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Prepare for Last Judgment by serving the poor, says Pope Francis

By on Thursday, 25 April 2013

Pope Francis blesses a child in St Peter's Square on Wednesday (Photo: CNS)

Pope Francis blesses a child in St Peter's Square on Wednesday (Photo: CNS)

Christians know they will be judged at the end of time on how they used the talents God gave them and how they served others, especially the poor, Pope Francis said at his at his weekly general audience.

After a long tour in the Popemobile among the more than 80,000 people gathered in St Peter’s Square, Pope Francis continued his audience talks about the affirmations of faith in the creed.

While teaching about belief in the second coming of Christ and the Last Judgment, Pope Francis also spoke about what it means to live in “the intermediary time,” the time between the death and resurrection of Christ and his coming again.

It is a “time of vigilance when we must keep the lamp of faith, hope and charity burning, a time when we must keep our hearts open to goodness, beauty and truth. It’s a time to live according to God, because we do not know the day or the hour of Christ’s return,” he explained.

Christians continually must look for signs of God’s presence, Pope Francis said, before adding: “Do not fall asleep. The life of a sleeping Christian is a sad life.”

Pope Francis also spoke about the importance of using the talents God gives each person, and, in both Italian and Spanish, he urged young people to recognise their gifts and seek ways to use them to serve God, others and the whole world.

“Do not be afraid to dream big dreams,” he told them.

Faith is a gift and salvation is a grace, he added, “but in order to bear fruit, God’s grace requires us to be open, to give a free and concrete response.”

The time of waiting for Christ’s return is “a time for action,” Pope Francis said. Especially at a time of global financial crises, people must use their gifts to help others.

The parable in St Matthew’s Gospel about the Last Judgment, using the image of a shepherd separating the sheep from the goats, is not meant to frighten people, but to motivate them to act, the Pope said.

He continued that the Gospel “tells us that we will be judged by God on our charity, on how we have loved our brothers and sisters, especially the weakest and neediest.”

The time before the last judgment, he said, is a time given by God, who with mercy and patience, wants us “to learn to recognize him in the poor and the little ones, work for good and be vigilant in prayer and in love.”

At the end of the audience, the Pope personally greeted members of the Argentine group, Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo (Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo), which was formed in 1976 by relatives searching for the children of those detained during Argentina’s so-called “dirty war.”

As many as 30,000 Argentines were kidnapped, tortured, murdered or disappeared between 1976 and 1983 under Argentina’s military dictatorship, and many of those detained were seized along with their children.

Argentine media reported that the group at the audience included Estela Carlotto, president of the Abuelas; Juan Cabandie Alfonsin, a member of the Buenos Aires city council and son of one of the disappeared; and Nicolas Gil Lavedra, director of the film “Verdades Verdaderas” (“True Truths”) about the life of Carlotto.

  • Matthew Holder

    Charity is a grace infused in us by God, whereas love is part of our nature as creatures.

    The amount of charity we receive from God is in part related to the amount of love we are willing to give our neighbours, particularly the least amongst them.

    Hence, the Holy Father urges us to get up off our backsides and do something for the poor.

  • http://www.myspace.com/TheeUnicorns christopher witt diamant

    The fact of the matter is that St. Francis was himself the greatest proponent of the ministering to the poor; “Il Poverello” he called himself: but let us take a look at what I wrote in my book about the First Church; and the theft of it’s …two first principles by Karl Marx; the False Prophet, as seen in Revelation chapter 13:1-17, after the demise the Axis as the triple beast ( in which Japan, Germany and italy took the positions of the kingdoms of Babylon, Greece and Medo-Persia) that first beast is followed by the False Prophet from the Earth of Dialectical Materialism; Karl Marx; with the two horns of Communism and Socialism, speaking “like a dragon”, as from the doctrine of Scientific Atheism.

    The two first principles of the first Church that Peter began in Jerusalem at Pentecost were the keys of the kingdom known then as pure communism and pure socialism; as seen in the fact of the left hand key of the collective principle when everyone sold all their private property and put the money at Peter’s feet.

    This was “pure communism”.

    Then Peter and the Apostles used the right hand key of the distributive principle: “pure socialism”,

    …..first taking the money and taking care of

    1.) The Old and the Sick

    2.) The Widows and Orphans

    3.) The Poor and the Imprisoned

    4.) ….and then finally the apostles and close followers of the Lamb themselves…LAST

    This is revealed in my book “A City Not Forsaken”, which reveals the Gospel and Revelation of Jesus Christ; as the Lamb’s Book, opened. What I have revealed here should be published in every newspaper on earth; and it shall, at some point, as I have proven what the real cause of the dissension in the church: and how it can be fixed;

    Amen; bless thee all in the Name of my Father Jesus
    The fact of the matter is that St. Francis was himself the greatest proponent of the ministering to the poor; “Il Poverello” he called himself: but let us take a look at what I wrote in my book about the First Church; and the theft of it’s …two first principles by Karl Marx; the False Prophet, as seen in Revelation chapter 13:1-17, after the demise the Axis as the triple beast ( in which Japan, Germany and italy took the positions of the kingdoms of Babylon, Greece and Medo-Persia) that first beast is followed by the False Prophet from the Earth of Dialectical Materialism; Karl Marx; with the two horns of Communism and Socialism, speaking “like a dragon”, as from the doctrine of Scientific Atheism.

    The two first principles of the first Church that Peter began in Jerusalem at Pentecost were the keys of the kingdom known then as pure communism and pure socialism; as seen in the fact of the left hand key of the collective principle when everyone sold all their private property and put the money at Peter’s feet.

    This was “pure communism”.

    Then Peter and the Apostles used the right hand key of the distributive principle: “pure socialism”,

    …..first taking the money and taking care of

    1.) The Old and the Sick

    2.) The Widows and Orphans

    3.) The Poor and the Imprisoned

    4.) ….and then finally the apostles and close followers of the Lamb themselves…LAST

    This is revealed in my book “A City Not Forsaken”, which reveals the Gospel and Revelation of Jesus Christ; as the Lamb’s Book, opened. What I have revealed here should be published in every newspaper on earth; and it shall, at some point, as I have proven what the real cause of the dissension in the church: and how it can be fixed;

    Amen; bless thee all in the Name of my Father Jesus

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    Well, that’s a pretty deep pile of heresies !!!

  • An onlooker

    Thank you. You have illustrated beautifully and knowledgably how skilled the Church is in using language to suggest that her teachings are based on facts, knowledge and objective truth, when in reality they are shaped by faith and speculation. When we recite the Creed we assert that ‘we believe’, not that ‘we know’.

    However comforting absolute certainty can be for those who have it, it can also close the mind to the possibilities and complexities of the human condition. As you say, even the Church does not claim to fully apprehend her own teachings so it would seem sensible not to assume that to know what the Church teaches is to know everything.

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    it would seem sensible not to assume that to know what the Church teaches is to know everything

    That’s not just “sensible”, it’s self-evident — given that the Church teaches Faith and Morals, but does not teach astrophysics, computer programming, engineering, or meteorology.

  • An onlooker

    Thank you for this. It’s good to hear that we now live in more enlightened times. There was a time when astrophysics was considered one of the Church’s areas of expertise, as Galileo found to his cost.

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    There was a time when astrophysics was considered one of the Church’s areas of expertise, as Galileo found to his cost

    Galileo was an astronomer/astrologer (the two professions were not distinct at the time) — NOT an astrophysicist.

    Furthermore, his research programme was directly funded by the Holy See.

    Third — whilst “the Church” does not engage in such activities, and never has done, individual members of the Church, Lay, Religious, or Clergy, most certainly do.

  • An onlooker

    ‘Galileo…….directly funded by the Holy See’

    ‘The Church does not engage in such activities and never has done’

    Which of these is true?

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    ‘Galileo…….directly funded by the Holy See’

    ‘The Church does not engage in such activities and never has done’

    Which of these is true?

    Both.

    Galileo was an independent scientist.

    His individual work on his subject is no more a part of Church doctrine than Father Lemaître’s work on Relativity and Big Bang theory.

  • An onlooker

    Let me see if I’ve got this right, you are telling me that because the Church was merely paying for the research that means that it was not actively engaged in it.

    An interesting and potentially dangerous point of view.

  • ANNE_JMJ

    Jesus’s first commandment is to love God. The second is love our neighbor. Mt 22:36-40.
    When we keep both of these commandments all the others will be adhered to.
    To love our neighbor – we must help him/her get to Heaven for eternity. And help them when they are truly in need.

    For accurate teaching of the Faith to others we must:
    1) Read a Catholic Bible starting with the New Testament;
    2) Read the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition” directly from the Magisterium.
    For a web site which has quotes from our Popes and much more regarding the CCC – search “What Catholics REALLY Believe SOURCE”. http://whatcatholicsreallybelieve.com .

    Even if we are not wealthy, we can help the poor by giving to charity – that extra set of dishes, or decent clothing that does not fit, or things of value that are packed away and never used, or food you will not use in a timely manner. We must detach ourselves from earthly things. Go through your home from top to bottom annually.
    “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will be your heart also.” Jesus Mt 6:19-21.

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    Let me see if I’ve got this right

    You haven’t.

    you are telling me that because the Church was merely paying for the research

    Nope — I said that the Holy See financed it. The reason for this is that Pope Urban VIII was a patron of the Arts and Sciences.

    means that it was not actively engaged in it

    Well, it wasn’t, was it — or Galileo would not have been condemned for what he actually wrote.

  • An onlooker

    Isn’t condemning someone for what they have written on a topic being engaged in it?

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    Isn’t condemning someone for what they have written on a topic being engaged in it?

    The cause of Galileo’s condemnation was that he included gross insults against the Pope and the Roman Curia in his text, although these are the people who had financed it in the first place.

    As it happened, there were disagreements in the Curia, BTW quite normal at the time among non-astronomers, as to the validity or otherwise of heliocentrism.

    Pope Urban VIII had personally overruled the Curia, in the decision to finance Galileo’s work.

    When this work finally appeared, containing the insults in question, the faction in the Curia that was opposed to heliocentrism succeeded in engineering Galileo’s condemnation — though the Holy Father did his best to ensure that the effects of Galileo’s condemnation upon his personal integrity were minimised as far as possible, which is to say that he was provided with a comfortable house and a manservant to serve him during the imprisonment that he endured, rather than being subjected to whichever harsh punishments that some in the Curia desired for him.

    Look — you can keep on trying to spin this as if the Curia were actively involved in publishing scientific opinions as much as you like — the truth is far, far simpler : Pope Urban VIII was a bit of a science enthusiast, and he was personally keen on trying to personally help scientists advance the state of the scientific knowledge of his time.

    Not being himself a scientist, he has contributed in no other way to the advances of science than throwing some cash at the problem.

    Pope Urban VIII was no more of a scientist, and he contributed no more to Science, than HM Queen Elizabeth II has done during her own lifetime — both the Holy Father and Her Majesty have, however, been patrons of science, one way or another.

  • An onlooker

    I’m not trying to spin anything.

    If a ‘faction in the Curia that was opposed to heliocentrism succeeded in engineering Galileo’s condemnation’ then that is a very public expression of a scientific opinion.

    The rest of what you write is also probably true.

    The issue is one of interpretation not historical knowledge so I think we’d better agree to differ.

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    The issue is one of interpretation not historical knowledge so I think we’d better agree to differ

    We’re probably not even that distant from each other as far as the facts of the case are concerned anyway, so I’ll be happy to accept your generous proposal.

  • stephanie

    This Pope is a very wise man

  • acero aspiro

    “But when the Son of man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He shall sit on the throne of His glory. And all nations shall be gathered before Him. And He shall separate them from one another, as a shepherd divides the sheep from the goats.
    And indeed He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats off the left. Then the King shall say to those on His right hand, Come, blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave me food; I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and you took Me in;
    I was naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me. Then the righteous shall answer Him, saying, Lord, when did we see You hungry, and fed You? Or thirsty, and gave You drink? When did we see You a stranger, and took You in? Or naked, and clothed You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and came to You? And the King shall answer and say to them, Truly I say to you, Inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brothers, you have done it to Me.
    Then He also shall say to those on the left hand, Depart from Me, you cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the Devil and his angels. For I was hungry, and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty, and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in; I was naked, and you did not clothe Me; I was sick, and in prison, and you did not visit me. Then they will also answer Him, saying, Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister to You?
    Then He shall answer them, saying, Truly I say to you, Inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into everlasting life. ” The words of the Gospel, the words of our Blessed Saviour. If you want to read daily the Bible, start with the Gospel of John, then the Epistle to the Romans, Luke and Acts, Mark, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Matthew, Galatians and then the rest of the Epistles ending with Apocalypse. Recite a simple prayer taken from the Psalms: “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.”
    and at the end of your reading pray this from the same Psalm:”I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart.” A daily reading of 10 verses will be a minimum requirement to really learn to meditate Scriptures and so that we can do what is pleasing before God. His Word give us the instructions, the Holy Spirit applies them to our hearts, our hands manifest our obedience and love for Him who gave Himself for us. May the Lord bless you and keep you

  • James M

    “Contorted”, yes – but there are certain ideas that don’t fit the BVM, because they cannot. To say this takes nothing from her.

  • James M

    But, she does not give us anything of herself by praying for us – she is an instrument of grace: not the Author of all grace: her Son is the Author & Source of all grace in the Church, as one would expect, since the Church is His Body.

    She can no more do what is incommunicable to creatures, even those elevated by grace, than can any other being that is not God. Christ can do what is incommunicable to creatures, because He is – unlike her – a Divine Person. To ascribe to her the power to do what He alone can do for us, is to lay on her a burden of glory no creature can carry – just as David could not take the weight of the armour of Saul.

  • Matthew Holder

    Catholic tradition teaches that the BVM is the neck in the Mystical Body. Thus, OLJC is the head, she is the neck,and we are the body.

    If a priest, who is a creature, is through the sacraments the instrument of a supernatural effect upon us, is it remotely likely that the Mother of God, the Queen of Heaven, lacks similar powers?

    Saint Louis de Montfort:
    “All true children of God have God for their father and Mary for their mother; anyone who does not have Mary for his mother, does not have God for his father. This is why the reprobate, such as heretics and schismatics, who hate, despise or ignore the Blessed Virgin, do not have God for their father though they arrogantly claim they have, because they do not have Mary for their mother.
    “An infallible and unmistakable sign by which we can distinguish a heretic, a man of false doctrine, an enemy of God, from one of God’s true friends is that the heretic and the hardened sinner show nothing but contempt and indifference for Our Lady. He endeavors by word and example, openly or insidiously – sometimes under specious pretexts – to belittle the love and veneration shown to her.”

  • Sheila O’ neill

    Has anyone got any idea’s about how I could personally best serve the poor. I have 4 children, 3 of which are grown up and one at home that I home tutor. I have a 6 year old grandson who I look after sometimes when my daughter is working. I am in receipt of benefit because of my health problems, but I do give money to CAFOD when I can. I also practice contemplative prayer twice a day.

    I never feel that I do enough for Our Blessed Lord. I have asked Him to show me where I’m needed in no uncertain terms, but, so far, nothing.

    I would be most grateful for any suggestions.

    Love to all in Jesus.