VATICAN CITY -- Everyone lives a life that is often inconsistent or a "contradiction" because people can be both a sinner and a saint, a victim and a tormentor, Pope Francis said.

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VATICAN CITY -- True believers do not condemn people for their sins or shortcomings but intercede on their behalf with God through prayer, Pope Francis said.

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VATICAN CITY -- True prayer is a "fight" with God in which those who think they are strong are humbled and faced with the reality of their own mortal condition, Pope Francis said.

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VATICAN CITY -- In the story of the patriarch Abraham -- honored by Jews, Christians and Muslims -- faith becomes a direct relationship with God that is marked by constant prayer, which sometimes takes the form of "debating" with God, Pope Francis said.

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VATICAN CITY -- Prayer is powerful not because it changes God or God's plans, but because it changes individuals and communities, one heart at a time, Pope Francis said.

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VATICAN CITY -- Prayer is more than just a physical, emotional or intellectual act; it is an inner desire to encounter God, Pope Francis said.

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VATICAN CITY -- The coronavirus pandemic is a "favorable time to rediscover the need for prayer in our lives; let us open the doors of our hearts to the love of God our father, who will listen to us," Pope Francis said.

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VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis asked Christians to join their love for the church with a caring concern for civil society, particularly at this time of the coronavirus pandemic.

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VATICAN CITY -- Humanity has failed to take care of the earth and its inhabitants, sinning against God and his gift of creation, Pope Francis said.

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VATICAN CITY -- The peace that is Christ's gift to individuals and to humanity as a whole is not some superficial sense of calm, but an active force of reconciliation that calls for cooperation and self-giving, Pope Francis said.

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VATICAN CITY -- Seeing and growing closer to God require purifying one's heart from the sins and prejudices that distort reality and blind people to God's active and real presence, Pope Francis said.

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VATICAN CITY -- Defending life is not an abstract concept but a duty for all Christians and it means protecting the unborn, the poor, the sick, the unemployed and migrants, Pope Francis said.

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VATICAN CITY -- Mercy, which is at the heart of the Christian life, is not a one-dimensional virtue but instead is the acceptance of God's love and the giving of that love to others, Pope Francis said.

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VATICAN CITY -- Amid a nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus epidemic, Pope Francis soldiered on with his weekly general audience and called on people to not forget those who suffer from war and violence.

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VATICAN CITY -- Lent is a time to remove all distractions and bitterness from one's life in order to better hear God and those who suffer silently and need help, Pope Francis said.

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