Sis boom bah! American Circus cheerleaders perform for Pope Francis at the Vatican
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Following his general audience at the Vatican, Pope Francis enjoyed cheers, acrobatics and juggling performed by the Italian troupe "American Circus."
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - During the Papal Audience, the American Circus performed before the pontiff and the crowd following the conclusion of Pope Francis' general audience.
The women waved pom poms and the men performed with juggling sticks - both sexes wore the colors of the troupe's national flag.
When he spoke to the performers, he praised them by saying, "you create beauty and beauty always brings us closer to God."
In reference to the obvious amount of time and effort the performers put into their performance, Pope Francis recognized their training and declared the troupe was an excellent example "for all of us. The seduction of an easy life, to end up with good results without effort, this is a temptation," he added, saying, "you offer us a witness that life without constant exertion is a mediocre life. I thank you so much for your example."
Following the performance, Pope Francis posed for pictures with the troupe and moved on to speak to a group of Argentinian soldiers, then blessed people in the audience.
During his address, the pontiff spoke of God's Will and how the Lord doesn't wish for us to condemn each other.
"The problem is letting him enter one's heart" to transform one's life, Pope Francis said. "This is the heart of God, the heart of a father who loves his children and wants them to live rightly and justly and, therefore, to live in fullness and be happy."
Pope Francis continued with his talks of divine mercy and justice. He reminded his audience, "It might seem that they are two things that contradict each other," the pontiff continued, but they don't as "it is precisely God's mercy that brings true justice to fruition."
"Rather, it is only by responding to (evil) with the good that evil truly can be overcome," he added.
The Holy Father spoke of the Bible and its many examples of true justice without a court system. He explained that when someone is wronged, they have an opportunity to talk to the person who wronged them "to help him to understand that he is doing wrong, to appeal to his conscience."
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After showing the guilty party that they have done wrong, Pope Francis described that the person "can open himself to the forgiveness that the injured party is offering him. And this is beautiful."
By keeping the line of communication open, families are able to work out their problems, the pontiff explained. He said the person who was offended "loves the culprit and wants to salvage the relationship that binds them, not cut off this relationship."
Though he spoke lightly of forgiveness, Pope Francis did explain that it is a difficult path to walk for man. "It requires that the person who was wronged be ready to forgive and desire the salvation of and what's best for the one who has wronged him," the pontiff further explained. "[I]f the guilty one recognizes the evil committed and stop doing it, then the evil is no more and the one who was unjust becomes just.
"This is how God acts with us sinners," Pope Francis said. "God doesn't seek our condemnation, but our salvation. God doesn't want to condemn anybody. The Lord of mercy wants to save everybody."
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