Pope Francis during today's Mass in Santa Marta

PHOTO.VA - OSSERVATORE ROMANO

Pope's Morning Homily: We Are Weak, But Have Strength to Forgive

Francis Speaks on Weakness, Prayer, Forgiveness During Mass at Casa Santa Marta

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The Christian is aware that, without the help of the Lord, he cannot walk through life. Pope Francis conveyed this during his daily morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta today, reported Vatican Radio.

In his homily, Francis developed three points, speaking on weakness, prayer, and forgiveness, and reiterated how we all carry weakness with us, ever since “the wound of Original Sin.”

We are weak, the Argentine Pope stressed, “we slip into sins, we cannot move forward without the help of the Lord.”

Not only are we weak because we are vulnerable to sin, but also because our faith often is weak.

“We all have faith, we all want to go forward in the Christian life, ” the Pope said,  “but if we are not conscious of our weaknesses, we all will end up losers.”

Given this, the Pope encouraged those gathered to remember a prayer which says: “Lord, I know that in my weakness, I cannot do anything without your help.”

Turning to prayer, the Pope stressed that effective prayer can be simple. “Because we know that He is good and He knows everything about us and knows the things that we need, we begin to say that word: ‘Father,’ which is a human word, certainly, but that gives us life,” Francis said.

The Holy Spirit, the Pope stressed, gives us the power to start our prayer, for the Spirit “prays in us, to pray simply.”

With an open heart, we are to tell God what we need, Francis said, reminding those gathered that we are in His presence and that He is” Father” and “knows.”

On the third point of forgiveness, the Pope recalled how Jesus taught His disciples to pray for forgiveness as we forgive. “We can only pray well and say ‘Father’ to God if our heart is at peace with others, with our brothers,” the Pope stressed.

“But, Father, he did this to me, and he did this to me, and did that to me…”  Pope Francis said, reflecting on how we might try to defend our hesitation to forgive.

To this, Pope Francis responded simply: “Forgive. Forgive, as He will forgive you.”

Once we do so, he explained, “the weakness that we have, with God’s help in prayer, becomes a fortress because forgiveness is a great fortress.” 

One must be strong to forgive, the Holy Father underscored, “but this strength is a grace which we must receive from the Lord because we are weak.”

 

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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