Pope Francis: we can’t be book-keepers of God’s love

God is like a mother, He loves us unconditionally.

However, too often we want to take control of this grace in a kind of a spiritual book-keeping, Pope Francis said during his homily at Mass this morning in the chapel at Casa Santa Marta.

“God’s closeness is such that he is presented like a mother, a mother who talks to her baby, and sings lullabies to her baby… This is God’s tenderness. And He expresses his closeness with tenderness: the tenderness of a mother”.

God’s love is free – the Pope continued – just as a mother’s love is for her child. And the child “allows himself to be loved”: “this is the grace of God.”

“But many times, just to be sure, we want to control the grace.”

He said that “in history and also in our lives we are tempted to transform grace into a kind of a merchandise, perhaps saying to ourselves something like “I have so much grace,” or, “I have a clean soul, I am graced.”

“In this way this beautiful truth of God’s closeness slips into a kind spiritual book-keeping: ‘I will do this because it will give me 300 days of grace … I will do that because it will give me this, and doing so I will accumulate grace’.”

“But what is grace? A commodity? That’s what it appears. And throughout history this closeness of God to his people has been betrayed by this selfish attitude, selfish, by wanting to control grace, to turn it into merchandise”.

“The grace of God – Pope Francis said – is another matter: it is closeness, it is tenderness. This rule is always valid. If, in your relationship with the Lord, you do not feel that He loves you tenderly, you are missing something, you still have not understood what grace is, you have not yet received grace which is this closeness”.

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