Saint Peter's Square
- Wednesday, 2 March 2016 -
Pope Francis explains the meaning of the word
“freedom” during the general audience.
Pope Francis explained at the general audience that freedom cannot be identified with autonomy or self-sufficiency.
The self-sufficient person does not believe that he needs the love of others or God. Therefore, this person does not feel in need of mercy or forgiveness, and is unable to experience the love of God. God feels rejected because of this, but He will never disown His children.
SUMMARY OF THE POPE'S CATECHESIS IN ENGLISH:
"Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In these weekly catechesis inspired by the present Holy Year of Divine Mercy, we have often reflected on God’s fatherly love and forgiveness. The Prophets present this love also as involving correction, a summons to conversion and the renewal of the Covenant. Every parent knows the challenge of helping children to grow in freedom and responsibility.
In the Scriptures, God expresses his dismay at the rejection of his love, as seen in the disobedience and sin of his children.
If he chastizes his people, it is to move them to repentance and conversion. In his mercy, he asks them to turn back to him with all their hearts and to receive a righteousness that is itself his gift. God is pleased, Isaiah tells us, not by ritual sacrifice but by rejecting evil and practicing justice.
Though our sins be like scarlet, he will make them white as snow. May all of us be open, during this year of grace, to our heavenly Father’s merciful invitation to come back to him and to experience this miracle of his love and forgiveness".
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