The Vatican

Pope Francis: "We can love only in freedom".

Today the Pope met with the faithful in the Paul VI Hall for the usual Wednesday general audience. Today's reading is taken from the Ecclesiasticus.

Paloma López Campos-December 7, 2022-Reading time: 2 minutes
Hearing December 7

The Pope greets the prelates during his arrival at the general audience (CNS Photo / Paul Haring).

Continuing with the catechesis on discernment, the Pope began by saying that "in the process of discernment, the Pope said discernment it is important to remain attentive also to the phase that immediately follows the decision taken".

Francis pointed out the importance of analyzing slowly what happens after making a decision in order to know if it was the right one. In relation to this, he points out that "one of the distinctive signs of the good spirit is the fact that it communicates a peace that lasts in time". This is a peace that "brings harmony, unity, fervor and zeal".

Signs of good discernment

The Pope points out that "the spiritual life is circular. The goodness of a choice is beneficial for all areas of our life". In this sense, certain characteristics can be observed that indicate that the discernment is the right one. First of all, Francis encourages us to consider "whether the decision is seen as a possible sign of a response to the love and generosity that the Lord has for me. It is not born of fear, of emotional blackmail, or of an obligation".

"Another important element is the awareness of feeling one's place in life". Because of the circular condition of the spiritual life that the Pope has indicated, this implies that "man can recognize that he has found what he is looking for when his journey becomes more orderly. He notices a growing integration among his multiple interests. He establishes a correct hierarchy of importance and succeeds in living everything with ease, facing with renewed energy and strength of spirit the difficulties that arise".

"Another good sign is the confirmation of remaining free with respect to what has been decided, ready to question it again, also to renounce in the face of possible denials, trying to find in them a possible teaching of the Lord".

In spite of everything, we cannot be attached to our own decisions, the Supreme Pontiff pointed out, since "being possessive is the enemy of the good and kills affection. We can love only in freedom.

From this freedom is also born the fear of God, respect for the Lord, and this, Francis pointed out, is "an indispensable condition for accepting the gift of wisdom," because the fear of God "expels every other fear" and sets us free. Thus we are prepared to make a good decision during the period of discernment.

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