This is an important paragraph in which Pope Francis recounts a prayer offered on one of his trips to the Middle East. Facing other people, especially those whom we have found difficult, requires preparation. Believers can’t expect to plow headlong into a meeting and find fruitfulness without asking for the needed qualities, especially mercy:
254. I ask God “to prepare our hearts to encounter our brothers and sisters, so that we may overcome our differences rooted in political thinking, language, culture and religion. Let us ask him to anoint our whole being with the balm of his mercy, which heals the injuries caused by mistakes, misunderstandings and disputes. And let us ask him for the grace to send us forth, in humility and meekness, along the demanding but enriching path of seeking peace”. [Homily, Amman, Jordan (24 May 2014): Insegnamenti II, 1 (2014), 593]
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