Francis at the general audience: “Knowing what is good for me here and now requires a filial relationship with God”. In his words to the Polish pilgrims, on the anniversary of the start of the Second World War, he invited them to continue praying for peace in Ukraine. On the eve of World Creation Day, the call not to leave “the common home at the mercy of consumer excesses” and to pray that at the COP27 summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, the human family unites to face the climate crisis.
Vatican City () – “Discernment costs, but it is essential to live. It requires that I know myself, that I know what is good for me here and now. It requires above all a filial relationship with God”. Pope Francis spoke these words at this morning’s audience, which took place, as usual, in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall. With them he inaugurated a new cycle of catechesis dedicated precisely to the theme of discernment.
Commenting on some parables from the Gospel of Matthew about the meaning of this dimension of life (Mt 13, 44, 47-48), the Pontiff explained that “discernment is presented as an exercise of intelligence, of skill and also of will, to take advantage of the favorable moment. However, he said, “for this to work, there is a cost.” The fisherman, the pearl merchant, the man who stumbles upon a treasure face “unexpected situations, which they had not planned for”. And then, “it is essential to recognize the importance and urgency of a decision, which must be made” .
In the Gospel, Francis continued, discernment is inseparable from the joy of those who have met Jesus. But ‘it is not that we find the life we have to live ‘ready-packed’”. “God invites us to evaluate and choose: he has created us free and wants us to exercise our freedom. That is why – he continued – discernment is demanding “and it has happened to all of us” to choose something that seemed good to us but was not “.” Discernment is exhausting – the Pope concluded – but essential to live. God is Father and he does not leave us alone, he is always ready to advise us, to encourage us, to welcome us. But he never imposes his will on him. Why? Because he wants to be loved and not feared.”
At the moment of greeting the faithful, addressing the Polish pilgrims, Pope Francis recalled that tomorrow marks another anniversary of the start of the Second World War. And asking everyone to continue praying for peace in Ukraine, he hoped that “the memory of past experiences will encourage people to cultivate peace in themselves, in their families and in social and international life.”
Finally, Francis recalled that tomorrow the Church celebrates the Day of Creation. With her begins a time dedicated to this theme that will last until the feast of San Francisco de Asís (October 4). The Pontiff expressed the hope that these acts could “encourage in everyone the concrete commitment to take care of our common home, which is at the mercy of our consumerist excesses.” “Sister Mother Earth,” he added, “groans and begs us to stop abusing her and destroying her.” Hence the invitation to pray so that the new international summit to be held in Sharm el-Sheikh (Egypt) in November “can uniting the human family to tackle the twin crises of climate and declining biodiversity.