The problem is that we are "masters of negativity", because we carry within us the wound of original sin while "we are beggars at being positive" and we do not like to beg for consolation. "It would do us all good today, each of us, to examine our conscience: how is my heart? Do I have any bitterness there? Do I have any sadness? What is my language like? Is it in praise of God, of beauty or always of complaints? And ask the Lord for the grace of courage ".
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - It is easier to console than to be consoled, abandoning bitterness, complaints and rancor, said Pope Francis at Mass that this morning at Casa Santa Marta, inspired by the first reading taken from the prophet Isaiah (Is 35,1-10) in which the Lord promises his people consolation.
"The Lord has come to console us", the Pope repeated. And St. Ignatius "tells us that it is good to contemplate Christ's consoling office" by comparing it to the way in which some friends comfort others. And then, just think of the morning of the Resurrection in Luke's Gospel when Jesus appears to the apostles and they were so overjoyed they were incredulous. "Often the Lord’s consolation seems a marvel to us ".
"But it is not easy to be consoled; it is easier to console others than to be consoled. Because, often, we are attached to the negative, we are attached to the wound of sin within us and, often, there is the preference is to stay there, alone, in the bed, like that of the Gospel, isolated, there, and not get up. 'Arise' is the word of Jesus, always: 'Arise. "
The problem is that we are "masters of negativity”, the Pope said, because we carry within us the wound of original sin while "we are beggars at being positive" and we do not like to beg for consolation. It is so when one prefers "rancour" and "we drown our feelings" in the broth of resentment, when there is "a bitter heart", when our treasure is our bitterness. Like the paralytic of Siloam's pool: 38 years old with his bitterness saying that when the waters moved, no one helped him. "For these bitter hearts it is more beautiful bitter than sweet", many people prefer it, noted Francesco: "bitter root", "which brings us to the memory of original sin. And this is precisely a way of not allowing ourselves to be comforted".
Then there is the bitterness that "always leads us to expressions of complaints": people who complain before God instead of praising him: complaints like music that become the soundtrack to our lives life. Saint Theresa, the Pope recalled, said: "Woe to the nun who says: 'They did me an injustice, they did an unreasonable thing to me ". And the prophet Jonah: "Nobel Prize winner of complaints". He fled from God because he complained that God would do something to him, then he was drowned and swallowed by the fish and then returned to the mission. And instead of rejoicing at the conversion of the people, he complained that God saved them.
"Even in complaints there are contradictory things", he commented, telling of having met a good priest, but who also complained about everything: "He had the quality of always finding the fly in the ointment". "He was a good priest, in the confessional they said he was so merciful, he was old already and his brother priests would talk about what would happen when he died and went to heaven. They used to say: 'The first thing he will say to St. Peter, instead of to greeting him, is: 'Where is hell?', he always sees the negative. And St. Peter will show him hell. And he will look at it and say ...: 'But how many condemned are there? - 'Only one' - 'Ah, redemption, what a disaster... ". "Always ... this happens and in front of bitterness, rancor, complaints, the word for the Church today is 'courage', 'courage'".
In fact, Isaiah invites us to courage because God "comes to save you". And in today's Gospel (Lk 5,17-26) some people go to the roof - because there was a big crowd - and lowered the paralytic down to put him in front of Jesus. They did not think there were scribes or others, they just wanted the healing of that man.
"The message of today's Liturgy is that of allowing ourselves to be consoled by the Lord". "And it is not easy because to let ourselves be consoled by the Lord means we must strip ourselves of our selfishness, of those things that are our treasure, bitterness and complaints, there are so many things. It will do us good today, each of us, - concluded the Pope - It would do us all good today, each of us, to examine our conscience: how is my heart? Do I have any bitterness there? Do I have any sadness? What is my language like? Is it in praise of God, of beauty or always of complaints? And ask the Lord for the grace of courage, because in courage He comes to console us".
The Lord brings "consolation" that "moves you and increases in you the gifts of charity, of faith, of hope." "This is the real consolation. It's not fun - fun is not bad when it's good, we're human, we have to have it - but consolation takes you and the very presence of God feels and recognizes: this is the Lord. "
“The experience of consolation, which is a spiritual experience, always needs ‘someone else’ in order to be full: no one can console himself,” Francis said. “[I]f 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, and give us the mission to console others.”
"This process must be nipped in the bud, at the very first sign of bitterness, stop. The bitterness is not Christian. Sorrow yes, bitterness no. Resentment is not Christian. Sorrow yes, bitterness no ".
"Christians with a grimace or disgruntled expression on their faces, sad Christians, are a very ugly thing. It’s really ugly, ugly, ugly. However, they are not fully Christian. They think they are (Christians) but they are not fully so ." "The courage of women. The courageous women who are present in the Church: they are like Mary. Courageous: they get up and help other people”.