The Francis Chronicles
Francis returns, as he often does, to the theme of forgiveness and God's mercy. Speaking off the cuff Wednesday, Francis said that he too is a sinner and goes to confession every 15 days. Let us not forget – he said – that God “never tires of forgiving us, Vatican radio reported.
Two weeks after the pope moved the world when he embraced victim of terrible disease, his compassion brings a moment of joy to another disfigured man. He put his hands on 53-year-old Italian man, kissed, hugged and prayed with him.
Pope Francis said he goes to confession every two weeks, knowing God never tires of forgiving those who repent but also knowing that having a priest say "I absolve you" reinforces belief in God's mercy.
Using the literal Italian translation of a Spanish saying, "It's better to turn red once than yellow a thousand times," Pope Francis said he knows some people are embarrassed to confess their sins to a priest, but it is the best path to spiritual healing and health.
"He touched my face and when he was doing it, I only felt love," said the disfigured man who Pope Francis kissed in a touching moment caught on camera earlier this month.
Francis Chronicles: Vinicio Riva is used to being shunned. But Pope Francis did the opposite when he saw the man afflicted with neurofibromatosis.
Just as fine wine grows stronger with age, grandparents and other elderly Catholics "have the strength to leave us a noble inheritance," Pope Francis said at his early morning Mass.
Celebrating the liturgy Tuesday in the chapel of his residence, Pope Francis once again denounced a cultural tendency "to discard" the elderly "because they are a bother."
Instead, "the elderly are those who transmit history to us, who transmit doctrine, who transmit the faith and give it to us as an inheritance," the pope said, according to Vatican Radio.
Huffington Post reports that Pope Francis is making the world sit up and take notice with his bold statements and radical shift in tone, and people can't stop talking about him. In fact, he's the most talked-about person of 2013, according to a recent survey by Global Language Monitor.
All human beings have a profound need to have a witness to their lives. We want someone to notice us, to say we matter, to hear our cries of pain and shouts of joy. We want, in our deepest core, to be known. I would argue that even introverts and recluses have this need and might even suffer more acutely than others because of its lack.