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Holy demands

· At the Chrism Mass the Pope understands the weariness of priests ·

The “tiredness of priests” was at the centre of the Pope's reflection during the Chrism Mass he celebrated on Holy Thursday, 2 April. In the Vatican Basilica, Pope Francis urged those present to ask for “the grace to learn how to be weary”, remembering that “our weariness, dear priests, is like the incense which silently rises up to heaven”. In his homily, the Pope confided that he often thinks about the weariness of priests -- “especially when I am tired”, he said, adding that he often prays for this. Therefore he recommended not to be “tempted to rest however we please” and urged never to “forget that a key to fruitful priestly ministry lies in how we rest and in how we look at the way the Lord deals with our weariness”.

In particular, the Pope urged priests to avoid three temptations: the weariness of the people, enemies and themselves. The first refers to the exhaustion of the crowds in the Gospels. But – he noticed in this regard - “the Lord never tires of being with people. On the contrary: he seemed renewed by their presence”. Therefore, “this weariness in the midst of activty is a grace on which all priests can draw”. And it is a “good and healthy” tiredness, it is “the exhaustion of a priest who wears the smell of the sheep,”, but who also smiles.

The second temptation is the “weariness of enemies”, for which we must “implore the grace to learn how to 'offset': to thwart evil”. The last temptation, and “this may be the most dangerous” one, he said, is “more 'self-referential'”. It is the weariness of ourselves, what Francis' called “flirting with spiritual worldliness”. Because, he concluded, “only love gives true rest”, while “what is not loved becomes tiresome, and in time, brings about a harmful weariness”.

The text of the Pope's homily

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