20 February 2018
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas

  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  • > South Asia
  • > South East Asia
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia

  • » 12/01/2016, 15.05


    Pope: we are all "resistant" to grace, resistant to the Cross, which leads to redemption

    Today marks the hundredth anniversary of the assassination of Blessed Charles de Foucauld, which took place in Algeria on December 1, 1916. He was "a man who overcame so much resistance and gave a witness that has done so much good for the Church. We ask you to bless us from heaven and help us to walk in your footsteps of poverty, contemplation and service to the poor ".

    Vatican City (AsiaNews) - We are all "resistant" to grace, because "wherever there is the Lord – great or small – there is the Cross. It is resistance to the Cross, resistance to the Lord who brings us to the redemption". But, when there is some resistance we must not be afraid, but to ask the Lord for help recognizing ourselves as sinners.

    This was the focus of Pope Francis homily at Mass this morning in Santa Marta, in which he warned against "spiritual gattopardismo" [in English the appearance of change] of those who say that everything will change and then change nothing. Francis then distinguished several types of obstacles or resistance.

    The ones  he called  ‘open obstacles’  that are born of good faith – like in Saul’s case when he resisted grace but was ‘convinced he was doing God’s will' before he was converted by Jesus. “Open obstacles are healthy” - the Pope said – “in the sense that they are open to the grace of conversion”.  The most ‘dangerous’ obstacles according to Francis are the hidden ones because they do not show themselves.

    Each of us, he said, have our own way of resisting grace but we must recognize it and allow the Lord to purify us. It’s the type of obstacle that Stephen accused the Doctors of Law of concealing whilst they wanted to appear as though they were in search of the glory of God. An accusation – the Pope said – that cost Stephen his life: "We all have hidden obstacles; we must ask ourselves what is their nature. They always surface to stop a process of conversion. Always!” But, the Pope said,  in these cases we must passively and silently allow the process of change to take place.  “Think of when there is a process of change in an institution or in a family. I hear you say: 'But, there are obstacles… (…) Those kinds of obstacles are put there by the devil, to stop the Lord from going ahead.”

    Francis then spoke of three types of hidden obstacles:  The obstacle of ‘empty words’ which he illustrated with the example provided by the Gospel reading of the day which reads “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of heaven;” and by the Parable of the two sons sent by their father to work in the vineyard: the first says ‘no’ and then goes ahead and does the work, while the other says ‘yes’ and then doesn’t go:  “Saying yes, yes, diplomatically; but then it is 'no, no, no'. So many words” he said.

    Saying yes – the Pope continued – so as not change anything is the ‘resistance of empty words.’ And then, he said, there is the “obstacle of words that justify": that’s when a person constantly justifies himself – he always finds a reason to oppose.  Too many excuses the Pope said do not exude the good “aroma of God”, but the “bad stink of the devil”.

    He said a Christian has no need to justify himself: “He is justified by the Word of God". This kind of resistance he explained is a resistance of words which I use “to attempt to justify my position when I do not follow what the Lord is indicating”. And then, he said, there's the obstacle of "accusatory words": when we accuse others so as not to look to ourselves. In this case too we are ‘resisting’ conversion and grace as illustrated by the Parable of the Pharisee and the publican.

    So, Pope Francis concluded, there are not only the great historical actions of resistance as for example the Maginot Line or other such events, but those that "are inside our hearts every day.” He said the resistance to grace is a good sign "because it shows that the Lord is working in us" and he invited us to make the obstacles fall in order to allow grace in. Wherever the Lord is there is a cross, the Pope said, be it a small one or a large one, and it is resistance to the Cross, to the Lord, that ultimately brings redemption. So, when there are obstacles we must not be afraid but ask for the Lord’s help and acknowledge that we are all sinners.  

    During the celebration, the Pope recalled that today marks the hundredth anniversary of the assassination of Blessed Charles de Foucauld, which took place in Algeria on December 1, 1916.He was "a man who overcame so much resistance and gave a witness that has done so much good for the Church. We ask you to bless us from heaven and help us to walk in your footsteps of poverty, contemplation and service to the poor ".

    e-mail this to a friend Printable version

    See also

    13/11/2005 VATICAN
    Pope: "organized" apostolate of lay people bears fruit in society and institutions

    Bendict XVI recalls another Conciliar document and draws attention to the important mission of each and every baptized person, upholding the new Blesseds as an example.

    24/05/2016 13:40:00 VATICAN
    Pope: Holiness is "a journey to God’s presence", a step forward every day

    On the journey we need courage, hope, grace, conversion. "Nothing great, mortification: no, it's simple. The path to holiness is simple. Do not go back, but always move forward, right? And with fortitude ".


    11/12/2014 VATICAN
    For Pope, God loves us with the "tenderness of a mother," but "many times we want to control grace"
    God's grace "is closeness; it is tenderness. This rule is forever useful. If you are in a relationship with the Lord and you do not feel that He loves you tenderly, you are missing something; you have not understood what grace is; you have not received the grace that is this closeness." [. . .] If we had the courage to open our hearts to this tenderness of God, how much spiritual freedom we would have! How much!"

    10/03/2010 VATICAN
    Pope: Nigeria, violence does not solve conflicts, it only increases tragic consequences
    Benedict XVI appeals for "peaceful coexistence" following the massacre of Christians in the African country. After Vatican II an" anarchical utopianism” spread within the Church, the result of a certain type of spiritualism, which saw the pre Vatican II Church as dead and believed a new Church would be born. But Paul VI and John Paul II defended the novelty of the Council and at the same time, the oneness and continuity of the Church.

    12/11/2005 VATICAN
    Charles de Foucauld to be beatified tomorrow at St Peter's

    The rite will be presided over by Cardinal José Saraiva Martins. Maria Pia Mastena and Maria Crocifissa Curcio will also be beatified.

    Editor's choices

    The tears of Chinese bishops. A portrait of Msgr. Zhuang, bishop of Shantou

    Padre Pietro

    A priest of the official Church, recalls the 88 year old bishop that the Vatican wants to replace with an illegitimate bishop, to please the regime. Mons. Zhuang Jianjian became an underground bishop at the behest of the Vatican in 2006. Card. Zen and Msgr. Zhuang, image of the faithful Church, "which provokes an immense sadness and a sense of impotence". The hopes of card. Parolin to console "the past and present sufferings of Chinese Catholics".

    Card. Zen on the bishops of Shantou and Mindong

    Card. Joseph Zen

    The bishop emeritus of Hong Kong confirms the information published in recent days by AsiaNews and reveals details of his conversation with Pope Francis on these topics: "Do not create another Mindszenty case", the primate of Hungary whom the Vatican forced to leave the country, appointing a successor in Budapest, at the will of the communist government of the time. 


    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.


    News feed

    Canale RSSRSS channel 


    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®