Francis says that no-one gets to avoid the battle St. Paul speaks of … and it’s a daily battle until the day of death
When St. Paul says, “For I do not do the good I want, but I do the evil I do not want,” he is speaking of the interior battle between the inspirations of the Holy Spirit and the temptations of Satan that all of us must endure, says Pope Francis.
And to anyone who says he does not have this struggle within, and feels blessed and at peace, the pope says: “You’re not blessed. You’re someone who doesn’t understand what’s happening.”
The Holy Father spoke of this interior battle today during his morning Mass at Domus Sanctae Marthae, drawing from the First Reading. He encouraged praying for the light to know well what is happening inside of us.
This struggle is a daily battle, one that we have to take up every day — we don’t win it once and for all, the pope explained; instead we keep going day after day, until the end.
The martyrs “had to fight to the end to maintain their faith,” Francis said, and the saints did as well, such as Therese of the Child Jesus, for whom “the hardest struggle was the final moment,” on her deathbed, because she felt that “the bad spirit” wanted to snatch her from the Lord.
In daily life, the pope continued, there are “extraordinary moments of struggle,” as well as “ordinary moments.”
In the day’s Gospel, Jesus tells the crowd: “You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky; why do you not know how to interpret the present time?”
We Christians are often busy in many things, including good things, Francis said, but he asked whether we examine what is going on inside. Or are we more intent on finding out what happens in our neighbor’s house than our own?
We must take a look and see if our decisions come “from the Lord” or are dictated by our “selfishness,” “by the devil,” the pope encouraged.
At the end of the day, Francis said, one needs to stop for two to three minutes to examine oneself, to see what has happened that day.