The darkest moments we live because of a family tragedy, an illness, or because we feel down… cannot be faced swallowing “a sleeping pill and hiding away from facts.” Neither “two, three, or four shots” are useful. “It does not help,” said Pope Francis during his homily in the morning Mass at St. Martha’s House. “When we feel lost, it is better to pray God with insistence,” this is the solution, according to the Pontiff.
Pope Francis also encouraged, when we meet someone in “spiritual desolation”, at a time of “suffering is sickness, some kind of pain that causes desolation”, to remain in “silence; but – he explained – silence with plenty of love, closeness, and caresses. Do not discuss it, ultimately it does not help, but hurts.”
In the Mass, – which Pope Francis has offered to the Vincentian Sisters, the Daughters of Charity, who are in service at St. Martha’s House, because today is St. Vincent de Paoli’s day – the Pope commented on the passage from Job, who has lost all of his children and was abandoned by his friends, and feels on the brink.
“Spiritual desolation – he observed – can happens to all of us: it can be stronger or weaker… But, that dark, hopeless, and suspicious state of the soul, with no will to live, without seeing the end of the tunnel, with a lot of unrest in one’s heart, and also in one’s ideas… spiritual desolation makes us feel as if something crashed our soul: it cannot take it, it cannot take it, and it does not want to live: ‘Death is better!’ Job breaks down. Better to die than to live like this. We have to understand when our spirit is in this state of enlarged sadness, when you almost cannot breath: it may happen to all of us”.
Thinking that you can solve it taking a “pill” or drinking alcohol, he said, “does not help.” We must pray, as Job did: “cry out day and night for God to bend down to listen to us”. “Silence, presence and prayer”, suggested Pope Bergoglio, to be close to those who are in a difficult situation. “When a person suffers, when a person experiences spiritual desolation – he recommended – you should speak as little as possible and you have to help – with your silence, closeness, with your caresses – their prayer before the Father.” Knowing “how to accompany people who suffer bad times of sadness and spiritual desolation” is “a grace” too, and the Pope asked to pray to obtain it.