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Run away from sin and don’t look back, says Pope at morning Mass

By on Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Pope Francis (AP)

Pope Francis (AP)

We should run away from sin and not look back, Pope Francis said at Mass in the chapel of his residence, the Domus Sanctae Marthae, this morning.

Reflecting on today’s first reading, which describes Lot hesitating before fleeing Sodom, he said: “It’s so hard to cut ties with a sinful situation. It is hard! Even in a temptation it’s hard! But the voice of God tells us this word: ‘Escape! You cannot fight there, because the fire, the sulphur will kill you. Escape!’ St Thérèse of the Child Jesus taught us that sometimes, in some temptations, the only solution is to escape and not be ashamed to escape; to recognise that we are weak and we have to escape. And our popular wisdom, in its simplicity, says as much, somewhat ironically: ‘He who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day.’ Escaping to go forward along the path of Jesus.”

According to Vatican Radio, he added: “Faced with sin, we must escape without any nostalgia. Curiosity does not help, it hurts! ‘But, in this sinful world, what can we do? What is this sin like? I would like to know…’ No, do not! This curiosity will hurt you! Run away and do not look back! We are weak, all of us, and we must defend ourselves.”

Turning to the Gospel reading, in which Jesus calms a violent storm at sea, the Pope said that when faced with sin, nostalgia and fear we should turn to the Lord.

He said: “Looking to the Lord, contemplating the Lord. This gives us the beautiful wonder of a new encounter with the Lord. ‘Lord, I am being tempted: I want to stay in this situation of sin, Lord, I am curious to know about these things, Lord, I’m afraid.’ And they looked to the Lord: ‘Save us, Lord, we are lost!’ And wonder at a new encounter with Jesus followed. We must not be naive or lukewarm Christians, but brave, courageous. We are weak, but we must be courageous in our weakness. And often our courage must be expressed in escaping without looking back, so as not to fall into the trap of wicked nostalgia. Do not be afraid and always look to the Lord!”

  • pmills123

    “Faced with sin, we must escape without any nostalgia. Curiosity does not help, it hurts!” – fantastic!

  • Scyptical Chymist

    Useful advice from Pope Francis – we are all prone to want to look back at a sinful indulgence, just for a second we tell ourselves, but —-. Thank God for the sacrament of Confession.

    As for fleeing Sodom, in this instance presumably an environment encouraging one to do one’s own thing and letting all desires (with some exceptions for face saving) be fulfilled, what can one do as the western world in which we live is relentlessly being transformed into such a Sodom, knowingly or not, by the very lawmakers of the State? To where do we flee? We can only stand up for our values and most likely suffer for it, but hope we get support from our spiritual leaders.

  • Benedict Carter

    Am very pleased to read this.

    Even those priests who DO talk about the devil sometimes give the impression that he is just this bloke who impedes our relationship with Christ.

    He is a lot more than that but even so the devil is only the tempter. Go on! Everybody’s doing it! You’ll like it! You’re not hurting anyone else!

    No, it is not the devil who kills our souls and takes us to hell. It’s our sins – our concrete actions in this life here on earth that finish our relationship with God. Remember, Catholics: anyone who does not die in a state of grace goes immediately after judgement to hell. This is the teaching of our Church.

    For all the talk about “we are judged on love, forget the rules, especially that moral teaching that stops you living fully as a human being, Christ doesn’t worry about that too much”, don’t forget this, not ever! The relationship between the body and the soul is mysterious, yes, but it is definite, real and has eternal consequences.

    When St. Francis or St. Benedict in times of sexual temptation threw themselves into banks of nettles or into thorn bushes, they weren’t being mad as so many modern Catholics are told by our clergy, but the sanest people possible.

    Sin kills the soul, eternally. Good words from the Pope.

  • MC

    No confusion with the translation with this one. This is actually quite excellent.

  • Marivic Magno

    How beautifully the Pope explained this. How clear and simple to understand. It is true, that when a temptation of any form comes our way, we rationalize and say it wont hurt to test the water as long as we know when to pull back. But the truth is, in our curiosity, by testing, we find ourselves being drawn in deeper and it is too late. I like how he said it, to have the courage to turn to the Lord and tell of this temptations plaguing us so that He can help us to be strong and not succumb to human weakness.

  • LocutusOP

    When I read the first reading and the Gospel this morning I didn’t make any real connection to the two….The Pope’s reading managed to connect the two somehow and in a way which makes perfect sense!

    Now I can understand why those readings were pieced together.

  • Benedict Carter

    Cardinal Dolan is finished, thanks be to God.

  • LocutusOP

    Relevance to the piece?

  • Benedict Carter

    None, really. Did that ever stop anyone?

  • Burt

    Good words from the Pope indeed, today. Perhaps HH can help Catholics ‘running away from sin’ and demand that Catholic Parishes provide Confessions at least on a weekly basis unlike the situation in the Diocese of Clifton where many parishes have no regular confessions.

  • LocutusOP

    He he….Not if the evidence is anything to go by.

  • An onlooker

    Good advice, Pope Francis. Thank you!

  • PaulF

    So true. There’s an old Irish saying that translates: ‘Better a good run than a bad stand.’

  • Maximus Meridius

    God Bless Our Journey …

  • Maximus Meridius

    Run Away from Sin … Like Joseph Did ..

    Don’t look back … Like Lots Wife Did.

  • Maximus Meridius

    https://www. face book. com/ groups/ Gladiators.Arena.I/

  • Paul

    and perhaps some convenient times for people who work. As a suggestion should anyone from Clifton Diocese be reading this, why not make one day a month where there is confession available at all churches across the diocese from 7am to 9am, 11:45am to 2:15pm and 5pm to 7pm enabling working people to access this important sacrament. Or if this is not possible, coordinate amongst the parishes so that those that offer regular confession don’t all offer it on a Saturday morning. If you can’t do that day, then it makes it difficult…

  • David Smith

    Thank you most Holy Father for these words of wisdom !!!!!

  • kentgeordie

    What is going on in Clifton Diocese? I recently attended Mass in a Bristol parish where the priest, speaking from the altar, expressed his hope that one day women would be ordained to the priesthood. After Mass I spoke with a lady in training for the Methodist ministry, who had received Holy Communion, presumably with the knowledge and approval of the priest.
    I wrote to the priest to express my misgivings but did not receive a reply.

  • kentgeordie

    Support? Maybe even leadership from our leaders.

  • mike

    Best line, the one that speaks to me most: “Faced with sin, we must escape without any nostalgia.” Often i find myself trying to negotiate sin, bargain it down, only to end up right back at the beginning. The Holy Father is right about this: sometimes you just have to quit cold turkey and NEVER look back, but look up ahead towards the future and the light.

  • A Bristolian

    Glad that situation here is noticed and commented upon