Fridays With Francis: March 6, 2015

Sometimes you just don’t mess with a good thing. Here is the Holy Father’s week, in his own words.

Don’t assume you are good just because you aren’t bad.

The rich man saw only into his life, and did not realize what had happened to [himself]. He was not bad: he was sick, sick with worldliness – and worldliness transforms souls It transforms souls, makes them lose consciousness of reality. Worldly souls live in an artificial world, one of their making. Worldliness anesthetizes the soul. This is why the worldly man was not able to see reality…So many people are there, who bear so many difficulties in life, who live in great difficulty: but if I have the worldly heart, never will understand that. It is impossible for one with a worldly heart to comprehend the needs and the neediness of others.

Abandoning the elderly to die alone is a death in and of itself.

Palliative care has to objective of alleviating suffering in the last stages of illness and at the same time of assuring the patient of adequate human accompaniment (cf. Evang. Vitae, 65). It deals with the important support for the elderly, who, for reasons of age, often receive less attention from curative medicine, and are often abandoned. Abandonment is the most serious “illness” of the elderly, and also the greatest injustice they can suffer: those who helped us to grow must not be abandoned when they need our help, our love, and our tenderness.I therefore welcome your scientific and culture efforts to ensure that palliative care can reach all those who need it. I encourage professionals and students to specialize in this type of assistance, which has no less value on account of the fact that it “does not save lives.” Palliative care recognizes something equally important: recognizing the value of the person.

Don’t justify your sins with someone else’s bad actions.

We are all masters, professors of self-justification: “No it wasn’t me, it’s not my fault, maybe yes, but not so much…that’s not the way it is…”. We all have an alibi to explain away our shortcomings, our sins, and we are often to put on a face that says “I do not know,” a face that says “I didn’t do it, maybe someone else did,” an innocent face. This is no way to lead a Christian life…

When I feel envy in my heart and I know that this envy is capable of speaking ill of others and morally assassinating them, this is the wisdom of judging oneself. If we do not learn this first step in life, we will never, never be able to take other steps on the road of our Christian life, of our spiritual life: The first step is to judge ourselves. Without saying anything out loud. Between you and your conscience. Walking down the street, I pass by a prison and say: “Well, they deserve it” – Yet do you know that if it weren’t for the grace of God you would be there? Did you ever think that you are capable of doing the things that they have done, even worse? This is what judging yourself means, not hiding from the roots of sin that are in all of us, the many things we are capable of doing, even if we cannot seen them.

Thankfully we believe in a God Who isn’t a hypocrite.

We are not orphans. Until the very end, until the final moment, there is the assurance that we have a Father who awaits us. Let us trust in Him. And the Father turns to us, calling us ‘son’ and ‘daughter’, even in the midst of that worldliness: son. And this means that we are not orphans.

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