» 10/10/2014, 00.00
Pope: an examination of conscience to defend us from the devil who "is patient" and "very clever"
"To guard, to watch, so that the demons don’t enter in, we must be able to gather ourselves, that is, to stand in silence before ourselves and before God, and at the end of the day ask ourselves: ‘What happened today in my heart? Did anyone I don’t know enter? Is the key in its place?’And this will help us to defend ourselves from so much wickedness, even from that which we could do if these demons, who are very clever and at the end would cheat all of us, even if they enter.” "
City (AsiaNews) - To prevent evil from entering into our
hearts, there is an ancient, but very good, practice, the examination of
conscience. We should carry this
out every evening, to "ensure" the devil who "is patient"
and "very clever" does not enter . This was the focus of Pope Francis'
homily at morning Mass in Casa Santa
Marta, commenting on the Gospel of the day
which reminds us that the devil always returns, he never stops tempting man: "The
devil is patient", "he will never give up on what he
wants for himself".
As reported by Vatican Radio, the Pope
observed that "After the temptations, in the desert, when Jesus was tempted by
the devil, in Luke's version it says that the devil left Him for a time, but
during the life of Jesus he returned again and again: when they put Him to the
test, when they tried to trap Him, in the Passion, finally on the Cross. 'But
if you are the Son of God... but you come, you come from us, so we cannot
believe.' And we all know that these words touch the heart: 'But can you do it?
Let me see! No, you can't.' That's how the devil even to the end [dealt] with
Jesus... and likewise with us."
We need to guard our
hearts, where the Holy Spirit dwells, the Pope said, "so that other spirits do
not enter. To guard the heart, as a house is guarded, with a key." And then to
watch the heart, like a sentinel: "How often," he asked, "do wicked thoughts,
wicked intentions, jealousy, envy enter in? So many things that enter in. But
who has opened that door? Where do they enter from? If I do not realize [how
much] enters into my heart, my heart becomes a piazza, where everything comes
and goes. A heart without intimacy, a heart where the Lord cannot speak and
cannot even be heard."
"And Jesus says
something else here - doesn't He? - that sounds a little strange: 'He who does
not gather with me scatters.' He uses the word 'to gather.' To have a gathering
heart, a heart in which we know what happens, and here and there you can
perform a practice as old as the Church, but good: the examination of
conscience. Who of us, at night, at the end of the day, remains by himself, by
herself, and asks the question: what happened today in my heart? What happened?
What things have passed through my heart? If we don't do this, we have truly
failed to know how to watch and guard [our hearts] well."
The examination of
conscience "is a grace, because to guard our heart is to guard the Holy Spirit,
Who is within us": "We know - Jesus says clearly - that the devil always
returns. Even at the end of life, He, Jesus, gives us an example of this. And
to guard, to watch, so that the demons don't enter in, we must be able to
gather ourselves, that is, to stand in silence before ourselves and before God,
and at the end of the day ask ourselves: 'What happened today in my heart? Did
anyone I don't know enter? Is the key in its place?' And this will help us to
defend ourselves from so much wickedness, even from that which we could do if
these demons, who are very clever and at the end would cheat all of us, even if
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