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Looking Gratefully to 2022 with Pope Francis

December 28, 2022

Once again we invite you to look with gratitude at the year that is ending and to discover how God has been coming out to meet you. This time we use the Christmas greeting from Pope Francis to the Roman curia which, for the most part, could be addressed to any of us. Let yourself be surprised and enlightened.

We collect a brief summary of its seven points and the full text. It is worth reading the whole thing.

1. Jesus, by becoming one of us, chooses poverty, which is not simply the absence of goods, but essentiality. Each one of us is called to return to the essentiality of our own life, to get rid of what is superfluous and which can become an impediment on the path of holiness.

If you look at 2022, what do you discover as the essence of your life? Stop, feel it, thank it and ask Jesus made Child to help you live from it.

2. Only when we are aware of the good that the Lord has done for us are we also capable of giving a name to the evil that we have experienced or suffered. The inner attitude to which we should give more importance is gratitude.

Ask the Lord to show you as much good as he has done for you throughout the year. He starts with those little things that only become important when we lose them, such as life itself, health…

3. The worst thing that could happen to us is to think that we no longer need conversion. The true heresy does not consist only in preaching another Gospel but also in failing to translate it into current languages and modes.

How have I responded to so much well received? Do I feel I am on the way to conversion, in need of it, or do I think I am already on the good side?

4. Our first big problem is trusting too much in ourselves, in our strategies, in our programs. So some failures are a grace, because they remind us that we don’t have to trust ourselves, but only in the Lord. But, be careful, evil evolves and masks itself, it comes as a “polite devil”.

In what situations have I trusted myself more than God? How has God been present in my failures?

5. The first way to sin is to go away, get lost, do obviously wrong things; but one can be lost even at home, as in the case of the lost coin; and one can live unhappily even formally remaining in the place of one’s duty, as happens to the eldest son of a merciful father. We are in greater danger than everyone else, because we are stalked by the “polite devil”, who does not come making noise but bringing flowers.

What “polite demons” do I discover have occupied my house this year?

6. Where death, division, conflict, and innocent pain reign, we cannot help but recognize Jesus crucified. And at this moment I would like our thoughts to go precisely to those who suffer.

I bring to my prayer the people I know who are having a hard time. Some are closer and more familiar, others more distant and anonymous. Do I recognize Jesus in them? Do I recognize him in my own sufferings?

7. The culture of peace begins in the heart of each one of us. While we suffer from the ravages caused by wars and violence, we can and must make our contribution in favor of peace by trying to eradicate from our hearts all roots of hatred and resentment towards the brothers and sisters who live next to us.

Finally, I put my resentments before the Lord so that He accepts them, forgives them and illuminates them with his light.

God became a child, and this child, when he grew up, allowed himself to be nailed to the cross. There is nothing weaker than a crucified man, and yet in that weakness the omnipotence of God was manifested. God’s omnipotence always works in forgiveness. May gratitude, conversion and peace then be the gifts of this Christmas.

Look to the new year and discover what gifts God is giving you this Christmas and what he is inviting you with them for 2023.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas! And once again I ask you not to forget to pray for me. Thank you!

Extract from ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS TO THE ROMAN CURIA FOR THE EXCHANGE OF CHRISTMAS GREETINGS 2022

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