Pope: disarmament is possible, but God wants our good will
Francis at the Angelus on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception: "Mary without sin reminds us too of the beauty given in Baptism". In the afternoon prayer in Piazza di Spagna: "Join me in entrusting to the Virgin our desire for peace".
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "Today, Mary, surprised by the grace that made her beautiful from the first moment of her life, leads us to be surprised by our own beauty," said by Pope Francis addressing the faithful in St Peter's Square during the Angelus on today's Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.
The pontiff once again invited to live by entrusting to Our Lady the desire for peace for the world wounded by war.
Commenting on the Gospel passage of the Annunciation - proposed today by the liturgy - Francis observed how the angel does not call Mary by her name "but by a new name, which she did not know: full of grace. Full of grace, therefore empty of sin, is the name that God gives her and that we celebrate today".
In this," continued the pontiff, "Our Lady reminds us of that beauty that is given to every Christian in Baptism and of which the white robe is the sign.
"When things do not go well and we get discouraged, when we get downhearted and risk feeling useless or wrong," he commented, "let us think of this, of the original grace. God is with us, God has been with me since that day. Just think about that'.
Keeping this beauty alive, however, demands the same commitment that Mary encapsulates in her yes to the angel. "Because we know: it costs effort to choose the good, to guard the good that is in us,' Francis said.
"Let us think of how many times we have wasted it by giving in to the flattery of evil, by being clever for our own interests or by doing something that would pollute our hearts; or even by throwing away time in useless and harmful things, by putting off prayer and saying 'I cannot' to those who needed us, when we could instead."
"Let us entrust ourselves to Mary today, every day," the pontiff concluded, "repeating to her: 'Mary, I entrust my life, my family, my work, my heart and my struggles to you. I consecrate myself to you'. May the Immaculata help us to guard our beauty from evil'.
As per tradition at sundown this afternoon, Francis will go to the centre of Rome to pay homage to the statue of Mary Immaculate, in Piazza di Spagna.
"I ask you," the pope told the faithful at the end of the Angelus, "to unite yourselves spiritually with me in this gesture, which expresses filial devotion to our Mother, to whose intercession we entrust the universal desire for peace, in particular for the tormented Ukraine, which suffers so much. I think of the Angel's words to the Virgin: 'Nothing is impossible to God' (Lk 1:37). With God's help, peace is possible; disarmament is possible. But God wants our good will. May Our Lady help us to convert to God's designs'.