03/17/2020, 12.10
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Pope: let us pray for the elderly who are alone and afraid in these days

God wants you to forgive "from the heart". “When God forgives us, He forget all the evil we have done. Someone said: 'It is God’s disease'. "When we go to confession, to receive the sacrament of reconciliation, we first ask ourselves: 'Do I forgive?'. If I am not forgiving, I cannot pretend to ask for forgiveness, because I will not be forgiven. "

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - We pray for the elderly who are alone and afraid. The epidemic continues to be at the center of the morning prayer of Pope Francis who dedicates the mass celebrated at Casa Santa Marta to the sick. "Today I would like us to pray for the elderly”, were Pope Francis’ first words as he began Mass “they are suffering in a particular way at this moment: with great interior solitude, many times with a lot of fear. Let us pray to the Lord that He might be near our grandparents and all the elderly, that He might give strength to those who have given us wisdom, life, our story. May we also be near them with our prayer."

During his homily, taking inspiration from the passage of the Gospel (Mt 18,21-35) in which Jesus speaks of forgiveness, Francis said that what God desires is "to be magnanimous", "to forgive, to forgive from the heart".

“Jesus - he explained – starts with a catechesis on the unity of fraternity and he concludes with a beautiful words: “I assure you, when two or three of you agree, and ask for a grace, it will be granted you”, he quoted (cf Mt 18:19).“Unity, friendship, peace among brothers attracts God’s goodness”. To Peter’s question about whether forgiving someone seven times was sufficient, the Pope said that Jesus’s response means that “we always need to forgive”. “It's not easy to forgive because our self-centered hearts are always attached to hatred, revenge, resentment. We've all seen families destroyed by hatred…. It gets passed down from one generation to the next. Siblings, who in front of a parent’s coffin, don't even greet each other because they're carrying past resentments. It seems that attachment to hatred is stronger than attachment to love.”

This is the devil’s “treasure”, the Pope continued. He incites our hatred to destroy everything. It’s “often even over small things”, he said.“It’s what destroyed this God who came not to condemn but to forgive. This God who is able to throw a feast for a sinner who draws near to Him and forget everything. When God forgives us He forgets all the evil we’ve done. Someone has said it's God’s sickness. He doesn't have a memory. He can lose His memory in these cases. God loses his memory regarding the ugly story of so many sinners, of our sins. …. He only asks us to do the same, to learn how to forgive.” 

“When God forgives us - instead - He forgets all the evil we have done. Someone said: 'It God's disease. He has no memory, He loses his memory in these cases. God loses His memory of  bad stories of so many sinners, of our sins. He forgives us and goes on. He only asks us: 'Do the same: learn to forgive', do not continue to carry this Cross that is not fruitful with hatred, rancor, 'you will pay for this'. This word is neither Christian nor human. The generosity of Jesus who teaches us that to enter heaven we must forgive. In fact, he tells us: 'You, do go to Mass?' - 'Yes' -' But if when you go to Mass you remember that your brother has done something against you, you must first reconcile yourself to him; do not come to me with love for me in one hand and hatred for your brother in the other ". Consistency of love. To forgive. Forgive from the heart."

"There are people who live condemning others, talking badly about people, continually ‘dishing the dirt’ on their workmates, on their neighbors, relatives, because they don't forgive something they did, or they don't forgive something they didn't like. It would seem this is the devil's own wealth: He sows love for never forgiving, the desire to live, never forgiving. And forgiveness is a condition for entering heaven."

“The Lord teaches us this wisdom of forgiving which is not easy... When we go to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation, let’s first ask ourselves: Do I forgive?  If I feel that I do not forgive, I can’t make believe that I’m asking forgiveness because I will not be forgiven. Asking forgiveness means forgiving. Both go together. They cannot be separated.”

Pope Francis concluded his homily with the prayer: “May the Lord help us understand this, to lower our heads so as not to be proud but magnanimous in forgiving.”

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