Angelus: Pope Francis speaks of need for rest

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“We are busy, we run, we think that everything depends on us and in the end we run the risk of neglecting Jesus and always putting ourselves at the centre,” the pontiff stressed.

Vatican City (19/07/2021 18:55, Gaudium Press) On Sunday, July 18, before reciting the Marian prayer of the Angelus, which was once again prayed from the window of the pontifical flat, Pope Francis commented on the liturgy of the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time, reflecting on rest.

The Pontiff pointed out that Our Lord Jesus Christ was also concerned about the physical and interior fatigue of his disciples. This concern is evident when, after hearing his disciples’ accounts of the “wonders of preaching” during their mission, Jesus invites them to take some rest.

The risk of neglecting Jesus and always putting oneself at the centre

Pope Francis said that, Jesus warned about a danger that lurks in front of us, that of letting ourselves fall into the frenzy of doing, falling into the trap of activism, where the most important thing is the results we obtain and feeling ourselves absolute protagonists.

“We are busy, we run, we think that everything depends on us and in the end we run the risk of neglecting Jesus and always being ourselves at the centre. That is why he invites his own to rest a little apart, with him,” he warned.

This rest is not only physical, but also of the heart, because it is not enough to switch off, it is necessary to really rest. To do this, it is necessary to return to the heart of things: stop, be silent, pray, so as not to go from the rush of work to the rush of holidays.

Compassion is born of contemplation

The Pope also explained that, the fact that Jesus withdrew to prayer and silence in intimacy with the Father did not prevent him from being attentive to the needs of the crowd, and the invitation addressed to his disciples, should also accompany us. “Let us learn to stop, to turn off our mobile phones, to contemplate nature, to regenerate ourselves in dialogue with God,” he advised.

Then, the Pontiff assured that only the heart that does not let itself be carried away by haste is capable of being moved, that is, of not letting itself be carried away by itself and the things to be done, and of perceiving others, their wounds, their needs. Compassion is born of contemplation.

Rest, contemplation and compassion

The Holy Father also taught that if we cultivate the contemplative gaze, we will carry on with our activities without the rapacious attitude of one who wants to possess and consume everything; if we remain in contact with the Lord and do not anaesthetize the deepest part of us, the things to be done will not have the power to take our breath away and devour us.

In conclusion, Francis exhorted that “we need an ‘ecology of the heart’ that includes rest, contemplation and compassion. And he invited everyone to take advantage of the summer time for this and also to turn to Our Lady, “who has cultivated silence, prayer and contemplation, and always moves in tender compassion for us, her children.” (EPC)

 

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