"We often think that evil comes above all from outside: from the behaviour of others, from those who think badly of us, from society". "And we spend time laying blame; but blaming others is a waste of time. One becomes angry, bitter, it keeps God out of one's heart".
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The Pope is calling for "intensified prayer and fasting" for Afghanistan, which he follows with "great concern". "As Christians," he said at the Angelus, "in historical moments like these we cannot remain indifferent."
Francis expressed his sympathy "for those who mourn for the victims of the suicide attacks," asking that "we continue to assist those in need and pray that dialogue and solidarity may lead to peaceful and fraternal coexistence," and calling for help to be given especially to women and children.
Earlier, before the recitation of the Marian prayer, to some thousands of people present in St Peter's Square, commenting on the passage of the Gospel in which Jesus says that "there is nothing outside man that, entering into him, can make him impure", while it is "from within, from the heart" that evil things are born, Francis urged people to "learn to blame oneself" for evil.
"Often," he said, "we think that evil comes above all from outside: from the behaviour of others, from those who think badly of us, from society. How often we blame others, society, the world, for everything that happens to us! It is always the fault of others, of people, of those who govern, of bad luck. It seems that problems always come from outside. And we spend our time laying blame; but this is a waste of time. You become angry, bitter, and keep God out of your heart. Like those people in the Gospel, who complain, are scandalised, polemical and do not welcome Jesus. One cannot - he warned - be truly religious in complaining: complaining poisons, brings anger, resentment and sadness that close the doors to God".
For Jesus, he said, "it is important to bring faith back to its centre. And to avoid a risk, which applies to those scribes as it does to us: observing external formalities while putting the heart of faith in second place. It is the risk of a religiosity of appearances: appearing to be good on the outside, while neglecting to purify the heart. There is always the temptation to 'fix God' with some external devotion, but Jesus is not content with this worship. He doesn't want outward appearances, he wants a faith that reaches the heart".