Pope praises the gentleness of the late Pope Benedict
Pope Francis emphasised kindness and gentleness during the customary evening prayer session to close out the year, using the late Pope Benedict XVI as an example.
CNS: VATICAN CITY Pope Francis kept his commitment to conduct vespers as 2022 came to an end and remembered his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, who passed away early on December 31.Pope Francis addressed the throngs of people gathered in St. Peter’s Basilica for the evening prayer session, saying, “At this moment, our thoughts go naturally to our loving Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who departed us this morning.
The pope said, “With emotion we remember him as such a noble, such a compassionate person.”And we are so filled with gratitude in our hearts for God’s provision of him to the church and the wider community as well as for all the good he brought about. In particular, we are grateful for his witness of faith and prayer, especially in these final years of his retired life.Pope Francis praised the 95-year-old Pope Benedict, who had spent nearly ten years in retirement at a monastery in the Vatican Gardens, saying that “only God understands the significance and strength of his intercession and his sacrifices offered for the sake of the church.”
The devout also specifically prayed for the late Pope Benedict, pleading with God to provide him the opportunity to see Jesus face to face.
The devout also specifically prayed for the late Pope Benedict, pleading with God to provide him the opportunity to see Jesus face to face.Pope Francis emphasised compassion and gentleness as a religious and civic virtue in the main body of his sermon.Pope Francis stated that Jesus “did not descend into the world swooping down from heaven; he was born of Mary” although the Christmas season was still in full swing and Christmas decorations were still up in the basilica.
The pope remarked that Jesus became human “with her agreement; in freedom, in gratuity, in respect, and in love.”Pope Francis called on people to practise kindness, paying special attention to the Diocese of Rome, which is his diocese.
He claimed that being kind is a virtue that can “humanise our cultures,” not merely be polite.
“Kindness is an antidote against some of the pathologies of our societies,” he said. “Kindness is an antidote against cruelty, which unfortunately can creep in like a poison in the heart and intoxicate relationships, and also against distracted anxiety and frenzy that make us focus on ourselves and close us off to others.”Too frequently, according to the pope, people become preoccupied with their own affairs and fail to notice how aggressive they are or how they stop saying “please,” “thank you,” or “sorry.”With those three words, he stated, “Peace advances.”
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