Pope asks those who fast to also live with “Christian coherence”
Pope Francis asked Christians who fast to do so in a humble manner and allow this to translate into their treatment of others.
Does my fast help others? If it does not it's fake, it's inconsistent and it takes you on the path to a double life, pretending to be a just Christian - like the Pharisees or the Sadducees. Inside, though, I am not. Humbly ask for the grace of coherence. Coherence. If I am unable to do something, I will not do it. I will do only what I can with the consistency of a true Christian. May God give us this grace.
The pope explained fasting is good for nothing if one later treats people badly. As an example, he recalled an anecdote from his childhood in which he witnessed a friend's mother hit the cleaning lady.
"Don't fast like they do today, making themselves heard. 'We fast, we're Catholics, we practice. I belong to this association, we always fast and do penance.' Fast with coherence instead of doing penance incoherently – as the Lord says, by hearsay. That way, everyone sees it and says, 'What a just person, what a just man, what a just woman.' This is a trick. This is the trick to virtue.”
“I think of so many maids who work for their bread and they are humiliated and despised... I have never been able to forget the time I went to a friend's house as a child and I witnessed the mother slapping the 81-year-old maid. I've never forgotten that. 'No, Father, I never slap.' How do you treat them, though? Like people or slaves? Do you pay them what's right, give them vacation, is it a person or an animal who helps you at home? Just think about this. They're in our homes, in our institutions. How do I behave with the worker I have at home, with those in my home?
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