Notice the crosier...
I have always loved the crosier of Paul VI - it reminds me of Paul's Letter to the Corinthians: "I determined that while I was with you I would speak of nothing but Jesus Christ and him crucified." - 1 Corinthians 2
Notice likewise, the background of the cathedra ... It reminds me of the scene in Zeffirelli's beloved film, Brother Sun, Sister Moon*, when Francis of Assisi meets the Pope, dressed in white. The movie set was a glittering exaggeration of the real thing. (I know the many fans of the film are interested to know that. What?)
"Brothers and sisters, let us never lose trust in the patience and mercy of God!" - Pope Francis
The content of the Pope's homily is beautiful for Divine Mercy Sunday... he speaks of the Lord's patience. His attitude brings to mind the beautiful words John Paul I** expressed about Our Lord's patience and mortal sin.
Pati divina - Divine suffering.
A priest once told me that is the Latin root of the word 'patience'. It's like 'mercy' - derived from the Latin 'miserecordia' - the heart/love moved by pity/misery... or something like that.
Today the Holy Father also spoke of courage - the courage to return to God. (The word also has a Latin derivative - 'cor' meaning heart):
Adam, after his sin, experiences shame, he feels naked, he senses the weight of what he has done; and yet God does not abandon him: if that moment of sin marks the beginning of his exile from God, there is already a promise of return, a possibility of return. God immediately asks: “Adam, where are you?” He seeks him out. Jesus took on our nakedness, he took upon himself the shame of Adam, the nakedness of his sin, in order to wash away our sin: by his wounds we have been healed. Remember what Saint Paul says: “What shall I boast of, if not my weakness, my poverty? Precisely in feeling my sinfulness, in looking at my sins, I can see and encounter God’s mercy, his love, and go to him to receive forgiveness.Heart calling unto heart.
In my own life, I have so often seen God’s merciful countenance, his patience; I have also seen so many people find the courage to enter the wounds of Jesus by saying to him: Lord, I am here, accept my poverty, hide my sin in your wounds, wash it away with your blood. And I have always seen that God did just this – he accepted them, consoled them, cleansed them, loved them.
Dear brothers and sisters, let us be enveloped by the mercy of God; let us trust in his patience, which always gives us more time. Let us find the courage to return to his house, to dwell in his loving wounds, allowing ourselves be loved by him and to encounter his mercy in the sacraments. We will feel his tenderness, so beautiful, we will feel his embrace, and we too will become more capable of mercy, patience, forgiveness and love. - Papal Homily, Divine Mercy Sunday 2013
*Song for this post here. What? ;)
** Papa Luciani said: "I will limit myself to recommending one virtue so dear to the Lord: He said, 'Learn from me who am meek and humble of heart." I risk saying an error, but I am saying it: the Lord loves humility so much that, sometimes, he permits grave sins. Why? So that those who have committed these sins, afterwards, having repented, may remain humble. One is not tempted to believe oneself half–saint or half–angel, when one knows that one has committed grave faults. The Lord so much recommended: be humble." - Translation thanks to Don Marco.