As a follow-up to my reports from Hawaii on Servant of God Joseph Dutton, I’ve received several requests from people asking if there are books on or by Joseph Dutton. Certainly one of the most interesting are Dutton’s own memoirs and you can find that book on the Dutton Guild website: Dutton Memoirs Book | Joseph Dutton Guild Enjoy!
Following is a summary of today’s general audience catechesis. Click here for some great photos of the gathering: General Audience – Activities of the Holy Father Pope Francis | Vatican.va
POPE FRANCIS ON HOW “DESOLATION” IS PART OF DISCERNMENT
The Holy Father began this week’s general audience by noting that, “in our continuing catechesis on discernment, we have seen the importance of interpreting the movements of our heart, including occasional experiences of ‘desolation’ or interior unrest and dissatisfaction. Such moments are in fact a challenge to our complacency and an incentive to growth in the spiritual life.”
In fact, says Pope Francis, “we have seen how important it is to read what stirs within us, so as not to make hasty decisions, spurred by the emotion of the moment, only to regret them when it is too late. That is, to read what happens and then make decisions.”
Addressing the thousands of pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square, he said, “we cannot ignore our feelings: we are human and sentiment is a part of our humanity. And without understanding feelings we are inhuman; without living our sentiments we will also be indifferent to the sufferings of others and incapable of accepting our own.” (Vatican photo)
“Not to mention,” Francis continued, that such a ‘perfect serenity’ cannot be reached by this path of indifference. This sterile distance: ‘I won’t get involved in things, I will keep my distance’: this is not life, it is as though we lived in a laboratory, shut away, so as not to have microbes and diseases. For many saints, restlessness was a decisive impetus to turn their lives around. This artificial serenity will not do. Yes, a healthy restlessness is fine, the restless heart, the heart that seeks its way.”
The Pope went on to note that “desolation … offers us the possibility of growth, of initiating a more mature, more beautiful relationship with the Lord and with our loved ones, a relationship that is not reduced to a mere exchange of giving and having.”
In concluding remarks, the Holy Father pointed out that “many of our prayers are also somewhat like this: they are requests for favors addressed to the Lord, without any real interest in him. We go to ask, to ask, to ask the Lord. The Gospel notes that Jesus was often surrounded by many people who sought him out in order to obtain something: healing, material assistance, but not simply to be with him. He was pushed by the crowds, yet he was alone. Some saints, and even some artists, have contemplated this condition of Jesus.
Pope Francis then offered a suggestion: “It may seem strange, unreal, to ask the Lord: “How are you?” Instead, it is a beautiful way to enter into a true, sincere relationship, with his humanity, with his suffering, even with his singular solitude. With him, with the Lord, who wanted to share his life with us to the full.”