Christian life is a struggle, because "when the Father draws people to Jesus, there is another who pulls us in the opposite direction and sparks an internal war" and if you want to go forward, "you have to fight ! Feel the heart that struggles, so that Jesus will win”, said Pope Francis at Mass this morning in Santa Marta.
He was taking a cue from the passage of Mark's Gospel which tells of
the great crowds that followed Jesus with enthusiasm and that came from
all sides. This crowd "was spontaneous," said Francis, "not brought in
buses, as we have seen many times when organizing events and many have
to go to ‘prove’ their attendance, so as not to their job." These people
"went because they felt something." "This crowd went to Jesus? Yes!
Were [these people ]in need? Yes! Some were curious, but these were the
ascetic, the minority ... But why was this crowd attracted to the
Father, it was the Father that attracted people to Jesus. So much so
that Jesus was not indifferent, like a static master said his words and
then he washed his hands. No! This crowd touched the heart of Jesus. The
same Gospel tells us: 'Jesus was moved, because he saw these people as
sheep without a shepherd'. And the Father, through the Holy Spirit draws
people to Jesus. "
The Pope thus emphasized that the people were not moved by “apologetic
arguments". No, "the Father must draw you to Jesus." On the other hand
is "curious" that this passage of the Gospel that "speaks of Jesus, of
the crowd, the enthusiasm" and love of the Lord, should finish with the
impure spirits that shouted: "You are the Son of God!". "This is the
truth; this is the reality that each of us feels when approaching Jesus.
The unclean spirits try to prevent it, waging war against us. 'But,
Father, I'm very Catholic; I always go to Mass ... But never, never have
these temptations. Thank God, no! '. 'Pray, because you're on the wrong
path!'. A Christian life without temptation is not Christian: it is
ideological, is Gnostic, but it is not Christian. When the Father draws
people to Jesus, there is another who pulls us in the opposite direction
and wages war inside us! And this is why Paul speaks of the Christian
life as a struggle: a daily struggle. A fight!” he said: That’s why
Jesus came: “to destroy Satan's empire, the empire of evil”. He came to
destroy its influence in our hearts, the Pope said. So while the Father
is attracting you to Jesus, the spirit of evil is seeking to destroy
The Christian life, he reiterated, "is a battle: either you let
yourself be attracted by Jesus through the Father, or can you say 'I
remain quiet, in peace'". If you want to go forward, "you have to fight!
Feel the battle in your heart, so that Jesus will win. "
"Let us ponder
our own hearts: Do I feel this struggle within? : Between comfort and
service to others, having fun or prayer and worship of the Father,
between one thing and another, do I feel the struggle? The desire to do
good or something that stops me, holds me back, am I ascetic? Do I
believe that my life is moved by the heart of Jesus? If I do not believe
this, I have to pray a lot to believe it, so that I may have this
grace. Each of us should look at the state of our heart. And ask the
Lord to be Christians who are able to discern what happens in our own
heart and choose the right path on which the Father draws us to Jesus. "