[…] I want to tell you this: we say that Jesus descended to the underworld, and I
advise you not to be afraid of descending into the underworld of people. At times,
this even means entering the field of the devil. But the human, social and conscience
sufferings … we have to go down to the underworld, we have to go down there.
Touch the sores. And touching the wounds of people, you touch the wounds of Christ.
The Jesuit must not be afraid of this. It is a grace that is received from the hand of
the Lord. And these wounds have not only opened in Vilnius and in the past. The
same thing happens today in many sociopolitical situations in the world. I’m thinking
of a video that testifies to the situation of some North African prisons built by people
traffickers. When governments send back those who managed to save themselves,
the traffickers put them in those prisons, where the most horrible tortures are
practiced. That’s why it’s important for you to talk about yours experience of
captivity. People must know what that means. It’s good that you talk about it. Today
we are tearing our clothes for what the Communists, the Nazis and the Fascists have
done … but today? Does not it happen today? Of course, it is done with white and
silk gloves! When Ignazio offers us the third week, there is something that seems too
voluntary, but it is not: it is only very human. You know, St. Ignatius asks us to try
to feel pain, to cry for Christ who suffers the passion. This is not Pelagianism, no!
Ignatius knew the resistance we have to put the pains of others inside our hearts.
This is why he asks us to try. This is why it is important to meditate on the Lord’s
passion. I must make you a confidence. I always carry this pocket-sized Via Crucis
with me, to remember the Lord’s passion [and pull it out of my pocket]. It is the
passion of so many people who are today imprisoned, tortured. It is good for me to
meditate on the Via Crucis. Thank you, father! Thanks for his testimony! […]
[…] Thank you! Thank you for coming to visit me and thank you for what you do for
the Church! Pray! I recommend two readings, as I often do with Jesuits. Read the
speech made by Paul VI on 3 December 1974 to the fathers gathered in the XXXII
General Congregation. For me it is the most beautiful thing that a Pope has said to
the Jesuits. It’s a gem. Take it, meditate on it. And I also recommend that you read
the last thing Father Arrupe said, that is the speech to the Jesuits who worked in the
refugee camps in Thailand. It was his “swan song”. Then, during the flight back to
Rome, he was hit by a stroke. And the speech he had addressed to the Jesuits who
were working with the refugees was to never neglect prayer. Read these two
documents. This is more substantial and more beautiful than what I could tell you.
Pray for me! Thank you! Now let’s pray together the Madonna, Regina Societatis Iesu