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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis: Commandments free us from our own selfishness

“It's good, huh?”

Despite the strong wind, the pope dedicated a few minutes to greeting pilgrims before addressing a complicated topic in his catechesis. 

The Holy Father recognized it's impossible to live a life of complete faith if one views the Commandments as a list of oppressive rules. 

“I must do this, this, this. Only duty. But you're missing something. What is the basis of this duty?”

To avoid this tense relationship with God, the pope gave some advice. First, one must stop to reflect on the following. 

“In silence, let's all answer. How many beautiful things has God done for me? How many beautiful things has God done for me?”

Once God's help in his or her life is recognized by everyone, Pope Francis recommended changing one's view of the Commandments. They're demanding, but there's a reason, and God asks, but always after helping first. 

“God never asks without giving first. Never. First, He saves, He gives, then He asks. That's how good our Father is. Being Christian is a path to freedom. The Commandments free you from selfishness, and they free you because God's love is there, which helps you move forward.”

If one still doesn't experience God's tenderness, the pope advises the following: looking at one's own life with realism, recognizing which things oppress to humbly ask God for liberation. This was the path taken by the Israelites to flee Egypt. 

There was an air of international soccer in the Audience. Among the pilgrims, many were dressed in the jerseys of their national teams. Pope Francis' team qualified for the round of 16 the night before.