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Pope Francis celebrates Mass in Santa Marta

PHOTO.VA - OSSERVATORE ROMANO

‘What to Do When All Seems Dark?’ Pope Says, ‘Hope, Hold On’

At Casa Santa Marta, Francis Warns Against ‘Living in the Fridge’

What should one do when things are dark …. Pope Francis says to hope and hold on….

According to Vatican Radio, during his morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta today, Pope Francis expressed this as he urged Christians to be courageously anchored in hope, and never just ‘still.’

Francis drew his inspiration from today’s Letter to the Hebrews, which spoke about having courage to go forward and how this ought to be our attitude toward life, just like the attitude of those who train for victory in the arena.

No Living in the Fridge

The Letter, the Pope also pointed out, also speaks of the laziness,the opposite of courage, which Francis summarized as: “Living in the fridge, so that everything stays the same”

Saying the life of a Christian is a “courageous life,” Francis criticized “Lazy Christians” who do not have the will to go forward,  make things change and be new.

“They are lazy, “parked” Christians: they have found in the Church a good place to park,” Francis said, noting when he says Christians, he is also talking about laity, priests, bishops, “everyone.”

“But there are also parked Christians! For them, the Church is a parking place that protects life, and they go forward with all the insurance possible. But these stationary Christians, they make me think of something the grandparents told us as children: beware of still water, that which doesn’t flow, it is the first to go bad.”

Hope, Francis continued, is what makes Christians courageous, while those who are lazy are “in retirement.”

No Life of Retirement

“It is beautiful to go into retirement after many years of work, but, he warned, “spending your whole life in retirement is ugly!”

Hope, on the other hand, is the anchor that we cling to in order to keep fighting, even in difficult moments.

“Hope is struggling, holding onto the rope, in order to arrive there. In the struggle of everyday, hope is a virtue of horizons, not of closure! Perhaps it is the virtue that is least understood, but it is the strongest. Hope: living in hope, living on hope, always looking forward with courage.

Hold on

‘Yes, Father – anyone of you might say to me – but there are ugly moments, where everything seems dark, what should I do?’ Hold onto the rope, and endure.”

Francis said that it’s normal to make mistakes, so fear of erring shouldn’t deter us from ‘moving.’

Pope Francis concluded, inviting us to ask ourselves if we are closed Christians, or Christians of the horizons; and if in ugly moments we are capable of enduring, with the knowledge that hope does not disappoint “because I know that God does not disappoint.”

“Let us ask ourselves the question: How am I? How is my life of faith? Is it a life of horizons, of hope, of courage, of going forward; or a lukewarm life that doesn’t even know to endure ugly moments?”

“May the Lord give us this grace,” Francis said, to overcome our selfishness, and raise our heads to Him to move forward.

About Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is a 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 four languages). She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, at times from the papal flight, and has done television and radio commentary, including for Vatican Radio and BBC. She is a contributor to National Catholic Register, UK Catholic Herald, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside the Vatican, and other Catholic news outlets. She has also collaborated with the Vatican in various projects, including an internship at the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and is a collaborator with NBC Universal, NBC News, Euronews, EWTN and Salt & Light. For 'The Other Francis': https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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