VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Giving glory to God for what he has done in one’s life means being absolutely honest about one’s sins and failures, Pope Francis said in a morning homily.
“The practice of remembering our histories is not very common. We forget things; we live in the moment,” the pope said Oct. 7 during his morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae where he lives.
“Each one of us has a story: a story of grace, a story of sin, a story of journey, many things,” he said. “And it’s good to pray with our story,” to recognize our failures and how, despite our sin and infidelity, God continues to seek us out, call us back and offer his grace.
According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis focused his remarks on the example of St. Paul in the day’s reading from Galatians 1:13-24. The apostle asks, “Why were we chosen? Why — he asked — am I Christian and that person, who has not ever heard of Jesus Christ, isn’t?”
Paul’s response, he said, is “it’s a grace,” “a grace of love.” In the day’s reading, Paul is honest about the fact that he had once persecuted Christians. The pope said he proclaims the greatness of God by honestly describing what that grace had to overcome.
“Remembering the sins that the Lord saved us from is to give glory to God,” Pope Francis said. “We cannot pray each day as if we did not have a history. Everyone has one.”
A Christian’s relationship with God “does not begin on the day of baptism. That is when it was sealed,” he said, urging those at the Mass to remember that God chose them and how they have responded — sometimes well, sometimes not so well.
He suggested people pray using the first verse of the day’s responsorial psalm (Ps 139): “O Lord, you have probed me and you know me; you know when I sit and when I stand; you understand my thoughts from afar. My journeys and my rest you scrutinize.”
“This is prayer,” he said. “To pray is to remember our history before God because our history is the story of his love for us.”
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