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General Audience October 5, Pope Francis Catechesis

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During the general audience on Wednesday, October 5, Pope Francis continues on the theme of discernment. On this occasion, he insists on the importance of knowing oneself in order to escape the temptations and manipulations of the devil.

To know the “passwords” of access to the spiritual life, to escape the temptation of the devil and to know how to work in the right way for discernment. These are the passages covered by Pope Francis’ catechesis on the occasion of the general audience on Wednesday, October 5, 2022.

General Audience of Pope Francis@Ansa credits

Knowing how to recognize the evil behind “persuasive words” that present “beautiful but illusory things”. And this is what the Holy Father calls “spiritual passwords”. In other words, words that touch the heart, because they are born from it and are therefore sensitive.

General Audience on Discernment

The devil knows these “key words” and that is why he often manages to touch the most exposed nerves. As the Pontiff reveals, it is precisely through these “passwords” that the devil manages to tempt, to be persuasive, even to hypnotize. Because it creates the illusion of a perfect career, a trouble-free relationship, a desired job or degree. But the value of a person, as Pope Francis points out in his first catechesis in October, is not measured by his illusory successes. And every day God shows us how precious we are in his eyes: “He died for us, to show us how precious we are in his eyes”. And it is on the basis of this reflection that the Holy Father invites everyone to draw from the depths of their own soul to discover what truly brings joy and pain: “to know oneself”.

Pope Francis PapaMobile@Ansa credits

And precisely in introducing the new General Audience which deals with the theme of discernment, Pope Francis explains: “Good discernment also requires self-knowledge. In fact, it brings into play our human faculties: memory, intellect, will, affections”. And often, as the Holy Father continues: “We don’t know how to discern because we don’t know each other well enough, and therefore we don’t know what we really want”. It is from this absence of dialogue with the most intimate part of oneself that, in most cases, crises arise, especially spiritual ones. Because, after all, there is no greater mistake in life than lying to yourself, looking in the mirror and not recognizing yourself.

The importance of knowing yourself

“We all have the temptation to be masked even before ourselves – says Pope Francis – Forgetting the presence of God in our life goes hand in hand with ignorance of ourselves. Ignoring God is ignoring us”. The Holy Father recognizes how tiring it is to learn to dialogue in depth with oneself, because it basically requires a patient work of “inner search”. It also requires knowing how to stop and ” turn off the autopilot”. It’s about knowing how to look inside, observe attentively and discover the things that represent a limit, this condition, but also feelings and ways of doing things on which, often, no particular attention is given. is carried.

And to know oneself it is important to “make the distinction between the emotions and the spiritual faculties”. “’I feel’ is not the same as ‘I am convinced’. ‘I feel’ is not the same thing as ‘I want’,” says Pope Francis, stressing how often our gaze on ourselves can appear distorted. It can happen that bad experiences in the past affect future choices, because they change reality; and it is on this that the Holy Father asks us to concentrate. “Even the spiritual life has its passwords: there are words that touch the heart because they refer to what we are most sensitive to”.

The “passwords of the heart”

“The tempter – explains Pope Bergoglio during the General Audience – that is to say the devil, knows these key words well, and it is important that we also know them, so as not to find ourselves where we do not wouldn’t want. Temptation does not necessarily suggest bad things, but often messy things, presented with excessive importance. In this way, he hypnotizes us with the attraction that these things arouse in us, beautiful but illusory things, which cannot deliver what they promise, leaving us in the end with a feeling of emptiness and sadness. This feeling of emptiness and sadness is a sign that we have “taken” a wrong path, which has confused us”.

Pope Francis Saint Peter@Ansa credits

From these misunderstandings can often result the greatest suffering. And that is why Pope Francis invites us to know well the “passwords” of our heart, in order to have the capacity to escape all forms of persuasive manipulation. And then the Pontiff invites us to learn to recognize what “truly satisfies the heart”. “Because only the Lord can give us confirmation of what we are worth. There is no obstacle or failure that can prevent his tender embrace”.

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