Home   |  About Us   |  Contacts   |  Products    
 News Items
 Top Stories
 News Briefs
 Also Featuring
 Movie Reviews
 Sunday Scripture
 CNS Blog
 Links to Clients
 Major Events
 2008 papal visit
 World Youth Day
 John Paul II
 For Clients
 Client Login
 CNS Insider
 We're also on ...
 RSS Feeds
 Top Stories
 Movie Reviews
 CNS Blog
 For More Info

 If you would like
 more information
 about Catholic
 News Service,
 please contact
 CNS at one of
 the following:
 (202) 541-3250


 This material
 may not
 be published,
 rewritten or
 except by
 linking to
 a page on
 this site.

 CNS Story:

POPE-RANCOR Jan-24-2014 (570 words) xxxi

Pope: Better to eat humble pie than let anger harden the heart

(CNS/Paul Haring)

By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- A heart hardened by anger and resentment is worse than eating humble pie and reaching out to enemies to seek peace, Pope Francis said.

"Worse than trying to build a bridge (of understanding) with an adversary is to let the heart swell with rancor toward him," he said Jan. 24 during his early morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, where he lives.

Holding onto one's hatred and anger, instead of taking the first step toward peace, only renders people "isolated in this bitter broth of our resentment," he said, according to Vatican Radio.

When someone is wronged or faces an enemy, one option might be retaliation or revenge, Pope Francis said. But the Christian response is to choose the path of dialogue, he said, which requires humility, meekness and becoming all things to all people.

One thing the Bible doesn't mention is that "to do all this, you need to swallow a lot of 'toads,'" that is, the bitter pill of humiliation, he said.

"But we have to do it because that's how peace is made -- with humility, humiliation, always trying to see the face of God in the other," he said.

Taking the first step toward dialogue and stooping low to begin building a bridge of understanding is not easy, he said.

"Jesus did it; he was humiliated up until the end and he showed us the way."

It's normal to have conflict and arguments, "sometimes the plates will fly," the pope said. But "after the storm has passed," it's important to work things out as soon as possible, "with a word, a gesture."

The longer an argument or misunderstanding is left brewing, the harder it is to resolve "because over time the wall grows higher like weeds that choke off the grain," he said.

It is better to build bridges than walls, the pope said, "because even our heart can become like the Berlin Wall" shutting off others.

The pope's homily Jan. 24 was a continuation of his Jan. 23 homily -- both were based on the days' readings from the First Book of Samuel, which describe the conflict between King Saul and David.

What should have been a time of joy over David's victory against Goliath, King Saul instead was steeped in envy and hatched a plan of murder because of the amount of praise David received, Pope Francis said.

"Jealousy and envy open the doors to everything that is bad."

Jealousy "is a strong poison" that divides communities and families like Cain against Abel, he said.

Jealous people become bitter and can even spread that bitterness throughout a community, the pope said. They "don't know how to sing, to praise, they don't know what joy is and they always look for what that person has that I don't."

Gossip is also a sign of jealousy and not being able to stand a person's good fortune, he said. Speaking badly about them is a way to "cut them down so that I may gain a bit of high ground."

In his Jan. 23 homily, which took place during the Jan. 18-25 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, the pope asked for prayers for all Christian communities -- that they be spared of people sowing the seeds of jealousy.

May Christ's followers, instead, move forward, "praising the Lord with joy" and receive the grace of "not succumbing to sadness, resentment, jealousy and envy."


Copyright (c) 2014 Catholic News Service/USCCB. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed.
CNS · 3211 Fourth St NE · Washington DC 20017 · 202.541.3250