On justice & mercy:
“The devil is shrewd,” added Pope Francis. He “deceives us with the idea that our human justice can save us and save the world. In reality, only the justice of God can save us!”
God’s justice is very different from that proposed by the devil, he continued. “The justice of God is revealed in the Cross.” There we see how God judges: by “giving his life for us!”
Jesus’ sacrifice of his life on the Cross is the “supreme act of justice” and is “also precisely an act of mercy.”
Every Christian is called to this kind of mercy, exhorted Pope Francis. “Jesus calls all of us to follow this path: ‘be merciful, as your Father is merciful.’”
On the new technologies:
Dear friends, the concern and the presence of the Church in the world of social communications is important in order to dialogue with the men and women of today and bring them to meet Christ, but the encounter with Christ is personal. It cannot be manipulated. In these times we see a great temptation within the Church, which is spiritual harassment: the manipulation of conscience; a theological brainwashing which in the end leads to an encounter with Christ which is purely nominal, not with the Live Person of Christ. In a person’s encounter with Christ, both Christ and the person need to be involved! Not what’s wanted by the “spiritual engineer”, who wants to manipulate people. This is the challenge. To bring about the encounter with Christ in the full knowledge, though, that we ourselves are means of communication, and that the fundamental problem is not the acquisition of the latest technologies, although these are necessary to a valid, contemporary presence. It is necessary to be absolutely clear that the God in whom we believe, who loves all men and women intensely, wants to reveal himself through the means at our disposal, however poor they are, because it is he who is at work, he who transforms, and he who saves us.
“You can’t imagine just how much parishes and communities are affected by gossip. It causes pain, gossip causes pain. A Christian who is on the verge of gossiping, should bite his tongue Am I right? A Christian must bite his tongue! This would do good, because when the tongue swells one cannot speak or gossip.”
On the temptation to spiritual wellbeing:
Just like the rich young man from the gospel, “who wanted to follow Jesus but only up to a certain point,” the Pope explained that “the scandal of the Cross continues to block many Christians” who complain about the wrongdoings and insults they suffer, rather than following the way of the cross.
“The proof if somebody is a true Christian is his or her ability to endure humiliations with joy and patience.”
On humility: The Pope concelebrated his Oct. 1 daily Mass with the group of eight cardinals who will meet from Tuesday to Thursday this week to discuss reform of the curia.
In his homily, Pope Francis voiced hope that council’s meetings will help everyone to become more humble and to trust in God, so that the Church is able to give a beautiful witness to the world.
Reflecting on the gospel of the day in which the apostles sought to call down fire upon those who did not accept them, the Holy Father urged that the path of Christians is not a “path of vengeance,” saying that instead, it is the way of humility and meekness.
On hidden idols:
The Pope stressed that there are those who practice the faith that “think they’re wise, they know everything…They’ve become foolish and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God with an image: myself, my ideas, my comforts.”
Cautioning those in attendance at the Mass, the Holy Father stressed that all along the path of faith “there are idols, even a step forward,” emphasizing that “We all have within ourselves some hidden idol.”
“We can ask ourselves in the sight of God,” encouraged the pontiff, “what is my hidden idol? What takes the place of God?”
On Faith as an ideology:
“The faith passes, so to speak, through a distiller and becomes ideology. And ideology does not beckon [people]. In ideologies there is not Jesus: in his tenderness, his love, his meekness. And ideologies are rigid, always. Of every sign: rigid. And when a Christian becomes a disciple of the ideology, he has lost the faith: he is no longer a disciple of Jesus, he is a disciple of this attitude of thought… For this reason Jesus said to them: ‘You have taken away the key of knowledge.’ The knowledge of Jesus is transformed into an ideological and also moralistic knowledge, because these close the door with many requirements.”
“The faith becomes ideology and ideology frightens. Ideology chases away the people. It creates distances between people and it distances the Church from the people. But it is a serious illness, this ideology in Christians. It is an illness, but it is not new, eh? Already the Apostle John, in his first Letter, spoke of this. Christians who lose the faith and prefer the ideologies. His attitude is: be rigid, moralistic, ethical, but without kindness. This can be the question, no? But why is it that a Christian can become like this? Just one thing: this Christian does not pray. And if there is no prayer, you always close the door.”
“That’s what does harm: greed in my relationship with money. Having more, having more, having more… It leads you to idolatry, it destroys your relationship with others. It’s not money, but the attitude, what we call greed. Then too this greed makes you sick, because it makes you think of everything in terms of money. It destroys you, it makes you sick. And in the end – this is the most important thing – greed is an instrument of idolatry because it goes along a way contrary to what God has done for us. Saint Paul tells us that Jesus Christ, who was rich, made Himself poor to enrich us. That is the path of God: humility, to lower oneself in order to serve. Greed, on the other hand, takes us on a contrary path: You, who are a poor human, make yourself God for vanity’s sake. It is idolatry!”