To achieve peace of soul, Christians need to learn to keep their hearts free from “passions” and “worldly noise,” which is the “devil’s noise,” Pope Francis counseled Monday in his homily at morning Mass in the Vatican.
Now is the “favorable moment,” said the Pope, quoting Saint Paul. We need to learn to recognize God’s time, when he “passes through our hearts.” But the only way to hear Him is by keeping our heart quiet and peaceful, he said.
The only way to keep your heart at peace, Francis said, is by “casting aside every noise that does not come from the Lord,” casting away “things that take away this peace.” This means being “free from passions and having a humble heart, a gentle heart,” he said.
The heart is kept peaceful “by humility, by gentleness, and never by strife or wars,” he said. “No! This is noise: worldly noise, pagan noise and the devil’s noise. The heart must be at peace.”
This peace of soul, found in a quiet heart capable of listening to the Lord, bears other fruit, as well, Francis said, like consistency between what we profess and what we actually live.
The Pope noted that in the readings, Saint Paul urged the early Christians to avoid giving scandal to anyone, by means of authentic Christian witness.
Francis warned against “the scandal of those who call themselves Christians, even go to church, go to Mass on Sundays but do not live as Christians, but rather as secular people or pagans. And when a person lives this way, he gives scandal,” Francis said.
“How many times have we heard in our neighborhoods, in shops: ‘Look at so and so, every Sunday at Mass and then do this, this, this, this’? And people are scandalized,” he stated.
This is why Paul cautions us “not to receive the grace of God in vain,” he said.
Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter @tdwilliamsrome.