Feeling ashamed of one’s sins does not mean wallowing in guilt, rather it is the gateway all men and women can use to experience firsthand God’s tender mercy and forgiveness, Pope Francis said.
Christians should be grateful for shame because it “means that we do not accept evil, and that is good,” the pope said on 8th April at an outdoor Mass in St Peter’s Square commemorating Divine Mercy Sunday.
“Shame is a secret invitation of the soul that needs the Lord to overcome evil,” the pope said. “The tragedy is when we are no longer ashamed of anything. Do not be afraid of being ashamed! Let us pass from shame to forgiveness!”
Divine Mercy Sunday, celebrated every year on the Sunday after Easter, was added to the universal church calendar by St John Paul II in 2000. The Polish pope was a longtime devotee of the Divine Mercy devotions of St Faustina Kowalksa, whom he beatified in 1993 and canonised in 2000.
Picture: Pope Francis greets the crowd after celebrating Mass marking the feast of Divine Mercy in St Peter’s Square at the Vatican on 8th April. (CNS photo/Paul Haring).