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placeholder  January 5, 2015   •   VOL. 53, NO. 1   •   Oakland, CA
Letters from Readers
Pope Francis' reflections

Holy season time to heal
The holy season is the time to heal wounds and fix whatever defects still linger in one's life and heart, Pope Francis told Vatican employees. Leading by example, the pope asked everyone for their forgiveness — for any errors or shortcomings he and his "colleagues" may be guilty of and "also for some scandals that cause so much harm. Forgive me."

The first thing to take care of is one's spiritual life — one's relationship with God — because that is "the backbone of everything we do and everything we are."

"Christians who do not nourish themselves with prayer, the sacraments and the Word of God inevitably shrivel up and run dry," he said. He asked that everyone work hard to make sure Christmas "never be a holiday of commercial consumerism, of appearances or useless gifts or of unnecessary waste."

The holy season of Christmas must be a time of joy in "welcoming the Lord in the crèche and the heart.

"Let's imagine how much our world would change if each one of us began right here and now and seriously took care of ourselves and generously took care of our relationship with God and our neighbor."

Pope Francis during a special audience in the Vatican's Paul VI hall Dec. 22.
Paul Haring/cns

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