Pope Francis' General Audience: English summary

Pope Francis: ‘Do I love God or dogmatic formulations?’

Pope Francis: ‘Do I love God or dogmatic formulations?’

Pope Francis added that religion, for Saul, had become a religious, social, and political ideology.

Conversion to ChristGod, said Pope Francis, converted Saul by touching his heart. Saul was doing this believing that he was serving the law of the Lord, Francis explained.

And further in the article, Scalfari gives his interpretation of what Pope Francis meant, based on what he calls their greatest cultural intimacy: "Pope Francis conceives Christ as Jesus of Nazareth, man, not God incarnate".

Reflecting on Saul's behavior toward Christians is a chance for everyone to consider how they are living their faith, he said, suggesting people ask themselves: "How do I live my life of faith?" The Lord appears to Saul as light and voice on the road to Damascus, saying: "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?" Do I go to encounter others or am I against others?

"Even those who are ideologists, because they want the "purity" of the church, strike at Christ", he said during his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square Oct. 9.

Only through Christ does Saul's transformation takes place, Pope Francis said. Does everyone - the good and the bad - belong to the universal church or is it a selective ideology?

"Do I worship God or do I worship dogmatic formulations?"

Paul, he said, teaches "that you mustn't fight people, but fight the evil that inspires their actions". "Does professing faith in God make me friendly or hostile towards those who are different from me?"

Saul then receives baptism, which marks for him, "as for each of us, the beginning of a life", the Pope stated. His enemies become brothers in Christ.

The pope asked people pray to experience, like Paul, the full impact of God's love, "which alone can turn our stony hearts into hearts of flesh", capable of welcoming others in the same way as Jesus himself.

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