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The Francis Chronicles

Facing the truth about ourselves is a step toward holiness, pope says

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Being truthful about what is in one's heart isn't always easy, but it is an essential step to living a good and holy life, Pope Francis told members of a parish on the western outskirts of Rome.

"I think it would do us good today to think about not whether our souls are clean or soiled, but to ask, 'What is in my heart? What do I hold inside that I know and no one else does?'" the pope said Sunday during an evening Mass at the parish of St. Thomas the Apostle.

Pope Francis: Going to Mass should be a life-changing event

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Going to Mass and receiving the Eucharist should make a difference in the way Catholics live, Pope Francis said; they should be more accepting of others and more aware of their sinfulness.

"If we don't feel in need of God's mercy and don't think we are sinners, it's better not to go to Mass," Pope Francis said Wednesday at his weekly general audience. The Eucharist is a celebration of Christ's gift of himself for the salvation of sinners, which is why the Mass begins with people confessing they are sinners and begging for the Lord's mercy.

Mass, even with the pope, isn't a tourist activity; it's God's time

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An invitation to attend Pope Francis' early morning Mass is a hot ticket in Rome, but the pope said the Mass -- in his residence or anywhere else -- isn't an event, but a time for entering into the mystery of God.

"Maybe someone would say, 'Oh, I must get to Mass at Sanctae Marthae because the pope's morning Mass is on the Rome tourist itinerary,' " he said, according to a report by Vatican Radio.

Pope says relativistic ideas of marriage lead to divorce

Pope Francis said contemporary ideas of marriage as an arrangement defined by personal needs promote a mentality of divorce, and he called for better preparation of engaged couples as well as ministry to Catholics whose marriages have failed.

The pope's remarks appeared in a message distributed Friday to Polish bishops making ad limina visits to Rome to report on the state of their dioceses. Pope Francis met with the group but, as he frequently does, dispensed with reading out his prepared text.

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July 4-17, 2014

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