Religion and faith are not “a spectacle.”
According to Vatican News, Pope Francis gave this reminder during his daily morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta as he reflected on the readings of the day, and inviting faithful to make a “conversion of thought.” He warned that while anyone can “recite the Creed”, if they do not do so “with the Christian spirit,” it is pointless.
Commenting on the first reading about Naaman the Syrian (2 Kings 5: 1-15a), the pope found that “this man was waiting for the show”. But God “heals in another way,” he said in his homily reported by Vatican News in Italian.
Beyond the “conversion of works” with fasting, almsgiving, penance, and “conversion of feelings” with compassion, the Pope encouraged a “conversion of thought”: “not what we think, but also the way we think, the style of thinking.
“Do I think with the Christian style or with the pagan style? ”
When Jesus goes to the synagogue of Nazareth (Lk 4, 24-30), he noted that the people are initially amazed, then one of them started to say, ‘But that is the carpenter’s son. What does he teach us? In which university did he study that?’ ‘Yes! He is the son of Joseph.’
Francis observed that they began to exchange opinions, and their attitudes change, and they want to kill him. “From admiration, from wonder, to the will to kill him.”
The Pope observed that “they too, wanted the show,” saying to believe, they wanted to see miracles.
Jesus explains: ‘Amen, I say to you: no prophet finds a favorable reception in his country’.
“Because we resist the fact that one of us can correct us,” the Pope continued, noting: “It must be someone who arrives with a show, to correct us. And religion is not a show.
“Faith is not a spectacle: it is the Word of God and the Holy Spirit who acts in the hearts.”
Thus we can “recite all the Creed, even all the dogmas of the Church,” but if we do not do it “with the Christian spirit”, it does not serve “anything,” insisted Pope Francis: it is necessary to make a “conversion of thought.”
“The way of thinking too, the way of seeing, must be converted,” he said.
Pope Francis concluded, inviting faithful to make an examination of conscience: ‘With what spirit do I think? With the spirit of the Lord or with my own mind, the spirit of the community to which I belong or the small group or social class to which I belong, or the political party to which I belong? … And to seek if I really think with the spirit of God. And ask grace to discern when I think with the spirit of the world, and when I think with the spirit of God. And ask for the grace of the conversion of thought. ”