By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
8/29/2014 (1 year ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Pope Francis, addressing more than 12,000 people that had gathered for the pope's catechesis and blessing, touched upon a common human trait that everyone must strive to overcome. The Pope said that while envy, jealousy and cruelty are human instincts, they are not Christian. As they cause division among believers, it is the work of the devil.
Pope Francis drinks a traditional South American drink called mate offered by the faithful as he arrives to lead his weekly audience in Saint Peter's Square.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Instead, God wants us to grow in the ability to come together, forgive each other and love each other in order to be ever more like him," the Pope said at his weekly general audience.
The Creed describes the Catholic Church as being "one and holy," the pope said, yet its members are sinners, who "experience, every day, their own fragility and wretchedness."
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"That's why this faith we profess impels us toward conversion, to have the courage to live in unity and holiness every day," he said.
"If we are not united, if we are not holy, it's because we are not being faithful to Jesus," who is the source of all unity and holiness, the Pope added.
Divisions are made real not only in schisms or major rifts among Christians; they also frequently occur on the local level, as "parochial sins," in Catholic parishes, schools, communities and organizations, Pope Francis said. "Sometimes, in fact, our parishes, which are called to be places of sharing and communion, are sadly marked by envy, jealousy, resentment.
"This is human, but it is not Christian!" the pope said. "How much gossip (goes on) in parishes," the Pope lamented. "We mustn't do it! I won't tell you to cut off your tongue. No. Not that. But do ask the Lord for the grace to not do it, all right?"
Refusing gossip is such an outstanding Christian virtue, it should make a person a saint overnight, the Pope said. He recalled the instance of an elderly woman who used to work in a parish in his former Archdiocese of Buenos Aires, Argentina. People remembered her as someone who "'never talked badly of others, never gossiped, was always with a smile.' A woman like that can be canonized tomorrow! This is beautiful, this is a great example," he said to applause.
Pope also said that conflict arises when people judge others; look only at others' defects, not their gifts; give more weight to differences than common ground; make themselves the top priority; and follow their own ambitions and points of view, he added.
"In a Christian community, division is one of the gravest of sins because it turns it into a sign not of God's work, but of the devil, who, by definition, separates, ruins relationships and instills prejudice."
The pope asked people to examine their consciences and sincerely repent "for all the times in which we caused division or misunderstanding in our communities."
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