Pope Francis continued his daily Mass celebration in the privacy of Casa Santa Marta. He offered it for coronavirus patients, doctors and nurses. He also prayed for the incarcerated, in light of the recent riots in some Italian prisons.
In a special way, I would like to pray for those who are in prison, for our brothers and sisters locked up in jail. They are suffering, and we must be near to them in prayer, so that the Lord might help them and console them in this difficult time.
During his homily, he explained that behind violence and anti-Christian persecution is the devil's pride.
The devil has two styles. [One is] seduction, using worldly promises, as he tried to use with Jesus in the desert. [He tried] to seduce Him in order to make Him change His plan of redemption. If that doesn't work, he uses violence. The devil doesn't have middle-of-the-road methods. His pride is so great, that he tries to destroy. He enjoys destroying through maliciousness.
He asked to remember the many Christians, who, besides suffering persecution, were subjected to humiliation until death.
In these days, the pope is celebrating Mass with only his closest collaborators. Masses will be live-streamed online, due to the measures being taken against the coronavirus.
SUMMARY OF POPE'S HOMILY
“'Let’s place obstacles.' The devil doesn’t say, ‘Let’s conquer him,’ or ‘Let’s kick him out.’ No. ‘Let’s make his life difficult. Torment him.' It's not only a death sentence. It's more than that. It’s humiliation.”
The devil has two styles when he persecutes Christians, the pope continued. First, he tries to seduce them with worldliness by “making them change the plan of redemption.”
When that doesn’t work, he tries to destroy the person. “The devil’s pride is so great that he tries to destroy and enjoys destroying through maliciousness,” Pope Francis said. He then reflected on the persecution of many saints and Christians. “They are not killed immediately. They are made to suffer,” he said. They suffer every form of humiliation, even death.
“May the Lord grant us the grace of knowing how to discern when the spirit that wants to destroy us is present, and when the same spirit wants to console us through the appearances of the world, with vanity.
“May the Lord grant us the grace to discern the Lord’s way, which is the cross, from the way of the world which is vanity, and appearance.”