Pope shares best way to spend extra 5 minutes a day

Tuning into Christ’s message doesn’t require reaching for the TV remote. Instead, Pope Francis said faithful can hear Christ speak to them through the Gospel.

“On what TV channel does Jesus speak? He speaks to you in the Gospel,” he told a crowd Feb. 8 at St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Rome. “And this is a habit that we still do not have: to go to seek the Word of Jesus in the Gospel.”

Carry a pocket Bible, the pontiff said, and the voice of Christ will become clearer.Pope Francis greets pilgrims in St. Peter's Square, Oct. 13, 2013, amid an ocean of visitors to the Vatican.

“Five minutes, 10 minutes, when I am travelling, or when I must wait … I take the Gospel from my pocket or my bag and read something, or I do so at home,” the pope said. “And Jesus speaks to me.”

A reflection may follow the reading of a passage and listening to see if it speaks to the reader.

“I know people who always carry it and, when they have a little time, they open it, and thus always find the right word for the moment they are living,” Pope Francis said.

The pocket Bibles the pope referred to are widely available. Refer to the list below for more details.


Pope Francis said tuning into Christ's word can be done in the spare moments of one's day by carrying a pocket Bible.

Photo provided

Pocket Gospels and Acts of the Apostles (NAB) by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
Online: USCCB.org

New Testament and Psalms (Revised Standard Version, 2nd edition) by Ignatius Press
Online: Ignatius.com

New Testament (Confraternity Pocket Edition, 1941) by Saint Benedict Press Online: Benedictpress.com

St. Joseph New Testament Vest Pocket Edition (NAB)
Online: CatholicBookPublishing.com

The New American Bible Revised Edition (NABRE) Compact Edition by Oxford University Press
Online: CatholicBibleStore.com

COMING UP: Q&A: USCCB clarifies intent behind bishops’ Eucharist document

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Last week, the U.S. bishop concluded their annual Spring meeting, during which much about the Church in the U.S was discussed. In particular, the bishops voted to draft a document on the meaning of Eucharistic life in the Church, which was approved by an overwhelming majority.

Since then, speculation about the nature of the document has run rampant, the chief of which is that it was drafted specifically to instigate a policy aimed directly at Catholic politicians and public figures whose outward political expressions and policy enactment do not align with Church teaching.

The USCCB has issued a brief Q&A clarifying the intent of the document, and they have emphasized that “the question of whether or not to deny any individual or groups Holy Communion was not on the ballot.”

“The Eucharist is the source and summit of Christian life,” the USCCB said. “The importance of nurturing an ever
deeper understanding of the beauty and mystery of the Eucharist in our lives is not a new topic for the bishops. The document being drafted is not meant to be disciplinary in nature, nor is it targeted at any one individual or class of persons. It will include a section on the Church’s teaching on the responsibility of every Catholic, including bishops, to live in accordance with the truth, goodness and beauty of the Eucharist we celebrate.”

Below are a few commonly asked questions about last week’s meeting and the document on the Eucharist.

Why are the bishops doing this now?

For some time now, a major concern of the bishops has been the declining belief and understanding of the Eucharist among the Catholic faithful. This was a deep enough concern that the theme of the bishops’ strategic plan for 2021-2024 is Created Anew by the Body and Blood of Christ: Source of Our Healing and Hope. This important document on the Eucharist will serve as a foundation for the multi-year Eucharistic Revival Project, a major national effort to reignite Eucharistic faith in our country. It was clear from the intensity and passion expressed in the individual interventions made by the bishops during last week’s meeting that each bishop deeply loves the Eucharist.

Did the bishops vote to ban politicians from receiving Holy Communion?

No, this was not up for vote or debate. The bishops made no decision about barring anyone from receiving Holy Communion. Each Catholic — regardless of whether they hold public office or not — is called to continual conversion, and the U.S. bishops have repeatedly emphasized the obligation of all Catholics to support human life and dignity and other fundamental principles of Catholic moral and social teaching.

Are the bishops going to issue a national policy on withholding Communion from politicians?

No. There will be no national policy on withholding Communion from politicians. The intent is to present a clear understanding of the Church’s teachings to bring heightened awareness among the faithful of how the Eucharist can transform our lives and bring us closer to our creator and the life he wants for us.

Did the Vatican tell the bishops not to move forward on drafting the document?

No. The Holy See did encourage the bishops to engage in dialogue and broad consultation. Last week’s meeting was the first part of that process. It is important to note that collaboration and consultation among the bishops will be key in the drafting of this document.

Featured photo by Eric Mok on Unsplash