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Monday, January 4, 2016

To the Pueri Cantores: “Let us not forget the hidden saints”

Vatican City, 31 December 2015 (VIS) – This morning the Holy Father received in the Paul VI Hall the participants in the 40 th International Congress organised by the International Federation of the Pueri Cantores, held in Rome from 28 December to 1 January. During the encounter the young choristers took the opportunity to present various questions to the Pope, who commented that he loved to listen to singing but was unable to sing himself. He shared anecdotes from his childhood with the young people, and emphasised that song educates and benefits the soul. “Christian life is a journey”, he said, “but not a sad one; instead it is a joyful path. And this is why we sing. Sing and journey … and in this way your soul will experience the joy of the Gospel”.

The second question regarded whether or not the Pope had made any new year's resolutions, to which Francis responded with a parable. “Once Jesus encountered a boy who said a word similar to yours: he said, 'Jesus, good master'. And Jesus looked at him and said: 'No, only God is good'. And what about us? Are we bad? No, half and half, we have a bit of everything. There is always that wound of original sin that we bear and which leads us not always to be good. But always remember, only God is good, and if you want to find goodness, go to the Lord, He is all goodness, all love, all mercy”. The Holy Father also recalled the many saints hidden in everyday life: good people who endeavour to be close to the Lord; he also mentioned the many other people who live their life in a state of anger. “To be angry harms not only the other person, but also yourself: it poisons you. And there are people who surely you know who have a bitter soul, who live their lives in anger and bitterness. It seems as if every day they clean their teeth with vinegar! … This is an illness”. With regard to new year's resolutions, he said that he had made one: to pray more, as “bishops and priests … must support God's people first with prayer – it is the first service”. He asked those present to pray more too, since “the Church goes ahead with the prayer of the holy. Pray for the Church!”.

A further question related to whether the world would always remain full of sad and tragic stories. “The world can improve”, he declared. “But there is something we do not like to talk about, but which we must talk about”, he added. “In the world there is a struggle between good and evil, as philosophers say, or between the devil and God. … The Bible tells us that this will continue until the end … and we all have a battlefield within us. There is the struggle between good and evil”. He added that in the world there are many good things, but “there is this attraction towards evil: it seems that we prefer to look at bad things rather than good things, great things. The devil does his part – this is true – but God too does His part, and there are many holy people. … We must not let ourselves be deceived! In the world there are bad things … and this is the devil's work against God; but there are also holy things, great things that are the work of God. There are hidden saints. Let us not forget this word: the hidden saints, those we do not see”.

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