He continued: “How many times this happens in the Church: we are busy, we run around, we think that everything depends on us and, in the end, we risk neglecting Jesus and we always make ourselves the center.”
The pope said that this was why Christ called his followers to rest with him.
“It is not only physical rest, but also rest for the heart. For it is not enough to ‘unplug’ ourselves, we need to truly rest. And how do we do this? To do so, we must return to the heart of things: to stop, to remain in silence, to pray so as not to go from the frenzy of work to the frenzy of times of relaxation,” he said.
“Jesus did not neglect the needs of the crowd, but each day, before anything else, he would withdraw in prayer, in silence, in intimacy with the Father.”
Yet, the pope observed, Jesus and the disciples were unable to rest at that time because they were surrounded by crowds. Jesus took pity on the people, who “were like sheep without a shepherd.”
“Touched, Jesus dedicates himself to the people and begins to teach again. This seems to be a contradiction, but in reality, it is not,” he said.
“In fact, only a heart that does not allow itself to be taken over by hastiness is capable of being moved; that is, of not allowing itself to be caught up in itself and by things to do, and is aware of others, of their wounds, their needs.”
The pope continued: “Compassion is born from contemplation. If we learn to truly rest, we become capable of true compassion; if we cultivate a contemplative outlook, we will carry out our activities without that rapacious attitude of those who want to possess and consume everything; if we stay in touch with the Lord and do not anesthetize the deepest part of ourselves, the things to do will not have the power to cause us to get winded or devour us.”
“We need -- listen to this -- we need an ‘ecology of the heart,’ that is made up of rest, contemplation, and compassion. Let us take advantage of the summertime for this! It will help us quite a bit.”
After praying the Angelus, Pope Francis expressed his solidarity with victims of flooding in Europe that has killed more than 180 people.
“I express my nearness to the populations of Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands, who were hit by the catastrophic floods. May the Lord welcome the deceased and comfort their loved ones, may he sustain the efforts of everyone who are helping those who have suffered serious damage,” he said.
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The pope also lamented violence in South Africa that has claimed the lives of more than 200 people.
“Unfortunately, this last week, news has arrived of episodes of violence that have aggravated the situation of so many of our brothers and sisters in South Africa, already affected by economic and health difficulties due to the pandemic,” he said.
“United to the bishops of the country, I address a heartfelt appeal to all the leaders involved that they might work toward building peace and collaborate with the authorities to provide assistance to those in need.”
“May the desire that has guided the South African people, the rebirth of harmony among all its children, not be forgotten.”
Finally, he greeted young Italian pilgrims in the square below.
He said: “Dear young people, have a blessed journey on the path of the Gospel!”