Pope Francis returns to the “tormented Ukraine” and asks for “the gift of peace”, recalling that “mercy can change hearts”

“Let’s not forget to pray for the tormented Ukraine. Always asking the Lord for the gift of peace ”. This was asked by Pope Francis at the end of this morning’s General Audience in St. Peter’s Square.

Shortly before, Francis had explicitly evoked the conflict by greeting the Poles present in San Pietro’s stink. “Today – these are his words – we remember Saint Faustina Kowalska in the liturgy. Through her, God directed the world to seek salvation in her mercy. Let us remember this especially today, thinking especially of the war in Ukraine. As I said last Sunday at the Angelus, we trust in God’s mercy, which can change hearts, and in the maternal intercession of the Queen of Peace ”.

“I invite everyone to imitate St. Francis, Patron Saint of Italy, whose feast we celebrated yesterday: his example of consecration to God, of service to men and of fraternity with creatures, guide your path”, the Pope said. greeting the Italian-speaking pilgrims.

Mella catechesi, also intended for the theme of discernment; Francis explained instead that “prayer and self-knowledge allow you to grow in freedom. They are basic elements of Christian existence, precious elements to find one’s place in life ”.

Focusing on the theme “The elements of discernment. Knowing oneself ”, the Pintefice then recalled that“ good discernment also requires knowledge of oneself. It’s not easy. In fact, it involves our human faculties: memory, intellect, will, affections. Often we don’t know how to discern because we don’t know each other enough, and so we don’t know what we really want ”. “Most of us hide behind a mask, not only in front of others, but also when we look in the mirror. We all – Bergoglio observed – have the temptation to be masked even in front of ourselves. Knowing yourself is not difficult, but it is tiring: it implies a patient work of inner excavation. It requires the ability to stop, to ‘turn off the autopilot’, to gain awareness on our way of doing things, on the feelings that inhabit us, on the recurring thoughts that condition us, often without our knowledge. It also requires distinguishing between emotions and spiritual faculties. ‘I feel’ is not the same as ‘I am convinced’; ‘I feel like’ is not the same as ‘I want’. Thus we come to recognize that the gaze we have on ourselves and on reality is sometimes a little distorted. It is a grace to realize this! ”.

“Living in the age of information technology, we know how important it is to know passwords in order to be able to enter programs where the most personal and valuable information is located. Even the spiritual life – Francis said – has its “passwords”: there are words that touch the heart because they refer to what we are most sensitive to ”.

In this regard, the Pontiff has warned the faithful. “The tempter, who is the devil, knows these key words well – he affirmed – and it is important that we know them too, so as not to find ourselves where we would not like to. Temptation does not necessarily suggest bad things, but often disordered things, presented with excessive importance. In this way he hypnotizes us with the attraction that these things arouse in us, beautiful but illusory things, which cannot keep what they promise, leaving us in the end with a sense of emptiness and sadness. It is a sign that we have taken the road that has disoriented us ”.

Francis gave some examples: “They can be the qualification, the career, the relationships, all things in themselves praiseworthy, but towards which, if we are not free, we risk having unreal expectations, such as the confirmation of our value . When you think about the degree, do you do it to promote only yourself or the community? From this misunderstanding often derive the greatest sufferings, because none of those things can be the guarantee of our dignity.This is why it is important to know each other, to know the passwords of our heart, what we are most sensitive to, to protect ourselves from those who present themselves with persuasive words to manipulate us, but also to recognize what is really important to us, distinguishing it from the fashions of the moment or from flashy and superficial slogans. Many times what is said on TV or in an advertisement makes us go forward without freedom “.

Pope Francis returns to the “tormented Ukraine” and asks for “the gift of peace”, recalling that “mercy can change hearts” – FarodiRoma