Pope Francis continues to talk about sin and confession.
I have no idea if Francis’ little fervorini are going to wind up published in Acta Apostolicae Sedis, but they have some real meat. He is speaking more or less “a braccio“, off-the-cuff, but you can tell that he has some game.
One of the reasons why I like Francis’ preaching is that he is concrete. In some ways he is more concrete than Benedict was. I also like the fact that Francis is willing to reveal unpolished moments.
From the site of Vatican Radio we find a partial account (rather than a full text) of Pope Francis’ daily fervorino.
Commenting on the First Letter of St. John, which states ” God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all,” Francis Pope pointed out that “we all have darkness in our lives,” moments “where everything, even our consciousness, is in the dark”, but this – he pointed out – does not mean we walk in darkness:
“Walking in darkness means being overly pleased with ourselves, believing that we do not need salvation. That is darkness! When we continue on this road of darkness, it is not easy to turn back. Therefore, John continues, because this way of thinking made him reflect: ‘If we say we are without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us‘. [Watch this…] Look to your sins, to our sins, we are all sinners, all of us … This is the starting point. But if we confess our sins, He is faithful, He is so just He forgives us our sins, cleansing us from all unrighteousness…The Lord who is so good, so faithful, so just that He forgives.”
“When the Lord forgives us, He does justice” – continued the Pope – first to himself, “because He came to save and forgive“, [“Save”? It is almost as if Francis believes in propitiation!]welcoming us with the tenderness of a Father for his children: “The Lord is tender towards those who fear, [“Fear”? It is almost as if Francis believes in reverence.] to those who come to Him “and with tenderness,” He always understand us”. He wants to gift us the peace that only He gives. ” [Here we go! Sacrament of Penance…] “This is what happens in the Sacrament of Reconciliation” even though “many times we think that going to confession is like going to the dry cleaner” to clean the dirt from our clothes:
“But Jesus in the confessional is not a dry cleaner: it is an encounter with Jesus, but with this Jesus who waits for us, who waits for us just as we are. “But, Lord, look … this is how I am”, we are often ashamed to tell the truth: ‘I did this, I thought this’. But shame [It: vergogna] is a true Christian virtue, [“Shame”? The readers of the Fishwrap aren’t going to like this.] and even human … the ability to be ashamed: [Here is one of those moments I mentioned at the top…] I do not know if there is a similar saying in Italian, but in our country to those who are never ashamed are called “sin vergüenza’: this means ‘the unashamed ‘, because they are people who do not have the ability to be ashamed and to be ashamed is a virtue of the humble, of the man and the woman who are humble. ”
Pope Francis continued: “ we must have trust, because when we sin we have an advocate with the Father, “Jesus Christ the righteous.” And He “supports us before the Father” and defends us in front of our weaknesses. But you need to stand in front of the Lord “with our truth of sinners”, “with confidence, even with joy, without masquerading… We must never masquerade before God.” And shame is a virtue: “blessed shame.” “This is the virtue that Jesus asks of us: humility and meekness”.
“Humility and meekness are like the frame of a Christian life. A Christian must always be so, humble and meek. And Jesus waits for us to forgive us. We can ask Him a question: Is going to confession like to a torture session? [Excellent. I have often remarked that the confession is not The Rack.] No! It is going to praise God, because I, a sinner , have been saved by Him. And is He waiting for me to beat me? No, with tenderness to forgive me. And if tomorrow I do the same? Go again, and go and go and go …. He always waits for us. This tenderness of the Lord, this humility, this meekness …. ”
This confidence, concluded Pope Francis “gives us room to breathe.” “The Lord give us this grace, the courage to always go to Him with the truth, because the truth is light and not the darkness of half-truths or lies before God. It give us this grace! So be it. “
I am please, dear readers, to report that Pope Francis wants you to examine your consciences, to feel shame for your sins, and then to …
GO TO CONFESSION!