30-April-2013 -- ZENIT.org News Agency |

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Pope Francis: A Worldly Church Is A Weak Church

Pontiff Emphasizes Importance of Constant Prayer In Overcoming Evil

By Junno Arocho Esteves

VATICAN CITY, April 30, 2013 (Zenit.org) - During morning Mass today, Pope Francis emphasized the importance of entrusting the Church to God through constant prayer. The Holy Father celebrated Mass with staff from the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See.

The Pope said that while with our work we can safeguard the Church, what the Lord Lord does is much more important. "He is the only One who can look into the face of evil and overcome it.," the Pope said. "If we do not want the prince of this world to take the Church into his hands, we must entrust it to the One who can defeat the prince of this world."

"Here the question arises: do we pray for the Church, for the entire Church? For our brothers and sisters whom we do not know, everywhere in the world? It is the Lord's Church and in our prayer we say to the Lord: Lord, look at your Church. It' s yours. Your Church is [made up of] our brothers and sisters. This is a prayer that must come from our heart."

While it is easy to pray to the Lord when we need something, Pope Francis said that it is fundamental that we pray for all who have "received the same Baptism."

"Entrust the Church to the Lord is a prayer that makes the Church grow. It is also an act of faith. We can do nothing, we are poor servants - all of us - of the Church," Pope Francis said. "It is He who keeps her going and holds her and makes her grow , makes her holy, defends and protects her from the prince of this world and what he wants the Church to become, in short more and more worldly. This is the greatest danger!"

The 76 year old Pontiff warned that a worldly Church, with the spirit of the world within herself, the Church becomes weak, "a defeated Church, unable to transmit the Gospel, the message of the Cross, the scandal of the Cross. She cannot transmit this if she is worldly."

The Holy Father called on the faithful to entrust the Church, the elderly, the sick, the children and the youth to God in the midst of tribulations. Doing so, he continued, "He will give us, in the midst of tribulations, the peace that only He can give."

"This peace which the world cannot give, that peace that cannot be bought, that peace which is a true gift of the presence of Jesus in the midst of his Church," the Holy Father said. "Entrust all this to the Lord, guard your Church in tribulation, so she does not lose faith, so she does not lose hope."

Pope Francis concluded his homily asking the Lord to give all faithful the strength to not lose faith and hope. "Entrusting the Church to the Lord," he said, "will do us and the Church good. It will give us great peace [and although] it will not rid us of our tribulations, it will make us stronger in our sufferings."

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