Category Archives: Pope Francis

Living Our Baptism

Waters of Baptism make us a new creation

“We are called to live our baptism every day, as new creatures, clothed in Christ.” —Pope Francis

We recently celebrated the anniversary of my six-year-old son’s Baptism.  In my household this entails a dessert picked out by the honoree, retelling stories from that day and lighting their Baptismal candle.  This important day is one worth celebrating!  We are truly made new and welcomed as a member in God’s holy family through Baptism.  We also had the wonderful honor of celebrating this Sacrament for our newest God-child a little over a week ago.  It was a truly joyous occasion as well!

These experiences got me thinking about my Baptism and part in God’s family.  How timely a thought as Pope Francis tweeted this past Friday, “We are called to live our baptism every day, as new creatures, clothed in Christ.”  To live our Baptism every day!  But what does living as new creatures look like?

To begin with, we must ask ourselves this question–if we are truly a new creation, what has changed about us?  After all, our outward appearances seem to be the same.  We talk the same, look the same, appear the same height.  We have the same range of emotions,  need to eat, feel tired and get sick.  So what’s changed?

“Through Baptism we are freed from sin…”

While there are many ways to write about the change that has taken place, it is put quite succinctly in the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God…” (CCC 1213).  As sons (and daughters) of our heavenly Father, we are called to live in a way that reflects this reality.  We are to live as members of His household where His rules are abided by.  This change also unites you and I in a way that goes beyond mere blood lines.  We are family–I know the song went through my head too–but it is true!

To live our Baptism every day means to live in union with God our Father and in community with our brothers and sisters.  It means that we strive to go beyond the selfishness that permeates this world.  It means that we strive to know, love and serve our God side-by-side more deeply every day.  If we dare to live life that way, then we will truly live our Baptism every day, clothed in Christ.  What a joyous occasion that will be!

Facing reality: popes have ordinary moments, too

I saw this article and thought to myself…how long would I last if in any given day I only had 4 seconds of down time?

CNS Blog

UPDATED Jan. 16: The animated GIF is comprised of a dozen or more still photo frames shot within about 4 seconds. Each was cropped exactly the same. One of these frames is the featured photo. Neither the GIF nor the main photo were taken from video.

VATICAN CITY — Photographers covering the Vatican are witnesses to both the grandeur and ordinariness of the events that unfold here.

In a display of the ordinary, today I shot this unusual frame of Pope Francis as he rubbed his face.

He had just finished delivering his blessing at the end of his catechesis at the Wednesday general audience. The 77-year-old pope first rubbed his eyes, then his face. It was essentially the pope’s four seconds of down time before spending the next hour and a half greeting bishops, people with disabilities and many others.

My colleagues and I frequently see the pope doing…

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Pope Francis: Test the spirits

Pope Francis today reminded us that we need to be discerning about what passes in our own hearts.  As reported by Vatican Radio, the Pope said in his homily:

“Do not to trust every spirit, but test the spirits.” It is necessary, the Pope said, to know “the discernment of spirits,” to discern whether something helps us “remain in the Lord or takes us away from Him.” “Our heart,” he added, “always has desires, has cravings, has thoughts.” But “are these from the Lord or do some of these things take us away from the Lord?”

This is very much the idea behind Ignatius’ rules of discernment.  A great read on how to go about discerning what is going on in our hearts is Discernment of Spirits by Timothy Gallagher which I wrote briefly about on my Good Books page.

Pope Francis’ prayer to the Holy Family

Pope Francis gave the world a timely prayer to the Holy Family on December 29 as the Church prepares for the Synod of Bishops who will focus on the family. Check out the prayer on the Vatican News site here.