Confession renews grace of baptism, Pope Francis says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — 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. Baptism is “God’s powerful intervention in our lives to save us. This saving intervention of God doesn’t remove our human nature and weakness; […]

God may scold, but he never slaps, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — God’s hands are never used for violence, Pope Francis said. “I can’t imagine God slapping us,” the pope said. “Scolding us, yes, that I see, because he does do that, but he never, ever hurts us.” God shows love and tenderness, “even when he must scold us; he does it with […]

‘Putrid’ hypocrisy worse than mere sin, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — God loves and forgives sinners but abhors and condemns “putrid” hypocrites who lead others to sin, Pope Francis said. The pope spoke Nov. 11 during a morning Mass he celebrated in the Vatican guesthouse, where he lives. “We should all call ourselves sinners, yes, all of us,” he said, but “not […]

He was unfaithful, now despairing; can he be forgiven?

Father Ken Doyle answers the question of a man who was unfaithful to his wife and has suicidal thoughts. The man can be forgiven and should seek the sacrament of penance right away, as well as counseling.

All Saints, All Souls feasts are time to renew hope, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- At the end of the feast of All Saints, just before the sun set, Pope Francis celebrated an outdoor Mass at Rome's Verano cemetery and urged Christians to hang on to hope as they reflect on the promise that earthly life ends with eternal life in heaven. In his homily at the evening Mass Nov. 1, Pope Francis set aside his prepared text, looked out at the thousands of people gathered between long lines of tombs and told them, "We reflect and think about our own future and about all those who have gone before us and are now with the Lord."

Pope says God never tires of offering sinners eternal life

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- God never ceases to forgive, offering even the disobedient the chance for eternal life, Pope Francis said. "Even if our entire existence is surrounded by threats, nothing can ever separate us from the love that Christ himself gained for us," the pope said in a homily in St. Peter's Basilica Nov. 4.

Saints aren’t superheroes, they just never strayed from God, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Saints aren't superheroes, they are regular people who just never left God's side after encountering him and his love, Pope Francis said on the feast of All Saints. "Being a saint is not a privilege of the few, like someone getting a large inheritance. All of us have inherited through baptism the ability to become saints," he said Nov. 1.

Vatican, American Bible Society offer ‘lectio divina’ manual

  VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Vatican publishing house, the American Bible Society and the vicar general of the Diocese of Mar del Plata, Argentina, have teamed up to develop a step-by-step manual in the Catholic art of praying and meditating with the Bible. “Part of the aim of the project is to get Catholics […]

What makes a saint? For starters, longing to see God’s face

As All Saints Day approaches, columnist Michelle Francl-Donnay ponders the communion of saints and the fruits of holiness -- virtues, good works, mercy and justice. Are they what happen to a saint along the way? Where does sainthood begin? Perhaps not with the determination to be virtuous, but with a spark of grace struck in a soul.

How many times a day can one receive Communion?

Q. What are the church's guidelines for someone receiving Communion more than once a day? Some examples are: attending Mass on a Saturday morning, a Saturday evening vigil Mass and Mass again on Sunday morning; also, attending a weekday Mass in the morning and then a healing Mass that same evening.