Thursday, January 19, 2017

Pope: Christian life is a struggle, because the Father draws us to Jesus but "another pulls us the other way” 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 that attraction.

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. "

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