“This is what the devil does: He wants to possess us in order to ‘chain our souls,’” he said.
Pope Francis noted that in the Gospel, Jesus casts out the devil, “but does not dialogue with him,” noting that during the temptation in the desert, Jesus only answered with words from Scripture.
“The Lord, with the strength of his Spirit, wishes to repeat to the evil one today too: ‘Go away! Leave that heart alone. Do not divide the world, families, communities; let them live peacefully, so that the fruits of my Spirit may flourish, not yours,’ so says Jesus, ‘so that love, joy, meekness may reign among them, and instead of violence and cries of hatred there may be freedom and peace.’”
“So let’s ask ourselves: Do I really want freedom from those chains that tighten my heart? … Do I invoke Jesus, do I allow him to act in me, to heal me inside? May the Holy Virgin protect us from evil,” he said.
Speaking from a window in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace to the crowd gathered below in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis prayed for peace in Ukraine, Palestine, and Israel.
Pope Francis made an impassioned plea for reconciliation in Myanmar, marking three years since the country’s military coup.
“For three years now, the crying of pain and the noise of weapons have taken the place of the smile that characterizes the population of Myanmar. I therefore join the voice of some Burmese bishops, ‘so that the weapons of destruction are transformed into tools for growth in humanity and justice,’” he said.
“Peace is a path and I invite all parties involved to take steps of dialogue and to clothe themselves with understanding, so that the land of Myanmar reaches the goal of fraternal reconciliation. The transit of humanitarian aid is allowed to guarantee the necessities of every person.”
Pope Francis also expressed his closeness to the Catholic community in Istanbul, where one man died in an armed attack during Sunday Mass.
The pope added that he was relieved to hear of the release of six religious sisters who were kidnapped in Haiti last week and called for an end to all acts of violence in the country, urging the international community to support Haiti’s peaceful development.