Christian hope is not the same as being optimistic about the future, but is knowing that whatever dark or frightening things are going on in one’s life, God is there offering protection and light, Pope Francis said.
Pope Francis described 2016 as a “packed year,” one full of initiatives that helped Catholics “see and touch with their hands the fruits of the mercy of God.”
Struggling against God is normal because following his way toward redemption always comes with some kind of cross to bear, Pope Francis said in a morning homily.
The Catholic Church’s 17 new cardinals must dedicate their lives to being ministers of forgiveness and reconciliation in a world — and sometimes a church — often marked by hostility and division, Pope Francis said.
Visiting young women rescued from forced prostitution and meeting with a mother inconsolable over the loss of one of her newborn triplets are images from the Year of Mercy that Pope Francis said remain impressed on his heart.
Where there is no tenderness, there is cruelty and what is unfolding in Syria is a veritable “workshop of cruelty,” Pope Francis told governing members of Caritas Internationalis.
Offering counsel and admonishing sinners are works of mercy, but they are not a license to pretend to be better than others, Pope Francis said.
The kingdom of God grows through hope and not by reducing it to a form of entertainment that produces a joy that appears and disappears in an instant, Pope Francis said.
Indifference, criminal networks and powerful economic interests still pose a challenge to those fighting against human trafficking, Pope Francis said.
Christians can fall prey to the enchantments of ideology that adhere to rigid requirements yet ignore and sadden the Holy Spirit, Pope Francis said.
Christians are called to follow the example of St. Therese of Lisieux, who helped draw people to Jesus by way of attraction, not by proselytizing, Pope Francis said.
Pope Francis challenged the sports world to fend off corrupt and manipulative practices and to uphold the values of honesty, fairness and transparency.