Pope Francis: Memory, Hope, and Discernment

March 13, 2017

On March 2, 2017, His Holiness Pope Francis met with the parish priests of the Diocese of Rome for their annual meeting. In his address, Pope Francis encouraged priests to look to the cross in their ongoing discernment and to continue growing in faith and hope. He explained that: “that which better guides me is always tied to the cross: to the giving up of my will; to the interior drama of ‘not as I will, but as thou wilt’ (Mt 26:39) which places me in the hands of the Father, and does so in a way that it is He who guides my life.”

Following is his full address:

“Lord, ‘increase our faith!’” (Lk 17:5). This cry sprung up spontaneously from the disciples as the Lord spoke to them of mercy and told them that they must forgive seventy times seven times. Let us make this cry our own — “increase our faith!” — as we begin this conversation. Let us ask this in the simple words of the Catechism, where we read: “To live, grow and persevere in the faith until the end we must nourish it with the Word of God; we must beg the Lord to increase our faith; it must be ‘working through charity,’ abounding in hope, and rooted in the faith of the Church” (n. 162).

I find it helpful to lean on three firm points: memory, hope, and the discernment of the moment. Memory, as the Catechism says, is rooted in the faith of the Church, the faith of our forefathers; hope sustains faith; and, as for the discernment of the moment, I rely on it whenever I act so that I can put into practice the “faith that works through charity”.

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