Reflections from Pope Francis for the New Year

As we approach a new year, we often look for sources of inspiration. I for one am excited to walk through this year with Pope Francis (yes, this is a shameless marketing plug). Seriously, though, check this book out. It has 365 meditations by Pope Francis that are taken from his homilies, writings and more.

When I read the first passage after the book arrived at my desk, it was beautiful. I remember when Pope Francis said those words, and it touched me again as it did back in September. I am looking forward to seeing that experience repeated throughout this year. On top of that, for some reason, I absolutely love the shape and feel of the book.

I encourage you to check out “Through the Year with Pope Francis: Daily Reflections” in our shop area. For now, here are a few tidbits to tease you. Enjoy!

January 1: The Gaze of the Lord

I ask you: How do you abide in the presence of the Lord? When you visit the Lord, when you look at the tabernacle, what do you do? Without speaking . . . “But I speak, I talk, I think, I meditate, I listen . . .” Very good! But do you let yourself be looked at by the Lord? Letting ourselves be gazed upon by the Lord. He looks at us and this is itself a way of praying. Do you [let] yourselves be gazed upon by the Lord? But how do you do this? You look at the tabernacle and you let yourselves be looked at . . . it is simple! “It is a bit boring, I fall asleep.” Fall asleep then, sleep! He is still looking at you. But know for sure that he is looking at you!
— Address, September 27, 2013

Reflection: Spend some time in the Lord’s gaze. How does he view you? What does he think about your life?

April 3: Forgotten How to Weep

We are a society that has forgotten how to weep, how to experience compassion — “suffering with” others: the globalization of indifference has taken from us the ability to weep! . . . [L]et us ask the Lord for the grace to weep over our indifference, to weep over the cruelty of our world, of our own hearts, and of all those who in anonymity make social and economic decisions which open the door to tragic situations. . . . Today has anyone wept in our world?
— Homily, July 8, 2013

Reflection: Take a moment to examine your compassion for others, those around you and those in the world. What can you do to help others in concrete ways in the next couple of weeks?


June 8: Walls

Let us ask ourselves today: Are we open to “God’s surprises”? Or are we closed and fearful before the newness of the Holy Spirit? Do we have the courage to strike out along the new paths which God’s newness sets before us, or do we resist, barricaded in transient structures which have lost their capacity for openness to what is new? We would do well to ask ourselves these questions all through the day.
— Homily, Mass With the Ecclesial Movements on Pentecost Sunday, May 19, 2013

Reflection: Before Pentecost, the apostles locked themselves in the Upper Room. But when they received the Holy Spirit, they were compelled to go and spread the Gospel. What barriers keep you from hearing the Holy Spirit and sharing the good news?

Jennifer Rey is the web editor of Our Sunday Visitor Publishing.