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Pope Francis: audience, “awaken those who cannot feel the pain of others”

“Awaken those who cannot feel the pain of others!”, Pope Francis said off the cuff, entrusting this mission to the 7,000 faithful gathered in the Paul VI Hall for his general audience catechesis dedicated to the second Beatitude. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted”, that is to say, “who cry, but within their hearts”, Pope Francis continued off the cuff. “Such an attitude – the Pope explained -, which has become central in the Christian spirituality, was called by the desert Fathers ‘penthos’, that is to say, an interior sorrow that can open us to an authentic relationship with the Lord and with others, to a new relationship with the Lord and with others, to a renewed relationship with the Lord and with others”. This sorrow can take two forms in the Bible, the Holy Father recalled: “The first is the pain we feel when faced with the suffering or death of someone. The second is mourning for sin, for our own sin, when our hearts bleed for the pain of having offended God and our neighbour”. “It is therefore a matter of loving the other in such a way as to bind us to him or her until we feel their pain”, Pope Francis highlighted, for “there are people who remain distant, one step back; instead, it is important that we let our hearts be touched by others”. “I have often spoken of the gift of tears and how precious it is”, the Pope stated, asking himself: “Can we love coldly? Can we love out of obligation, out of duty? Of course not! There are afflicted people to comfort, but sometimes there are also comforted people to afflict, to awaken, who have a heart of stone and have unlearned how to cry”. “Mourning is a bitter path, but one that can be useful to open our eyes to life and to the sacred and irreplaceable value of each person. It is then that we realise how short time is”, Pope Francis remarked.

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Quotidiano - Italiano