The "vigilant expectation" of the Christian who does not look at the flow of events with pessimism. "Resignation is not a Christian virtue. Christians do not raise their shoulders or bend their heads in front of a destiny that seems inevitable. " "Jesus wants our existence to be laborious, that we never drop our guard, to welcome with gratitude and astonishment every new day given to us by God".
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Pray the Rosary for Peace in the World, so that prayer can "move the most rebellious souls to banish violence from their heart, their words and gestures, and build nonviolent communities, which take care of the common home. Nothing is impossible if we turn to God in prayer. Everyone can be craftsmen of peace. " This is the call for the closure of the centenary of the apparitions of Fatima - October 13 - with which Pope Francis has concluded today's general audience.
Earlier, in the address addressed to the 20,000 people present in St. Peter's Square, Francis spoke of the dimension of hope that is “vigilant waiting. The theme of vigilance is a leitmotiv of the New Testament. Jesus preached to His disciples: “Let your loins be girded and your lamps burning, and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the marriage feast, so that they may open to him at once when he comes and knocks” (Luke 12:35-36). In this time that follows Jesus’ Resurrection, in which serene moments alternate in continuation with other anguishing ones, Christians never lay down. The Gospel recommends that we be like servants that never go to sleep, while their master hasn’t returned. This world calls for our responsibility, and we assume it wholly and with love. Jesus wants our existence to be laborious, that we never let down the guard, to receive with gratitude and wonder every new day given to us by God. Every morning is a blank page on which the Christian begins to write good deeds. Jesus’ Redemption has already saved us; however, now we are waiting for the full manifestation of His lordship: when God will finally be everything to every one (Cf. 1 Corinthians 15:28). Nothing is more certain in Christians’ faith than this “appointment,” this appointment with the Lord, when He comes. And when this day arrives, we Christians want to be like those servants who spent the night with their loins girded and their lamps burning: it’s necessary to be ready for the salvation that is coming, ready for the meeting. Have you thought how that encounter with Jesus will be when He comes? But, it will be an embrace, an enormous joy, a great joy! We must live in expectation of this encounter!”
“A Christian is not made for boredom, if anything for patience. He knows that a mystery of grace is hidden, even in the monotony of certain days that are always the same. There are persons that, with the perseverance of their love, become like wells that irrigate the desert. Nothing happens in vain, and no situation in which a Christian is immersed is completely refractory to love. No night is so long as to forget the joy of the dawn. And the darker the night is, the closer is the dawn. If we remain united to Jesus, the cold of difficult moments doesn’t paralyze us; and even if the whole world preached against hope, if it said that the future will only bring dark clouds, a Christian knows that in that same future is Christ’s return. No one knows when this will happen, but the thought that at the end of our history is Merciful Jesus, is enough to have trust and not to curse life. Everything will be saved. Everything. We will suffer, there will be moments that arouse anger and indignation, but the sweet and powerful memory of Christ will dispel the temptation to think that this life is wrong”.
“After knowing Jesus, we can do no other than scrutinize history with trust and hope. Jesus is like a house, and we are inside, and we look at the world from the windows of this house. Therefore, we don’t withdraw into ourselves, we don’t regret melancholically a past that is presumed golden, but we always look ahead, to a future that’s not only the work of our hands, but that is first of all a constant concern of God’s Providence. One day all that is opaque will become light.”
“And we know that God doesn’t deny Himself. Never. God never disappoints. His will in our affairs isn’t nebulous, but is a well-delineated plan of salvation. “God desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). Therefore, we don’t abandon ourselves to the flow of events with pessimism, as if history were a train of which one has lost control. Resignation isn’t a Christian virtue. As it isn’t for Christians to shrug their shoulders or bow their head in face of a destiny that seems ineluctable”.
“One who brings hope to the world is never a submissive person. Jesus recommends that we wait for it without staying twiddling our thumbs. “Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes “ (Luke 12:37). There is no peacemaker that, ultimately, has not compromised his personal peace, by assuming others’ problems. A submissive person isn’t a peacemaker but is lazy, one who wants to be comfortable. While a Christian is a peacemaker when he risks, when he has the courage to risk to bring the good, the good that Jesus has given us, given us as a treasure”.
“Let us repeat each day of our life that invocation that the first disciples expressed in their Aramaic language with the words Marana tha, and that we find again in the last verse of the Bible: “Come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20) It’s the refrain of every Christian existence: in our world we aren’t in need of anything other than a caress of Christ. What a grace if, in prayer, in difficult days of this life, we hear His voice responding and reassuring us: “Behold, I am coming soon” (Revelation 22:7)!”.
At the end of the audience Pope Francis noted that “the International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction is observed next Friday, October 13. I renew my heartfelt appeal for the safeguarding of Creation through an ever more attentive protection and care of the environment. Therefore, I encourage the Institutions and all those that have public and social responsibilities to promote increasingly a culture that has as objective the reduction of the exposure to risks and to natural calamities. May concrete actions, geared to the study and the defense of our common home, be able to reduce progressively the risks for the most vulnerable populations”.
Pope Francis blesses the candles on the plain filled with hundreds of thousands of pilgrims and emphasizes that "if we want to be Christians, we must be Marian." Not the "unreachable lady," but the "Master of spiritual life, the first one who followed Christ along the "narrow way "of the cross. The Mass celebrated by Card. Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State.
In celebrating the Marian Jubilee, Pope Francis said that Mary is the model of "knowing how to give thank" and of "humility". “Often we take everything for granted! This also happens with God” and we forget “the Giver”. Mary was “a simple young woman of Nazareth, who did not dwell in the palaces of power and wealth, who did not do extraordinary things.” Foreigners, “persons of other religions, give us an example of values that we sometimes forget or set aside!”
Various delegations and images of Marian Shrines from around the world filled in St Peter's Square for the recitation of the Marian prayer. “Praying the rosary does not remove us from the problems of life. On the contrary, it demands that we immerse ourselves in the history of each day, so as to grasp the signs of Christ’s presence in our midst.”