God gives many ways to face life’s problems, choices, said the pope

VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Believers should not be afraid of problems, struggles and choices in life because God is always near, offering his love and guidance, Pope Francis said.

“We can often have a false idea of ​​God, thinking of him as an evil judge, ready to catch us in the act,” the pope said on December 21 in his mass audience every week. “On the other hand, Jesus shows a God who is full of love and compassion for us, ready to sacrifice himself so that he can come to us.”

Speaking to the guests in the auditorium of Paul VI, the pope continued his words about the process of spiritual realization.

The process may be difficult, he said, but “the truth is that life is difficult and, if we do not learn how to read, as difficult as it is, we can end our our lives, living with plans to end. weakens us.

“There is no need to be afraid,” he said, because God provides many “helpers” to help people with this process.

Knowledge is necessary, he said, because “life always gives us choices, and if we don’t make wise choices, life will make choices for us, take us where we don’t want to go.”

“The goal of knowledge is to see the life that God is working in my life,” he said. “It reminds me that I’m not alone and if I’m struggling, it’s because the stakes are high.”

God helps people, first of all, with scripture and the teaching of the church, said Pope Francis.

“They help us to read what stirs in our hearts, learning to recognize the voice of God and distinguish it from other voices that seem to be fighting for his We looked, but we were left confused in the end,” he said.

Christians, he said, should take time every day to read a few verses from the Bible and think about it slowly, allowing the message to penetrate and touch their hearts.

God is waiting for people to stop and be quiet, he said, because God’s voice is “wise, respectful” and humble, “and only with peace can we go deep into ourselves and see the true desires that the Lord has placed in. our hearts.

“The word of God is not a text to be read. The word is living, a work of the Holy Spirit that comforts, teaches, gives light, strength, comfort and joy for life,” said and Pope Francis.

When believers have a strong and intimate relationship with the Scriptures, they will experience a close and loving relationship with Jesus, which is another “important help” in understanding, he said.

“Relationship with God can change hearts” and change people’s lives, he said, because it helps them to know “that we have a loving father who loves us, who who always loved us.”

“God doesn’t want to destroy us, he wants us to become stronger and better people every day,” he said.

“When we see this, our hearts melt and the doubts, the fears, the unnecessary feelings,” he said. “This love is unconditional.”

Another “help,” said the pope, is to pray to the Holy Spirit, “who is in us, who teaches us, to bring to life the word of God that we read, revealing new things, opening doors that seemed closed.revealing paths in life that seemed dark and confusing.

The Holy Spirit, he said, “is the presence of God in us. It is the greatest gift, the greatest gift, the father assures those who ask.

Greeting the Polish speakers in the congregation, the pope noted their tradition of leaving an empty place on the table on Christmas Day for an unexpected guest. “This year will be inhabited by a large number of refugees from Ukraine, where you have opened the doors of your homes with kindness.”

“May the Son of God, born in Bethlehem, fill each of you, your family and those you help with love,” he said.

In his greeting in Italian, the pope asked to continue to pray for the people of Ukraine, especially the children, most of whom are not smiling.

“It’s important when a child loses a sense of humor. “These children have suffered the loss of this very, very difficult war,” he said.

“Let’s think about the Ukrainian people this Christmas, without light, without heat, without the necessities of life,” he said. “Let us pray to the Lord to bring peace as soon as possible.”