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A roofless church is seen Nov. 20 in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan in a remote part of the eastern Philippines.
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In Advent, the Church moves through pain to joy. The pain of Advent is the pain of waiting for the Messiah who, when he comes, is expected to take away pain and make everything right. Pain is thus a problem; when the irritant that causes pain is removed, then we experience satisfaction, which we call joy.
Faith is not something you achieve. If you try to nail it down, it gets up and walks away with the nail. Faith works this way: Some days you walk on water; other days you sink like a stone. You live with a deep secret, the poet Rumi says, that sometimes you know, and then not, and then know again. Sometimes you feel the real presence, and sometimes you feel the real absence. Why?
It is freezing today. Thick snow covers our backyard, and in the hazy darkness of the morning I can see sparrows flock to the birdfeeder. I have to get up an hour earlier because of the icy roads.
Change rankles me. It can be the most unusual thing that sets my nights into nightmare drama.
It is that time of year when we begin to plan, personally and institutionally, for the holidays. This is the time when families gather, but also when workplaces bring their people together to thank them for all they've done. It is a time of remembrance and celebration.
Recently, I met a young man from India who has decided not to believe in any God since his country has too many gods, one they pray to for this and another one for that. He loves our country and is glad to have a job, but that's it.
The day before he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Pope Francis greeted Ukrainians marking the 80th anniversary of the Holodomor or “Terror-Famine of Ukraine.”
In a world where profit reigns over human dignity, solidarity has become a “dirty word” and risks being removed from the dictionary, Pope Francis said.
With Baptism, Christians are cleansed of sin, but the sacrament doesn’t wash away human weakness nor the obligation to ask forgiveness when they make mistakes, Pope Francis said.