The Francis Chronicles
People must work together to protect life, Pope Francis said on Mother's Day, the day Italy celebrates its annual March For Life.
After praying the "Regina Coeli" at noon Sunday with people gathered in St. Peter's Square, the pope greeted all those who took part in the pro-life initiative that morning, saying "it is important to work together to defend and promote life."
Never let practice and competition get in the way of going to Mass, studying for school, being with friends and helping the poor, Pope Francis told an Italian sports association.
And never let Italy's infatuation with soccer -- like in the pope's native Argentina -- crowd out all the other sports, which are just as important for teaching kids the benefits of teamwork and sacrifice, he said Thursday.
Real love is constant, concrete and communicates -- it is action over words and it obeys the Beatitudes, Pope Francis said at his morning Mass.
True love is not "soap-opera love," or "a whim" or something that "makes our heart beat a little faster," and then nothing more, the pope said Thursday during the Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae.
Love is found "in concrete actions," he said, which is why Jesus told his disciples that only those who do the Father's will would enter into the kingdom of heaven, not those who just call out, "Lord, Lord."
A Christian marriage isn't just a big ceremony held in a church with nice flowers and everyone wearing fancy clothes and taking lots of pictures, Pope Francis said.
Marriage is an act of faith between a man and woman who are both fragile and limited, but courageous enough to follow Christ and seek to love each other as he loves them, the pope said Wednesday during his general audience in St. Peter's Square.
Francis Chronicles: "That restless heart gets up and says: 'Yes, I am a sinner, I did wrong, but I go ahead because the Lord is with me.' "
Catholics must get involved in politics even if it may be "dirty," frustrating and fraught with failure, Pope Francis said.
Given today's "throwaway" culture and so many problems unfolding in the world, "Do I as a Catholic watch from my balcony? No, you can't watch from the balcony. Get right in there!" he said.
Being Christian is humbly serving others, not applying "makeup" to your soul to make it prettier, Pope Francis said.
"To be Christian is to do what Jesus did -- serve," he said in a homily Thursday during Mass in the chapel of his residence, the Domus Sanctae Marthae.
Thinking about oneself and being self-centered "is a sin, it's a habit we have to break," he said, according to Vatican Radio. Just ask for forgiveness and pray "that the Lord convert us," he added.