How do you become a saint? Pope Francis gives a hint

How do you become a saint? Pope Francis gives a hint

General audience with Pope Francis on March 18, 2015. Credit: Daniel Ibáñez/CNA.
General audience with Pope Francis on March 18, 2015. Credit: Daniel Ibáñez/CNA.

.- Find someone who has never spoken ill of another person, someone who has never judged another – and they would qualify for immediate canonization, Pope Francis said.

The Pope celebrated Mass in the Santa Marta residence on Friday, stressing during his homily the importance of the Christian values of humility, forgiveness, and mercy.

His words followed a meditation from St. Paul – “do not judge and you will not be judged. Do not condemn and you will not be condemned.”

“These days, the Liturgy has led us to consider this, to reflect on this path of mercy, of forgiveness, of the Christian way with these sentiments of compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, and patience,” Pope Francis said.

With a “generous spirit,” the Holy Father said, Christians should let themselves be animated by this virtue, which will lead them to “give all we have, from our heart – to give love above all.”

The Christian way, according to Pope Francis, requires forbearing one another with an attitude that “leads to love, to forgiveness, to patience.”

However, Pope Francis warned against the evils of hypocrisy, saying that everyone is at risk of becoming too judgmental – even the Pope.

“Men and women who can't learn how to acknowledge their own faults become hypocrites. All of them? All of them: starting from the Pope downwards,” he noted.

“The first step is to acknowledge our own faults,” he said. He added that Christians everywhere must be aware of their own failings before they can “take the splinter out of our brother's eye” – a reflection from the gospel words of St. Luke.

Although a beautiful sentiment, the Pope questioned the feasibility of the path one must take towards a life of love, mercy and generosity. “It's beautiful, but how does one do it?”

Begin by blaming yourself and having the courage to blame yourself before faulting others, he answered – this is the way to mercy.

“If you cannot take this first step, ask the Lord for the grace of conversion,” Pope Francis said, noting that when one stops thinking about the faults of others they will have the time to consider their own downfalls.

For anyone who struggles with gossiping, they should resist the urge to speak about others and look inward – even performing an examination of conscience if necessary, he said..

“Let's refrain from comments about others and let's comment about ourselves. And this is the first step along this path of magnanimity.”

“Because a person who can only see the splinters in the eyes of others falls into pettiness: a petty mind, full of pettiness, full of chatter.”

Anyone who continues down the path of hypocrisy will be unable to partake in the Christian vocation of peacemaking, compassion, patience, and mercy, the Pope said. He then said that a person with a judgmental attitude cannot be a Christian.

However, the Christian who forgives with love and mercy will double their return..

“What will you receive? A good, brimming, abundant overflowing amount will be deposited within your bosom, because your journey shall be measured according to the standard with which you judge,” he said..

Pope Francis ended his homily with a prayer, asking the Lord for the strength to follow the example of St. Paul in generosity, forgiveness and mercy.

Tags: Sainthood, Pope Francis