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Posted February 10, 2014

Book: Through the Year with Pope Francis
Editor: Kevin Cotter
Our Sunday Visitor. Huntington, IN. 2013. Pp. 339

An Excerpt from the Jacket:

Pope Francis is capturing minds and hearts with his joyful faith, with his warm, direct, and loving attention to those he meets and with his attention to those who are spiritually or materially impoverished.

Now you can start --- or finish --- every day encouraged by the same engaging spirit alive in these 365 short meditations written by Pope Francis.

An Excerpt from the Book:

"I want the Church to go out onto the streets. I want us to resist everything worldly, everything static, everything comfortable . . .everything that might make us closed in on ourselves." ---Pope Francis, World Youth Day 2013

Accepting Old Age

Sometimes it seems to me that, in our relationships with children and young people, we are like adults who abandon and disregard these little ones because they reveal our bitterness and our failure to accept old age. We abandon them to the vicissitudes of the street, with the attitude of "every man for himself." We abandon them to places of entertainment where they can amuse themselves. Or we abandon them to the care of the cold and passive anonymity of modern technologies.

We set aside our care for them, and we even imitate them because we do not want to accept our place as adults. We fail to understand that the commandment of love requires us to care, to set boundaries, to broaden horizons, and to give witness with our lives. --- Only Love Can Save Us, Homily, May 25, 2012

Reflection: What responsibilities has God given you? What can you do this week to be faithful to them? In what areas is God calling you to take on more responsibility?

What is Magnanimity?

Magnanimity: This virtue of the great and the small . . .What does being magnanimous mean? It means having a great heart, having greatness of mind; it means having great ideals, the wish to do the great things to respond to what God asks of us.

Hence also, for this very reason, to do well the routine things of every day and all the daily actions, tasks, meeting with people, doing the little everyday things with a great heart open to God and to others. It is therefore important to cultivate human formation with a view to magnanimity. Address, To Students of the Jesuit Schools of Italy and Albania, June 6, 2013.

Reflection: Most of us want to be great-hearted and filled with enthusiasm for life, but then reality sets in. if you're in a slump, ask God to help you find your way out. Start by practicing generosity of spirit in the smallest details of your routine today.

The Dynamic of Hope

Anyone exercising a role of leadership ---allow me to say, anyone whom life has anointed as a leader --- needs to have practical goals and to seek specific means to attain them. At the same time, there is always the risk of disappointment, resentment, and indifference if our plan and goals do not materialize.

Here I would appeal to the dynamic of hope that inspires us to keep pressing on, to employ all our energies and abilities on behalf of those for whom we work, accepting results, making it possible to strike out on new paths, being generous even without apparent results, yet keeping hope alive, with the constancy and courage that comes from accepting a vocation as leader and guide.

Don't be Robbed of Hope

You know, it is easy to say don't lose hope. But to all, to you all, those who have work and those who don't, I say: "Do not let yourself be robbed of hope! Do not let yourselves be robbed of hope!" Perhaps hope is like embers under the ashes; let us help each other with solidarity, blowing on the ashes to rekindle the flame.

But hope carries us onward. That is not optimism; it is something else. However, hope does not belong to any one person; we all create hope! We must sustain hope in everyone, among all of you and among all of us who are far away. Hope is both yours and ours. It is something that belongs to everyone!