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Bishop Burbidge concelebrates Mass with Pope Francis in Rome

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VATICAN CITY — Arlington Bishop Michael F. Burbidge and Father Robert J. Wagner, secretary to the bishop, concelebrated Mass with Pope Francis in the chapel of the pope's residence at the Domus Sanctae Marthae Sept. 25.

Bishop Burbidge and Father Wagner are in Rome this week visiting diocesan seminarians who attend the Pontifical North American College. They will concelebrate the diaconate ordination Mass for seminarian Nicholas Schierer Sept. 28 at St. Peter’s Basilica.

In his early morning homily Sept. 25, Pope Francis said that Christians must learn to expect and recognize God's consolation and hold dear the peace and tranquility it leaves behind.

The Lord's consolation touches one's inner being "and moves you and gives you a boost of love, faith and hope, and it also makes you cry for (your) own sins," the pope said.

True consolation from God isn't "amusement," which is why it is important to be able to recognize true solace, "because there are false prophets who seem to console us and instead deceive us," he said during an early morning Mass.

One can still look at turmoil and Christ's passion and cry with Him, and yet be able to feel and recognize God's presence, which "elevates your soul to the things of heaven, of God and it quiets the soul in the Lord's peace," he said.

The pope asked people to remember to thank God in prayer for always being there to help them "move forward, to hope, to carry the cross."

The Lord "will let us feel his presence" all the time, in moments of weakness or strength, as long as people know how to wait with humility and always be open and striving for God and not be a "closed" Christian who has put their life in "storage" and doesn't know what to do.


© Arlington Catholic Herald 2017