The Lenten season is a time of reflection for many Christians across the world. It is a time of remembering the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. During this season, followers of the faith observe Christ’ sacrifice with prayer and fasting. Some even choose to give up a favorite thing, such as using social media, for a period of time so they can focus more on spiritual activities.
In his recent message, however, Pope Francis encouraged everyone to give up one specific thing – gossiping. According to the leader of the Catholic Church, lent is the perfect time to correct one’s own mistakes and weaknesses instead of backbiting others.
Reciting the Angelus prayer in St. Peter’s Square and then visiting the St. Crispin parish in Labaro, Rome, the pope quoted a scripture passage that said “Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own?” and added:
“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.”
He likewise pointed out that Jesus “wants to teach us to not go around criticizing others, not go looking for others’ defects, but look first at your own.”
As for those who think they don’t have their own faults, the pope explained:
“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.”
Gossiping, according to Pope Francis, happens when we talk about people who aren’t present during a conversation and then not talking to them in person to help them improve.
“It’s something that because of original sin we all have, and it leads us to condemn others,” he shared. “We are experts in finding the bad things in others and not seeing our own.”
The Pope promised:
“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’ resurrection will be more beautiful.”
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