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Pope Francis at Santa Marta: To be consoled we must first recognize that we need it

2017-06-12

Pope Francis explained that in order to receive God's consolation, two steps must be taken. First, one must have the humility to recognize one's limits. Second, to not be narcissistic, and instead give consolation to others. 

POPE FRANCIS 
"In order to be consoled, one must recognize oneself as being in need of consolation. Only then does the Lord come, console us, and give us the mission to console others. It is not easy to have one’s heart open to receive the gift and to serve, the two ‘alterities’ that make consolation possible.”

Pope Francis also warned against false consolations, using as an example someone who doesn't ask for help, instead seeking compensations that do not give fulfillment. To receive consolation, it is necessary to leave pride aside. 

EXTRACTS FROM THE POPE'S HOMILY IN ENGLISH
(Source: Vatican Radio)
"In order to be consoled, one must recognize oneself as being in need of consolation. Only then does the Lord come, console us, and give us the mission to console others. it is not easy to have one’s heart open to receive the gift and to serve, the two ‘alterities’ that make consolation possible.”

"The experience of consolation, which is a spiritual experience, always needs ‘someone else’ in order to be full: no one can console himself, no one – and whoever tries to do it ends up looking into the mirror – staring into the mirror and trying to ‘make oneself up’. One ‘consoles’ with these closed things that do not let one grow, and the air that one breathes is that narcissistic air of self-reference. This is the made up consolation that does not let one grow – and it is no [real] consolation, because it is closed, it lacks an alterity.”

"The "Doctors of the Law” of which the Gospels speak are like this: "filled with self-sufficiency.” He also offered the example of the rich man – a priest – in the Gospel according to St. Luke, who lived his days from one feast to another, believing himself thus to be "consoled” – or the figure par excellence of the Pharisee who prayed, 'Thank you, Lord, for not making me like those others.'”

"That man looked at himself in the mirror, and he gazed on his one likeness embellished with ideologies, and thanked the Lord. Jesus shows us such persons because they represent a real possibility – it is possible to live in such a manner that, one shall never arrive at fullness, but only achieve a state of being bloated.”

"True consolation has this twofold ‘otherness’: it is gift and service. And so it is, if I let the consolation of the Lord enter as a gift it is because I need to be consoled. I am in need: in order to be consoled, one must recognize oneself as being in need of consolation. Only then does the Lord come, console us, and give us the mission to console others. it is not easy to have one’s heart open to receive the gift and to serve, the two ‘alterities’ that make consolation possible.”

"The poor: the heart is opened with an attitude of poverty, of poverty of spirit; those who know how to cry, the meek ones, the meekness of heart; those hungry for justice who fight for justice; those who are merciful, who have mercy on others; the pure of heart; peace-makers and those who are persecuted for justice, for love of righteousness. Thus is the heart opened and [then] the Lord comes with the gift of consolation and the mission of consoling others.”