BERGOGLIO: ”MERCY CANNOT ENTER A HARD HEART” We can only begin a journey of conversion if we acknowledge our own sinfulness

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During the morning celebration at St. Martha’s House, the Holy Father commented on the Sacred Scripture, focusing on the path of fidelity to which all humanity is called. Because “God is always faithful” the Pope says, while the people often do not listen to His invitation and even disown Him, pushing away His fatherly love. “This unfaithfulness of the people of God,” the Pope said, “is also ours, our own infidelity that hardens our heart and does not let in the voice of the Lord, who as a loving father, always asks us to open up to His mercy and His love.” To begin to soften our hearts, the indication of the Bishop of Rome to the believers is to “acknowledge their own sin,” because only through the humble admission of our infidelity, it is possible to be open to the good, the grace that comes from God who shows mercy to everyone, always.

So, let “us ask the Lord to grant us the grace of fidelity” says Francis after reminding participants that God wants nothing but for us to “come back to me with all your heart, for I am compassionate and merciful”. The problem is that when we think we do not need God, we cannot hear this call. Therefore our history is “a history of failed fidelity”, “a history of closed hearts, hearts that do not let in God’s mercy, that have forgotten the word forgiveness simply because they do not feel sinners but the judges of other people. A century-long history. Jesus explains this failed fidelity with two clear words, so as to put an end to the speech of those hypocrites” continues the Holy Father, quoting from the sacred text: “Whoever is not with me is against me!”. Because, he explains: “Either you are faithful, with an open heart, to the God who is faithful to you, or you are against Him.” But if man confesses “I am a sinner,” then “his heart opens and the mercy of God enters it and we begin to be faithful,” he says with a look full of joy and compassion. “If you do not feel sinful, yours is a bad start”. With these words the Pope invited the faithful to continue the Lenten journey this morning, with confidence, humility and especially, with no fear.

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