Paul VI Hall
Wednesday, February 12, 2020
Catechesis on the Beatitudes: 3. Blessed are those who are in tears, because they will be comforted (Mt 5,4)
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
We have embarked on the journey into the Beatitudes and today we focus on the second: Blessed are those who are in tears, because they will be comforted.
In the Greek language in which the Gospel is written, this bliss is expressed with a verb that is not passive - in fact the blessed do not suffer this cry - but to the active: "they afflict themselves"; they cry, but from within. It is an attitude that has become central in Christian spirituality and that the desert fathers, the first monks in history, called "penthos", that is, an inner pain that opens to a relationship with the Lord and with one's neighbor; to a renewed relationship with the Lord and with others.
This crying in the scriptures can have two aspects: the first is because of someone's death or suffering. The other aspect is tears for sin - for one's sin - when the heart bleeds from the pain of having offended God and neighbor.
It is therefore a matter of loving the other in such a way as to bind us to him or her up to sharing his pain. There are people who remain distant, one step back; instead it is important that others make a break in our heart.
I have often spoken of the gift of tears, and how precious it is.  Can you love in a cold way? Can we love by function, by duty? Certainly not. There are afflicted to console, but sometimes there are also consulates to afflict, to awaken, who have a heart of stone and have forgotten to cry. There is also a need to awaken people who cannot be moved by the pain of others.
Mourning, for example, is a bitter path, but it can be useful to open your eyes to the life and sacred and irreplaceable value of each person, and at that moment you realize how short the time is.
There is a second meaning to this paradoxical bliss: to cry over sin.
Here we must distinguish: there are those who get angry because they made a mistake. But this is pride. Instead, there are those who cry for the wrong done, for the omitted good, for the betrayal of the relationship with God. This is the cry for not having loved, which springs from having the life of others at heart. Here we cry because we do not correspond to the Lord who loves us so much, and we are saddened by the thought of the good not done; this is the sense of sin. They say: "I have hurt the one I love", and this pains them to tears. God be blessed if these tears come!
This is the theme of one's mistakes to face, difficult but vital. Let us think of St. Peter's weeping, which will lead him to a new and much truer love: it is a weeping that purifies, that renews. Peter looked at Jesus and cried: his heart was renewed. Unlike Judas, who did not accept that he had made a mistake and, poor fellow, committed suicide. Understanding sin is a gift from God, it is a work of the Holy Spirit. We alone cannot understand sin. It is a grace that we must ask for. Lord, that I understand the evil I have done or can do. This is a very great gift and after understanding this, the cry of repentance comes.
One of the first monks, Ephrem the Syrian, says that a face washed with tears is unspeakably beautiful (see Ascetic Discourse). The beauty of repentance, the beauty of tears, the beauty of contrition! As always, Christian life has its best expression in mercy. Wise and blessed is he who accepts the pain linked to love, because he will receive the consolation of the Holy Spirit who is the tenderness of God who forgives and corrects. God always forgives: let's not forget this. God always forgives, even the ugliest sins, always. The problem is in us, that we get tired of asking for forgiveness, we close in on ourselves and we don't ask for forgiveness. That is the question; but He is there to forgive.
If we always keep in mind that God "does not treat us according to our sins and does not repay us according to our sins" (Ps 103,10), we live in mercy and compassion, and love appears in us. May the Lord grant us to love in abundance, to love with a smile, with closeness, with service and also with tears.
 See Exhort. ap. postsin. Christus vivit, 76; Address to the young people of S. Tomas University, Manila, 18 January 2015; Homily on Ash Wednesday, 18 February 2015.
Je salue cordialement les pèlerins de langue française, les groupes venus de France, particulièrement l’aumônerie diocésaine d’Auch, accompagnée par S.E. Monseigneur Maurice Gardès et les jeunes venus de Marseille. Sage et bienheureux est celui qui accueille la douleur liée à l’amour car il recevra le Consolateur, l’Esprit Saint, tendresse de Dieu qui pardonne et corrige. Que le Seigneur fasse de nous des hommes et des femmes de miséricorde et de compassion ouverts à un amour généreux. Que Dieu vous bénisse !
[I cordially greet the French-speaking pilgrims, the groups from France, in particular the diocesan chaplaincy of Auch, accompanied by H.E. Msgr. Maurice Gardès, and the youth of Marseille. Wise and blessed is he who accepts the pain linked to love, because he will receive the Comforter, that is, the Holy Spirit, the tenderness of God who forgives and corrects. May the Lord make you men and women of mercy and compassion, open to generous love. God bless you!]I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially the groups from England, Ireland, Japan and the United States of America. Upon all of you and your families, I invoke the joy and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ. May God bless you!
Herzlich grüße ich die Pilger deutscher Sprache, insbesondere die Seminaristen des Bischöflichen Priesterseminars Fulda. Lasst uns den Trauernden beistehen mit der tröstlichen Botschaft des Glaubens. Bitten wir auch um die schmerzhafte aber heilsame Erkenntnis unserer Sünden und um den Trost und die Freude der Vergebung!
[I cordially greet the German-speaking pilgrims, especially the students of the Episcopal Seminary of Fulda. We stand alongside those in mourning with the comforting message of faith. We also ask for the painful, but healthy, knowledge of our sins, the consolation and joy of forgiveness.]
Saludo cordialmente a los peregrinos de lengua española venidos de España y de Latinoamérica —chilenos, peruanos, mexicanos, argentinos—. Pidamos al Señor que nos conceda el don de las lágrimas por nuestra falta de amor a Dios y al prójimo, y que por su compasión y misericordia nos permita amar a nuestros hermanos y dejar que entren en nuestro corazón. Que Dios los bendiga.
Ao saudar cordialmente todos os peregrinos de língua portuguesa, faço menção especial dos grupos brasileiros de Divinópolis e Porto Alegre. Que a Virgem Santa sempre vos acompanhe e ampare no crescimento cristão ao longo do caminho da vida, conservando, a vós e a quantos vos são queridos, na perene amizade de Deus. Sobre vós e vossas famílias desça a bênção do Senhor. Obrigado.
[In cordially greeting all the Portuguese-speaking pilgrims, I make particular mention of the Brazilian groups from Divinópolis and Porto Alegre. May the Holy Virgin always accompany you and support you in Christian growth along the path of life, keeping you and all those dear to you in the perennial friendship of God. May the blessing of the Lord descend on you and your families. Thank you.]
أُرحّبُ بالحجّاجِ الناطقينَ باللغةِ العربية، وخاصةً القادمينَ من الأراضي المقدسة، ومن الأردن ومن الشرق الأوسط. إن من يؤمن بالله لا يسمح لحزنه بأن يخنقه، أيًّا كان سببه. بل يتغلّب عليه بقوّة الروح القدس، ويحوِّله، لنفسه وللآخرين، إلى حياة جديدة. ليبارككم الرب جميعا ويحرسكم دائما من الشرير!
[I cordially welcome the Arabic-speaking pilgrims, especially those from the Holy Land, Jordan and the Middle East. Whoever believes in God does not let himself be suffocated by his tears, whatever the reason may be. But, he wins it with the power of the Holy Spirit and transforms it into a new life, for himself and for others. The Lord bless you and always protect you from the evil one!]
Serdecznie witam polskich pielgrzymów. Drodzy bracia i siostry, wczoraj przeżywaliśmy Świtowy Dzień Chorego. Wielu jest cierpiących z powodu choroby w naszych rodzinach, w naszym społeczeństwie i na świecie. Niech Pan da im siły, cierpliwość i łaskę uzdrowienia. A my zawsze pamiętajmy o nich i towarzyszmy im z modlitwą, z bliskością i konkretnymi gestami współczującej i czułej miłości. Niech Pan wam błogosławi! Niech będzie pochwalony Jezus Chrystus!
[I cordially welcome the Polish pilgrims. Dear brothers and sisters, yesterday we experienced the World Day of the Sick. Because of the disease, there are many suffering people in our society, in the world and in our families. The Lord give him strength, patience and healing grace. And we always remember them and accompany them with prayer, with closeness and with the concrete gestures of compassionate and tender love. The Lord bless you! Praised be Jesus Christ!]
APPEAL FOR SYRIA AND CHINA
I would like everyone at the moment to pray for the beloved and tormented Syria. Many families, many elderly people, children, must flee the war. Syria has been bleeding for years. Let us pray for Syria.
Also a prayer for our Chinese brothers and sisters who suffer from this cruel disease. May they find the way to recovery as soon as possible.
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I cordially welcome the Italian-speaking faithful. In particular, I greet the participants in the pilgrimage of the devotees of the Sanctuary of the Holy House of Loreto, with the Archbishop Msgr. Fabio Dal Cin; and those of the Archdiocese of Trani-Barletta-Bisceglie - these are noisy! They are thrilled! - and Coldiretti of San Ferdinando di Puglia, accompanied by the Archbishop, Mons. Leonardo D’Ascenzo. I also greet the parish groups and educational institutions.
Lastly, I greet the young, the elderly, the sick and newlyweds. May the Lord always support you with his grace, so that you may be constant in hope, entrusting yourself daily to the providence of God.
Full Text + Image Source: Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation
Full Text + Image Source: Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation