God is love but not in ‘emotional’ sense, Pope says

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Pope Francis leads the Bishops of Italy in a solemn Profession of Faith in St. Peter’s Basilica for their 65th General Assembly May 23, 2013. Credit: Stephen Drsicoll/CNA.

VATICAN, May 26, 2013 (CNA/EWTN News).- As he celebrated the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity, Pope Francis spoke about how God is love, but not in an “emotional” or “sentimental” way.

“The light of Easter and Pentecost have renewed in us each year the joy and wonder of faith that recognizes that God is not something vague, abstract, but has a name: ‘God is love,’” the Pope said May 26, before reciting the Angelus in St. Peter’s Square.

And this love “is not sentimental, emotional, but the love of the Father who is the source of all life, the love of the Son who died on the cross and rose, the love of the Spirit who renews man and the world,” he stated.

Pope Francis then reflected on how the Trinity “is not the product of human reasoning, it is the face which God himself revealed, not from the top of a throne, but walking with humanity in the history of the people of Israel, and above all in Jesus of Nazareth.

“Jesus is the Son who made us know the merciful Father and brought to the world his ‘fire,’ the Holy Spirit,” he said.

On today’s feast, he explained, “we praise God not for a particular mystery, but for himself, ‘for his glory is immense,’ as the liturgical hymn says. We praise him and thank him because he is love, and for how he calls us to enter the embrace of his communion, which is eternal life.”

Because of celebrations for the Year of Faith in previous weeks, today was the first time in a month that the Pope delivered his words from the window of the papal apartment.

Without those festivities, the crowd was also not as large as before, but it made up for it with the presence of a troupe of people dressed in medieval garb – accompanied by a section of drums and trumpets – a large delegation from an Italian military association and a group of faithful from China who came to Rome to pray for their local Church.

Pope Francis explained to the assembly that he had just finished making his first trip as pontiff to a parish in the Rome diocese and he thanked the Lord for the visit.

He also asked the crowd to “pray for my pastoral service in this Church, which has the mission of presiding in universal charity.”

Before reciting the Angelus with the faithful, Pope Francis said, “we entrust our praise to the hands of the Virgin Mary.

“She, the most humble of creatures, through Christ has already reached the goal of our earthly pilgrimage: she is already in the glory of the Trinity. She shines for us as a sign of sure hope and solace and accompanies us on the path.”

After the Marian prayer, the Pope highlighted a beatification that took place in Palermo, Sicily on Saturday for Father Giuseppe Puglisi, a priest who was killed by the Mafia in 1993.

“Don Puglisi was an exemplary priest, devoted especially to youth ministry. He was teaching children according to the gospel and taking them out of the mob, and so they tried to defeat him and killed him. In reality, though, is he that won, with Christ Risen.”

The murder of Fr. Puglisi was a turning point for the Church in how it dealt with the Mafia.

Blessed Puglisi pursued a course of winning people away from the influence of the mob, as opposed to a protest model of resistance, which was more common among clergy at the time. Shocked by his death and inspired by his example, many of Sicily’s priests began to follow the more pastoral approach of Bl. Puglisi.

“We praise God for his luminous testimony,” Pope Francis said after today’s Angelus, “and we treasure his example!” (David Uebbing)

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