The good seed
· Pope Francis at the conclusion of the spiritual exercises in Arriccia ·
The spiritual exercises in Arriccia, in which the Pope participated along with members of the Curia, concluded his morning, Friday 14 March. The reflections were offered by Monsignor Angelo De Donatis, pastor of San Marco Evangelista al Campidoglio, in the chapel at the House of the Divine Master of the Paulist Fathers. At the close of reflections this morning, Pope Francis offered these words of thanks to the pastor.
Fr Angelo, I would like to thank you myself and on behalf of all of us, for assisting, accompanying and listening during this period. We now return to our home with a good seed: the seed of God's Word. It is indeed a good seed. The Lord will send the rain and the seed will grow. It will grow and bear fruit. We thank the Lord for the seed and for the rain that he will send us, but we also want to thank the planter. Because you sowed the seed, and you know how how to do it – you know how! Because you, throwing here, throwing there without noticing – or pretending not to notice – but indicating, go toward the center, go toward the sign. Thank you for this. I ask you to continue to pray for this “union of beliers” - we are all sinners, but we all have the desire to follow and become closer to Jesus, without losing hope in his promise, and also without losing our sense of humour – and at times beckoning to him from afar. Thank you Father.
Shortly before the preacher, Monsignor De Donatis, referring to the departure time, had reminded them of Pope Francis' invitation exactly one year ago (14 March, the day after his election) to the cardinal electors during holy mass in the Sistine Chapel: “Let us leave this experience carrying within us the force of the love that helped us to go forward as was asked exacly one year ago, to 'walk, to build, to confess'.” At the beginning of the mediation, Fr Angelo recommended a method that he had used, to leave even further enriched by the week of spirituality: carefully evaluate your thoughts and feelings in these days of prayer, and write a note.
Thoughts and feelings whispered by the Holy Spirit, as well as by his nemesis “his true antithesis”. At the end, he explained, after having evaluated thought after thought, and feeling after feeling, only one part will remain, that which returned most often and most powerfully. In the column “inspired by the Holy Spirit” there will remain that which to keep and to enrich; in that whispered from from the dark side will be only that which needs to be fought against; but in this case, “you must ask for special grace” that clearly signifies “that we still need to be completely uprooted from evil.”
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