Even if we just open our hearts a little bit, the Lord will find a way in.
According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis gave this recommendation during his daily morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta, reflecting on the gift of consolation, as he drew inspiration from today’s reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians.
In the reading, St. Paul teaches that consolation is not “autonomous,” and notes that being in a certain spiritual state is most conducive to receiving the gift of consolation from God and sharing the gift with others.
In the Gospel, Francis stressed, there are so many people, including the doctors of the Law, who are “full of their own sufficiency.”
However, he stressed, “the experience of consolation, which is a spiritual experience always needs ‘someone else’ in order to be full.”
“No one can console himself, no one – and whoever tries to do it ends up looking into the mirror – staring into the mirror and trying to ‘make oneself up.'”
Consolation, the Jesuit Pope explained, is a state of transition from the gift received to the service given.
“True consolation has this twofold ‘otherness’: it is gift and service. And so it is, if I let the consolation of the Lord enter as a gift it is because I need to be consoled. I am in need: in order to be consoled, one must recognize oneself as being in need of consolation. Only then does the Lord come, console us,” Francis said.
Highlighting the need to live out the Beatitudes, the Holy Father highlighted, an open heart, that is happy, is needed. Today’s Gospel Reading, Francis pointed out, reminds us that “the blessed,” are those “who are happy.”
“The poor: the heart is opened with an attitude of poverty, of poverty of spirit; those who know how to cry, the meek ones, the meekness of heart; those hungry for justice who fight for justice; those who are merciful, who have mercy on others; the pure of heart; peace-makers and those who are persecuted for justice, for love of righteousness.”
People who fall into this categories, the Pope noted, have their hearts opened by the Lord, Who then “comes with the gift of consolation and the mission of consoling others.”
As opposed to people who exemplify this living out of the Beatitudes are those who are “closed” and consider themselves “self-sufficient.” These are, the Pope elaborated, “the ones whose hearts are dirty,” the “makers of war,” and those “who are never criticized or persecuted” because injustice done to other people is of no concern to them.
Lamenting “these people have closed hearts,” Francis lamented that such people are not happy because closed hearts cannot receive the gift of consolation and therefore they cannot share it with those who need it.
Asking the faithful to think, on a daily basis, about their own hearts, and whether they are open and able to ask for the gift of consolation and share it with others, Pope Francis told them to thank the Lord, who “always seeks to console us,” and “asks us to open the doors of our hearts even only just a little bit.”
Then, Pope Francis concluded, saying, “The Lord will find a way in.”