Thursday, January 09, 2014

Pope Francis: God's love is real. It's not 'soap opera love'




During his daily morning Mass at the Vatican, Pope Francis described Christianity as something concrete that requires action and not just words. Reflecting on a reading from St. John, he said the love found in Christianity is unique.

POPE FRANCIS
"You see that the love John speaks of is not the love of soap operas! No, it is something else. Christian love has a particular quality: concreteness. Christian love is concrete. Jesus Himself, when He speaks of love, speaks to us about concrete things: feeding the hungry, visiting the sick, and many concrete things. Love is concrete. Christian concreteness.”

The Pope then added that just like St. John says,  God is love, and those who remain in love- remain in God and God remains in them.

EXCERPT OF THE POPE'S CATECHESIS IN ENGLISH
Source: Vatican Radio

"We are in God and God is in us: this is the Christian life. Not remaining in the spirit of the world, not remaining in superficiality, not remaining in idolatry, not remaining in vanity. No, no, remaining in the Lord. And He reciprocates: He abides in us. But He remains in us first. Many times we push Him out and we cannot remain in Him. It is the Spirit that remains.”

"You see that the love John speaks of is not the love of soap operas! No, it is something else. Christian love has a particular quality: concreteness. Christian love is concrete. Jesus Himself, when He speaks of love, speaks to us about concrete things: feeding the hungry, visiting the sick, and many concrete things. Love is concrete. . . . And when this concreteness is not there, you can live a Christianity of illusions, because you don’t understand where the center of Jesus' message is. This love does not arrive at concrete being: it is a love of illusions, like the illusions the disciples had when, looking at Jesus, they thought He was a ghost.”

"The first criterion: to love with deeds, not words. Words are taken away by the wind! They are here today, tomorrow they are not. The second criterion of concreteness is: in love it is more important to give than to receive. The one who loves, gives. . . . Gives things, gives life, gives oneself to God and to others. On the other hand, [is] the one who does not love, who is selfish, always seeks to receive, always seeks to have things, to have advantages. Stay with an open heart, not like that of the disciples, which was closed, which did not understand anything: remaining in God and God remaining in us; remaining in love.”

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