Pope Francis: Paradise is the embrace with God, infinite love

“Paradise is not a fantasy land, or even an enchanted garden,” Pope Francis said during his weekly General Audience Oct. 25. “Paradise is the embrace with God, infinite Love, and we enter it thanks to Jesus, who died on the cross for us.”

“Paradise is not a fantasy land, or even an enchanted garden,” the pope said Oct. 25. “Paradise is the embrace with God, infinite Love, and we enter it thanks to Jesus, who died on the cross for us.”

Francis told the roughly 25,000 people gathered in St. Peter’s square that Jesus uses the word ‘paradise’ only once in the Gospel, when he is nailed to the cross and talking to the Good Thief. The pope described the scene on mount Calvary, where Jesus had his “last appointment with a sinner, to open wide to him also the doors of his Kingdom.”
The Good Thief humbly and bravely asked Jesus, “remember me” (cf. Lk 23:42), touching Christ’s heart with his repentance. He “reminds us of our real condition before God,” Francis said, “that we are his children, that He feels compassion for us, that He is disarmed every time we manifest nostalgia for his love.”

This scene repeats itself countless times in prison cells or hospital rooms, the pope continued, “no person, no matter how badly he lived, is left with only desperation and denied grace.”

Francis said that all of us come before God empty handed, discovering near death that our sins outnumber the good deeds we have done, but we “must not lose hope,” he added, “but confide in the mercy of God” like the publican in the Temple, or the prodigal son.
“Where there’s Jesus, there’s mercy and happiness,” Francis said. “Without him there’s cold and darkness.” Even when everyone else has abandoned us, Jesus is next to us, eager to lead us to “the most beautiful place in existence,” he said.

When the soul of the sinner goes to Heaven, the good that he has done in his life will go with him so that nothing that the Lord has redeemed will go lost, the pope said. But he will also carry with him “the failings and mistakes of an entire life.
“This is our life’s destination: that everything is done, and is transformed into love,” Francis said. “If we believe this, death stops frightening us, and we can also hope to leave this world serenely, with a lot of faith.
“Those who encounter Jesus, do not fear anything anymore.”

When that meeting finally happens, we will no longer be confused and need for anything, the pope continued. “We won’t cry uselessly anymore, because everything is passed; even the prophecies, even knowledge,” he said.

“But not love, that will stay.”

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Taken from: https://cruxnow.com/vatican/2017/10/25/pope-francis-paradise-embrace-god-infinite-love/

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Three ways to obtain an indulgence for the 100-year Fatima anniversary

Our Lady of Fatima. Credit: Our Lady of Fatima International Pilgrim Statue via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0).By Maria Ximena Rondon

.- For the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal, Pope Francis has decided to grant a plenary indulgence opportunity throughout the entire anniversary year, which began Nov. 27, 2016, and will end Nov. 26, 2017.
The Executive Secretary of the Rectory of the Fatima Shrine in Portugal, André Pereira, explained to CNA that the plenary indulgence can be obtained during the entire Jubilee Year. There are three ways of obtaining the indulgence, detailed in a statement on the shrine’s website.
To obtain the plenary indulgence, the faithful must also fulfill the ordinary conditions: go to Confession and Communion, be interiorly detached from sin, and pray for the intentions of the Holy Father.

1. Make a pilgrimage to the shrine

The first way is for “the faithful to make a pilgrimage to the Fatima Shrine in Portugal and participate in a celebration or prayer dedicated to the Virgin.”
In addition, the faithful must pray the Our Father, recite the Creed, and invoke the Mother of God.

2. Pray before any statue of Our Lady of Fatima

The second way applies to “the pious faithful who visit with devotion a statue of Our Lady of Fatima solemnly exposed for public veneration in any church, oratory or proper place during the days of the anniversary of the apparitions, the 13th of each month from May to October (2017), and there devoutly participate in some celebration or prayer in honor of the Virgin Mary.”
Regarding this second way, the rector of the Fatima Shrine told CNA that the visit to the statue of the Virgin, “does not necessarily have to be only at Fatima or exclusively in Portugal,” but can be done anywhere in the world.
Those seeking an indulgence must also pray an Our Father, recite the Creed and invoke Our Lady of Fatima.

3. The elderly and infirm

The third way to obtain a plenary indulgence applies to people who, because of age, illness or other serious cause, are unable to get around.
These individuals can pray in front of a statue of Our Lady of Fatima and must spiritually unite themselves to the jubilee celebrations on the days of the apparitions, the 13th of each month, between May and October 2017.
They also must “offer to merciful God with confidence, through Mary, their prayers and sufferings or the sacrifices they make in their own lives.”

Editor’s note: The original version of this article incorrectly identified André Pereira as the rector of the Fatima shrine.

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Taken from: https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/three-ways-to-obtain-an-indulgence-for-the-100-year-fatima-anniversary-78258