Pope Francis warns faithful not to be 'rosewater Christians'

Pope Francis holds an audience with students from Jesuit run schools in Italy and Albania in Paul VI Hall June 7 2013 Credit Lauren Cater CNA CNA US Catholic News 6 10 13 Pope Francis holds an audience with students from Jesuit-run schools in Italy and Albania in Paul VI Hall June 7, 2013 | Lauren Cater/CNA

In his daily homily, Pope Francis focused on the fact that we have been "re-created" in Christ, urging those in attendance to take their faith seriously, rather than committing halfway.

"People do not take it seriously! Lukewarm Christians: 'But, yes, yes, but, no, no.' Neither here nor there - as our mothers said, 'rosewater Christians' - no!"

The Holy Father offered his reflections to those present for his Oct. 24 daily Mass in the Saint Martha guesthouse of the Vatican.

"We have been re-made in Christ," urged the Pope at the beginning of his homily, "What Christ has done in us is a re-creation: the blood of Christ has re-created."

"If before the whole of our life: our body, our soul, our habits, were on the road of sin, iniquity; after this re-creation we must make the effort to walk on the path of righteousness, sanctification… holiness."

Pope Francis then reflected on how our parents made an act of faith for us at the moment of our Baptism, stressing that it is our responsibility to make this faith our own, and that to live as Christians "is to bring forth this faith in Christ."

Emphasizing the fact that we are often weak and that we commit sins through our imperfections, the Pope urged that this is a path to sanctification if we do not "get used" to living in that state.

He cautioned that if a person has the attitude that "'I believe in Jesus Christ, but I live the way I want to' Oh, no, that will not sanctify, that is wrong! It is a contradiction!"

"If, however, you say, 'I, even I am a sinner, I am weak,' and if you go always to the Lord and say: 'But, Lord, You have the strength, give me faith! You can make me clean,' (and if) you let yourself be healed in the Sacrament of Reconciliation – yes, even our imperfections are used along the way of sanctification."

Christians, urged the pontiff, have been created "anew" by the Blood of Christ, and are on the path of righteousness, but "we must take it seriously!"

In order to take the faith seriously, the Pope stated that we must carry out "simple" works of righteousness, noting that the first act should always be to "worship God."

"God is always first! And then do what Jesus advises us to help others."

Noting that there are some Christians who live their faith at "half-speed" Pope Francis emphasized to those present that "We are holy, justified, sanctified by the blood of Christ: Take this sanctification and carry it forward!"

For those who have the attitude of "a little touch here and there, of Christian paint, a little 'paint catechesis,'" he stressed that "inside there is no true conversion."

"There is no such conviction as that of St. Paul: 'Everything I gave up and I consider garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him.'"

This, he stated, "was Paul's passion and that is the passion of a Christian," urging that we must detach ourselves from everything that distracts us or takes us away from Jesus.

"You can do it!" encouraged the Pope, "as did St. Paul and also many Christians."

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The pontiff concluded his reflections by urging that the question posed for us today is whether or not we want to "live our Christianity seriously, if we want to pursue this re-creation."

He invited all those in attendance to ask for the intercession of Saint Paul, that we may obtain the gift of grace needed in order to live our Christian faith seriously, and "to believe that we truly have been sanctified by the blood of Jesus Christ."

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