Memory, the true essence of faith: Pope Francis

In a reflection to the priests of the Diocese of Rome on March 2, Pope Francis said, “It’s important to get back to the roots of our faith.” He spoke to the priests at their traditional appointment at the beginning of Lent, which took place at the Basilica of St. John Lateran, the mother church of the Diocese of Rome.

For Pope Francis, the “truly revolutionary thing” is “to go to the roots.” To have the concept understood better, he rattled off one of his personal anecdotes, of when during the Exercises, not understanding the preacher, he had in mind a writing that his grandmother had on her night table: “Pay attention as God is looking at you, think that you will die and you don’t know when.” “At that moment, I was blocked and I went forward in prayer, the memory helped me,” confided the Holy Father.

He said it is necessary always to keep in mind that to progress in the faith, “is [also] an exercise in returning with the memory to fundamental graces.”

In another part of his reflection to the Roman priests, Pope Francis said, “Faith is a continuing path of growth and maturity that cannot progress without the presence of temptations.

Referring to St. Peter, the pope said temptation was always a part of his life. And he continued, temptation is “always present in our lives.”

“Moreover, without temptation, you cannot progress in faith. In the ‘Our Father,’ we ask for the grace to not fall but not to not be tempted,” he said.

The Vatican said Pope Francis spent about 45 minutes hearing confessions, offering the sacrament to a dozen priests before beginning his talk.

For the Zenit News Agency (March 2, 2017) report, click here.

For a transcript of the pope’s remarks, click here.

For the Catholic News Service (March 2, 2017) report, click here.