Acedia, also called sloth, “is a great enemy of the spiritual life,” he said. “Acedia is that laziness that falls, slips into sadness, which takes away the enjoyment of life and the desire to act.”
According to Francis, this negative spirit “nails the soul down in numbness, robbing its joy.”
He said “precisely in the moments when everything seems over, the Lord comes to save us; await him with joy even in the heart of tribulations, in the crises of life and in the dramas of history. Wait for the Lord.”
“Let us pray to Our Lady: may she, who awaited the Lord with a vigilant heart, accompany us on the journey of Advent,” he stated.
After praying the Angelus in Latin, the pope noted the presence in St. Peter’s Square of a fraternal association of migrants and non-migrants with whom he met Nov. 27.
He reflected on how many lives are lost at the borders, and said he was sad to hear about the migrants, including children, who died recently in the English Channel, in the Mediterranean, and at the border of Belarus: “I have so much pain thinking about them.”
Francis also noted that migrants who are forced to return to their home countries sometimes face capture by human traffickers who sell them into slavery.
“To migrants who find themselves in these situations of crisis, I assure you of my prayers, and also of my heart: know that I am always close to you,” the pope stated.
“Pray and act,” he added. “I thank all the institutions of both the Catholic Church and elsewhere, especially the national Caritas and all those who are committed to alleviating their suffering.”
Francis made an appeal to those in a position to help find a solution to the problems which lead to the death and exploitation of immigration and refugees, “so that understanding and dialogue finally prevail over any kind of exploitation and direct the will and efforts towards solutions that respect the humanity of these people.”
“Let us think of migrants, of their suffering, and pray in silence,” he said, pausing for prayer.
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