Free of the evil. sin, conversion, confessionDocument Transcript
3.Free from evilSin,conversion, confessionThe error is a constant in the life of each, and from too soon. Sometimes so well-intentioned mistakes,others with real awareness of the ill-chosen. One of the problems of the evil done is that not only hasconsequences outside of the user, but also within it. This stink accompanies the man as a weight that isnot comfortable or pleasant.Christ came to free us from evil freely committed, free to everyone all the times we need it. And also ourrepentance and his action, will make us, little by little, new men. A good table of gymnastics for theChristian is to forgive and ask forgiveness. So we spend our lives, and erase evil from the world andourselves, and generate joy and peace.
1.3 Sin is man´s self-destruction"You are clean, but not all of you", the Lord says (Jn 13: 10). This sentence reveals the great gift of purification that he offers to us, because hewants to be at table together with us, to become our food. "But not all of you" - the obscure mystery of rejection exists, which becomesapparent with Judas act, and precisely on Holy Thursday, the day on which Jesus made the gift of himself, it should give us food for thought.The Lords love knows no bounds, but man can put a limit on it. "You are clean, but not all of you": What is it that makes man unclean? It is therejection of love, not wanting to be loved, not loving. It is pride that believes it has no need of any purification, that is closed to Gods savinggoodness. It is pride that does not want to admit or recognize that we are in need of purification.In Judas we see the nature of this rejection even more clearly. He evaluated Jesus in accordance with the criteria of power and success. Forhim, power and success alone were real; love did not count. And he was greedy: money was more important than communion with Jesus,more important than God and his love. He thus also became a liar who played a double game and broke with the truth; one who lived in deceitand so lost his sense of the supreme truth, of God. In this way, he became hard of heart and incapable of conversion, of the trusting return ofthe Prodigal Son, and he disposed of the life destroyed."You are clean, but not all of you". Today, the Lord alerts us to the self-sufficiency that puts a limit on his unlimited love. He invites us toimitate his humility, to entrust ourselves to it, to let ourselves be "infected" by it. He invites us - however lost we may feel - to return home, tolet his purifying goodness uplift us and enable us to sit at table with him, with God himself. Basilica of St John Lateran Holy Thursday, 13 April 2006 1.3.a2.3 Becoming is healthyIn the early Church there was a custom whereby the Bishop or the priest, after the homily, would cry out to the faithful: “Conversi adDominum” – turn now towards the Lord. This meant in the first place that they would turn towards the East, towards the rising sun, the sign ofChrist returning, whom we go to meet when we celebrate the Eucharist. Where this was not possible, for some reason, they would at leastturn towards the image of Christ in the apse, or towards the Cross, so as to orient themselves inwardly towards the Lord. Fundamentally, thisinvolved an interior event; conversion, the turning of our soul towards Jesus Christ and thus towards the living God, towards the true light. Linked with this, then, was the other exclamation that still today, before the Eucharistic Prayer, is addressed to the community of the faithful:“Sursum corda” – “Lift up your hearts”, high above all our misguided concerns, desires, anxieties and thoughtlessness – “Lift up your hearts,your inner selves!” In both exclamations we are summoned, as it were, to a renewal of our Baptism: Conversi ad Dominum – we must alwaysturn away from false paths, onto which we stray so often in our thoughts and actions. We must turn ever anew towards him who is the Way,the Truth and the Life. We must be converted ever anew, turning with our whole life towards the Lord. And ever anew we must withdraw ourhearts from the force of gravity, which pulls them down, and inwardly we must raise them high: in truth and love.At this hour, let us thank the Lord, because through the power of his word and of the holy Sacraments, he points us in the right direction anddraws our heart upwards. Let us pray to him in these words: Yes, Lord, make us Easter people, men and women of light, filled with the fire ofyour love. Amen. Saint Peters Basilica Holy Saturday, 22 March 2008 2.3.aEven our shortcomings, our limitations and our weaknesses ought to bring us back to the heart of Jesus. If it is true that by contemplatingChrist sinners learn from him the “sorrow for sins” needed to bring them back to the Father, this is even more the case for sacredministers. How can we forget, in this regard, that nothing causes more suffering for the Church, the Body of Christ, than the sins of herpastors, especially the sins of those who become “thieves and robbers” of the sheep (cf. Jn 10:1 ff.), lead them astray by their own privateteachings, or ensnare them in the toils of sin and death? Dear priests, the summons to conversion and to trust in God’s mercy also applies tous; we too must humbly, sincerely and unceasingly implore the heart of Jesus to preserve us from the terrifying risk of endangering the verypeople we are obliged to save. Saint Peter’s Basilica Friday, 19 June 2009 2.3.b 2
3.3 The mysterious and powerful forgivenessOnly Gods love can change mans life and thus every society from within, for it is Gods infinite love alone that sets him free from sin, which isthe root of all evil. If it is true that God is justice, we should not forget that above all he is love. If he hates sin, it is because he loves everyhuman person infinitely. He loves each one of us and his fidelity is so deep that it does not allow him to feel discouraged even by our rejection.Today, in particular, Jesus brings us to inner conversion: he explains why he forgives us and teaches us to make forgiveness received from andgiven to our brothers and sisters the "daily bread" of our existence. Sunday, 25 March 2007 3.3.a4.3 It is Christ himself who washes usThe same man, created through eternal love, is not a small thing but great, and worthy of Gods love. Gods holiness is not merely anincandescent power before which we are obliged to withdraw, terrified. It is a power of love and therfore a purifying and healing power.God descends and becomes a slave, he washes our feet so that we may come to his table. In this, the entire mystery of Jesus Christ isexpressed. In this, what redemption means becomes visible. The basin in which he washes us is his love, ready to face death. Only love hasthat purifying power which washes the grime from us and elevates us to Gods heights.The basin that purifies us is God himself, who gives himself to us without reserve - to the very depths of his suffering and his death. He isceaselessly this love that cleanses us; in the sacraments of purification - Baptism and the Sacrament of Penance - he is continually on his kneesat our feet and carries out for us the service of a slave, the service of purification, making us capable of God. . His love is inexhaustible, it trulygoes to the very end. Basilica of St John Lateran Holy Thursday, 13 April 2006 4.3.aJesus lays down the clothes of his glory, he wraps around his waist the towel of humanity and makes himself a servant. He washes thedisciples dirty feet and thus gives them access to the divine banquet to which he invites them. The devotional and external purifications purifyman ritually but leave him as he is replaced by a new bathing: Jesus purifies us through his Word and his Love, through the gift of himself. "Youare already made clean by the word which I have spoken to you", he was to say to his disciples in the discourse on the vine (Jn 15: 3). Over andover again he washes us with his Word. Yes, if we accept Jesus words in an attitude of meditation, prayer and faith, they develop in us theirpurifying power. Day after today we are as it were covered by many forms of dirt, empty words, prejudices, reduced and altered wisdom; amulti-facetted semi-falsity or falsity constantly infiltrates deep within us. All this clouds and contaminates our souls, threatens us with anincapacity for truth and the good. If we receive Jesus words with an attentive heart they prove to be truly cleansing, purifications of the soul,of the inner man. The Gospel of the washing of the feet invites us to this, to allow ourselves to be washed anew by this pure water, to allowourselves to be made capable of convivial communion with God and with our brothers and sisters. However, when Jesus was pierced by thesoldiers spear, it was not only water that flowed from his side but also blood (Jn 19: 34; cf. I Jn 5: 6-8). Basilica of St John Lateran Holy Thursday, 20 March 2008 4.3.bWhen I was little, I used to ask myself about this: when one washes something in blood, it certainly does not become white! The answer is: the"Blood of the Lamb" is the love of the Crucified Christ. It is this love that makes our dirty clothes white, that makes our clouded spirit true andbright; that transforms us, despite all our shadows, into "light in the Lord". St. Peters Basilica Holy Thursday, 5 April 2007 4.3.c5.3 The power of the ChurchFinally, there is the power of forgiveness. The Sacrament of Penance is one of the Churchs precious treasures, since authentic world renewal isaccomplished only through forgiveness. Nothing can improve the world if evil is not overcome.Evil can be overcome only by forgiveness. Certainly, it must be an effective forgiveness; but only the Lord can give us this forgiveness, aforgiveness that drives away evil not only with words but truly destroys it. Only suffering can bring this about and it has truly taken place withthe suffering love of Christ, from whom we draw the power to forgive. St Peters Basilica Pentecost Sunday, 15 May 2005 5.3.a6.3. The confessionOn Pentecost Day, in an even more obvious manner, the Spirit descended upon the Apostles as a wind that came with a rush and in the formof tongues of fire. This evening too, the Spirit will descend upon our hearts to forgive our sins and renew us interiorly, clothing us with astrength that will also embolden us, as it did the Apostles, in proclaiming that "Christ has died and is risen!".Dear friends, let us therefore prepare ourselves with a sincere examination of conscience to present ourselves to those to whom Christ hasentrusted the ministry of Reconciliation. Let us confess our sins with contrite hearts, seriously determined to repeat them no more, and aboveall resolving to always stay on the road of conversion. We will thus experience true joy: the joy that derives from Gods mercy, which is pouredout in our hearts and reconciles us with him. St Peters BasilicaThursday, 13 March 2008 6.3.a 3
7.3 To be or not in God´s grace is different…When I was Archbishop of Munich and Freising, in a meditation on Pentecost, I was inspired by a film entitled Seelenwanderung(Metempsychosis) to explain the Holy Spirits action in a soul. The film tells of two poor fiends who, because of their goodness, do not manageto make any headway in life. One day one of them had an idea: since he had nothing else to put on sale he would sell his soul. His soul ispurchased cheap and enclosed in a box. From that time on, to his great surprise, everything changes in his life. He begins a rapid ascent,becomes richer, obtains great honours and by the time of his death is a consul very well endowed with money and possessions. From themoment when he freed himself of his soul he no longer had any concern or humanity. He had acted unscrupulously, caring only for profit andsuccess. Man no longer mattered in the least. He himself no longer had a soul. The film, I concluded, shows impressively how the facade ofsuccess often conceals an empty life.Apparently, the man had lost nothing, but he lacked a soul and with it lacked everything. It is obvious, I continued in that meditation, that thehuman being cannot literally dispose of his own soul since it is his soul that makes him a person. He remained, in fact, a human person, yet hehad the frightful possibility of being inhuman, of remaining a person while at the same time selling and losing his own humanity. There is animmense gap between the human person and the inhuman being, yet it cannot be demonstrated; it is the truly essential thing, yet it isapparently unimportant (cf. Suchen, was droben ist. Meditationem das Jahr hindurch, LEV, 1985).The Holy Spirit, who was at the beginning of creation and who, thanks to the Paschal Mystery, was poured out in abundance upon Mary andthe Apostles on Pentecost Day, also cannot be proven to external eyes. Whether or not he penetrates a person, he cannot be seen orrevealed; but this fact changes and renews the entire perspective of human existence. The Holy Spirit does not change the external but ratherthe internal situations of life. On the evening of Easter Day, Jesus appeared to the disciples, "breathed on them, and said to them: "Receive theHoly Spirit" (Jn 20: 22). St Peters BasilicaThursday, 13 March 2008 7.3.a8.3 After confessingJesus came to tell us that he wants us all in Paradise and that hell, about which little is said in our time, exists and is eternal for those whoclose their hearts to his love. In this episode too, therefore, we understand that our real enemy is attachment to sin, which can lead us tofailure in our lives. Jesus sent the adulterous woman away with this recommendation: "Go, and do not sin again". He forgives her so that"from now on" she will sin no more. In a similar episode, that of the repentant woman, a former sinner whom we come across in Lukes Gospel(cf. 7: 36-50), he welcomed a woman who had repented and sent her peacefully on her way. Here, instead, the adulterous woman simplyreceives an unconditional pardon. In both cases - for the repentant woman sinner and for the adulterous woman - the message is the same. Inone case it is stressed that there is no forgiveness without the desire for forgiveness, without opening the heart to forgiveness; here it ishighlighted that only divine forgiveness and divine love received with an open and sincere heart give us the strength to resist evil and "to sinno more", to let ourselves be struck by Gods love so that it becomes our strength. Jesus attitude thus becomes a model to follow for everycommunity, which is called to make love and forgiveness the vibrant heart of its life. Sunday, 25 March 2007 8.3.aThe debt for which the Lord has pardoned us is always infinitely greater than all the debts that others can owe us (cf. Mt 18: 21-35). HolyThursday exhorts us to this: not to allow resentment toward others to become a poison in the depths of the soul. It urges us to purify ourmemory constantly, forgiving one another whole-heartedly, washing one anothers feet, to be able to go to Gods banquet together. Basilica of St John Lateran Holy Thursday, 20 March 2008 8.3.b 4