In the prayer composed for the Immaculate, Francis said that "it is not the same to be a sinner and to be corrupt: it is very different. It is one thing to fall, but then, repent, confess and get up again with the help of God's mercy. Another thing is the hypocritical connivance with evil, the corruption of the heart, which is impeccable outside, but inside it is full of bad intentions and petty selfishness”.
Rome (AsiaNews) - Pope Francis entrusted all those who in Rome and in the world "are oppressed by distrust, dejection because of sin; those who think there is no more hope for them, that their faults are too many and too great, and that God certainly has no time to waste on them".
These are the words of the prayer composed by Francis who he recited this afternoon under the statue that in the Spanish Steps was dedicated in 1857 to the mother of Jesus, where he went, renewing a tribute that continues from 1953.
Francis arrived there just before 4 pm, coming from the basilica of Saint Mary Major where he paused in prayer before the image of the "Salus Populi Romani". In Piazza di Spagna, where he was greeted by the mayor of Rome, Virginia Raggi, and by thousands of people, Francis laid a basket of white roses in front of the column and then recited his prayer.
"You, Mother, remind us that we are sinners, but we are no longer slaves to sin! Through His Sacrifice, your Son has broken the rule of evil, and has overcome the world. This tells all generations about your heart, clear as the sky where the wind has dissipated every cloud.
And so you remind us that being sinners and being corrupt is not the same thing: it's very different. It is one thing to fall, but then, repenting, to get up again with the help of God's mercy. Something else is hypocritical conspiracy with evil, corruption of the heart, that appears faultless on the outside, but inside, is full of evil intentions and nasty selfishness.
Your crystal-clear purity calls us back to sincerity, transparency, simplicity. How much we need to be liberated from corruption of heart, which is the greatest danger!
This seems impossible to us, we are so accustomed to it, yet it is within easy reach. It is enough to look up at your Mother's smile, at your unspoiled beauty, to feel once more that we are not meant for evil, but for good, for love, for God!
For this reason, O Virgin Mary, today I entrust to you all those who, in this city and throughout the world, are burdened by disillusionment, by discouragement because of sin; those who think there is no longer hope for them, that their sins are too many and too great, and that God certainly does not have time to waste with them.
I entrust them to you, because not only are you a Mother and as such, you never stop loving your children, but you are also Immaculate, full of grace, and you can reflect into the darkest gloom a ray of the Risen Christ’s light. He, and He alone, breaks the chains of evil, frees from the most acute dependencies, unties from the most criminal bonds, softens the hardest of hearts.
And if this happens within people, how the face of the city changes! In small gestures and big choices, vicious circles gradually become virtuous, the quality of life improves
and the social climate becomes more breathable.
We thank you, Immaculate Mother, for reminding us that, because of Jesus Christ’s love, we are no longer slaves to sin, but free, free to love, to love one another,
to help one another as brothers and sisters, despite our differences — and thank you for the differences between us.
Thank you, because with your purity, you encourage us not to be ashamed of good, but of evil; you help us to keep at a distance the evil one, who deceives us and draws us to himself, into coils of death; you grant us the gentle reminder that we are children of God, Father of immense goodness, eternal source of life, beauty and love.”