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Pope at Santa Marta: It is a grace to have someone to slap us when we are slipping

In his homily at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis reflected on King David's sins. He said the same can happen to anyone. To avoid it, he said it is important not to fall into an overly permissive environment.

If a saint was capable of falling this way, let's be attentive, brothers and sisters. It can also happen to us. Let us also ask ourselves, 'In what environment do I live?' May the Lord grant us the grace of always sending us a prophet—it can be the neighbor, a son, a mother, a father—who slaps us a little when we are slipping into this atmosphere where everything seems to be lawful.

The pope warned against the danger Christians face of losing an awareness of sin or of dismissing behavior that should be reprimanded.


(Source: Vatican News)

Pope Francis wondered how the great David, who was holy, who had done so many good things and who was so united with God, could have done that. This did not happen overnight, the pope said, adding, David slipped slowly. He noted that there are sins of the moment, such as anger or insult that one cannot control, but there are also sins into which one slips slowly, with the spirit of worldliness. It's the spirit of the world, the pope said, that leads you to do these things as if they were normal. “An assassination...!” 

The pope admitted that all are sinners, but sometimes we sin on the spur of the moment, such as getting angry or insulting, but then we repent. Sometimes, instead, “we let ourselves slip into a state where life seems normal,” such as not paying the maid as you should or paying half what one should pay workers in the field. 

The Holy Father said they seem to be good people who go to Mass every Sunday and who call themselves Christians. He explained they do all this and other sins because they have slipped into a state where they have lost the awareness of sin, which, according to Pope Pius XII, is one of the evils of our time.

The pope pointed out that these are not ancient things. He recalled a recent incident in Argentina in which some young rugby players killed a comrade in a nightlife fight. The boys, he said, became “a pack of wolves,” which raises questions about the education of young people and about society. The pope said, we often need a “slap of life” to stop this slow slide into sin. It takes someone like the prophet Nathan, sent by God to David, to show him his mistake.

Pope Francis urged Christians to think a little about the spiritual atmosphere of one’s life. “I am careful and always need someone to tell me the truth, the reproach of some friend, the confessor, the husband, the wife or children, who help me a little.” The story of the fall of a Holy King like David, the pope said, should make us realize that it can also happen to us and we should be careful. 

We should also be aware of the atmosphere we live in. Pope Francis concluded urging that the Lord send us a prophet, such as a neighbor, a son, a mother or a father, who slaps us a little when we are slipping into this atmosphere where everything seems to be lawful.

Javier Romero
Translation: Claudia Torres