14-June-2013 -- Catholic News Agency |

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Be Humble 'from Head To Toe,' Pope Francis Says

VATICAN CITY, June 14 (CNA/EWTN News) .- Pope Francis said people must to admit their sins like Saint Paul and not just their good deeds during his daily morning Mass.

"We have to be humble, but with real humility, from head to toe," said Pope Francis June 14.

"If we only pride ourselves on our service record and nothing more, we end up going wrong," said Pope Francis.

He made his comments in his homily for morning Mass in the chapel of Saint Martha's House. The head of the Congregation for the Clergy, Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, concelebrated the Mass with the Pope, while staff and clergy from the congregation attended it.

"Not sinners with that kind of humility, which seems more a put-on face, no?" the Holy Father remarked. "Oh no, strong humility."

He highlighted that "this is the model of humility for us priests, too."

"We cannot proclaim Jesus Christ the Savior if we do not feel him present and at work deep down," he added.

"Brothers, we have a treasure, that of Jesus Christ the Savior, the Cross of Jesus Christ, this treasure of which we pride ourselves, but we have it in a clay vessel," said Pope Francis. "Let us vaunt our 'handbook' of our sins."

The Pope underscored that Jesus is "a gift that we can only understand, only receive, in earthen vessels."

He based his homily on the first reading for today, which was taken from 2 Corinthians 4.

The pontiff stated it is precisely from "the relationship between the grace and power of Jesus Christ and ourselves, poor sinners as we are, that the dialogue of salvation springs."

"This dialogue, moreover, must avoid any self-justification and be between God and ourselves as we are," he said.

The Pope stressed that St. Paul, author of the letter to the Corinthians, shows us his own weakness and sin, which is that he persecuted Christians.

"It always comes back to his memory of sin, he feels sinful but even then he does not say 'I was a sinner, but now I am holy,' no," he said. 'Even now, a thorn of Satan is in my flesh,' the Pope said, quoting from St. Paul.

"He is a sinner who accepts Jesus Christ, who dialogues with Jesus Christ," said Pope Francis.

According to him, "the key is humility" and believes that St. Paul proved this.

"He publicly acknowledges his track record of service, all he had done as an Apostle of Jesus, but he does not hide or gloss over his handbook of sins," the Pope said.

He emphasized that the Samaritan woman also behaved similarly to St. Paul because she first admitted her sins before speaking of having met Jesus.

"I believe that this woman is in heaven," he said.

"As Manzoni once said, I have never found that the Lord began a miracle without finishing it well, and this miracle that he began definitely ended well in heaven," he said.

"The humility of the priest, the humility of a Christian is concrete, therefore, if a Christian fails to make this confession to himself and to the Church, then something is wrong," he stated.

He stressed that "the first thing to fail will be our ability to understand the beauty of salvation that Jesus brings us."

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