This is Christian hope: that the future is in God’s hands.

God is peace: let us ask Him to help us to be peacemakers each day, in our life, in our families, in our cities and nations, in the whole world.

The Lord always forgives everything! Everything! But if you want to be forgiven, you must set out on the path of doing good. This is the gift!

We must walk united with our differences: there is no other way to become one. This is the way of Jesus.

Beware of the temptation of jealousy! We are all in the same boat and headed to the same port! Let us ask for the grace to rejoice in the gifts of each, which belong to all.

If we live the faith in our daily life, then our work too becomes a chance to spread the joy of being a Christian.

A little bit of mercy makes the world less cold and more just.

All are called to love and cherish family life, for families are not a problem; they are first and foremost an opportunity.

The strength of the family lies in its capacity to love and to teach how to love.

Dear young people, do not be afraid of making decisive choices in life. Have faith, the Lord will not abandon you!

There is no cross, big or small, in our life which the Lord does not share with us.

It is not enough to say we are Christians. We must live the faith, not only with our words but with our actions.


Day 5

What is my favourite quote from Pope Francis?

How can I best prepare myself for his visit?

What words from his writings resonate most with me?

How can I put them into effect?



The apostles returned to Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. And he said to them, "Come away by yourselves to a lonely place, and rest a while." For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a lonely place by themselves. Have you ever had one of those sunny afternoons when, after playing sports or going for a long walk with a good friend, you sat down together on the grass, leaned your backs on a tree and, in no hurry, while licking an ice cream or having a drink, you had a great conversation together? Can you imagine how it was to sit down in a lonely place and have a long chat with Jesus, in no hurry, telling Him "all that you have done and taught"? It would be lovely, wouldn't it? You can't imagine how much Jesus longs for it, how much He loves it! And all this happened when they were so intensely occupied attending people "coming and going" that, as the text says, "they had no leisure even to eat." Therefore, being busy can't be an excuse to omit your daily conversation with Jesus. It's precisely then, when we have so many things to do, when we feel overwhelmed, that we need to save time for God. Because if we don't pray, how can we do anything well? A man was complaining of being so busy that he couldn't find time to pray. He never forgot the words of the priest: "Your lack of prayer is not for lack of time; it's for lack of love." Prayer isn't for those who have plenty of spare time. We usually have no time for prayer... we make it. Prayer is more necessary when we don't have time. A very busy statesman asked a bishop, who was also burdened with many occupations, "What is the secret of the serenity of your spirit and the admirable result of your work?" The holy bishop answered, "To all of your occupations, my dear friend, add half an hour of meditation every morning. You will deal with your affairs more easily, and you may be able still to take on some more tasks." Let's never make the excuse that we don't have time to pray, that we don't have time for God... what we don't have is time to waste! And if we don't pray... so much time is wasted! Mary, Master of Prayer, teach me to be consistent in my prayer.

And behold, one came up to him, saying, "Teacher, what good deed must I do, to have eternal life?"...If you would enter life, keep the commandments..." The young man said to him, "All these I have observed; what do I still lack?" Jesus said to him, "If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me." When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions. "He went away sorrowful" writes St Matthew, who saw the scene with his own eyes. That boy had everything that was needed. When Jesus asked Him to keep the commandments, he wasn't satisfied. He was more ambitious than that. 'I do that already,' he said, 'what else can I do?' He was good but wanted to be perfect! He wanted to move forward in generosity with God. He wanted to do more. We are all born with great desires. We are born for greatness. Jesus loved the fellow's answer and saw a man who could do so much! 'Well,' Jesus explained, 'if you want to be perfect... you can still do one more thing.' Imagine the expectation of the boy after that sentence - he came to find out exactly that: 'what else can I do?' and it seems that he was ready to do whatever it took to be more generous with God. If you knew that the only obstacle between you and happiness were easy to remove, wouldn't you like to know exactly how to remove it? So the young lad was told, 'Your possessions are the only obstacle. Get rid of them and it's done!' But he didn't expect that. He had probably imagined many things Jesus could ask for, but he didn't expect that one. He had a sort of 'clause', as if saying to Jesus, 'You can ask me anything... except this'. Some people, like this fellow, are ready to give God 'some things' but not 'everything'. It's not good to bargain with God, to want to save something for ourselves. To 'buy' God you need to pay your very last penny. A little sick child got a tiny young rabbit; the child was delighted with it, and when he was praying with his mother he said, "Jesus, I offer You my eyes, my ears, my tongue, my heart, in a word, my whole being"; he had a moment of remorse and added, "well, except my little rabbit." Mary, my Mother, help me to give God everything, including any 'little rabbit' I might have saved for myself.