Questions from Pope Francis

Pope Francis gave another beautiful homily this weekend as he honored Mary. I was struck by the simplicity and humility in the first person questions he spoke. They would make terrific, challenging yet simple, questions by which to examine our consciences. In our culture we tend to make things so complicated when “only one thing is needed.” And you can bet that we will be saying a lot more “thank you’s” at our house!

Today let us all ask ourselves whether we are afraid of what God might ask, or of what he does ask. Do I let myself be surprised by God, as Mary was, or do I remain caught up in my own safety zone: in forms of material, intellectual or ideological security, taking refuge in my own projects and plans? Do I truly let God into my life? How do I answer him?

And I ask myself: Am I a Christian by fits and starts, or am I a Christian full-time? Our culture of the ephemeral, the relative, also takes it toll on the way we live our faith. God asks us to be faithful to him, daily, in our everyday life. He goes on to say that, even if we are sometimes unfaithful to him, he remains faithful. In his mercy, he never tires of stretching out his hand to lift us up, to encourage us to continue our journey, to come back and tell him of our weakness, so that he can grant us his strength. This is the real journey: to walk with the Lord always, even at moments of weakness, even in our sins. Never to prefer a makeshift path of our own. That kills us. Faith is ultimate fidelity, like that of Mary.

Everything is his gift. If we can realize that everything is God’s gift, how happy will our hearts be! Everything is his gift. He is our strength! Saying “thank you” is such an easy thing, and yet so hard! How often do we say “thank you” to one another in our families? These are essential words for our life in common. “Sorry”, “excuse me”, “thank you”. If families can say these three things, they will be fine. “Sorry”, “excuse me”, “thank you”. How often do we say “thank you” in our families? How often do we say “thank you” to those who help us, those close to us, those at our side throughout life? All too often we take everything for granted! This happens with God too. It is easy to approach the Lord to ask for something, but to go and thank him: “Well, I don’t need to”.

  • Juris Mater

    Thanks for this beautiful reflection, Tex. What an important reminder that everything is his gift.

  • Kat0427

    I find these kinds of questions so helpful in framing the way that I make decisions, both big and small, in my daily life. When I am trying to decide how to react to someone, or which decision to make for my children, I have a few of these “framing questions” that I use. They are simple, but this is why they work!

  • http://www.buildingcathedrals.com/ Kellie

    Love this. Thanks for inspiring.

  • Queen B

    Tex, I had read the Pope’s Sunday message as well and loved the “fits and starts” quote too. Thanks so much for sharing it here. The Holy Father is doing a great job of pushing us to embrace a fuller, deeper communion with Jesus and leading us with his example.

  • Bethany

    Oh Tex, this is golden! Just had a chance to sit down and read it and how inspiring for my soul. I also loved the fits and starts portion because I feel that is an accurate description of so much of my walk with the Lord. I need to work on smooth, steady, and ongoing fidelity.


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