03/17/2014, 00.00
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Pope: Mercy, asking ourselves "who am I to judge?" brings peace to hearts, among people, to world

"To be merciful, we need two attitudes. The first is self-knowledge" the awareness that "we have done so many bad things, that we too are sinners”. And before our repentance, "the righteousness of God ... is transformed into mercy and forgiveness”.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Mercy, shame for our sins, always remembering "Who am I to judge?" brings peace to hearts, among peoples, to the world. Pope Francis commented this morning during Mass at Casa Santa Marta on Jesus' exhortation to "Be merciful as your Father is merciful".  

Vatican Radio reports that Pope Francis immediately noted that "it is not easy to understand this attitude of mercy" because we are used to judging others: "As a people we are not accustomed to giving a little space for understanding and mercy". "Mercy - he said - requires two attitudes. The first is self-knowledge": awareness that "we have done so many bad things, that we are sinners". And before repentance, "the righteousness of God... is transformed into mercy and forgiveness." But first we must be ashamed of our sins.

"It is true, none of us have killed anyone, but many small things, so many everyday sins, everyday... And when one thinks: 'But what, but what a tiny heart I have: I did this against the Lord'. And be ashamed! Being ashamed before God, this shame is a grace, it is the grace of being sinners. 'I am a sinner and I am ashamed before You and ask You for forgiveness'. It is simple, but it's so hard to say: 'I have sinned".

Often - Pope Francis observed - we justify our sin by blaming others, as Adam and Eve did". Perhaps - he continued - the other helped me, facilitated the way for me to do it, but I did it! If we do this, how many good things will result, because we become humble".  "With this attitude of repentance we are more capable of being merciful, for they feel the mercy of God upon us" as we say in the Lord's Prayer: "Forgive us as we forgive". Thus, "if I do not forgive, I am somewhat out for the count".

The other attitude we need to be merciful - said the Pope - "is a big heart", because "a small and selfish heart is incapable of mercy"."Open your heart! 'But I am a sinner'. 'Look at what this person or that person has done.... I 've done so much! Who am I to judge?'. This phrase, 'Who am I to judge? Who am I to gossip about that? Who am I, who has done the same things or worse?'. A big heart! And the Lord says: 'Judge not lest you be judged! Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned! Forgive and you will be forgiven! Give and you shall receive!'. This generosity of heart! And what will be given? A good measure, full and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. This is the image of the people who went to receive the wheat with their apron and held open their apron to receive more and more grain. If you have your heart open wide, you can receive more".

A big heart - said Pope Francis - "does not condemn, but forgives, forgets" because "God has forgotten my sins, God has forgiven my sins. Open your heart. It is good! - said the Pope - Be merciful". "The merciful man and the woman have a wide, wide open heart: They always forgive others and think about their own sins. 'But you saw what he did?'. ' But I've had enough with what I have done and I will not interfere!'. This is the path of mercy which we have to seek. But if all of us, if all peoples, individuals, families, communities, if we all we had this attitude, what peace there would be in the world, how much peace in our hearts! For mercy leads us to peace. Always remember: 'Who am I to judge? '. Be ashamed and open wide your heart. May the Lord give us this grace".


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