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 -- Recognizing and repenting for one's own sins and errors is difficult, but essential, Pope Francis said.

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VATICAN CITY -- People who recognize and embrace their spiritual poverty will inherit the kingdom of God, not those who place their trust in the comforts of this world, Pope Francis said.

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VATICAN CITY -- The beatitudes are a path to joy and true happiness mapped out by Jesus for all of humanity, Pope Francis said.

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VATICAN CITY -- Showing hospitality makes a person a better human being and a better Christian and is an important part of promoting Christian unity, Pope Francis said.

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VATICAN CITY -- Christians survive trials and tribulations with the help of their faith in Christ and pay it forward by being compassionate toward others who suffer, Pope Francis said.

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VATICAN CITY -- Putting up a Nativity scene before Christmas is a reminder to stop and remember what Christmas is really about and to prepare one's heart like a manger for the coming of Christ, Pope Francis said.

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