MORNING CELEBRATION BROADCASTED LIVE
FROM THE CHAPEL OF CASA SANTA MARTA
FROM THE CHAPEL OF CASA SANTA MARTA
HOMILY OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
"The concreteness and simplicity of the little ones"
Wednesday, April 29, 2020
Today is the feast of Saint Catherine of Siena, Doctor of the Church, patroness of Europe. Let us pray for Europe, for the unity of Europe, for the unity of the European Union: so that we can all go forward as brothers together.
In the first Letter of St. John the Apostle there are many contrasts: between light and darkness, between lie and truth, between sin and innocence (cf. 1 Jn 1,5-7). But always the apostle calls to concreteness, to truth, and tells us that we cannot be in communion with Jesus and walk in darkness, because He is light. Or one thing or the other: gray is worse, because gray makes you believe that you walk in the light, because you are not in darkness, and this reassures you. Gray is very treacherous. Or one thing or another.
The apostle continues: "If we say we are sinless, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not with us" ( 1 Jn 1: 8), because we have all sinned, we are all sinners. And here is one thing that can deceive us: saying "we are all sinners", like someone who says "good morning", "good day", a habitual thing, even a social thing, we do not have a true conscience of sin. No: meI am a sinner for this, this, this. The concreteness. The concreteness of truth: truth is always concrete; lies are ethereal, they are like air, you cannot take it. The truth is concrete. And you cannot go to confess your sins in an abstract way: "Yes, I ..., yes, once I lost my patience, another ...", and abstract things. "I am a sinner." The concreteness: “I did this. I thought this. I said this. " Concreteness is what makes me feel a sinner seriously and not a "sinner in the air".
Jesus says in the Gospel: "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned and you have revealed them to the little ones" ( Mt11,25). The concreteness of the little ones. It's nice to listen to the little ones when they come to confession: they don't say strange things, "in the air"; they say concrete things, and sometimes too concrete because they have that simplicity that God gives to the little ones. I always remember a child who once came to tell me he was sad because he had quarreled with his aunt. But then it went on. I said, "What did you do?" - "I was at home, I wanted to go play football - a child -, but my aunt - mom wasn't there - says:" No, you don't go out: you have to do your homework first ". Word goes, word comes, and in the end I sent it to that country. " He was a child of great geographical culture: he also told me the name of the country to which his aunt had sent! They are like this: simple, concrete.
We too must be simple, concrete. Concreteness leads you to humility, because humility is concrete. "We are all sinners" is an abstract thing. No: " I am a sinner for this, this and this". And this leads me to the shame of looking at Jesus: "Forgive me". The true attitude of the sinner. "If we say we are sinless, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us" ( 1 Jn1.8). And a way of saying that we are sinless is this abstract attitude: "Yes, we are sinners, yes, I lost my patience once ...", but all "in the air". I don't notice the reality of my sins. "But, you know, everyone, we all do these things, I'm sorry, I'm sorry ..., it gives me pain, I don't want to do it anymore, I don't want to say it anymore, I don't want to think it anymore ...". It is important that within us we give names to our sins. The concreteness. Because if we keep ourselves "in the air", we will end up in darkness. We become like the little ones, who say what they feel, what they think: they have not yet learned the art of saying things a little "wrapped" so that they understand each other but do not say each other. This is an art of the great, which often does us no good.
Yesterday I received a letter from a boy from Caravaggio. His name is Andrea. And he told me his things. The letters of the boys, the children are beautiful, for concreteness. And he told me that he had heard Mass on television and that he had to "scold me" one thing: that I say "peace be with you", "and you cannot say this because with the pandemic we cannot touch each other". He does not see that you [here in church] bow your head and do not touch. But he has the freedom to say things as they are.
We too, with the Lord, must have the freedom to say things as they are: "Lord, I am in sin, help me". Like Peter after the first miraculous catch: "Lord, get away from me, because I am a sinner" ( Lk 5,8). Having this wisdom of concreteness. Because the devil wants us to live in warmth, lukewarm, in gray: neither good nor bad, neither white nor black, gray. A life that the Lord does not like. The Lord does not like lukewarm people. Concreteness. Not to be liars. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just enough to forgive us" ( 1 Jn 1,9). He forgives us when we are concrete. Spiritual life is so simple, so simple; but we make it complicated with these nuances, and in the end we never get there ...
We ask the Lord for the grace of simplicity. May He give us this grace that He gives to simple people, to children, to young people who say what they feel, who do not hide what they feel. Although it is a wrong thing, but they say it. Even with Him, say things: transparency. And don't live a life that's not one thing or the other. The grace of freedom to say these things; and also the grace of knowing who we are before God.
Prayer to make spiritual communion
My Jesus, I believe that you are truly present in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar. I love you above all things and I desire you in my soul. Since I cannot receive you sacramentally now, at least spiritually come to my heart. As already came, I embrace you and I join you all. Don't let it ever separate me from you.
Full Text + Image Source: Vatican.va Unofficial Translation -