Pope Francis Talks about Sin, Concreteness, Truth and living Lukewarm, in the Grey 29.04.20
Pope Francis: Talks about Sin, Concreteness, Truth and living Lukewarm, in the Grey 29.04.20
Pope Francis 29.04.20 Holy Mass Casa Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae) Wednesday of the Third Week of Easter 1 John 1: 5 - 2: 2
Jesus says in the Gospel: "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the little ones." The concreteness of the little ones. It is beautiful to listen to the little ones when they come to confession: they do not say strange things, in the air; they say concrete things, and sometimes too concrete because they have that simplicity that God gives to the little ones. I always remember a child who once came to tell me that he was sad because he had quarrelled with his aunt. But then he went on. I said, "What did you do?" – "Oh well, I was at home, I wanted to go and play football – he was a child. "But the aunt, mum was not there, says, "No, don't go out: you have to do your homework first." And then he said one word after another. And in the end he told her to go where the pepper grows and because he was a child of great geographical culture, he even called her the name of the place to which he wanted his aunt to be sent! They are like this: simple, concrete.
We too must be simple, concrete: concreteness leads you to humility, because humility is concrete. "We are all sinners" is an abstract thing. No: "I am a sinner for this, this and this", and this makes me ashamed to look at Jesus: "Forgive me". The true attitude of the sinner. And if we say we are sinless, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. This abstract attitude is one way of saying that we are sinless : "Yes, we are sinners, yes, I lost patience once ...", but all in the air. I don't realize the reality of my sins. "But, you know, everybody, we all do these things, I'm sorry, I'm sorry ... it gives me pain, I don't want to do it anymore, I don't want to say it anymore, I don't want to think about it anymore." It is important that we, within ourselves, give names to our sins. Concreteness. Because if we keep them in the air, we will end up in darkness. Let's be like the little ones, who say what they feel, what they think: they have not yet learned the art of saying things a little wrapped up so that they are understood without them saying. This is an art of the big people, which so often does us no good.
Yesterday I received a letter from a boy from Caravaggio. His name is Andrea. And he told me things about him: the letters of boys, of children are beautiful, for their concreteness. And he told me that he had heard Mass on television and that he had to "reprove me" for one thing: that I say "Peace be with you", "and you cannot say this because with the pandemic we cannot touch each other". He doesn't see that you do this with your head and don't touch each other. But the freedom to say things as they are.
We too, with the grace of the Lord, have the freedom to say things as they are: "Lord, I am in sin: help me." Like Peter after the first miraculous catch: "Get away from me, Lord, for I am a sinner." To have this wisdom of concreteness. Because the devil wants us to live in tepidly, lukewarm, in the grey: neither good nor bad, nor white nor black: grey. A life doesn't please the Lord. The Lord doesn't like lukewarm people. Concreteness. Not to be a liar. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just forgives us: he forgives us when we are concrete. Spiritual life is so simple, so simple; but we make it complicated with these nuances, and in the end we never arrive.
Let us ask the Lord for the grace of simplicity and for Him to give us this grace that he gives to the simple, the children, the young people who say what they feel, who do not hide what they feel. Even if it's wrong, but they say it. Even with him, saying things: transparency. And don't live a life that's not one thing or the other. The grace of freedom to say these things and also the grace to know well who we are before God.
The Apostle goes on to say: "If we say we are sinless, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us", because we have all sinned, we are all sinners. And here there is one thing that can deceive us: to say "we are all sinners", as we say "hello", "good morning", a usual thing, even a social thing, and so we do not have a true consciousness of sin. No: I am a sinner because of this, this and this. Concreteness. The concreteness of the truth: the truth is always concrete; Lies are ethereal, they're like air, you can't catch them. The truth is concrete. And you can't go and confess your sins in an abstract way: "Yes, I ... yes, once I lost patience, another ...", and abstract things. "I am a sinner." concreteness: "I did this. I thought this. That's what I said." Concreteness is what makes me feel like a true sinner and not a sinner in the air.
In the first letter of St. John the Apostle there are many contrasts: between light and darkness, between lie and truth, between sin and innocence. But the Apostle always calls us to concreteness, to the truth, and tells us that we cannot be in communion with Jesus and walk in darkness, because He is light. It's either one thing or the other: grey is even worse, because grey makes you believe that you are walking in the light, because you are not in darkness and this reassures you. Grey is very treacherous. Neither one thing nor the other.
Today is the feast of Saint Catherine of Siena, Doctor of the Church, Patron of Europe. Let us pray for Europe, for the unity of Europe, for the unity of the European Union: so that together we can move forward as brothers and sisters.