During Mass on Saturday morning in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae, Pope Francis reminded the faithful of the struggle between the love of Christ and the hatred of the prince of this world, saying that “there can be no dialogue with the prince of this world!”
Vatican Radio is reporting that the pope encouraged Catholics to use meekness and humility when defending ourselves against the hatred of the world, and to not be afraid to be despised as Jesus was despised.
“The way of the Christians is the way of Jesus,” he said. “If we want to be followers of Jesus, there is no other way: none other than that, which He indicated to us – and one of the consequences of this is hatred – it is the hatred of the world, and also the prince of this world. The world would love that which belongs to it. [But Jesus tells us], ‘I have chosen you, from the world’: it was precisely He, who rescued us from the world, who chose us – pure grace! With His death, His resurrection, He redeemed us from the power of the world, from the power of the devil, from the power of the prince of this world. The origin of the hate [we experience], then is this: that we are saved. It is that prince who does not want that we should have been saved, who hates.”
This is why hatred and persecution of the faithful has been present since the beginning of the Church and remains to this day.
There are “Many persecuted Christian communities in the world,” the pope said. “Indeed there are more persecuted communities in this time than in the early days: today, right now, in this day and in this hour.”
Why is this? “Because the spirit of the world hates,” he said.
“There can be no dialogue with the prince of this world: let this be clear! Today, dialogue is necessary among us humans, it is necessary for peace. Dialogue is a habit, it is an attitude that we must have among us to feel and understand each other…and that [dialogue] must be maintained forever. Dialogue comes from charity, from love. But with that prince, it is impossible to dialogue: one can only respond with the Word of God who defends us, for the world hates us – and just as he did with Jesus, so will he do with us. ‘Only look,’ he will say, ‘just do this one small little scam…it is a small matter, nothing really – and so he begins to lead us on a road that is slightly off. This is a pious lie: ‘Do it, do it, do it: there is no problem,’ and it begins little by little, always, no? Then [he says]: ‘But … you’re good, you’re a good person: You [get away with] it.’ It is flattering – and he softens us by flattery: and then, we fall into the trap.”
He continued: “You may ask the question, ‘Father, what is the weapon to defend against these seductions, from these blandishments, these enticements that the prince of this world offers?’. The weapon is the same weapon of Jesus, the Word of God – not dialogue – but always the Word of God, and then humility and meekness. We think of Jesus, when they give that slap: what humility! What meekness! He could have insulted him, no? One question, meek and humble. We think of Jesus in His Passion. His Prophet says: ‘As a sheep going to the slaughter.’ He does not cry out, not at all: humility. Humility and meekness. These are the weapons that the prince and spirit of this world does not tolerate, for his proposals are proposals for worldly power, proposals of vanity, proposals for ill-gotten riches.”
We must defend ourselves with the innocence of sheep, with humility and meekness, and must be careful to always remain as sheep, “because sheep are meek and humble, [and when we are sheep] we have a shepherd.”
He concluded with an invocation to the Virgin Mary, asking her, “to help us become meek and humble in the way of Jesus.”
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