On the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord and the celebration of the twenty-fifth International Day of Consecrated Life, the Pope presides over the Divine Liturgy with members of the institutions of consecrated life and members of the Association of Apostolic Life.
Miria Bonilla – Vatican
Patience. This is the word around which Pope Francis delivered his homily today, during the Divine Liturgy dedicated to the 25th World Day of Consecrated Life today. The Pope embodied Simon’s patience to prove to the members of the Institutions of Consecrated Life and the Association of Apostolic Life that there are three “places” in which patience takes a tangible form.
“Let us carefully consider the patience of Simon – says the Pope – who waited his whole life and the patience of his heart.” Francis affirms that Simon was patient “in prayer,” because he knew that God does not come in extraordinary events, but rather does His work in the apparent monotony of our days, in a tired rhythm sometimes from activities, in the trivial that we carry out with determination and humility, trying to do His will. Moreover – he adds – “walking patiently, Simon did not allow himself to become exhausted with the passage of time. He was a man burdened by years, and yet the flame of his heart was still burning; In his long life he will sometimes be disappointed; However, he did not lose hope. Patiently, he kept the promise, without letting himself be the bitterness of past times or the submissive gloom that arises when the twilight of life is reached.
Patience leads to conversion
But – the Pope asks – “Where did Simon learn this patience?” “Receive him from the prayers and lives of his people, who have always known in the Lord” the Merciful and Compassionate God, who slows down in anger and tenderness. Rich in love and devotion. ”“ The father – continues – who, even in the face of rejection and disbelief, does not tire and repeatedly gives the possibility of conversion. ”Therefore, according to Pope Francis, Simon’s patience is a“ reflection of God’s patience, ”and his patience“ leads us to conversion and teaches us flexibility. ”
What is patience according to Francisco?
What is patience? Pope Francis answered this question: “It is not merely tolerance of difficulties or fatal resistance to adversity. Patience is not a sign of weakness: it is the strength of the soul that makes us able to“ bear the weight ”of bearing personal and societal problems, and makes us welcome the diversity of others, and makes us persevere in the good even When everything seems useless, it keeps us moving even when boredom and laziness attacks us. ”
The three “places” where patience takes shape
The pontiff, after giving the example of Simeon, explained to members of the Institutes of Consecrated Life the three occasions on which they should be patient: in personal life, in community life and before the world, in this way and as he emphasized, “Patience helps us to see ourselves, our societies, and the world with compassion. They are challenges to our consecrated lives: We cannot remain nostalgic or restrict ourselves to repeating the same old thing. We need courageous patience to walk, explore new paths, and search for what the Holy Spirit suggests for us. “
In our personal life
The pontiff said: “Sometimes the enthusiasm of our work does not correspond to the results we expected, our seeds do not seem to produce sufficient fruits, the enthusiasm for prayer weakens, and we are no longer immune to spiritual dryness.” With these words, he wanted to remember that although it may happen in the lives of consecrated persons that hope erodes due to disappointing expectations, one must “be patient with ourselves” and “confidently await the times and ways of God: he is true to her promises.”
“Remembering this – he said – allows us to rethink our paths and revitalize our dreams, without giving in to inner sadness and disappointment,” because the inner sadness in us consecrated is like a worm that eats us from the inside, escaping from inner sadness.
In the life of society
With regard to human relations, especially when it comes to sharing a project of apostolic life and activity, Francis asserts that it is “not always peaceful”: “Sometimes disagreements arise and we cannot demand an immediate solution, and we should not be too quick to judge the person. Or the situation: You have to know. How do you keep your distance, and try not to lose your peace, and wait for the best moment for clarification with charity and truth. ” In addition, he says, “they should not be confused by storms, because we can never make a good distinction in life if our hearts are troubled. In our societies – he continues -” we need mutual patience, that is, to bear on our shoulders the life of a brother or sister, including In that is their weaknesses and their flaws. ”Advice from the Pope so that we never forget this is that“ God does not invite us to be soloists, but rather to be part of a choir, which sometimes goes out of harmony, but you should always try to sing together.
Patience in front of the world
Finally, the Pope speaks of patience before the world and gives an example once again to Simeon and Hannah, who planted in their hearts the hope proclaimed by the prophets, although it took time for it to be fulfilled and slowly grew in the midst of sins and desolation. From the world. We need this patience so that we do not remain prisoners of the complaint: “The world no longer listens to us”, “We no longer have invitations,” “We live in difficult times” … Sometimes it happens that we oppose the patience with which God works the ground of history and our hearts are impatient Those who judge everything immediately, and thus – and be saved – lose the most beautiful virtue: hope. Many consecrated men and women lose hope in patience. “
Two advices from the Pope for the consecrated
At the end of the Eucharist, Pope Francis offered two advice to consecrated men and women: Bite your tongue and humor: “Run away from gossip. What kills society’s life is gossip, don’t talk about others. There is medicine very close to home: biting one’s tongue,” said Francisco. And after that, another advice he recommends to you in community life: “Do not lose your sense of humor, this helps us a lot, it is against gossip, knowing how to laugh at yourself, in situations, and also at others a little but do not lose your sense of humor. I recommend it not very biblical advice, but very humane. “