Dear Parishioner,Please take a moment to reflect on this article written
about Pope Francis in this past weeks RI Catholic.
“Lent is a good time to concentrate on fighting the urge
to gossip about others and instead trying to correct
one’s own faults and defects.” Pope Francis said.
Reciting the Angelus prayer at noon March 3 with
pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square and visiting the parish of
St. Crispin in Labara, a suburb on the northern edge of
Rome, later that afternoon, Pope Francis focused on the
line from the day’s Gospel: “Why do you notice the
splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the
wooden beam in your own?”
“We all know it usually is easier or more comfortable to
notice and condemn the defects and sins of others
rather than seeing our own with that kind of clarity,”
the pope said at the Angelus.
The pope returned to the passage during his parish visit,
telling parishioners that Jesus “wants to teach us to not
go around criticizing others, not go looking for others’
defects, but look first at your own.”
If some were to say, “but, Father, I don’t have any,” the
pope said he would explain that “I assure you if you
don’t notice you have any here, you’ll find them in
purgatory! It’s better to notice them here.”
Unfortunately, he said people seldom stop at just
noticing others’ defects, something “we are experts at.”
What almost always happens next, he said, is that “we
talk about them,” not telling the person to his or her
face in a way that could help the person improve but
indulging freely and happily in gossip.
“It’s something that because of original sin we all have,
and it leads us to condemn others,” the pope said. “We
are experts in finding the bad things in others and not
seeing our own.”
Speaking the Sunday before Lent was to begin, Pope
Francis said it would be great if everyone tried during
Lent to reflect on Jesus’ words to see the faults only of
others and on the temptation of gossip.
Catholics should ask themselves, “Am I a hypocrite who
smiles and then turns around to criticize and destroy
with my tongue?” He said, “If, by the end of Lent, we
are able to correct this a bit and not go around always
criticizing others behind their backs, I assure you (the
celebration of) Jesus’s resurrection will be more
beautiful.”

In Him, Fr. D