Source: Vatican News Service
During morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis reflected on the need to acknowledge our own sinfulness and, in order to be forgiven by God, to forgive others. But he warned that Satan tries to discourage us from forgiveness and 'enslaving us' to hatred. Accusing ourselves, is the first step towards forgiveness, and also demonstrates Christian wisdom.
When we approach the sacrament of penance, we ought to have the attitude of realizing that despite how much God has given me and continues to give me, that I have sinned against Him. Sorry for offenses, we ask Him for salvation.
Recalling the First Reading from the Book of Daniel, Pope Francis said that Azariah, even after being thrown into a burning furnace for refusing to deny the Lord, does not complain to God for his suffering nor blame Him, but continues professing God's greatness.
The Lord loves a contrite heart, saying those who trust in God are never disappointed, Poep Francis noted. "A contrite heart tells the truth to the Lord. And what the Lord does is shuts our mouth, like the father does to the Prodigal Son. He does not allow him to speak, but covers him with love, forgiving everything."
The Holy Father invited Christians not to be ashamed of admitting their sins, assuring them that the Lord justifies us by forgiving us, "not just once but always," but, reminding that there is the condition that we forgive others.
It is not easy to forgive, the Pope acknowledged, because resentfulness "makes a nest in our hearts, always leaving behind a bitter taste. We often narrate a lot of things others have done to us."
Pope Francis concluded, warning Christians against being enslaved to hatred and urging them to keep two things in mind: firstly, we need to praise the Lord and acknowledge our sins; and secondly, God pardons us seventy times seven, provided we forgive others.