AUDIENCE IN ST. PETER’S SQUARE, BERGOGLIO: ”NO ARMORED DOORS, EVERYTHING WILL BE OPEN” The Pontiff has reiterated that doors are needed to protect, not to exclude

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“There is a door in front of us, but not only the Holy Door: the great door of the Mercy of God, and that door is beautiful”; it receives our repentance and offers the grace of its forgiveness. The door is generously open, it takes a little courage for us to overstep the threshold”. This is what Pope Francis said at the Wednesday general Audience in St. Peter’s Square, then he added: “We all have heavy things on our hearts… don’t we? We are all sinners! Let us use this time that is arriving and cross the threshold of this mercy of God that never gets tired of forgiving, never gets tired of waiting! It observes us, and is always at our side. Have no fear! Let us walk through this door!”

Then he spoke about the Synod of Bishops, celebrated last month, during which all the families and the entire Church have received an invitation to meet on the threshold of this port. “The Church has been encouraged to open its doors, to walk out with the Lord towards sons and daughters on their journey, sometimes uncertain, at times lost, in these difficult times. Especially Christian families have been encouraged to open the door to the Lord Who is waiting to come in and bring His blessing and His friendship”.

“And if the door of mercy of God is always open, also the doors of our churches, the love of our community, our parishes, our institutions, and our dioceses must be open because this way, we can all go out and bring this mercy of God. – Pope Francis Has added impromptu – the Jubilee means the great door of the mercy of God, but also the small doors of our churches open for Lord, or to let the Lord-prisoner out of our facilities, of our selfishness and many other things”. “There are places in the world where doors are not locked. They still exist, but there are also many other places where armored doors have become normal, also due to safety reasons”, the Pope said without explicit reference to the issue immigration or the question of terrorism that are topical at present. “This is not surprising; yet, upon closer examination, it is a bad sign! We must not give in to the idea of having to apply this system to our entire lives, the life of the family, the city, and that of the society. And certainly not to the life of the Church. It would be terrible! An inhospitable Church, as well as a family closed in itself mortifies the Gospel and dries up the world. No armored doors in the Church, everything will be open!” Francis said, according to whom the door “must guard, of course, but not reject”. “How many people have lost their trust? They do not have the courage to knock on the door of our Christian heart, the doors of our churches; there they are, they do not have the courage, we deprived them of their trust: please, never let this happen again,” Pope Francis he added.

“We are all close to the Jubilee: there will be the Holy Door, but there is also the door of mercy of God, the great one. Let there be also the door of our heart to receive everyone, let there be God’s forgiveness both to give our forgiveness and receive all those who knock on our door”. This is how Pope Francis concludes the general audience. “With this reflection – Francis has said at the beginning of the catechizes – we reached the threshold of the Jubilee; it is near! In front of us there is the great door of mercy of God, a beautiful door, that welcomes our repentance by offering the grace of His forgiveness. The door is generously open, but we must find the courage to cross the threshold, we all have heavy things on our hearts, don’t we? We are all sinners, let us use this time that is and we cross the threshold of this mercy of God that never gets tired of forgiving, let us walk through this door, have no fear!”

“The Church is the damsel of the house of the Lord, not its owner!” “The house of God is a refuge, not a prison! Thieves try to avoid doors, because they have bad intentions, they sneak into the sheepfold to deceive the sheep and take advantage of them. We must walk through the door and listen to the Jesus’s voice: if we hear his tone of voice, we are fine, we are safe. We can enter without fear and exit without danger. In this beautiful discourse of Jesus, he speaks also about a guardian whose task is to open to the good Shepherd. If the guardian listen to the voice of the Shepherd, then he opens, and lets in all the sheep the Shepherd leads, all, including those lost in the woods, that the good shepherd went to look for. The sheep do not choose the guardian, nor the secretary parishioner, but the good Shepherd. The guardian – as well – obeys the voice of the Shepherd. Behold, we may well say that we must be as that guardian. The Church is the damsel of the house of the Lord, not its owner!”

The day after tomorrow, on Friday, will be the World Day of children’s rights, “it is the duty of all of us – the Pope says at the end of the general audience in St. Peter’s Square – to protect children and put their safety before any other criterion, so as to never let them be subjected to forms of servitude or exploitation. I hope – Francis has said – that the international community will monitor closely the conditions of of life of the children, especially in those places where they are exposed to recruitment by armed groups; I also hope that it will manage to help the families ensure the right to school and education to every child”.

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