى يوم الربّ! إنّه كواحة نتوقّف فيها لنتذوّق فرح اللقاء ونروي عطشنا لله.

[Rivolgo un cordiale benvenuto ai pellegrini di lingua araba, in particolare a quelli provenienti dal Medio Oriente! Cari fratelli e sorelle, l’uomo, in quanto immagine di Dio, è chiamato anche al riposo e alla festa, e per noi cristiani il giorno di festa è la Domenica, giorno del Signore. Care famiglie, pur nei ritmi serrati della nostra epoca, non perdete il senso del giorno del Signore! E’ come l’oasi in cui fermarsi per assaporare la gioia dell’incontro e dissetare la nostra sete di Dio.]

Pozdrawiam polskich pielgrzymów. W sobotę będziemy obchodzili uroczystość Wniebowzięcia Matki Bożej. Z tej okazji liczni polscy wierni, w towarzystwie ich kapłanów, zakonników i zakonnic, udają się na pieszą pielgrzymkę do jasnogórskiego Sanktuarium, aby oddać cześć Maryi i modlić się o wstawiennictwo w różnych intencjach, jakie każdy niesie w swoim sercu. Jednoczę się z tymi pielgrzymami i z wami, tu obecnymi, w modlitwie za was i za wasze rodziny. Módlcie się również za mnie. Niech Bóg wam wszystkim błogosławi!

[Saluto i pellegrini polacchi. Sabato celebreremo la solennità dell’Assunzione della Madre di Dio. In questa occasione numerosi fedeli polacchi, accompagnati dai loro sacerdoti, religiosi e religiose si recano a piedi in pellegrinaggio al Santuario di Jasna Góra, per rendere omaggio a Maria e chiedere la Sua intercessione per le diverse intenzioni che ognuno porta nel cuore. Mi unisco a quei pellegrini e a voi qui presenti nella preghiera per voi e per le vostre famiglie. Pregate anche per me! Dio vi benedica tutti!]

* * *

Rivolgo un cordiale benvenuto ai pellegrini di lingua italiana. In particolare, saluto con affetto voi, Suore di Santa Marta, che celebrate il Capitolo generale, e vi esorto a proseguire con gioia l’impegno di servire Gesù nei fratelli più bisognosi, ad imitazione del fondatore, il beato Tommaso Reggio, che amava ripetervi: «la carità ha le ali ai piedi, volate là dove l’indigenza del più povero lo richiede».

Saluto i partecipanti al Campo Internazionale promosso dall’Opera per la Gioventù “Giorgio La Pira” e quanti prendono parte al convegno “Etica e Democrazia”. Un pensiero particolare rivolgo alle Capitolari delle Suore della Madonna del Divino Amore. Su tutti invoco l’abbondanza dei doni dello Spirito Santo per un rinnovato fervore spirituale e apostolico.

Saluto cordialmente i giovani, gli ammalati e gli sposi novelli. Abbiamo celebrato ieri la memoria di Santa Chiara d’Assisi, luminoso modello di giovane, che ha saputo vivere con coraggio e generosità la sua adesione a Cristo. Imitate il suo esempio particolarmente voi, cari ragazzi e ragazze, perché possiate come lei rispondere fedelmente alla chiamata del Signore. Incoraggio voi, cari malati, ad unirvi ogni giorno a Gesù sofferente nel portare con fede la vostra croce per la salvezza di tutti gli uomini.

E voi, cari sposi novelli, siate sempre nella vostra famiglia apostoli del Vangelo dell’amore."

© Copyright - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

2nd Catechesis by Pope Francis on the Family - Work
General Audience, Wednesday 19 August 2015 - in Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese & Spanish

"Dear Brothers and Sisters, Good morning!
After having reflected on celebration in the life of the family, today we will ponder a complimentary element, that of work. Both are part of God’s creative design, celebration and work.

Work, as it is commonly said, is necessary for maintaining the family, for raising children, for ensuring a dignified life for our loved ones. In speaking about a serious, honest person, the most beautiful thing that can be said is: “he or she is a worker”, one who works, one who in a community doesn’t just live off of others. There are many Argentinians today, I see, and I will say what we say: “No vive de arriba” [Don’t just live it up].

And indeed work, in its many forms, beginning with that in the home, is also concerned with the common good. Where does one learn this hard-working lifestyle? First of all, one learns it in the family. The family teaches work through the example of the parents: the father and the mother who work for the good of the family and of society.

In the Gospel, the Holy Family of Nazareth appears as a family of workers, and Jesus himself is called “son of a carpenter” (Mt 13:55) and even “the carpenter” (Mk 6:3). And St Paul would not fail to warn Christians: “If any one will not work, let him not eat” (2 Thess 3:10) — that’s a good recipe for losing weight, you don’t work, you don’t eat! The Apostle explicitly refers to the false spiritualism of some who indeed live off their brothers and sisters “not doing any work” (2 Thess 3:11). Commitment to work and the spiritual life, in the Christian conception, are not at all at odds with one another. It is important to understand this properly! Prayer and work can and must be in harmony, as St Benedict teaches. The absence of work damages the spirit, just as the absence of prayer damages practical activity.

Work — I repeat, in its many forms — is proper to the human person. It expresses the dignity of being created in the image of God. Thus, it is said that work is sacred. And thus, managing one’s occupation is a great human and social responsibility, which cannot be left in the hands of the few or unladen onto some divinized “market”. Causing the loss of jobs means causing serious harm to society. It makes me sad to see people without work, who don’t find work and don’t have the dignity of bringing bread home. And I rejoice greatly when I see governments go to great lengths to find jobs and try to see to it that everyone has work. Work is sacred, work gives dignity to a family. We have to pray that no family is left without work.

Therefore, work too, like celebration, is part of God’s creative plan. In the Book of Genesis, the theme of the earth like a back yard, entrusted to the care and cultivation of man (2, 8:15), is anticipated by a very moving passage: “In the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, when no plant of the field was yet in the earth and no herb of the field had yet sprung up — for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was no man to till the ground; but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground” (2:4-6). It’s not romanticism, it is God’s revelation; and we are responsible for understanding and implementing it. The Encyclical Laudato Si’, which proposes an integral ecology, also contains this message: the beauty of the earth and the dignity of work were made to be united. The two go together: the earth becomes beautiful when it is worked by man. When work is detached from God’s covenant with man and woman, and it is separated from its spiritual qualities, when work is held hostage by the logic of profit alone and human life is disregarded, the degradation of the soul contaminates everything: even the air, water, grass, food ... the life of society is corrupted and the habitat breaks down. And the consequences fall most of all on the poor and on poor families. The modern organization of work sometimes shows a dangerous tendency to consider the family a burden, a weight, a liability for the productivity of labour. But let us ask ourselves: what productivity? And for whom? The so-called “smart city” is undoubtedly rich in services and organization; but, for example, it is often hostile to children and the elderly. At times those in charge are interested in managing individuals as a workforce, assembling and utilizing them or throwing them away on the basis of economic benefit. The family is a great workbench. When the organization of work holds it hostage, or even blocks its path, then we can be certain that human society has begun to work against itself!

In this circumstance, Christian families are posed a great challenge and a great mission. They bring to the field the foundations of God’s Creation: the identity is the bond between man and woman, the procreation of children, the work which harnesses the earth and renders the world habitable. The loss of these foundations is a very serious matter and there are already too many cracks in the common home! It is not an easy task. Sometimes it may seem to family associations as though they are like David facing Goliath ... but we know how that challenge turned out! It takes faith and shrewdness. In this difficult moment of our history, may God grant us the ability to accept with joy and hope his call, the call to work to give dignity to ourselves and to our families."

"Je salue cordialement les pèlerins de langue française, particulièrement les prêtres en cette fête de saint Jean Eudes.
En ce moment difficile de notre histoire, demandons au Seigneur de soutenir les familles dans leur vie quotidienne et dans leur mission. Qu’il leur accorde de garder fidèlement et courageusement les valeurs fondamentales de la création.

[Saluto cordialmente i pellegrini di lingua francese, particolarmente i sacerdoti in questa memoria liturgica di San Giovanni Eudes.
In questo momento difficile della nostra storia, chiediamo al Signore di sostenere le famiglie nella loro vita quotidiana e nella loro missione. Che Egli conceda loro di custodire fedelmente e coraggiosamente i valori fondamentali della creazione.]

I offer an affectionate greeting to all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present at today’s Audience, including those from Japan.  May Jesus Christ strengthen you and your families in faith, so that you may be a sign to the world of his love and mercy.  May God bless you all!

[Saluto cordialmente i pellegrini di lingua inglese presenti a questa Udienza, specialmente quelli provenienti dal Giappone. Gesù Cristo rafforzi nella fede voi e le vostre famiglie, perché possiate essere nel mondo segni del suo amore e della sua misericordia.  Dio vi benedica tutti!]

Ein herzliches Willkommen sage ich allen Pilgern und Besuchern aus den Ländern deutscher Sprache. Durch die Arbeit nehmen wir teil am Schöpfungsplan Gottes, für die Welt zu sorgen. Der Heilige Geist helfe uns, diese Berufung mit Freude und Hoffnung anzunehmen und zu leben. Der Herr segne euch und eure Familien.

[Un cordiale benvenuto rivolgo ai pellegrini e ai visitatori provenienti dai Paesi di lingua tedesca. Con il lavoro partecipiamo al disegno creatore di Dio di avere cura del mondo. Lo Spirito Santo ci aiuti ad accogliere e vivere questa vocazione con gioia e speranza. Il Signore benedica voi e le vostre famiglie.]

Saludo a los peregrinos de lengua española, en particular a los grupos provenientes de España y Latinoamérica. Pidamos a la Virgen María que interceda por todas las familias, y especialmente por las que sufren a causa del desempleo y la crisis, para que se les ayude a cumplir su importante misión en la Iglesia y en el mundo. Muchas gracias y que Dios los bendiga.

[Saluto i pellegrini di lingua spagnola, in particolare i gruppi provenienti da Spagna e America latina. Chiediamo alla Vergine Maria che interceda per tutte le famiglie, e specialmente per quelle che soffrono a causa della disoccupazione e della crisi, perché le aiuti a compiere la loro importante missione nella Chiesa e nel mondo. Molte grazie e che Dio vi benedica.]

Dirijo uma saudação cordial a todos os peregrinos de língua portuguesa, particularmente os fiéis de Portugal e do Brasil. Faço votos de que esta peregrinação possa reforçar em vós a fé em Jesus Cristo, que chama todas as famílias a colaborarem na construção de um mundo mais justo e belo. Que Deus abençoe a cada um de vós!

[Rivolgo un cordiale saluto a tutti i pellegrini di lingua portoghese, in particolare ai fedeli del Portogallo e del Brasile. Vi auguro che questo pellegrinaggio rinforzi in voi la fede, la fede in Gesù Cristo che chiama ogni famiglia a collaborare alla costruzione di un mondo più giusto e bello. Iddio benedica ciascuno di voi!]

أُرحّبُ بالحجّاجِ الناطقينَ باللغةِ العربية، وخاصةً بالقادمينَ من الشرق  الأوسط. أيّها الإخوةُ والأخواتُ الأعزّاء، إنَّ العمل البشريّ هو جزء من الخلق ويتابع عمل الله المُبدع. لنلتزم من أجل تعزيز فُرص العمل مُشدّدين على القناعة بأنه فقط ومن خلال العمل الحُرِّ والمبدع والمُتشارَك والتضامُنيّ يمكن للإنسان أن يُعبِّر عن كرامةِ حياته وينمّيها. ليبارككم الربّ.

[Rivolgo un cordiale benvenuto ai pellegrini di lingua araba, in particolare a quelli provenienti dal Medio Oriente! Cari fratelli e sorelle, il lavoro umano è parte della creazione e continua l’opera creatrice di Dio. Impegniamoci ad accrescere le opportunità di lavoro, affermando la convinzione che solo nel lavoro libero, creativo, partecipativo e solidale, l’essere umano esprime e accresce la dignità della propria vita. Il Signore vi benedica.]

Serdeczne pozdrowienie kieruję do polskich pielgrzymów. Kochani, wakacje są okazją nie tylko do wypoczynku i do odnowy sił fizycznych i duchowych w perspektywie zajęć i zadań, jakie nas czekają, ale także do refleksji nad znaczeniem pacy w naszym życiu osobistym, rodzinnym i społecznym. Pamiętajcie: praca może być drogą świętości, jeśli jest wykonywana jako kontynuacja stwórczego dzieła Boga i jeśli jest wyrazem miłości dla innych, przede wszystkim dla członków naszej rodziny. Niech zawsze wam towarzyszy Boże błogosławieństwo. Niech będzie pochwalony Jezus Chrystus!

[Rivolgo un cordiale saluto ai pellegrini polacchi. Carissimi, le vacanze sono un’occasione per il riposo, per il ristoro delle forze fisiche e spirituali in vista degli impegni e dei compiti che ci aspettano, ma anche per riflettere sul significato del lavoro nella nostra vita personale, familiare e sociale. Ricordatevi: il lavoro può essere via di santità, se è svolto come continuazione dell’opera creatrice di Dio ed è un’espressione dell’amore per gli altri, soprattutto per i nostri familiari. Vi accompagni sempre la benedizione di Dio. Sia lodato Gesù Cristo!]

Domani la comunità di Taizé compie 75 anni. Desidero rivolgere il mio saluto, accompagnato dalla preghiera, ai fratelli monaci nel ricordo dell’amato fondatore frère Roger Schutz, di cui proprio tre giorni fa abbiamo ricordato il anniversario della morte. Buon cammino alla comunità di Taizé!

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Cari pellegrini di lingua italiana: benvenuti!

Saluto le Suore di Sant’Anna, le Associazioni e i gruppi parrocchiali. La visita alle tombe degli Apostoli accresca in tutti il senso di appartenenza alla nostra famiglia che è la Chiesa.

Rivolgo un pensiero speciale ai giovani, agli ammalati e agli sposi novelli. Oggi celebriamo la memoria liturgica di San Giovanni Eudes. La sua devozione ai Sacri Cuori di Gesù e di Maria insegni a voi, cari giovani, la necessità della loro intercessione nel cammino spirituale; incoraggi voi, cari ammalati, ad affrontare con fede i momenti di sofferenza e stimoli voi, cari sposi novelli, a educare con amore i figli che il Signore vorrà donarvi."

© Copyright - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

3rd Catechesis by Pope Francis on the Family - Prayer
General Audience, Wednesday 26 August 2015 - in Arabic, Croatian, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese & Spanish

"Dear Brothers and Sisters, Good morning!
After reflecting on how the family lives the time of celebration and that of work, let us now consider the time of prayer. The most frequent complaint of Christians is actually with regard to time: “I should pray more...; I would like to but often I have no time”. We hear it all the time. The regret is sincere, certainly, because the human heart always desires prayer, even without realizing it; and if it doesn’t find it, it is not at peace. But in order to find it, we need to cultivate in our hearts an “ardent” love for God, an affectionate love.

Let us ask a very simple question. It’s good to believe in God with all our heart, it’s good to hope that he will help us in difficulty, it’s good to feel obliged to give him thanks. All this is just; but do we love the Lord, even a little? Does the thought of God move us, amaze us, soften us?

Let us think of the wording of that great Commandment, which is the basis of all others: “you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might” (Dt 6:5; cf. Mt 22:37). The formula uses the intense language of love, addressing it to God. See, the spirit of prayer dwells here above all. And if it dwells here, it dwells all the time and never leaves. Are we able to think of God as the caress that keeps us alive, before which there is nothing? A caress from which nothing, not even death, can separate us? Or do we think of him only as the great Being, the Almighty who made all things, the Judge who monitors every action? All true, of course; but only when God is the affection above all our affections, does the meaning of these words find their fullness. Then we feel happy, even if a little confused, because he thinks of us and above all he loves us! Isn’t that impressive? Isn’t it impressive that God caresses us with the love of a father? It is so beautiful! He could have simply revealed himself as the Supreme Being, given his commandments and waited for the results. Instead, God did and does infinitely more than this. He accompanies us on life’s journey, he protects us, he loves us.

If love for God does not light the fire, the spirit of prayer will not warm time. We may also multiply our words, “as the pagans do”, says Jesus; or even perform our rituals, “as the pharisees do” (cf. Mt 6:5,7). A heart which is home to affection for God makes a prayer of an unspoken thought, or an invocation before a holy image, or a kiss blown to the Church. It’s beautiful when mothers teach their little children to blow kisses to Jesus or to Our Lady. What tenderness there is in this! In that moment the child’s heart is transformed into a place of prayer. And it is a gift of the Holy Spirit. Let us never forget to ask for this gift for each one of us! Because the Spirit of God has that special way of saying in our heart “Abba” — “Father”. It teaches us to say “Father” just as Jesus said it, a way that we can never find on our own (cf. Gal 4:6). It is in the family that one learns to ask for and appreciate this gift of the Spirit. If one learns to say it with the same spontaneity with which one learns “father” and “mother,” one has learnt it forever. When this happens, the time of the whole of family life is enveloped in the womb of God’s love, and seeks spontaneously the time of prayer.

We know well that family time is a complicated and crowded time, busy and preoccupied. There is always little, there is never enough, there are so many things to do. One who has a family soon learns to solve an equation that not even the great mathematicians know how to solve: within 24 hours they make twice that many! There are mothers and fathers who could win the Nobel Prize for this. Out of 24 hours they make 48: I don’t know how they do it but they get on and do it! There is so much work in a family!

The spirit of prayer gives time back to God, it steps away from the obsession of a life that is always lacking time, it rediscovers the peace of necessary things, and discovers the joy of unexpected gifts. Two good guides for this are the sisters Martha and Mary, spoken of in the Gospel we have just heard; they learned from God the harmony of family rhythms: the beauty of celebration, the serenity of work, the spirit of prayer (cf. Lk 10:38-42). The visit of Jesus, whom they loved, was their celebration. However, one day Martha learned that the work of hospitality, though important, is not everything, but that listening to the Lord, as Mary did, was the really essential thing, the “best kind” of time. Prayer flows from listening to Jesus, from reading the Gospel. Do not forget to read a passage of the Gospel every day. Prayer flows from closeness with the Word of God. Is there this closeness in our family? Do we have the Gospel at home? Do we open it sometimes to read it together? Do we meditate on it while reciting the Rosary? The Gospel read and meditated on as a family is like good bread that nourishes everyone’s heart. In the morning and in the evening, and when we sit at the table, we learn to say together a prayer with great simplicity: it is Jesus who comes among us, as he was with the family of Martha, Mary and Lazarus. There is something that is very close to my heart; because I have seen it in the city: there are children who have not learned to make the Sign of the Cross! But you, mother, father, teach your child to pray, to make the Sign of the Cross: this is a lovely task for mothers and fathers!

In the prayer of the family, in its intense moments and in its difficult seasons, we are entrusted to one another, so that each one of us in the family may be protected by the love of God."

"Je salue cordialement les pèlerins de langue française, en particulier les séminaristes du diocèse de Meaux, accompagnés de Monseigneur Jean-Yves Nahmias.
Je vous invite à prier ensemble en famille à partir de la  lecture de l’Évangile qui nourrit le cœur de chacun, et de la méditation du Rosaire. Vos familles s’en trouveront davantage unies dans les moments forts comme dans les moments difficiles.
Que Dieu vous bénisse !

[Saluto cordialmente i pellegrini di lingua francese, in particolare i seminaristi della diocesi di Meaux, accompagnati da Mons. Jean-Yves Nahmias. Vi invito a pregare insieme in famiglia a partire dalla lettura del Vangelo che nutre il cuore di ognuno, e dalla meditazione del Rosario. Le vostre famiglie si troveranno ulteriormente unite nei momenti forti come nei momenti difficili.
Che Dio vi benedica!]

I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, including those from England, Denmark, Malta, China, Dubai, Nigeria, Canada and the United States of America.  Upon all of you, and your families, I invoke an abundance of joy and peace in the Lord Jesus. God bless you all!

[Saluto i pellegrini di lingua inglese presenti all’odierna Udienza, specialmente quelli provenienti da Inghilterra, Danimarca, Malta, Cina, Dubai, Nigeria, Canada e Stati Uniti d’America.  Su tutti voi e sulle vostre famiglie, invoco la gioia e la pace nel Signore. Dio vi benedica!]

Einen herzlichen Gruß richte ich an alle Gläubigen deutscher Sprache, besonders an die Pilger aus der Diözese Graz-Seckau und den Jugenddienst des Dekanats Klausen. Halten wir neben der notwendigen Zeit für die Arbeit immer eine Zeit bereit, um beim Herrn zu sein. Hören wir sein Wort beim Lesen des Evangeliums und betrachten wir ihn im Rosenkranzgebet. Beten wir in der Familie gemeinsam am Morgen und am Abend. So bleiben wir immer von Gottes Liebe beschützt.

[Rivolgo un cordiale saluto a tutti i fedeli di lingua tedesca, in particolare ai pellegrini della Diocesi di Graz-Seckau e al Jugenddienst del Decanato di Chiusa. Riserviamo sempre, accanto al tempo necessario per il lavoro, un tempo per essere insieme con il Signore. AscoltiamoLo leggendo il Vangelo. MeditiamoLo pregando il Rosario. Preghiamo nella famiglia insieme la mattina e la sera. Così rimaniamo sempre custoditi dall’amore di Dio.]

Saludo cordialmente a los peregrinos de lengua española, en particular a los venidos de España y Latinoamérica. Invito a todos a descubrir la belleza de la oración en familia para que rezando unos por otros seamos protegidos por el amor de Dios. Muchas gracias.

[Saluto cordialmente i pellegrini di lingua spagnola, in particolare quelli venuti da Spagna e America latina. Invito tutti a scoprire la bellezza della preghiera in famiglia affinché pregando gli uni per gli altri siamo protetti dall’amore di Dio. Molte grazie.]

Queridos peregrinos de língua portuguesa, bem-vindos! Saúdo cordialmente os fiéis presentes das diversas paróquias de Portugal e o grupo dos novos estudantes do Colégio Pio Brasileiro. O Senhor vos abençoe, para serdes em toda a parte farol de luz do Evangelho para todos. Possa esta peregrinação fortalecer nos vossos corações o sentir e o viver com a Igreja. Nossa Senhora acompanhe e proteja a vós todos e aos vossos entes queridos.

[Carissimi pellegrini di lingua portoghese, benvenuti! Saluto cordialmente i fedeli presenti delle diverse parrocchie del Portogallo e il gruppo dei nuovi studenti del Collegio Pio Brasiliano. Il Signore vi benedica, perché siate dovunque per tutti faro di luce del Vangelo. Possa questo pellegrinaggio rinvigorire nei vostri cuori il sentire e il vivere con la Chiesa. La Madonna accompagni e protegga voi tutti e i vostri cari!]

أُرحّبُ بالحجّاجِ الناطقينَ باللغةِ العربيّة، وخاصةً بالقادمينَ من الشرق الأوسط. أيّها الإخوةُ والأخواتُ الأعزّاء، إنّ الصلاة تعزّز العائلة، صلّوا لكي تكون عائلاتكم، على مثال عائلة الناصرة المقدّسة، أماكن شركة وعليّات صلاة، مدارس أصيلة للإنجيل وكنائس بيتيّة صغيرة. ليبارككم الربّ.

[Rivolgo un cordiale benvenuto ai pellegrini di lingua araba, in particolare a quelli provenienti dal Medio Oriente! Cari fratelli e sorelle, la preghiera rafforza la famiglia, pregate affinché le vostre famiglie siano, sull’esempio della Santa Famiglia di Nazaret, luoghi di comunione e cenacoli di preghiera, autentiche scuole del Vangelo e piccole Chiese domestiche. Il Signore vi benedica!]

Pozdrawiam polskich pielgrzymów. Moi drodzy, prośmy razem Pana o dar Ducha Świętego. Tylko On może rozpalić w naszych sercach ogień miłości tak, że z gorącym synowskim uczuciem będziemy mogli zwracać się do Boga „Abba – Ojcze” i prawdziwie modlić się. Z tym uczuciem zawsze znajdziemy czas na modlitwę osobistą i rodzinną. Ona przyniesie nam pokój i szczęście tych, którzy czują się kochani. Niech będzie pochwalony Jezus Chrystus!

[Saluto i pellegrini polacchi. Carissimi, chiediamo insieme al Signore il dono dello Spirito Santo. Solo Lui può accendere nei nostri cuori il fuoco dell’amore, sì che con un ardente affetto filiale possiamo rivolgerci a Dio “Abba – Padre” e pregare veramente. Con quest’affetto troveremo sempre il tempo per la preghiera personale e familiare. Essa ci porterà la pace e la felicità di coloro che si sentono amati. Sia lodato Gesù Cristo!]


Martedì prossimo, 1 settembre, si celebrerà la Giornata mondiale di preghiera per la cura del creato. In comunione di preghiera con i nostri fratelli ortodossi e con tutte le persone di buona volontà, vogliamo offrire il nostro contributo al superamento della crisi ecologica che l’umanità sta vivendo.

In tutto il mondo, le varie realtà ecclesiali locali hanno programmato opportune iniziative di preghiera e di riflessione, per rendere tale Giornata un momento forte anche in vista dell’assunzione di stili di vita coerenti.

Con i vescovi, i sacerdoti, le persone consacrate e i fedeli laici della Curia romana, ci troveremo nella Basilica di S. Pietro  alle ore 17, per la Liturgia della Parola, alla quale fin d’ora invito a partecipare i romani, i pellegrini e quanti lo desiderano.

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Cari pellegrini di lingua italiana: benvenuti! Saluto le Religiose del Volto Santo e le Suore Preziosine di Monza in occasione dei rispettivi Capitoli Generali e l’Assemblea generale dell’Istituto Secolare “Piccola Famiglia Francescana”. Saluto i seminaristi che partecipano all’incontro estivo di Frascati e il Movimento per l’Affido e l’Adozione di Verona. A tutti auguro di testimoniare la fede con parole e gesti di misericordia e di compassione verso il prossimo.

Domani celebreremo la memoria di Santa Monica, madre di Sant’Agostino. All’intercessione di questi Santi affidiamo gli sposi novelli e i genitori cristiani, perché come Monica, accompagnino con l’esempio e con la preghiera il cammino dei figli. Raccomandiamo gli ammalati più bisognosi di conforto e di costanti attenzioni come pure la gioventù affinché, come Agostino, tenda sempre verso la pienezza della Verità e dell’Amore, che è Cristo: Egli solo può saziare i bisogni profondi del cuore umano."

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