Nothing is in vain, nothing is resistant to love, pope says at audience

IMAGE: CNS/Paul Haring

By Carol Glatz

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Christians are never pessimistic,
resigned or weak, thinking life is an unstoppable train careening out of
control, Pope Francis said.

Throughout history, every day is seen as a gift from God
and “every morning is a blank page that Christians start writing on”
with their good works and charity, he said Oct. 11 during his weekly general audience.

Continuing his series of audience talks on Christian
hope, the pope reflected on a reading from the Gospel of St. Luke, in which the
disciples are asked to be like faithful and vigilant servants, who stand ready
for their master’s return — the day Jesus will come again.

Jesus wants his followers to never let down their guard
and to be on their toes, ready to welcome “with gratitude and amazement
each new day God gives us,” the pope said.

Even though “we have already been saved by Jesus’
redemption,” he said, the people of God are still awaiting his second
coming in glory when he will be “all in all.” Nothing in life is more certain than that —
that he will come again, the pope said.

This time of expectant waiting, however, is no time for
boredom, but rather for patience, he said.

Christians must be perseverant and life-giving, like
wellsprings to irrigate a desert.

For that reason, “nothing happens in vain” and
no situation is “completely resistant to love. No night is so long that
the joy of dawn is forgotten,” he said. In fact, the darker the night, the
sooner the light will come, he added.

By staying united with Christ, nothing can stop the
faithful, even “the coldness of difficult moments do not paralyze us.”
And no matter how much the world preaches against hope and predicts “only
dark clouds,” Christians know everything will be saved and “Christ
will drive away the temptation to think that this life is wrong.”

“We do not lose ourselves in the flow of events to
pessimism, as if history were a train out of control. Resignation is not a
Christian virtue. Just like it is not Christian to shrug your shoulders or
lower your head before a seemingly unavoidable destiny.”

Having hope means never being submissive or passive, but
being a builder of hope, which demands courage, taking risks and personal
sacrifice, he said.

“Submissive people are not peacebuilders, but they
are lazy, they want to be comfortable,” he said.

At the end of the general audience, the pope reminded
people that October was World Mission Month and the month of the rosary.

As celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the end of
the apparitions of Mary at Fatima were to wrap up Oct. 13, the pope invited
everyone to pray the rosary, asking for peace in the world.

“May prayer stir the unruliest of souls” so
that all violence may be banished from their hearts, words and actions, and
they become artisans of peace, he said.

The pope also launched an appeal for concrete study and
action to safeguard creation and reduce the risks people face with natural

He asked that International Day for Disaster Reduction
Oct. 13 encourage leaders and groups to promote a culture that aims to reduce
people’s exposure to natural disasters, particularly people who are already
very vulnerable. 

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Follow Glatz on Twitter: @CarolGlatz.


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