The Francis Chronicles
A Christian marriage isn't just a big ceremony held in a church with nice flowers and everyone wearing fancy clothes and taking lots of pictures, Pope Francis said.
Marriage is an act of faith between a man and woman who are both fragile and limited, but courageous enough to follow Christ and seek to love each other as he loves them, the pope said Wednesday during his general audience in St. Peter's Square.
Francis Chronicles: "That restless heart gets up and says: 'Yes, I am a sinner, I did wrong, but I go ahead because the Lord is with me.' "
Catholics must get involved in politics even if it may be "dirty," frustrating and fraught with failure, Pope Francis said.
Given today's "throwaway" culture and so many problems unfolding in the world, "Do I as a Catholic watch from my balcony? No, you can't watch from the balcony. Get right in there!" he said.
Being Christian is humbly serving others, not applying "makeup" to your soul to make it prettier, Pope Francis said.
"To be Christian is to do what Jesus did -- serve," he said in a homily Thursday during Mass in the chapel of his residence, the Domus Sanctae Marthae.
Thinking about oneself and being self-centered "is a sin, it's a habit we have to break," he said, according to Vatican Radio. Just ask for forgiveness and pray "that the Lord convert us," he added.
"Why is it expected that women must earn less than men? No! They have the same rights. The disparity is a pure scandal."
The pope also pleaded that all priests be merciful when hearing confessions. "In the confessional, you will be there to forgive, not to condemn!"