Wednesday, April 23, 2014

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CNA Daily NewsSaint of the DayDaily Reading
Vatican City, Apr 23, 2014 / 06:26 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The postulators of the canonization causes for both John Paul II and John XXIII told journalists at the Vatican that the soon-to-be-saints also had faults which show their “humanity.”

At the Holy See Press Office April 22, Monsignor Slawomir Oder and Father Giovangiuseppe Califano discussed both the innate signs of holiness as well as the limitations of the pontiffs.

Msgr. Oder recalled that John Paul II “was a man with blood in his veins,” and as such “had no problem in showing his feelings” – sometimes “he was angry, which demonstrated his humanity.”

The Polish priest noted that in one of his trips, Pope John Paul II was told to use a bullet proof vest. However, the pontiff strongly and negatively rejected the move, “because he trusted in another type of protection.”

Fr. Califano indicated that Pope John XXIII, known as the “good” Pope, also had faults and “used to worry too much about things.”

But, he added, the late pontiff also “had a sense of simplicity and wisdom that helped him to be ironic with himself.”

The priest recounted how one day a newly-appointed bishop confessed to John XXIII “that he could not sleep at night due to an anxiety which was caused by the responsibility of his office.”

“The Pope told him, 'You know, I also thought the same when I was elected Pope. But one day I dreamed about my Guardian Angel and it told me not to take everything so seriously.'”

Both postulators concurred that “all of us have faults, but true holiness is the one in which man responds to the grace of God correcting their mistakes.”

The two also reflected on the saintly characteristics of both men, which they said could be seen from the time both Popes were young.

As a fifteen-year-old seminarian, Angelo Roncalli not only exhibited the qualities of his future episcopal motto – “obedience and peace” – but showed his deep humility and paternal care for others, Fr. Califano said.

University friends of Karol Woytyla were struck by the future saint's prayer habits and profound understanding of the value of human life, Msgr. Oder added.

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Vatican City, Apr 23, 2014 / 05:22 am (CNA/EWTN News).- During his general audience Wednesday Pope Francis emphasized the certainty of Christ's presence in the world today, noting how his resurrection invites us to reject sin and open ourselves to joy and hope.  

“In these days we celebrate with joy the great mystery of the Resurrection of Christ,” he told the crowds packed into St. Peter's Square April 23.

“With the resurrection, all has been made new and fresh hope has been poured out upon our world.”

During his remarks, the Pope commented on the Gospel reading from Luke chapter 24, where the angel appears to the women at Jesus' tomb and says to them: “Why do you seek the living among the dead?”

“Its not easy to accept the presence of the resurrected in the midst of us,” the Pope reflected. “The question that the angel directed to the women, that Easter morning, 'Why do you seek the living among the dead?' we must also ask ourselves.”

Pope Francis outlined the relevance of the angel's words today, explaining that we seek the living among the dead “every time we enclose ourselves in selfishness or complacency.”

“When we are seduced by power and the things of this world, forgetting God and neighbor, when we put our hope in worldly vanities, in money or in success,” he added.

“Each time we lose hope or do not have the strength to pray, each time that we feel alone of abandoned by friends, and even God, each time we feel like prisoners of our sins.”

The pontiff said that the angel's warning “helps us to go outside of our sadnesses and to open ourselves to joy and to hope,” which remove “the stones from the grave and pushes us to announce the Good News to others.”

Pope Francis also noted how the Gospel account shows three examples “of a life-changing encounter with the Risen Lord,” – Thomas, Mary Magdalene and the travelers on the road to Emmaus – which all invite us to the same experience.

“Like Thomas, we need to grasp the reality of Christ's rising to new life,” he said. “Like Mary Magdalene, we need to hear Jesus' voice calling our name.”

“And like the travelers on the road to Emmaus, we need to find renewed joy and hope by recognizing that the Lord is ever at our side.”

The Pope observed that although these disciples “sought the living among the dead,” Jesus “led them, by different paths, to faith in him and the power of his resurrection.”

“Today he challenges each of us to seek him, the Living One, and to leave behind everything that holds us back from encountering him and sharing in the rebirth, the freedom and the hope which he alone can give.”

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