Monthly Archives: April 2013

Veering away from the Norm- How about Tim Tebow!

I for one am I fan, and always will be!  God Bless! ~CJA

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Daily Reflections of Saint Padre Pio: On the Devil



On the Devil
“The number of devils active in the world is greater than all the people who have
been alive since Adam.”
“If all the devils would take bodily form they would blot out the light of the sun.”
“I don’t have a minute of free time; it is all spent releasing my brothers from the grip
of satan.”
“If the Devil is making uproar, it is an excellent sign: what is terrifying is his peace
and concord with a man’s soul.”
“What comes from Satan begins with calmness and ends in storm, indifference and
apathy.”
“Do not let the infernal beast frighten you. God will fight it with you and for you.”
“The devil is like a rabid dog tied to a chain; beyond the length of the chain he
cannot seize anyone.
And you: keep at a distance. If you approach too near, you let yourself be caught.”
“The human soul is the battlefield between God and Satan.”
Dr. Sanguinetti was in the backyard with few other men. Padre Pio suddenly asked:
“What is the name of the devil?” Several names came up. Padre Pio: “No, no, no.
When we say: I, I do, I can, I succeed, I, I, I, this is the devil.”

Pope’s Homily: A worldly Church cannot transmit the Gospel

Pope: A worldly Church cannot transmit the Gospel

2013-04-30 Vatican Radio
(Vatican Radio) A worldly Church is a weak Church. The only way to stop this from happening is to entrust the Church to the Lord through constant prayer. This was the message at the heart of Pope Francis’ homily during Mass Tuesday morning, celebrated with staff from the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, also known as APSA. Emer McCarthy reports:
“We can safeguard the Church, we can cure the Church, no? We do so with our work, but what’s most important is what the Lord does : He is the only One who can look into the face of evil and overcome it. The prince of the world comes but can do nothing against me: if we don’t want the prince of this world to take the Church into his hands, we must entrust it to the One who can defeat the prince of this world. Here the question arises: do we pray for the Church, for the entire Church? For our brothers and sisters whom we do not know, everywhere in the world? It is the Lord’s Church and in our prayer we say to the Lord: Lord, look at your Church … It’ s yours. Your Church is [made up of ] our brothers and sisters. This is a prayer that must come from our heart”.
Then, Pope Francis remarked that “it is easy to pray for the grace of the Lord”, “to thank Him” or when “we need something.” But it is fundamental that we also pray to the Lord for all, for those who have “received the same Baptism,” saying “they are Yours, they are ours, watch over them”.
“Entrust the Church to the Lord is a prayer that makes the Church grow. It is also an act of faith. We can do nothing, we are poor servants – all of us – of the Church: it is He who keeps her going and holds her and makes her grow , makes her holy, defends and protects her from the prince of this world and what he wants the Church to become, in short more and more worldly. This is the greatest danger! When the Church becomes worldly, when she has the spirit of the world within herself, when that peace which is not that of the Lord – that peace when Jesus says, ‘I leave you peace, my peace I give you’, not as the world gives it – when she has that worldly peace, the Church is a weak Church, a defeated Church, unable to transmit the Gospel, the message of the Cross, the scandal of the Cross … She cannot transmit this if she is worldly”.
During his homily, Pope Francis returned several times to the importance of prayer to entrust “the Church to the Lord”, the path to “the peace that only He can give”:
“Entrust the Church to God, entrust the elderly, the sick, the children, the youth … ‘Safeguard your Church Lord ‘: she is yours! With this attitude, He will give us, in the midst of tribulations, the peace that only He can give . This peace which the world cannot give, that peace that cannot be bought, that peace which is a true gift of the presence of Jesus in the midst of his Church. Entrusting the Church that is in distress: there are great tribulations, persecution … there are. But there are also small tribulations: the small tribulations of illness or family problems … entrust all this to the Lord guard your Church in tribulation, so she does not lose faith, so she does not lose hope. ” 
Pope Francis concluded : “May the Lord make us strong so we do not lose faith, so we do not lose hope”. Entrusting the Church to the Lord “will do us and the Church good. It will give us great peace [and although] it will not rid us of our tribulations, it will make us stronger in our sufferings”. 

Pope: Being ashamed of our sins helps prepare us for God’s forgiveness

Pope: Being ashamed of our sins helps prepare us for God’s forgiveness

2013-04-29 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) The Confessional is not a ‘dry cleaners’ where our sins are automatically washed away and Jesus is not waiting there to ‘beat us up’, but to forgive us with the tenderness of a father for our sins. Moreover, being ashamed of our sins is not only natural, it’s a virtue that helps prepare us for God’s forgiveness. This was the central message of Pope Francis’ homily Monday morning during Mass celebrated with staff from the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA) and religious present in Casa Santa Marta. Emer McCarthy reports: 
Commenting on the First Letter of St. John, which states ” God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all,” Francis Pope pointed out that “we all have darkness in our lives,” moments “where everything, even our consciousness, is in the dark”, but this – he pointed out – does not mean we walk in darkness:

“Walking in darkness means being overly pleased with ourselves, believing that we do not need salvation. That is darkness! When we continue on this road of darkness, it is not easy to turn back. Therefore, John continues, because this way of thinking made him reflect: ‘If we say we are without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us’. Look to your sins, to our sins, we are all sinners, all of us … This is the starting point. But if we confess our sins, He is faithful, He is so just He forgives us our sins, cleansing us from all unrighteousness…The Lord who is so good, so faithful, so just that He forgives. “
“When the Lord forgives us, He does justice” – continued the Pope – first to himself, “because He came to save and forgive”, welcoming us with the tenderness of a Father for his children: “The Lord is tender towards those who fear, to those who come to Him “and with tenderness,” He always understand us”. He wants to gift us the peace that only He gives. ” “This is what happens in the Sacrament of Reconciliation” even though “many times we think that going to confession is like going to the dry cleaner” to clean the dirt from our clothes:
“But Jesus in the confessional is not a dry cleaner: it is an encounter with Jesus, but with this Jesus who waits for us, who waits for us just as we are. “But, Lord, look … this is how I am”, we are often ashamed to tell the truth: ‘I did this, I thought this’. But shame is a true Christian virtue, and even human … the ability to be ashamed: I do not know if there is a similar saying in Italian, but in our country to those who are never ashamed are called “sin vergüenza’: this means ‘the unashamed ‘, because they are people who do not have the ability to be ashamed and to be ashamed is a virtue of the humble, of the man and the woman who are humble. “
Pope Francis continued: “ we must have trust, because when we sin we have an advocate with the Father, “Jesus Christ the righteous.” And He “supports us before the Father” and defends us in front of our weaknesses. But you need to stand in front of the Lord “with our truth of sinners”, “with confidence, even with joy, without masquerading… We must never masquerade before God.” And shame is a virtue: “blessed shame.” “This is the virtue that Jesus asks of us: humility and meekness”.
“Humility and meekness are like the frame of a Christian life. A Christian must always be so, humble and meek. And Jesus waits for us to forgive us. We can ask Him a question: Is going to confession like to a torture session? No! It is going to praise God, because I, a sinner , have been saved by Him. And is He waiting for me to beat me? No, with tenderness to forgive me. And if tomorrow I do the same? Go again, and go and go and go …. He always waits for us. This tenderness of the Lord, this humility, this meekness …. “

This confidence, concluded Pope Francis “gives us room to breathe.” “The Lord give us this grace, the courage to always go to Him with the truth, because the truth is light and not the darkness of half-truths or lies before God. It give us this grace! So be it. ” 

Homily of Pope Francis celebrating Confirmation Mass

Homily of Pope Francis celebrating Confirmation MassPr

2013-04-28 Vatican Radio
(Vatican Radio) Below is an English language translation of the Pope’s Homily at Holy Mass in St Peter’s Square with the Rite of Confirmation.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Dear Confirmands,I would like to offer three short and simple thoughts for your reflection.
1. In the second reading, we listened to the beautiful vision of Saint John: new heavens and a new earth, and then the Holy City coming down from God. All is new, changed into good, beauty and truth; there are no more tears or mourning… This is the work of the Holy Spirit: he brings us the new things of God. He comes to us and makes all things new; he changes us. The Spirit changes us! And Saint John’s vision reminds us that all of us are journeying towards the heavenly Jerusalem, the ultimate newness which awaits us and all reality, the happy day when we will see the Lord’s face – that marvelous face, the most beautiful face of the Lord Jesus – and be with him for ever, in his love.
You see, the new things of God are not like the novelties of this world, all of which are temporary; they come and go, and we keep looking for more. The new things which God gives to our lives are lasting, not only in the future, when we will be with him, but today as well. God is even now making all things new; the Holy Spirit is truly transforming us, and through us he also wants to transform the world in which we live. Let us open the doors to the Spirit, let ourselves be guided by him, and allow God’s constant help to make us new men and women, inspired by the love of God which the Holy Spirit bestows on us! How beautiful it would be if each of you, every evening, could say: Today at school, at home, at work, guided by God, I showed a sign of love towards one of my friends, my parents, an older person! How beautiful!
2. A second thought. In the first reading Paul and Barnabas say that “we must undergo many trials if we are to enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22). The journey of the Church, and our own personal journeys as Christians, are not always easy; they meet with difficulties and trials. To follow the Lord, to let his Spirit transform the shadowy parts of our lives, our ungodly ways of acting, and cleanse us of our sins, is to set out on a path with many obstacles, both in the world around us but also within us, in the heart. But difficulties and trials are part of the path that leads to God’s glory, just as they were for Jesus, who was glorified on the cross; we will always encounter them in life! Do not be discouraged! We have the power of the Holy Spirit to overcome these trials!
3. And here I come to my last point. It is an invitation which I make to you, young confirmandi, and to all present. Remain steadfast in the journey of faith, with firm hope in the Lord. This is the secret of our journey! He gives us the courage to swim against the tide. Pay attention, my young friends: to go against the current; this is good for the heart, but we need courage to swim against the tide. Jesus gives us this courage! There are no difficulties, trials or misunderstandings to fear, provided we remain united to God as branches to the vine, provided we do not lose our friendship with him, provided we make ever more room for him in our lives. This is especially so whenever we feel poor, weak and sinful, because God grants strength to our weakness, riches to our poverty, conversion and forgiveness to our sinfulness. The Lord is so rich in mercy: every time, if we go to him, he forgives us. Let us trust in God’s work! With him we can do great things; he will give us the joy of being his disciples, his witnesses. Commit yourselves to great ideals, to the most important things. We Christians were not chosen by the Lord for little things; push onwards toward the highest principles. Stake your lives on noble ideals, my dear young people!
The new things of God, the trials of life, remaining steadfast in the Lord. Dear friends, let us open wide the door of our lives to the new things of God which the Holy Spirit gives us. May he transform us, confirm us in our trials, strengthen our union with the Lord, our steadfastness in him: this is a true joy! So may it be.

A Catholic’s Take on the Protestant’s Objection: Why the Saints and Mary are Important

Praying to the Saints


This was taken off of Catholic.com, mostly because its exactly how I feel, and I could not have put it any better! ~CJA
(Courtesy of Catholic.com)

The historic Christian practice of asking our departed brothers and sisters in Christ—the saints—for their intercession has come under attack in the last few hundred years. Though the practice dates to the earliest days of Christianity and is shared by Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, the other Eastern Christians, and even some Anglicans—meaning that all-told it is shared by more than three quarters of the Christians on earth—it still comes under heavy attack from many within the Protestant movement that started in the sixteenth century. 
Can They Hear Us?
One charge made against it is that the saints in heaven cannot even hear our prayers, making it useless to ask for their intercession. However, this is not true. As Scripture indicates, those in heaven are aware of the prayers of those on earth. This can be seen, for example, in Revelation 5:8, where John depicts the saints in heaven offering our prayers to God under the form of “golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.” But if the saints in heaven are offering our prayers to God, then they must be aware of our prayers. They are aware of our petitions and present them to God by interceding for us. 
Some might try to argue that in this passage the prayers being offered were not addressed to the saints in heaven, but directly to God. Yet this argument would only strengthen the fact that those in heaven can hear our prayers, for then the saints would be aware of our prayers even when they are not directed to them! 
In any event, it is clear from Revelation 5:8 that the saints in heaven do actively intercede for us. We are explicitly told by John that the incense they offer to God are the prayers of the saints. Prayers are not physical things and cannot be physically offered to God. Thus the saints in heaven are offering our prayers to God mentally. In other words, they are interceding. 
One Mediator
Another charge commonly levelled against asking the saints for their intercession is that this violates the sole mediatorship of Christ, which Paul discusses: “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 2:5). 
But asking one person to pray for you in no way violates Christ’s mediatorship, as can be seen from considering the way in which Christ is a mediator. First, Christ is a unique mediator between man and God because he is the only person who is both God and man. He is the only bridge between the two, the only God-man. But that role as mediator is not compromised in the least by the fact that others intercede for us. Furthermore, Christ is a unique mediator between God and man because he is the Mediator of the New Covenant (Heb. 9:15, 12:24), just as Moses was the mediator (Greek mesitas) of the Old Covenant (Gal. 3:19–20). 
The intercession of fellow Christians—which is what the saints in heaven are—also clearly does not interfere with Christ’s unique mediatorship because in the four verses immediately preceding 1 Timothy 2:5, Paul says that Christians should interceed: “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way. This is good, and pleasing to God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:1–4). Clearly, then, intercessory prayers offered by Christians on behalf of others is something “good and pleasing to God,” not something infringing on Christ’s role as mediator. 
“No Contact with the dead”
Sometimes Fundamentalists object to asking our fellow Christians in heaven to pray for us by declaring that God has forbidden contact with the dead in passages such as Deuteronomy 18:10–11. In fact, he has not, because he at times has given it—for example, when he had Moses and Elijah appear with Christ to the disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matt. 17:3). What God has forbidden is necromantic practice of conjuring up spirits. “There shall not be found among you any one who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, any one who practices divination, a soothsayer, or an augur, or a sorcerer, or a charmer, or a medium, or a wizard, or a necromancer. . . . For these nations, which you are about to dispossess, give heed to soothsayers and to diviners; but as for you, the Lord your God has not allowed you so to do. The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brethren—him you shall heed” (Deut. 18:10–15). 
God thus indicates that one is not to conjure the dead for purposes of gaining information; one is to look to God’s prophets instead. Thus one is not to hold a seance. But anyone with an ounce of common sense can discern the vast qualitative difference between holding a seance to have the dead speak through you and a son humbly saying at his mother’s grave, “Mom, please pray to Jesus for me; I’m having a real problem right now.” The difference between the two is the difference between night and day. One is an occult practice bent on getting secret information; the other is a humble request for a loved one to pray to God on one’s behalf. 
Overlooking the Obvious
Some objections to the concept of prayer to the saints betray restricted notions of heaven. One comes from anti-Catholic Loraine Boettner: 
“How, then, can a human being such as Mary hear the prayers of millions of Roman Catholics, in many different countries, praying in many different languages, all at the same time? 
“Let any priest or layman try to converse with only three people at the same time and see how impossible that is for a human being. . . . The objections against prayers to Mary apply equally against prayers to the saints. For they too are only creatures, infinitely less than God, able to be at only one place at a time and to do only one thing at a time. 
“How, then, can they listen to and answer thousands upon thousands of petitions made simultaneously in many different lands and in many different languages? Many such petitions are expressed, not orally, but only mentally, silently. How can Mary and the saints, without being like God, be present everywhere and know the secrets of all hearts?” (Roman Catholicism, 142-143).
If being in heaven were like being in the next room, then of course these objections would be valid. A mortal, unglorified person in the next room would indeed suffer the restrictions imposed by the way space and time work in our universe. But the saints are not in the next room, and they are not subject to the time/space limitations of this life. 
This does not imply that the saints in heaven therefore must be omniscient, as God is, for it is only through God’s willing it that they can communicate with others in heaven or with us. And Boettner’s argument about petitions arriving in different languages is even further off the mark. Does anyone really think that in heaven the saints are restricted to the King’s English? After all, it is God himself who gives the gift of tongues and the interpretation of tongues. Surely those saints in Revelation understand the prayers they are shown to be offering to God. 
The problem here is one of what might be called a primitive or even childish view of heaven. It is certainly not one on which enough intellectual rigor has been exercised. A good introduction to the real implications of the afterlife may be found in Frank Sheed’s book Theology and Sanity, which argues that sanity depends on an accurate appreciation of reality, and that includes an accurate appreciation of what heaven is really like. And once that is known, the place of prayer to the saints follows. 
“Directly to Jesus”
Some may grant that the previous objections to asking the saints for their intercession do not work and may even grant that the practice is permissible in theory, yet they may question it on other grounds, asking why one would want to ask the saints to pray for one. “Why not pray directly to Jesus?” they ask. 
The answer is: “Of course one should pray directly to Jesus!” But that does not mean it is not also a good thing to ask others to pray for one as well. Ultimately, the “go-directly-to-Jesus” objection boomerangs back on the one who makes it: Why should we ask any Christian, in heaven or on earth, to pray for us when we can ask Jesus directly? If the mere fact that we can go straight to Jesus proved that we should ask no Christian in heaven to pray for us then it would also prove that we should ask no Christian on earth to pray for us. 
Praying for each other is simply part of what Christians do. As we saw, in 1 Timothy 2:1–4, Paul strongly encouraged Christians to intercede for many different things, and that passage is by no means unique in his writings. Elsewhere Paul directly asks others to pray for him (Rom. 15:30–32, Eph. 6:18–20, Col. 4:3, 1 Thess. 5:25, 2 Thess. 3:1), and he assured them that he was praying for them as well (2 Thess. 1:11). Most fundamentally, Jesus himself required us to pray for others, and not only for those who asked us to do so (Matt. 5:44). 
Since the practice of asking others to pray for us is so highly recommended in Scripture, it cannot be regarded as superfluous on the grounds that one can go directly to Jesus. The New Testament would not recommend it if there were not benefits coming from it. One such benefit is that the faith and devotion of the saints can support our own weaknesses and supply what is lacking in our own faith and devotion. Jesus regularly supplied for one person based on another person’s faith (e.g., Matt. 8:13, 15:28, 17:15–18, Mark 9:17–29, Luke 8:49–55). And it goes without saying that those in heaven, being free of the body and the distractions of this life, have even greater confidence and devotion to God than anyone on earth. 
Also, God answers in particular the prayers of the righteous. James declares: “The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects. Elijah was a man of like nature with ourselves and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth its fruit” (Jas. 5:16–18). Yet those Christians in heaven are more righteous, since they have been made perfect to stand in God’s presence (Heb. 12:22-23), than anyone on earth, meaning their prayers would be even more efficacious. 
Having others praying for us thus is a good thing, not something to be despised or set aside. Of course, we should pray directly to Christ with every pressing need we have (cf. John 14:13–14). That’s something the Catholic Church strongly encourages. In fact, the prayers of the Mass, the central act of Catholic worship, are directed to God and Jesus, not the saints. But this does not mean that we should not also ask our fellow Christians, including those in heaven, to pray with us. 
In addition to our prayers directly to God and Jesus (which are absolutely essential to the Christian life), there are abundant reasons to ask our fellow Christians in heaven to pray for us. The Bible indicates that they are aware of our prayers, that they intercede for us, and that their prayers are effective (else they would not be offered). It is only narrow-mindedness that suggests we should refrain from asking our fellow Christians in heaven to do what we already know them to be anxious and capable of doing. 
In Heaven and On Earth
The Bible directs us to invoke those in heaven and ask them to pray with us. Thus in Psalms 103, we pray, “Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, hearkening to the voice of his word! Bless the Lord, all his hosts, his ministers that do his will!” (Ps. 103:20-21). And in Psalms 148 we pray, “Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens, praise him in the heights! Praise him, all his angels, praise him, all his host!” (Ps. 148:1-2). 
Not only do those in heaven pray with us, they also pray for us. In the book of Revelation, we read: “[An] angel came and stood at the altar [in heaven] with a golden censer; and he was given much incense to mingle with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar before the throne; and the smoke of the incense rose with the prayers of the saints from the hand of the angel before God” (Rev. 8:3-4). 
And those in heaven who offer to God our prayers aren’t just angels, but humans as well. John sees that “the twenty-four elders [the leaders of the people of God in heaven] fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and with golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints” (Rev. 5:8). The simple fact is, as this passage shows: The saints in heaven offer to God the prayers of the saints on earth. 
NIHIL OBSTAT: I have concluded that the materials
presented in this work are free of doctrinal or moral errors.
Bernadeane Carr, STL, Censor Librorum, August 10, 2004
IMPRIMATUR: In accord with 1983 CIC 827
permission to publish this work is hereby granted.
+Robert H. Brom, Bishop of San Diego, August 10, 2004

For Non- Catholics: A Meaning of what it means to be Catholic: The Nicene Creed



We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen. 

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end. 

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen. 

A Meditation on a Mature Marriage | Catholic Answers

Great read that we all can learn from! ~CJA

A Meditation on a Mature Marriage | Catholic Answers

Daily Reflections of Saint Padre Pio: On Temptation


On Temptation:
“If you win a temptation, it has the same effect as in washing dirty laundry.”
“The more a soul is liked by God, the more He will be proved.”
“Temptations belong to devil and hell; sufferings belong to God and Paradise.”
“The temptations come from the devil, the sufferings come from God.”
“Despise the temptation and embrace the tribulation.”
“Do not dwell on your temptations.”
“The thought doesn’t make the sin, but consenting to the thoughts does it.”
“Only the free will is capable of good or evil.”
“Temptations against faith and purity are the merchandise offered by the enemy.”
“Don’t voluntarily dwell on what the devil presents to you.”

“When tempted, say to God: “Have mercy on your poor weakling.”
“When the assault of the enemy increases, you are closer to God.”
“When the enemy roars around you, it shows that he is not in you.”
“The more a soul is pleasing to God, the more it must be tried.”
“Temptation is like the soap. It seems to soil but in reality cleans.”
“There is joy in the spiritual battles. Learn how to fight and you will be certain of
victory.”
“If God lets you fall is to make you humble and more careful in the future.”
“The devil enters a soul only through one door: the will.”
“We must prepare for temptation if we want to approach God.”
“If you are tempted, that means that God loves you.”

Pope Francis’ Friday Homily: Preparing for the Heavenly Homeland

Pope: Preparing for the heavenly homeland

(Vatican Radio) Our journey of faith is not one of alienation, but prepares our hearts to see the beautiful face of God: this was Pope Francis’ message during Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae. On Friday Mass was attended by Staff from the Vatican Typography, the Vatican Labor Office and Vatican State Police. Emer McCarthy reports:
The Gospel of the day recounts Jesus saying to his disciples: “Do not let your hearts be troubled”.
“These words of Jesus are really beautiful words. In a moment of farewell, Jesus speaks to his disciples, really from the heart. He knows that his disciples are sad, because they realize that things are not going well. He says: Do not let your hearts be troubled. And he starts to talk like that, just like a friend, even with the attitude of a pastor. I say, the music in the words of Jesus is how the pastor should behave, like a shepherd with his sheep, right? … Do not let your hearts be troubled. Have faith in God, in me ‘. And what does he start to talk about? About Heaven, about the definitive homeland. ‘Have faith in me’: I remain faithful, it is as if he said that, right? … Like an engineer, like an architect He tells them what He will do: ‘I am going to prepare a place, in my Father’s house is my dwelling’. And Jesus goes to prepare a place for us. ” 
Pope Francis asked: “What is that place like? What does ‘prepare a place’ mean? Does it mean renting a room up there? ‘Prepare a place’, means preparing our ability to enjoy the chance – our chance – to see, to feel, to understand the beauty of what lies ahead, of that homeland towards which we walk “.

“And all of Christian life is the work of Jesus, the Holy Spirit to prepare a place, prepare our eyes to be able to see … ‘But, Father, I see fine! I don’t need glasses! ‘: But that’s another type of vision …. Think of those who are suffering from cataracts and have to undergo an operation to remove them: they can still see, but after surgery what do they all say? ‘I never thought you could see so well without glasses!’. Our eyes, the eyes of our soul they need, they have to be prepared to contemplate the beautiful face of Jesus. Our hearing must be prepared in order to hear the beautiful things, the beautiful words. Above all our hearts must be prepared: prepared for love, to love more”.
In our life’s journey – said Pope Francis- the Lord prepares our hearts “with trials, with consolations, with tribulations, with good things”:
“The whole journey of life is a journey of preparation. Sometimes the Lord has to do it quickly, as he did with the good thief: he only had a few minutes to prepare him and he did it. But the normal run of things goes this way, no?: in preparing our heart, eyes, hearing to arrive in this homeland. Because that is our homeland. ‘But, Father, I went to a philosopher and he told me that all these thoughts are an alienation, that we are alienated, that life is this, the concrete, and no-one knows what’s beyond …’. Some think this is so … but Jesus tells us that it is not so and says, ‘Have faith in me’. This I tell you is the truth: I do not cheat, I do not deceive. “
“Preparing for heaven – said the Pope – means beginning to greet him from afar. This is not alienation: this is the truth, this is allowing Jesus to prepare our hearts, our eyes for the beauty that is so great. It is the path of beauty and” the path to the homeland. ” 
Pope Francis concluded with a prayer that the Lord will give us ” this strong hope,” the courage and the humility to allow the Lord to prepare “our eyes, our hearts, our hearing” for the heavenly homeland, “the definitive dwelling. So be it.