VATICAN CITY -- People should ask themselves whether their faith has become a "commercial relationship" with God or if it is a relationship built on freedom, love and generosity, Pope Francis said.

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VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis offered prayers to the victims and families affected by Hurricane Ida, which devastated the southern and northeastern United States.

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VATICAN CITY -- God can be found in the humanity of Jesus and in the people one meets in life, Pope Francis said.

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VATICAN CITY -- People should seek Jesus out of genuine love, not calculated self-interest, Pope Francis said.

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VATICAN CITY -- Pilgrims and well-wishers gathered at Rome's Gemelli hospital to greet Pope Francis as he made his first public appearance in a week after undergoing intestinal surgery.

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VATICAN CITY -- People can't be good Christians if they do not choose to remain in Jesus, Pope Francis said.

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VATICAN CITY -- Jesus is the good shepherd who knows, loves and defends his sheep, embracing everyone without exception, Pope Francis said.

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VATICAN CITY -- Greeting visitors in St. Peter's Square after nearly a month of tight restrictions due to the pandemic, Pope Francis said he was happy to see people allowed to gather and be present for Sunday noonday prayer.

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VATICAN CITY -- The Easter season, which lasts until Pentecost, is a time for rejoicing and for always seeking out the risen Christ, Pope Francis said.

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VATICAN CITY -- People should fast from gossiping and spreading hearsay as part of their Lenten journey, Pope Francis said.

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VATICAN CITY -- Christians must never engage in dialogue with the devil, but instead must fight against temptations with the same spiritual weapons Jesus used in the desert, Pope Francis said.

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VATICAN CITY -- When a person senses God's call, it can be intimidating or frightening, Pope Francis said, but Christians can be sure that the call flows from God's love and that responding to the call will be a means of sharing God's love.

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VATICAN CITY -- Christians are called to lead and lift people up by being close to them and sharing God's love, not by judging them, Pope Francis said.

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By taking on the frail human condition, God showed his love for humanity and his desire to share in people's joys and sufferings, Pope Francis said.

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VATICAN CITY -- People sometimes forget life's ultimate purpose is to prepare for the kingdom of heaven, Pope Francis said.

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