We reach the tenth reflection Pope Francis gave in his address to the curia last December. If you’ve been following, you’ll note that instead of just one word, he is giving some thought to two related or contrasting principles.
10. Diligence and attentiveness: the more we trust in God and his providence, the more we grow in diligence and readiness to give of ourselves, in the knowledge that the more we give the more we receive. What good would it do to open all the Holy Doors of all the basilicas in the world if the doors of our own heart are closed to love, if our hands are closed to giving, if our homes are closed to hospitality and our churches to welcome and acceptance.
Much was made of Pope Francis’s supposed feud with Mr Trump. But the reality is that the principles expressed by the Holy Father were not pulled out of thin air. These related virtues of diligence and attentiveness suggest the person is aware of things going on around her or him. We aren’t insulated from uncomfortable situations or truths. When a disciple becomes aware of people, the opportunities for service are obvious.
Attentiveness is concern for the little things, for doing our best and never yielding to our vices and failings. Saint Vincent de Paul used to pray: “Lord, help me to be always aware of those around me, those who are worried or dismayed, those suffering in silence, and those who feel alone and abandoned”.
An excellent prayer with which to end this section.