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The Francis Chronicles

Pope: Hypocrites stick to rules, harsh judgment, and ignore God's mercy

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Never condemn others, but if temptation strikes, then condemn yourself because there is bound to be something deserving judgment, Pope Francis said.

May "our hearts be simple, bright with the truth that [the Lord] gives us and that way we can be loving, forgiving, understanding toward others, with a heart wide open to others and merciful," the pope said Monday at his morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae where he lives.

"Never condemn. If you feel like condemning, condemn yourself, there's got to be something there, huh?" he said, according to Vatican Radio.

No prize, not for sale: God's grace is free, loving embrace, pope says

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God's grace isn't "merchandise" that people can hoard or exploit for themselves; it is a free and loving embrace from God, Pope Francis said.

"The Lord is not a merchant," giving his grace as an object in exchange for something, the pope said Thursday at his morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae where he lives.

God loves us freely like a mother loves her child -- the child "lets himself be loved," and this is the grace of God, he said, according to Vatican Radio.

Spend time in silence and service before Christmas, pope suggests

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In the heart of Rome's high-end shopping district, sparkling with Christmas lights and shiny baubles in the windows of famous designers, Pope Francis prayed that people would spend time in silence and in service as they prepare to celebrate Jesus' birth.

Celebrating the feast of the Immaculate Conception on Monday, Pope Francis prayed for Mary's intercession so that, "in us, your children, grace also will prevail over pride, and we can become merciful like our heavenly Father is merciful."

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