Pope Francis offered a prayer for media professionals who are covering the coronavirus pandemic before his daily Mass on Wednesday.
“Those who work in the media, who work to communicate today so that people are not so isolated … help us to bear this time of isolation,” Pope Francis said on April 1.
The Pope asked for people to pray for all those who work in communications and for the education of children.
In his homily via livestream from the chapel in his Vatican City residence, Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis said that “the Holy Spirit gives us freedom.”
“The disciple lets himself be guided by the Spirit. For this reason the disciple is always a man of tradition and novelty. He is a free man,” Francis said.
Christian discipleship allows Jesus to show the way of freedom and life, the Pope explained.
Pope Francis said that the “true identity of a Christian” is found in discipleship.
“Christian identity is not an identity card that says ‘I am a Christian,’” he said. “No, it is discipleship.”
The pope pointed to Jesus’ words in the Gospel of John: “If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
“The disciple is a free man because he remains in the Lord,” Pope Francis said. “It is the Holy Spirit that inspires.”
At the conclusion of the Mass broadcast, Pope Francis adored the Blessed Sacrament, and invited Catholics quarantined at home to make a spiritual communion.
A spiritual communion is a uniting of oneself to the Sacrifice of the Mass through prayer, and can be made whether one is able to receive Communion or not.
The Pope recited this spiritual communion prayer attributed to Servant of God Cardinal Rafael Merry del Val:
“At Thy feet, O my Jesus, I prostrate myself and I offer Thee repentance of my contrite heart, which is humbled in its nothingness and in Thy holy presence. I adore Thee in the Sacrament of Thy love, the ineffable Eucharist. I desire to receive Thee into the poor dwelling that my heart offers Thee. While waiting for the happiness of sacramental communion, I wish to possess Thee in spirit. Come to me, O my Jesus, since I, for my part, am coming to Thee! May Thy love embrace my whole being in life and in death. I believe in Thee, I hope in Thee, I love Thee. Amen.”