Here's a list of every speech he gave in the US. Thank you, Aleteia!

Little Way of Pope Francis

Holiness is always tied to little gestures. “Whoever gives you a cup of water in my name will not go unrewarded”, says Jesus (cf. Mk 9:41).

These little gestures are those we learn at home, in the family; they get lost amid all the other things we do, yet they do make each day different. They are the quiet things done by mothers and grandmothers, by fathers and grandfathers, by children. They are little signs of tenderness, affection and compassion. Like the warm supper we look forward to at night, the early lunch awaiting someone who gets up early to go to work. Homely gestures. Like a blessing before we go to bed, or a hug after we return from a hard day’s work. Love is shown by little things, by attention to small daily signs which make us feel at home. Faith grows when it is lived and shaped by love. That is why our families, our homes, are true domestic churches. They are the right place for faith to become life, and life to become faith.

Jesus tells us not to hold back these little miracles. Instead, he wants us to encourage them, to spread them. He asks us to go through life, our everyday life, encouraging all these little signs of love as signs of his own living and active presence in our world.

So we might ask ourselves: How are we trying to live this way in our homes, in our societies? What kind of world do we want to leave to our children (cf. Laudato Si’, 160)? We cannot answer these questions alone, by ourselves. It is the Spirit who challenges us to respond as part of the great human family. Our common house can no longer tolerate sterile divisions. The urgent challenge of protecting our home includes the effort to bring the entire human family together in the pursuit of a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change (cf. ibid., 13). May our children find in us models and incentives to communion! May our children find in us men and women capable of joining others in bringing to full flower all the good seeds which the Father has sown!

-from homily at WMF Sunday Mass


Retail level

John Allen Jr. has said of the annulment procedures recently announced that, "Annulments are hugely important at the retail level of the faith, because for Catholics whose relationships break down and who want to get married in the Church to someone else, they first have to obtain one." -Crux

retail level...

consider that phrase for a moment, the retail level of faith.

Having worked in parish offices and a chancery cubicle, I can safely say that most of the world operates at this level of faith commitment.

What a compelling image to apply to our contemporary parochial situation. How do we get people to move past this level? Most already have- they aren't even window shopping anymore. They're just staying in bed on Sundays with their girlfriend/boyfriend. Or they work all weekend and bingewatch Netflix until Monday.


Love can only be love if it is Fruitful

from the incomparable Janet Smith:

Most people who do not experience SSA but who are very favorable to same-sex relationships are favorable more out of compassion than out of a conviction that same-sex relationships are natural and good. They rightly sense that everyone is meant to love and be loved: thus they say things like “every one has a right to love whomever they want.” They don’t want their loved ones or anyone with SSA to live lives of loneliness. It is important to acknowledge the truth of the insight that life without love is unbearable and not true to human nature. But it is important to point out that there are many kinds of love and that most of them don’t and shouldn’t involve sexual expression. Parents and grandchildren love each other; brothers and sisters love each other; teachers and students love each other; and friends love each other, but none of these loves should be expressed sexually. Expressing love sexually is appropriate only for those who can participate in the full “meaning” of the sexual act, an act that includes affirmation of the complementary difference between the two sexes and the orientation to new life that belongs in sexual expression.


Contradict today's ruling!

"It is to be anticipated that perhaps not everyone will easily accept this particular teaching.  There is too much clamorous outcry against the voice of the Church, and this is intensified by modern means of communication.  But it comes as no surprise to the Church that she, no less than her divine Founder, is destined to be a ‘sign of contradiction.’  She does not, because of this, evade the duty imposed on her of proclaiming humbly but firmly the entire moral law." --Blessed Paul VI

Family for Life

"In the family we first learn how to show love and respect for life; we are taught the proper use of things, order and cleanliness, respect for the local ecosystem and care for all creatures. In the family we receive an integral education, which enables us to grow harmoniously in personal maturity. In the family we learn to ask without demanding, to say “thank you” as an expression of genuine gratitude for what we have been given, to control our aggressivity and greed, and to ask forgiveness when we have caused harm. These simple gestures of heartfelt courtesy help to create a culture of shared life and respect for our surroundings." -Pope Francis in Laudato Si (no.213)


Collegial Pope

The thing that struck me most about the new encyclical is that (for the first time in a papal encyclical that I can recall), Pope Francis supports his teaching with statements from various Bishops' conferences from around the globe. He has Paraguay, New Zealand, and South Africa in there.

Not only does this confirm that we are indeed the Church Universal, it also brings to fruition an important component of Vatican II reform that has, until now, gone un-tried: genuine collegiality.


This just in: John Allen Jr. beats me to the punch!


Only he chalks it up to other motives.


Fathers matter

“We found that contentment in the late seventies was not even suggestively associated with parental social class or even the man’s own income. What it was significantly associated with was warmth of childhood environment, and it was very significantly associated with a man’s closeness to his father.”
-George Vaillant, on the Harvard Grant Study


Children's Rights Issue

“It is necessary to insist on the fundamental pillars that govern a nation: its intangible assets. The family is the foundation of co-existence and a guarantee against social fragmentation. Children have a right to grow up in a family with a father and a mother capable of creating a suitable environment for the child’s growth and emotional development.”- Pope Francis, Nov.17

As my home state of Michigan Celebrates Marriage, we are reminded that

Marriage is Beneficial for Children
“Each child has life, thanks to a mom and a dad.”

A married mother and father are great gifts for children, so supporting an institution that unites children with their mothers and fathers is extremely important. A man and a woman, through their faithful union in marriage, provide a stable environment for children to experience the love and care of both a father and a mother, who each able to contribute to their growth and development in unique ways.

Social science data shows:

Children who live with two married parents tend to enjoy greater physical and mental health than those who live in other family situations.

Children in married, two-parent families enjoy more economic well-being than children in any other family structure, which often carries into their adult lives. By age 30, a woman raised by two married parents will earn an average of $4,735 more in annual income and a man raised by two married parents will earn an average of $6,534 more in annual income than their counterparts raised by single parents.

Children that are raised in married households are significantly less likely to miss class and show attendance or behavioral problems. They are more likely to graduate from high school and college.

Children who grow up in married, two-parent households are more likely to delay parenthood until marriage.

Boys in married households are less likely to engage in delinquent and criminal behavior.


Magister's mastery

Sandro Magister has assembled all of the Holy Father's statements on marriage and family here. One in particular stood out for me:

From the general audience of Wednesday, April 15, 2015:

Sexual difference is present in so many forms of life, on the great scale of living beings. But man and woman alone are made in the image and likeness of God: the biblical text repeats it three times in two passages: man and woman are the image and likeness of God. This tells us that it is not man alone who is the image of God or woman alone who is the image of God, but man and woman as a couple who are the image of God.

The difference between man and woman is not meant to stand in opposition, or to subordinate, but is for the sake of communion and generation, always in the image and likeness of God. Experience teaches us: in order to know oneself well and develop harmoniously, a human being needs the reciprocity of man and woman. When that is lacking, one can see the consequences. […]

Modern contemporary culture has opened new spaces, new forms of freedom and new depths in order to enrich the understanding of this difference. But it has also introduced many doubts and much skepticism. For example, I ask myself, if the so-called gender theory is not, at the same time, an expression of frustration and resignation, which seeks to cancel out sexual difference because it no longer knows how to confront it. Yes, we risk taking a step backwards. The removal of difference in fact creates a problem, not a solution. […] The marital and familial bond is a serious matter, and it is so for everyone not just for believers. I would urge intellectuals not to leave this theme aside, as if it had to become secondary in order to foster a more free and just society. […]

I wonder if the crisis of collective trust in God, which does us so much harm, and makes us pale with resignation, incredulity and cynicism, is not also connected to the crisis of the alliance between man and woman. In fact the biblical account, with the great symbolic fresco depicting the earthly paradise and original sin, tells us in fact that the communion with God is reflected in the communion of the human couple and the loss of trust in the heavenly Father generates division and conflict between man and woman.

The great responsibility of the Church, of all believers, and first of all of believing families, which derives from us, impels people to rediscover the beauty of the creative design that also inscribes the image of God in the alliance between man and woman. The earth is filled with harmony and trust when the alliance between man and woman is lived properly. And if man and woman seek it together, between themselves, and with God, without a doubt they will find it. Jesus encourages us explicitly to bear witness to this beauty, which is the image of God.


Bride of Christ

"O truly blessed night,
when things of heaven are wed to those of earth,
and divine to the human."

We try to convey to engaged couples during marriage prep that God is making a proposal to us.

A deacon once explained that it's no accident that the very phallic Easter candle is plunged into the womb-like font of baptism, whereby offspring shall be born.

Did you catch the 4th reading from Isaiah?

"The One who has become your husband is your Maker;
his name is the LORD of hosts;
your redeemer is the Holy One of Israel,
called God of all the earth.
The LORD calls you back,
like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit,
a wife married in youth and then cast off,
says your God."

To quote Christopher West, I'm not making this stuff up!


Pope of Mercy

The call of Jesus pushes each of us never to stop at the surface of things, especially when we are dealing with a person. We are called to look beyond, to focus on the heart to see how much generosity everyone is capable. No one can be excluded from the mercy of God; everyone knows the way to access it and the Church is the house that welcomes all and refuses no one. Its doors remain wide open, so that those who are touched by grace can find the certainty of forgiveness. The greater the sin, so much the greater must be the love that the Church expresses toward those who convert.

-The Holy Father, declaring a Jubilee Year of Mercy from Dec.8- Nov.20 and channeling St. Faustina

CNA has this to share:

Mercy is a theme that is dear to Francis, and is the central topic of his episcopal motto “miserando atque eligendo,” which he chose when ordained a bishop in 1992.

One translation of the motto, taken from a homily given by St. Bede on Jesus’ calling of St. Matthew, is “with eyes of mercy.”

In his first Angelus address as the Bishop of Rome, March 17, 2013, Francis spoke of “Feeling mercy...this word changes everything.”

Mercy, he said then, “is the best thing we can feel: it changes the world. A little mercy makes the world less cold and more just. We need to understand properly this mercy of God, this merciful Father who is so patient.”

In the English version of his first Apostolic Exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium,” the word “mercy” appears 32 times.

NCRegister has even more

“How greatly I desire that all those places where the Church is present, especially our parishes and our communities, may become islands of mercy in the midst of the sea of indifference!”

Whispers has the full text as usual.


Apostolic Witness to Life

I am blessed with a Bishop here in my diocese and a Bishop in Rome who are both so affirmative of the preciousness of human life and the need to uphold human dignity in all ways.

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