Dream again even though the scars will remain forever...
Pope Francis attentively listened to the testimonies of father of a family and a parish priest who survived the earthquakes that cost the lives of almost 300 people.
"The fortune of having been left alive from that hell can never erase the pain of having lost so many friends."
The pope recalled that the word they used the most was to "rebuild," restarting from scratch after having lost everything. The earthquakes, said Pope Francis, have left wounds and these scars will remain forever.
"Safe, but defeated. This way of life is a new situation. The wound heals, the wounds heal, but the scars will last a lifetime. They will be the memories of this moment of pain, it will be a life with one more scar. It will not be the same life as before."
The pope recalled the morning of August 24, when he was informed of what had happened. That day he replaced the public catechesis and instead prayed for the victims with the pilgrims.
"Just getting up I found a note about the earthquakes and I felt two things: I must go, I must go, and then I felt pain. So much pain. It was with this pain that I went to celebrate Mass."
The pope concluded by encouraging them to face life once again, despite the scars, and to re-dream with healthy realism.
"Begin again, yes, but begin again without having lost the ability to dream. Dream of recovering and have the audacity to dream once more. These are the things that have come to my heart the most from the two testimonies. So I wanted to take your words and incorporate them with mine, because in your situation the worst thing I can do is give a sermon, it's the worst."
The pope devoted much of the meeting to greeting people and being close to them.
As he explained in the General Audience of the previous day, in situations of so much pain the only thing that can be done is to cry, to pray and to accompany the wounded in silence. It is the same thing he did when he visited the areas most affected by earthquakes.