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Pope takes from Scripture a little trick to keep your heart from being hardened


Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 02/18/20

Jesus asked the apostles, "Do you not yet understand or comprehend? Are your hearts hardened?"

There is an antidote for hardened hearts, and it’s remembering all that God has done for us.

Pope Francis urged us not to be forgetful of the works of God, during his homily at the Casa Santa Marta, warning against hearts that are hardened by ideologies, like those of the scribes and Pharisees.

The Gospel of the day and various Scriptures emphasize the importance of remembering God’s work, the Holy Father stressed. Jesus asked the Apostles, “And do you not remember …”

The saving power of the memory of God’s work becomes a sort of refrain, a grace that must be asked for, because it “keeps the heart open and faithful,” the pope said.

When the heart hardens, when the heart hardens, it forgets … It forgets the grace of salvation, it forgets the grace of gratitude. A hardened heart leads to fights, leads to wars, leads to egotism, leads to the destruction of our brothers, because there is no compassion. The greatest message of salvation is that God has had compassion on us. This phrase from the Gospel, when Jesus sees someone in a difficult situation: “he had compassion on them.” Jesus is the compassion of the Father. Jesus is a ‘slap’ for every hardness of heart.

We must ask for a heart that is not shut in ideologies and thus hardened, but rather “open and compassionate” toward what is happening in the word, Francis continued. At the Day of Judgment, we will not be asked about our ideas or ideologies, the pope said. But humility and remembering our roots and our salvation will help us to have our hearts open.

Each of us has something hard in our hearts. Let us remember, and may the Lord give us a just and true heart, as we have asked in the Collect, a heart where the Lord dwells. The Lord cannot enter into a hard heart. In ideological hearts, the Lord cannot enter. The Lord only enters into hearts that are like his heart: compassionate hearts, hearts that have compassion, hearts that are open. May the Lord grant us this grace.


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