Faith involves identifying with suffering

Faith involves identifying with suffering

On his last day in Slovakia Pope Francis told 60,000 mostly masked faithful that faith involves identifying with suffering.

He encouraged Slovak Catholics to open their hearts to “a faith that becomes compassion” that “identifies with those who are hurting, suffering and forced to bear heavy crosses.”

It is “a faith that does not remain abstract, but becomes incarnate in fellowship with those in need. A faith that imitates God’s way of doing things, quietly relieves the suffering of our world and waters the soil of history with salvation,” Francis said.

“The world needs Christians who are “signs of contradiction,” who demonstrate the beauty of the Gospel rather than hostility toward others.”

He invited Slovakians to be Christians who are “bringers of the sweet fragrance of hospitality and solidarity”.

Reflecting on Mary as a “model of faith” for Catholics in Slovakia, Francis noted that despite being chosen to be the mother of God, Mary did “not consider it a privilege,” nor did she lose her humility.

Instead, she accepted “the gift she had received as a mission to be carried out” and set out on a journey to take God’s love to those in need.”

In making this journey, the Pope told Slovakians that like Mary they overcome the temptation to a passive faith, content with this or that ritual or ancient tradition.

“Instead, you leave yourselves behind and set out, carrying in your backpacks the joys and sorrows of this life, and thus make your life a pilgrimage of love toward God and your brothers and sisters. Thank you for this witness!”

Francis said Mary’s prophetic faith shows “God’s presence in human history; even in moments of trial and suffering.

Faith “cannot be reduced to a sweetener to make life more palatable,” he said.

Mary’s faith is also compassionate and she understands the suffering endured by humanity, Francis finished.

She is a mother who “dries our tears, comforts us and points to Christ’s definitive victory.”

He made the comments while celebrating Mass in Šaštin, on the final day of his apostolic trip to Slovakia.


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News category: World.

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