Pope says holiness requires minding your own business

If we want to grow in holiness we have to pay attention and work on ourselves, Pope Francis says.

Catholics often know more about their neighbour’s business than they do about the normal spiritual struggles going on in their own hearts and souls, Francis said during his sermon at early morning Mass last Friday.

He pointed out that life involves a continuing battle “between grace and sin, between the Lord who wants to save us and pull us out of temptation and the evil spirit who always pulls us down,”.

If we want to live a holier life, Christians need to pay attention to that struggle.

This doesn’t involve wandering through life “without noticing what’s happening,” he explained.

“So often we Christians are busy with so many things, including good ones, but what is going on inside you?”

Pointing out spiritual life “is a struggle between good and evil, but it’s not an abstract good and an abstract evil,” he explained:

“It’s between the good that the Holy Spirit inspires us to do and the bad that the evil spirit inspires us to do. It’s a struggle, a struggle we all have.

“If one of us were to say, ‘But I don’t feel this, I’m blessed, I live calmly, in peace,’” he said he would respond, “You are not blessed. You are someone anesthetized, who doesn’t understand what is happening.”

Francis said sometimes is saeems as if we “know what is happening in our neighbourhood, what’s going on in the next-door neighbour’s house, but we don’t know what’s going on inside us.”

The best remedy for this is to take “two or three minutes” at the end of each day to reflect on its happenings.

“What important thing happened inside me today? Oh yes, I had a bit of hatred here and I spoke badly of this person; I did this work of charity,” and so on.

“The next question is, ‘Who helped you do these things, both the bad and the good?” he suggested.

It’s important and necessary to ask ourselves these questions “to know what is going on inside us,” Francis explained.


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