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Do some cleaning in the closet of your soul, the Pope urges

Pope Francis during his weekly general audience in Paul VI Hall at the Vatican - April 05 2023

Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA


Isabella H. de Carvalho - published on 04/05/23

Pope Francis encourages us this Holy Week to leave behind our masks and duplicity and be true to who we really are in order to find peace and redemption.

“Look at the closet of your soul – how many useless things you have […] let us return to simplicity,” Pope Francis urged on April 5 during the general audience. While doing a catechesis on the Crucifix as a “well-spring of hope,” the Pope encouraged all the faithful to do some spring cleaning, not just in their physical closets, but also in drawers and shelves of their souls. 

The Pope explained that at Casa Santa Marta, the guest house where he resides along with other people, the idea emerged that during Holy Week the residents should clean out their closets and give away things they don’t need. 

“You cannot imagine the number of things! It’s good to get rid of useless things. And this went to the poor, to the people in need. We too, how many useless things we have inside our hearts – and outside as well,” the Pope said, drawing a parallel with all the thoughts and emotions we carry within us, and encouraging us to clean out those as well.

“Look at your closets. Look at them. This is useful, this is useless … and do some cleaning there. Look at the closet of your soul – you laugh, right? It’s true, it’s true. Look at the closet of your soul – how many useless things you have, how many stupid illusions. Let us return to simplicity, to things that are true, that don’t need to be made-up. What a good exercise!” 

The Pontiff said that looking within oneself and being honest about who you truly are is the path to finding peace and redemption, as Jesus was deprived of everything he had.

Stripped of everything, Jesus reminds us that hope is reborn by being truthful about ourselves – to tell ourselves the truth – by letting go of duplicity, by freeing ourselves from peacefully co-existing with our falsity.

Sometimes, we are so used to telling ourselves lies that we live with the lies as if they are truth, and we end up being poisoned by our own falsity. […] Today, when everything is complex and we risk losing a sense of meaning, we need simplicity, we need to rediscover the value of sobriety, the value of renunciation, to clean up what is polluting our hearts and makes them sad.

Holy WeekPope FrancisVatican
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