» 10/17/2013, 00.00
Pope: Christians who don’t pray loose faith and fall victim to ideologies and moralism
A Christian who does not pray acts as if he had a "key in his pocket and leaves the door closed ". When a church is closed "the people passing in front can not enter." And , even worse , "the Lord who is inside can not get out ."
City ( AsiaNews ) - Christians who do not pray "abandon the faith and
transform it into a casuistry , moralistic ideology, without Jesus" and
" ideologies do not call to us" , but result in an attitude of having
"the key in one's pocket and leaving the door closed
This is the reflection that Pope Francis
gave at Mass at Casa Santa Marta commenting on today's Gospel in which Jesus
says, "Woe to you
who build the memorials of the prophets whom your fathers killed".
In it's report in Italian, Vatican
Radio says the Pope put this warning into today's context. "When
we are walking along the street and we find ourselves in front of a closed
church it feels a little strange" because "a closed church is incomprehensible".
"we are given explanations" that do not stand up to scrutiny: They "are
excuses, justifications, but the reality is that the church is closed and the
people passing in front can not enter." And
, what's even worse , "the Lord who is inside can not get out ." Today,
Jesus speaks to us of this "image of closure" which is " the image of
those Christians who have the key at hand, but carry it off and do not open the
again, "they stand at the door " and "don't let anyone in"
, and in doing so "not even they enter". "Lack
of Christian witness does this " and "when that Christian is a
priest, a bishop or a pope it is worse."
But how does a "Christian
start behaving like this, of having the key in his pocket and leaving the door
closed? " . "His
Faith fades, so to speak, it is distilled and becomes ideology. And ideologies
cannot convoke. Jesus cannot be found in
Ideologies: his tenderness, love, meekness . And ideologies are rigid, always. Of
every sign: stiff. And when a Christian becomes a disciple of ideology, he
loses faith and is no longer a disciple of Jesus, he becomes a disciple of this
attitude of thought, ... And this is why Jesus says to them: ' you have taken
key of knowledge ' . Knowledge of Jesus is transformed into a ideological and
even moralistic knowledge, because they closed the door with a lot of
Jesus told us: " You load many
things on people's shoulders, when really only one thing is needed." This,
therefore, is the "spiritual, mental" process of those who want the key in
their pocket and the door closed. "Faith
becomes ideology and ideologies scare, ideologies chase people away , far away,
they distance people and they distance the Church from people. This is a
serious illness, this Christian ideology. It is a disease , but it is not new
, eh? Even the Apostle John, in his first letter, spoke of this . Christians
who lose their faith and prefer ideologies . Their attitude: they become rigid
moralists, ethicists , but without kindness. This could be the question to ask. Why does a Christian become this way , what
happens in the heart of the Christian, that of a priest, bishop, of a pope ,
who becomes so? Just one thing: that Christian does not pray . And if you do
not pray, you will always keep the door closed".
"The key that opens the door
to faith is prayer." "
When a Christian does not pray , the following happens . And his witness is a proud
does not pray is "is proud , is sure of himself . He is not humble . He seeks
his own advancement." However,
"when a Christian prays, he never leaves the faith, his dialogue with
"pray to speak with Him, don't just say prayers to say them, because these
scholars of the law said many prayers" to be seen to pray. Instead,
Jesus says, "When you pray, go into your room and pray to the Father in
secret, heart to heart." "
Its one thing to pray , and another thing to say prayers "
do not pray , they abandon the faith and become disciples of a moralistic,
casuistry ideology, without Jesus. And when a prophet or a good Christian
scolds them they do the same thing they did with Jesus : ' When he left there,
the scribes and Pharisees
began to treat him in a hostile manner - these people who follow ideologies are
hostile - and made him talk about many subjects, laying traps- they are
insidious - to surprise him with the words out of his own mouth . They are not
transparent . Eh , poor things, they are people soiled by pride.
Let us ask for the Lord 's grace , first : to not stop praying , to not lose
faith, to stay humble . And so we will not become closed in on ourselves, closing
the path to the Lord . "
Pope: Catechism not enough to know Jesus, heart, prayer, dialogue are needed
During the Mass celebrated this morning , Francis says that " You need to" go out, out walking along the streets ”. And it is ' necessary' to know Jesus in the language of action." Yesterday he concelebrated with the Maronite bishops calling for prayer for the Middle East .
Pope: ask to die in the Church, die in hope and leaving behind the witness of our Christian life
At morning Mass Francis speaks of the "three graces" to ask God for at the end of our life. Like King David, who says to his son, "You be strong and be a man. Observe the law of the Lord, your God, proceeding in His ways, and according to His laws."
Pope: Be Christians like Jesus, who loves people, and not "legalistic", "hypocrites" or "corrupt"
The Pope speaks of "models" of believers: the scribes , "taught and preached but bound people with so many heavy things on his shoulders", the priest Eli, who despises the simple faith, his sons, who pursued power and money" and Jesus "who brings the Word of God, the message of God, of God's love for each of us . "
Pope: We must "test" our thoughts and desires to see if something comes from Christ or the antichrist
"Our heart always has desires, cravings, thoughts". But "are these the Lord's, or do some of them distance us from the Lord?" . "The criterion is the Incarnation of the Word. The Word became flesh: this is Jesus Christ! Jesus Christ who became man, God made man, He humbled Himself , humbled Himself to love, to serve us all."
Pope: When Jesus draws near, "He consoles," "always opens doors" and gives us the hope to move forward
"The Lord comforts us with tenderness." God the powerful "is not afraid of tenderness." "" When a Christian forgets hope, or worse loses hope, his life has no meaning. It is as if his life was in front of a wall: nothing".
Card. Tong’s article on China-Holy See dialogue, arouses joy and dismay
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Card. Tong: The future of Sino-Vatican dialogue from an ecclesiological point of view
Card. John Tong
The Hong Kong Cardinal outlines the steps that hope to propel dialogue between China and the Holy See. Themes include the Pope's role in the appointment of bishops; A change of vision in the Patriotic Association; the possible integration of the underground bishops in the Episcopal Conference. A new article by card. John Tong, following a previous article published a few months ago on "Communion of the Church in China with the universal Church."
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