St. Peter's Square
Wednesday, 5 September 2018
Catechesis on the Commandments: 7. The day of rest.
Dear brothers and sisters, Good Morning!
The journey through the Decalogue leads us today to the commandment on the day of rest. It sounds like an easy command to do, but it's a wrong impression. Resting really is not easy, because there is false rest and true rest. How can we recognize them?
Today's society is thirsty for entertainment and holidays. The industry of distraction is very flourishing and advertising draws the ideal world as a large playground where everyone enjoys themselves. The concept of dominant life today does not have the center of gravity in activity and commitment but in evasion. Earn money for fun, satisfy yourself. The image-model is that of a successful person who can afford wide and different spaces of pleasure. But this mentality slips towards the dissatisfaction of an anesthetized existence of entertainment that is not rest, but alienation and escape from reality. Man has never rested as much as today, yet man has never experienced as much emptiness as today! The possibilities to have fun, to go out, cruises, travel, many things do not give you the fullness of the heart. On the contrary: they do not give you rest.
The words of the Decalogue seek and find the heart of the problem, throwing a different light on what rest is. The command has a peculiar element: it provides a motivation. The rest in the name of the Lord has a precise motive: "Because in six days the Lord made heaven and earth and sea and what is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord has blessed the Sabbath and consecrated him "(Exodus 20:11).
This refers to the end of creation when God says: "God saw what he had done, and behold it was very good" (Gen 1:31). And then begins the day of rest, which is God's joy for what he has created. It is the day of contemplation and blessing.
What then is rest according to this commandment? It is the moment of contemplation, it is the moment of praise, not of evasion. It is time to look at reality and say: how beautiful life is! At rest as an escape from reality, the Decalogue opposes rest as a blessing of reality. For us Christians, the center of the Lord's Day, Sunday, is the Eucharist, which means "thanksgiving". It is the day to say to God: thank you Lord of life, of your mercy, of all your gifts. Sunday is not the day to cancel the other days but to remind them, bless them and make peace with life. How many people who have so much chance to have fun, and do not live in peace with life! Sunday is the day to make peace with life, saying: life is precious; it's not easy, sometimes it's painful, but it's precious.
Being introduced into authentic repose is a work of God in us, but requires us to move away from the curse and its charm (see Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, 83). Bending the heart to unhappiness, in fact, emphasizing reasons for discontent is very easy. Blessing and joy imply an openness to the good that is an adult movement of the heart. The good is loving and never imposes itself. It must be chosen.
Peace is chosen, can not be imposed and can not be found by chance. Moving away from the bitter folds of his heart, man needs to make peace with that from which he flees. It is necessary to reconcile oneself with one's own history, with facts that one does not accept, with the difficult parts of one's existence. I ask you: have each of you been reconciled with your own story? A question to think: me, I reconciled with my story? True peace, in fact, is not to change one's own history but to welcome it, to value it, as it has gone.
How many times have we met sick Christians who have consoled us with a serenity that is not found in pleasure-seekers and hedonists! And we have seen humble and poor people rejoice in small graces with a happiness that tasted of eternity.
The Lord says in Deuteronomy: "I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, because you live and your descendants "(30:19). This choice is the "fiat" of the Virgin Mary, it is an openness to the Holy Spirit that puts us in the footsteps of Christ, the One who gives himself to the Father in the most dramatic moment and thus takes the path that leads to the Resurrection.
When does life become beautiful? When you start to think well of it, whatever our story is. When the gift of a doubt makes its way: that which is all grace,  and that holy thought crumbles the inner wall of dissatisfaction, inaugurating authentic rest. Life becomes beautiful when you open your heart to Providence and you find true what the Psalm says: "Only in God does my soul rest" (62: 2). This phrase from the Psalm is beautiful: "Only in God does my soul rest".
Je salue cordialement les pèlerins de langue française, en particulier, le pèlerinage national de Guinée, accompagné par le Cardinal Sarah et par Mgr Coulibaly, Archevêque de Conakry, et le pèlerinage national du Sénégal, accompagné par Mgr Mamba, Evêque de Ziguinchor. A l’exemple de Marie qui, par son Fiat, s’est ouverte à l’Esprit Saint et a accueilli la Vie, prenons le temps de rendre grâce au Seigneur pour la vie qu’il nous donne et apprenons à y trouver notre joie. Que Dieu vous bénisse !
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially those from England, Denmark, Hungary, Malta, New Zealand, India, the Philippines, Vietnam and the United States of America. I also greet the priests of the Institute for Continuing Theological Education of the Pontifical North American College. Upon all of you, and your families, I invoke the joy and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ. God bless you!
Mit Freude grüße ich die Pilger deutscher Sprache, vor allem die verschiedenen Schul- und Jugendgruppen. Nutzen wir den Sonntag, um Gott für seine Gaben und für unser Leben zu danken. Bei ihm allein kommt unsere Seele zur Ruhe (vgl. Ps 62,2). Der Heilige Geist erfülle euch mit seiner Freude und seinem Frieden.
Saludo cordialmente a los peregrinos de lengua española, en modo particular a los grupos provenientes de España y América Latina.
Los animo a abrir el corazón a la Providencia divina y a descubrir la profunda verdad del Salmo: «Solo en Dios descansa mi alma»; y que, junto con la Virgen María, acojamos al Espíritu Santo para seguir las huellas de Cristo en el camino de la vida. Muchas gracias.
Dirijo uma saudação cordial a todos os peregrinos de língua portuguesa, particularmente aos fiéis do Porto e do Brasil. Sois chamados a ser testemunhas do Evangelho no mundo, transfigurados pela alegria e pela graça misericordiosa que Jesus nos dá cada domingo na Eucaristia. Desça sobre vós e sobre vossas famílias a bênção de Deus.
أُرحّبُ بالحجّاجِ الناطقينَ باللّغةِ العربيّة، وخاصةً بالقادمينَ من الشرق الأوسط. أيّها الإخوةُ والأخواتُ الأعزّاء، تذكّروا على الدوام أنَّ يوم الراحة بالنسبة لنا كمسيحيين هو يومبركة وشكر. إنّه اليوم لكي نقول لله: شكرًا على الحياة وعلى رحمتك وجميع عطاياك. ليبارككم الرب!
Witam serdecznie uczestniczących w audiencji Polaków. Dzisiaj, szczególnie pozdrawiam dzieci i młodzież, które rozpoczęły nowy rok szkolny, także ich rodziców i wychowawców. Niech będzie on dla was czasem zdobywania wiedzy, mądrości i życiowego doświadczenia. Pamiętajcie o codziennej modlitwie i o udziale we Mszy św. w każdą niedzielę. Niech Matka Boża, której urodziny będziemy obchodzili w Jej święto przypadające w sobotę, pomaga wam wszystkim we wzrastaniu do świętości. Niech będzie pochwalony Jezus Chrystus.
I extend a cordial welcome to Italian-speaking pilgrims.
In particular I greet the Fatebenefratelli; the Missionary Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit and the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.
I greet the boys of the Confirmation of the Diocese of Verona; parish groups: in particular those of Montecosaro Scalo, Sannicandro and Caserta; representatives of the Spoleto District House; the delegation of the Italian Wine Cities; the blind and visually impaired Italian Union of Caserta and the Lingua Ecclesiae Group of Rome.
I address a particular thought to the young, the elderly, the sick and the newlyweds.
Next Saturday is the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The recurrence coincides with the end of the summer and the harvest, and reminds us that God is faithful to his promises and in Mary Most Holy he prepared a living temple in which his Son, incarnating himself, wanted to live among us and buy us salvation.
God bless you!
 As Saint Therese of the Child Jesus reminds us, taken from G. Bernanos, Diary of a country priest, Milan 1965, 270.