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We have to flee from sin without nostalgia: Pope Francis

Vatican City, 02 July 2013: Christians are called to be courageous in their weakness, said Pope Francis on Tuesday morning during Mass he celebrated at the Santa Marta residence in the Vatican. The Pope said that we must recognize that we are weak at times, and that we have to flee from sin without nostalgia. Tuesday’s Mass was concelebrated by Cardinal Manuel Monteiro de Castro and Archbishop Beniamino Stella, and was attended by a group of priests and employees of the Tribunal of the Apostolic Penitentiary, and the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy.

Taking a cue from the day’s readings, Pope Francis, in his homily dwelt on four "possible attitudes in conflict situations. The first attitude, explained the Pope, is that of the "slowness" of Lot. He, the Pope observed, decided to leave the city before it was destroyed, but he does so slowly. The angel tells him to run away, but there is in him 'inability of detachment from evil and sin." We say, we want to go out, we are determined, "but there is something that pulls us back," and so Lot begins to negotiate even with the angel.

"It’s so hard to cut with a sinful situation. It 'hard! But the voice of God tells us: 'Escape! You cannot fight there, because the fire, and sulfur kill you. Escape!'. St. Therese of the Child Jesus taught us that sometimes, in some temptations, the only solution is to escape and not be ashamed to escape; recognize that we are weak and we have to escape. Escape to go forward along the path of Jesus."

The angel, said the Pope, then says "do not look back,". Here there is a tip to win the nostalgia of sin. Think of the People of God in the desert: "they had everything" still, "there was the nostalgia of onions of Egypt" and this "longing made them forget that they were eating the onions on the table of slavery." There was the "longing to go back." And the advice of the angel, the Pope observed, "it is wise: Do not look back! Go ahead." We must not do as Lot's wife, we must "cut every nostalgia, because there is also the temptation of curiosity".

There is a temptation that says it is "better to stay here," where I'm sure. "But this – warned the Pope - it is the slavery of Egypt." I "fear of moving forward." The fear, however, "is not a good counselor." Jesus, observed the Pope, "so many times, said: 'Do not be afraid'. The fear does not help us."
The fourth attitude, said the Pope, "is the grace of the Holy Spirit." When Jesus brings the agitated sea into calm, the disciples on the boat are filled with awe. "Always, before the sin, in front of nostalgia, before the fear," exhorted Pope Francis, we must turn to the Lord. We are not naive nor lukewarm Christians, we are brave, courageous. We are weak, but we must be courageous in our weakness. Do not be afraid and always look to the Lord, concluded Pope Francis.
Source: VR Sedoc


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