02/20/2019, 17.55
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Pope: The Father 'who is in heaven' loves us like and more than our own father and mother

Pope Francis continued the catechesis on the Lord’s Prayer at the general audience. In human relations, "sometimes declarations of love turn into feelings of anger and hostility". Yet, “Even if all our earthly loves crumble, and nothing but dust remains in our hands, there is always, for all of us, God’s burning, unique and faithful love.”

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis continued his catechesis on the Lord's Prayer at today’s General Audience in the Paul VI Hall.

For the pontiff, God’s paternity can be understood by comparing it to parents, but going beyond them. "Even if our father and mother did not love us, there is a God in heaven who loves us as no one on this earth has ever done or ever will”.

"When we speak of God as 'father' [. . .], the image of our parents comes to mind, especially if they loved us". Yet, "at the same time we must go further" for "God’s love [. . .] is the total love that we ​​taste only imperfectly in this life."

"None of us had perfect parents, and we, in turn, shall never be perfect parents, or pastors. Our relations of love will always be marked by our limits and selfishness. Thus, they are often polluted by desires for possession or manipulation of others. This is why the declarations of love sometimes turn into feelings of anger and hostility."

As a sign of the "ambivalent nature of human love", the Holy father cited the Greek god of love, "son of Poros and of Penía, i.e. cunning and poverty", a sign of love "capable of flowering and overbearing life in an hour of the day, and immediately afterwards withering and dying. What it grabs always escapes."

Quoting the prophet Hosea, Francis noted the "congenital weakness of our love: ‘Your loyalty is like morning mist, like the dew that disappears early’ (Hosea 6:4). This is what our love often is: a promise that is hard to keep, an attempt that soon dries up and evaporates, a bit like when the sun comes out in the morning and takes away the dew of the night."

"How many times have we humans loved in such a weak and intermittent manner. Craving for love, we clash with our limitations, with the poverty of our forces, unable to keep a promise that in the days of grace seemed easy to realise . . . We are beggars who risk never finding the treasure of the journey we seek from the first day of our life: love."

"However, there is another love, that of the Father 'who is in heaven'. No one should doubt that we are the recipient of this love. Even if our father and mother did not love us, there is a God in heaven who loves us as no one on earth has ever done or ever will."

After quoting the prophet Isaiah (49:15-16), Francis added: "Even if all our earthly loves crumble, and nothing but dust remains in our hands, there is always for all of us, God’s burning, unique and faithful love. In the hunger for love that we all feel, we are not looking for something that does not exist: it is instead an invitation to know God who is a father."

Finally, "The expression 'in heaven’ does not express a distance, but a radical difference, another dimension. Therefore, do not be afraid! None of us is alone. Even if by misfortune your earthly father has forgotten you, and you resent him, you are not denied the fundamental experience of the Christian faith: that of knowing that you are a beloved child of God, and that there is no nothing in life that can extinguish his passionate love for you."

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