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Pope at Audience: Sorrow is rooted in love for God

by Vatican News

Pope Francis during his weekly General Audience in the Paul VI hall, reflects on the second Beatitude: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted”, and he explains that there are two types of sorrow.

The Pope continued his journey through the Beatitudes on Wednesday reflecting on the second: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted”.

He explained to those present at the General Audience, that in the Greek language in which the Gospel is written, such mourning is described by the desert Fathers with the Greek word “penthos” which he added, is an interior sorrow that can open us up to an authentic relationship with the Lord and with each other.  

Two types of sorrow

Pope Francis went on to say that the Bible speaks of two types of sorrow: The first is for “the death or suffering of someone.” Grief, the Pope pointed out “is a bitter road, but it can be used to open one’s eyes to life and to the sacred and irreplaceable value of each person, and at that moment one realizes how short time is.”

The other aspect, he highlighted “is tears for sin – for one’s own sin – when one’s heart bleeds for the pain of having offended God and neighbour. Taking St. Peter as an example of expressing sorrow for sin, the Pope said, that his sorrow was manifested in his tears after his betrayal of Jesus which came as a gift from the Holy Spirit, the Comforter. 

Both types of sorrow, the Pontiff underlined are grounded in loving concern for others, but above all in love for God.

“So many families, so many elderly people and children, are forced to flee from the war,” said Pope Francis on Wednesday during the General Audience in the Paul VI Hall, as he asked those present to take a moment to pray for that “beloved and martyred” land.

God’s forgiveness

The Pope stressed that God always forgives even the ugliest sins. “The problem is in us”, he said “that we get tired of asking for forgiveness, we shut ourselves up in ourselves and do not ask for pardon. That is the problem; but He is there to forgive.”

Pope Francis on Wednesday asked the faithful “to pray for our Chinese brothers and sisters” who are affected by the “cruel” coronavirus epidemic.

Pope’s General Audience: English summary

Dear Brothers and Sisters: In our continuing catechesis on the Beatitudes, we now turn to the second proclamation: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Mt 5:4).  Such mourning – described by the desert Fathers with the Greek word “penthos” – is more than mere grief: it is an interior sorrow that can open us to an authentic relationship with the Lord and with each other.  The Bible speaks of two types of such sorrow.  The first is the pain we feel when faced with the suffering or death of our brothers and sisters.  The second involves mourning for sin.  Both are grounded in loving concern for others, but above all in love for God.  Sorrow for sin – as seen in Saint Peter’s tears after his betrayal of Jesus – comes as a gift of the Holy Spirit the Comforter.  Let us continually ask for the grace to grieve for our sins and to be open to the healing grace of the Spirit, so that we can comfort others with the same consolation that we ourselves have received.

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