Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Pope Francis: Shame is a virtue...

To be ashamed is a virtue of the humble.
Confession "is an encounter with Jesus, with this Jesus who waits for us, who waits for us just as we are. “But, Lord, look ... this is how I am”, we are often ashamed to tell the truth: 'I did this, I thought this'. But shame is a true Christian virtue, and even human ... the ability to be ashamed: I do not know if there is a similar saying in Italian, but in our country to those who are never ashamed are called “sin vergüenza’: this means ‘the unashamed ', because they are people who do not have the ability to be ashamed and to be ashamed is a virtue of the humble, of the man and the woman who are humble. "
Pope Francis continued: “ we must have trust, because when we sin we have an advocate with the Father, "Jesus Christ the righteous." And He "supports us before the Father" and defends us in front of our weaknesses. But you need to stand in front of the Lord "with our truth of sinners", "with confidence, even with joy, without masquerading... We must never masquerade before God." And shame is a virtue: "blessed shame." "This is the virtue that Jesus asks of us: humility and meekness". - Pope Francis, morning homily, 4/29/13
I've written about shame numerous times.  Shame is considered to be a bad word in contemporary culture - especially if it is connected to homosexual acts.  Gay pride - 'coming out' is offered as the antidote.  But Gay pride is a maquerade.  


  1. I can remember before I converted having that sense that I should never be ashamed. I didn't believe in sin and I was offended that someone would say I was a sinner. I thought of shame as a very bad thing that held people back and only caused them unnecessary discomfort and mental and emotional distress. Even after I had an encounter with God it took years for that feeling to go away.

    "but if thine eye be wicked, thy whole body will be dark. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great the darkness!"

  2. This is interesting because I once heard a homily where the priest said that the "degree of our shame is the degree of our *pride*".

    But Pope Francis thinks the opposite.

  3. Perhaps what he meant was "sorrow for sin". Though this is different to shame, the two could easily be conflated.

    C.S. Lewis is all over this in 'A Pilgrim's Regress'. It must be about the love of God, otherwise it is mere stoicism. It's like another form of imperfect contrition I suppose.

  4. Patrick - It depends on how some priests were 'formed' and how deeply psychologized I guess.

    Fr. Z actually has a very good take down of the Pope's homily - with his classic remarks in red, as usual:


  5. That could be.

    I always thought that perhaps that priest and Pope Francis meant something different by "shame," and so actually agree with one another - it was just the use of terminology.

    More and more, I am just trying to turn to our Blessed Mother above all else. It just seems to me, as it has for some time, that we live in very confusing times.

  6. Not "always" - I meant "also"

  7. shame can keep one from facing our Lord and trusting in His mercy. contrition, yes. shame, meh ... i'm not convinced, but open to what the Holy Father might be saying.

  8. DB - Well, he did say it was "a virtue of the humble". ;)


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