Pope: Look away from your screen and into your heart
By CNS – Like replenishing the oil that fuels a lamp, Christians must nourish their interior lives by paying attention to the movements of their hearts, Pope Francis said.
“Many times, we are very careful about our appearance,” he told some 20,000 people gathered Nov. 12 to pray the Angelus with him in St. Peter’s Square. “But Jesus says that the wisdom of life lies elsewhere: in taking care of what cannot be seen, but which is more important, taking care of the heart, nurturing the inner life.”
“This means knowing how to stop and listen to one’s heart, to keep watch over one’s own thoughts and feelings,” he said. “Wisdom means knowing how to make room for silence, so as to be capable of listening to ourselves and others. It means knowing how to give up some of the time passed in front of the telephone screen to look at the light in the eyes of others, in one’s own heart, in God’s gaze upon us.”
Reflecting on the day’s Gospel reading from St. Matthew, in which Jesus shares the parable of 10 virgins awaiting a bridegroom — five who brought extra oil for their lamps and five who did not — the pope said that the difference between the two groups in the parable was in the preparation of the “conspicuous” oil, without which their lamps have no light.
Pope Francis said the Gospel “gives us the right advice for not neglecting the oil of inner life,” or the “oil of the soul,” which requires one to be prepared.
“The inner life cannot be improvised,” he said. “It is not a matter of a moment, of once in a while, of once and for all; the inner life must be prepared by dedicating a little time every day, with constancy, as one does for every important thing.”
The pope urged Christians to reflect on what they are preparing for at this moment in their lives. “Perhaps I am trying to put aside some savings, I am thinking about a house or a new car, concrete plans,” he said.
“They are good things. But am I also thinking about dedicating time to the care of the heart, to prayer, to service to others, to the Lord who is life’s destination?” he asked. “In short, how is the oil of my soul?”
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