“Possessiveness is the enemy of good and kills affection: beware of this.” Like this Pope Francisor during the General Audience in the Paul VI Hall. “The many cases of domestic violence, of which we unfortunately hear frequent news, almost always arise from the claim to possess the affection of the other, from the search for absolute security that kills freedom and suffocates life, making it hell. We can only love in freedom, for this reason the Lord created us free, free even to say no to him”, the Pontiff underlined.
“In the process of discernment, it is also important to remain attentive to the phase that immediately follows the decision taken, to grasp the signs that confirm it or those that deny it”, continued Francis in the general audience, in which today, resuming the cycle of catechesis on Discernment, he focused his meditation on the theme: “The confirmation of the good choice”. “One of the hallmarks of the good spirit – he explained – is the fact that it communicates a peace that lasts over time. A peace that brings harmony, unity, fervor, zeal”. For example, “if I make the decision to dedicate an extra half hour to prayer, and then I realize that I live the other moments of the day better, I am more serene, less anxious, I carry out my work with more care and enjoyment, even relationships with some difficult people they become easier; these are all important signs that go in favor of the goodness of the decision”.
The goodness of choice
According to the Pontiff, “the goodness of a choice is beneficial to all areas of our lives”, and “we can recognize some important aspects that help to interpret the time following the decision as a possible confirmation of its goodness”. A first aspect, underlined Begoglio “is whether the decision is considered as a possible sign of response to the love and generosity that the Lord has towards me. It does not arise from fear, emotional blackmail or constraint, but from gratitude for the good received, which moves the heart to freely live the relationship with the Lord”. Another important element “is the awareness of feeling at one’s place in life, and part of a larger design, to which one wishes to offer one’s contribution”.
And the Pope exemplified: “in St. Peter’s Square there are two precise points – the foci of the ellipse – from which Bernini’s columns can be seen perfectly aligned. In a similar way, man can recognize that he has found what he is looking for when his day becomes more orderly, he feels a growing integration between his many interests, establishes a correct hierarchy of importance and manages to live it all with ease, facing with renewed energy and fortitude the difficulties that arise”.
Finally, for the Pontiff, “another good sign of confirmation is the fact of remaining free with regard to what has been decided, willing to question it again, even to give it up in the face of possible denials, trying to find in them a possible teaching from the Lord This is not because He wants to deprive us of what is dear to us, but to live it freely, without attachment. Only God knows what is truly good for us”. “Recognizing this – he concluded – is essential for a good decision, and reassures us about what we cannot control or predict: health, the future, loved ones, our plans”.