10/17/2013, 00.00
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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 ."

Vatican 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". Sometimes "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 door." Worse 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 away the key of knowledge ' . Knowledge of Jesus is transformed into a ideological and even moralistic knowledge, because they closed the door with a lot of requirements".

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 witness". Whoever 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 Jesus." And "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 "

"These 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 . "



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