Pope calls on God to free us from consumerism and gives us the grace of generosity

Helping the poor, even with "little things", enlarges the heart and leads to magnanimity. Faced with the statistics of poverty in the world, with the children who are dying of hunger, the good attitude is to ask oneself: "But how can I solve this?". It arises from the concern to do good.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – We need to ask God to free us from consumerism, which enslaves us, makes us addicted to spending and at the same time ask for the grace of generosity, "which enlarges our hearts and leads us to magnanimity", said Pope Francis at Mass this morning at Casa Santa Marta.

He was inspired by the passage from the Gospel of the widow's bishop (Lk 21: 1-4), which is "a call to generosity". Helping the poor, even with "little things", enlarges the heart and leads to magnanimity. Often the Pope noted, Jesus shows the contrast between rich and poor, just think of the rich man and Lazarus or the wealthy young man. A contrast that makes the Lord say: "It is very difficult for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven". Someone, commented Francis, label Christ as "communist", "but the Lord, when he said these things, knew that riches hid the evil spirit: the lord of the world". This is why he once said: "You cannot serve two Masters: serve God and serve riches".

Faced with the statistics of poverty in the world, with children dying of hunger, who do not have food, do not have medicines, so much poverty that every day we hear on the news and in the newspapers, the Pope continued, it is a good attitude to ask oneself: “But how can I resolve this?”: generosity, Francis continued, “it should be done daily, something that we must think of: how can I be more generous, with the poor, with the needy... how can I help more? “But you know, Father, that we are just barely making ends meet” - “But maybe I have some coins left? Think: you can be generous with that...”. Think. It’s about little things: let’s take a trip to our rooms, for example, a trip to our wardrobe. How many pairs of shoes do I have? One, two, three, four, fifteen, twenty... everyone can tell [their number]. A little too much ... I met a monsignor who had 40 ... But, if you have many shoes, give away half. How many clothes I never use or use just once a year? It’s a way of being generous, of giving what we have, of sharing”.  

Francis then told the story of a lady who, when she was shopping, always bought ten percent of what she spent for the poor: she gave "the tenth" to the poor. "We can work miracles with generosity. The generosity of little things, few things. Perhaps we do not do this because we cannot think of it. The message of the Gospel makes us think: how can I be more generous? A little more, not so much ... 'It's true, Father, it's like that but ... I do not know why but always there is fear ...'. “A big disease, (that) of consumerism, today!”, the Pope commented. “I’m not saying that we all do like this, no. But consumerism, spending more than we need, a lack of austerity in our life: this is an enemy of generosity. And material generosity - thinking of the poor, “I can give this so that they can eat, so that they get dressed” - these things, has another consequence: it widens the heart and leads you to magnanimity ".

It is therefore a matter of having a magnanimous heart where everyone enters. "Those rich people who gave the money were good; that old woman was a saint, "concluded the Pope, who urged those present to walk the path of generosity, starting with “looking to our own home first", that is, thinking of "what is not useful to me, what will serve another, maybe going through hard times ". We must pray to the Lord "to set us free" of that very dangerous evil that is consumerism, which enslaves us, makes us addicted to spending: "it is a psychiatric disease". "Let us ask the Lord for this grace: generosity, which enlarges our hearts and leads us to magnanimity".