MORNING MEDITATION IN THE CHAPEL OF THE
The gates open to consolation
Monday, 10 June 2013
(by L'Osservatore Romano, Weekly ed. in English, n.
25, 19 June 2013)
Why are there people who
have their heart closed to
salvation? Pope Francis
based his homily on this
question at Mass on Monday,
10 June, in the Chapel of
the Domus Sanctae Marthae;
others, was Cardinal
Stanisław Ryłko, President
of Pontifical Council for
the Laity, and directors and
staff of the dicastery were
Fear is the answer to the question because salvation scares us, the Pontiff
said. “We need salvation, but at the same time we are afraid of it”, because as
the Holy Father explained, “when the Lord comes to save us, we must give
everything”, and at that point “he commands; and we fear this”. Men want “to be
in control”, they want to be their own “masters”. And so, “salvation does not
come, the consolation of the Spirit does not reach us”.
In the day's Liturgy the Gospel passage (Mt 5:1-12) on the Beatitudes gave
the Pope an occasion to reflect on the relationship between salvation and
freedom. Furthermore, the Beatitudes are “the law of those who have been saved”
and have opened their heart to salvation. “It was the People of God that
followed John the Baptist first and then the Lord”, precisely because they were
in need of salvation. But there were also those who “went to test this new
doctrine and then to quarrel with Jesus”. Unfortunately they had closed hearts.
Thus the Bishop of Rome bid those present ask the Lord for “the grace to
follow him”, but not with the liberty of the Pharisees and Sadducees who became
hypocrites because they wanted “to follow him only with human freedom”.
Hypocrisy is exactly that: “Not allowing the Spirit to change our hearts with
his salvation. The freedom that the Spirit gives us is also a sort of slavery, a
slavery to the Lord that sets us free. It is another kind of liberty”.
Man often runs the risk of trying to “bargain”, to take what is convenient
for us, “a little of this, a little of that”. It’s like “making a fruit salad: a
little of the Spirit and a little of the spirit of the world”. However with God
there is no halfway house: the person chooses either “one thing or the other”.
The Pontiff then remarked that, actually, “the Lord is clear: no one can serve
two masters. One either serves the Lord or the spirit of the world. It is
impossible to mix everything together”.