In his ongoing catechesis on discernment, Pope Francis warned of succumbing to feelings of desolation. He recalled the path of Saint Augustine as an example of how internal conflict may lead to a closer connection with God. He asked that those in attendance, like Augustine, turn to prayer in times of unrest.
The catechesis concluded with a blessing of those visiting from English-speaking nations.
SUMMARY OF THE POPE'S CATECHESIS IN ENGLISH:
Dear brothers and sisters,
In our continuing catechesis on discernment, we have seen the importance of interpreting the movements of our heart, including occasional experiences of “desolation” or interior unrest and dissatisfaction. Such moments are in fact a challenge to our complacency and an incentive to growth in the spiritual life. In the case of many great saints like Augustine, this sense of inner unrest was the prelude to a profound conversion.
The experience of desolation can open our eyes to see things in a new light, to appreciate the blessings we so often take for granted, and to find our peace in drawing closer to the Lord. In this way, we deepen our relationship with Jesus, which brings not only consolation, but also new challenges to mature in Christian discipleship. At times of desolation or discouragement, may we embrace the experience as an invitation to deeper prayer, closer union with Christ and steadfast trust in his promises.
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims taking part in today’s Audience, especially those from England, Denmark, the Netherlands, Indonesia, Canada and the United States of America. Upon all of you I invoke the joy and peace of Christ our Lord. God bless you!