Vatican City, Nov 10, 2014 / 11:09 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A Christian who causes scandal destroys the faith and a Christian who does not forgive causes scandal – but it is only through the gift of faith that these challenges can be overcome, Pope Francis said.
These three themes – the causing of scandal, the need for forgiveness, and faith – were at the center of the Pope’s homily during morning Mass at the Santa Marta residence on Nov. 10.
“Scandal,” the Pope said, drawing his reflection from Luke’s Gospel and the Letter of Paul to Titus, “is to say and profess a way of life – ‘I am Christian’ – and then to live as a pagan, who believes in nothing.”
A Christian who goes to Church at his or her parish, without living as a Christian, is causing scandal, the Pope said. “How often have we heard: I don’t go to Church…because it is better to be honest at home and not go,” than to be as those “who go to Church and then do this, this, this.”
“Scandal destroys, destroys the faith!” he said. This is why Jesus calls on Christians to remain attentive, “because we are all capable of scandalizing”.
Pope Francis also stressed the importance of forgiveness, for “a Christian who is not able to forgive scandalizes: he is not Christian.”
The concept of forgiving as we ourselves are forgiven, taught in the Our Father, is not one which can be understood by human logic, the Pope said. Rather than leading to forgiveness, the approach of “human logic” veers towards revenge, hate, and division.
Lamenting the many families divided by the lack of forgiveness, he stressed the importance if knowing that, “If I do not forgive,” he said, “I do not have the right – it seems – to be forgiven,” and do not understand what it means to have been forgiven by God.
The third theme of Pope Francis’ homily touched on the importance of faith. In order to not cause scandal, and to be “always forgiving,” the Pope said, faith is necessary.
This is only through “the faith of a merciful Father, of a Son Who gave his life for us, of a Spirit who is within us and helps us to grow, faith in the Church, faith in God’s people, baptized, holy.”
Faith does not come from books or from attending conferences, Pope Francis said. Rather, “faith is a gift of God which comes to you.” This is why the apostles asked Jesus: “Increase our faith!”
Love & begging His forgiveness each and every day. Lord, have mercy on my soul & on the whole world!
Summa Catechetica, "Neque enim quaero intelligere ut credam, sed credo ut intelligam." – St Anselm, "“Si comprehendus, non est Deus.” -St Augustine, "Let your religion be less of a theory, and more of a love affair." -G.K. Chesterton, "And above all, be on your guard not to want to get anything done by force, because God has given free will to everyone and wants to force no one, but only proposes, invites and counsels." –St. Angela Merici, “Yet such are the pity and compassion of this Lord of ours, so desirous is He that we should seek Him and enjoy His company, that in one way or another He never ceases calling us to Him . . . God here speaks to souls through words uttered by pious people, by sermons or good books, and in many other such ways.” —St. Teresa of Avila, "I want a laity, not arrogant, not rash in speech, not disputatious, but men and women who know their religion, who enter into it, who know just where they stand, who know what they hold and what they do not, and who know their creed so well that they can give an account of it."- Bl John Henry Newman, Cong. Orat., "We cannot always have access to a spiritual Father for counsel in our actions and in our doubts, but reading will abundantly supply his place by giving us directions to escape the illusions of the devil and of our own self-love, and at the same time to submit to the divine will.” —St. Alphonsus Ligouri, "The harm that comes to souls from the lack of reading holy books makes me shudder . . . What power spiritual reading has to lead to a change of course, and to make even worldly people enter into the way of perfection." –St. Padre Pio, "Screens may grab our attention, but books change our lives!" – Word on Fire, "Reading has made many saints!" -St Josemaría Escrivá, "Do you pray? You speak to the Bridegroom. Do you read? He speaks to you." —St. Jerome, from his Letter 22 to Eustochium, "Encounter, not confrontation; attraction, not promotion; dialogue, not debate." -cf Pope Francis, "God here speaks to souls through…good books“ – St Teresa of Avila, Interior Castle, "You will not see anyone who is really striving after his advancement who is not given to spiritual reading. And as to him who neglects it, the fact will soon be observed by his progress.” -St Athanasius, "To convert someone, go and take them by the hand and guide them." -St Thomas Aquinas, OP. 1 saint ruins ALL the cynicism in Hell & on Earth. “When we pray we talk to God; when we read God talks to us…All spiritual growth comes from reading and reflection.” -St Isidore of Seville, “Also in some meditations today I earnestly asked our Lord to watch over my compositions that they might do me no harm through the enmity or imprudence of any man or my own; that He would have them as His own and employ or not employ them as He should see fit. And this I believe is heard.” -GM Hopkins, SJ, "Only God knows the good that can come about by reading one good Catholic book." — St. John Bosco, "Why don't you try explaining it to them?" – cf St Peter Canisius, SJ, Doctor of the Church, Doctor of the Catechism, "Already I was coming to appreciate that often apologetics consists of offering theological eye glasses of varying prescriptions to an inquirer. Only one prescription will give him clear sight; all the others will give him at best indistinct sight. What you want him to see—some particular truth of the Faith—will remain fuzzy to him until you come across theological eye glasses that precisely compensate for his particular defect of vision." -Karl Keating, "The more perfectly we know God, the more perfectly we love Him." -St Thomas Aquinas, OP, ST, I-II,67,6 ad 3, “But always when I was without a book, my soul would at once become disturbed, and my thoughts wandered." —St. Teresa of Avila, "Let those who think I have said too little and those who think I have said too much, forgive me; and let those who think I have said just enough thank God with me." –St. Augustine, "Without good books and spiritual reading, it will be morally impossible to save our souls." —St. Alphonsus Liguori "Never read books you aren't sure about. . . even supposing that these bad books are very well written from a literary point of view. Let me ask you this: Would you drink something you knew was poisoned just because it was offered to you in a golden cup?" -St. John Bosco " To teach in order to lead others to faith is the task of every preacher and of each believer." —St. Thomas Aquinas, OP. "Prayer purifies us, reading instructs us. Both are good when both are possible. Otherwise, prayer is better than reading." –St. Isidore of Seville “The aid of spiritual books is for you a necessity.… You, who are in the midst of battle, must protect yourself with the buckler of holy thoughts drawn from good books.” -St. John Chrysostom