Pope Audience: Discern true rest from false rest

The Pope told those gathered that resting on Sunday was not “a mere escape or diversion, but a command to imitate God himself, who on the seventh day rested from his works and contemplated the goodness of his creation.”

False rest and true rest

He pointed out that there was “false rest and true rest”.  Society, he said, was thirsty for entertainment and holidays. The image-model, the Pope continued, was “that of a successful person who can afford different kinds of pleasure. But this mentality, he noted, slips towards the dissatisfaction of an anesthetized existence of entertainment that is not rest, but alienation and escape from reality.  Man has never rested as much as today, yet man has never experienced as much emptiness as today.”

Rest and contemplation

On the other hand, explained Pope Francis, true rest “is a moment of contemplation, of praise.” It is a time to look at reality and say: how beautiful life is. It is the day, he continued, to say to God: thank you for your life, for your mercy, for all your gifts.” Sunday, the Pontiff stressed, was not the day to cancel the other days but to recall them, bless them and make peace with life because it is life is precious. Peace is chosen, he said, it “cannot be imposed and cannot be found by chance.“

In God alone do our souls find rest.

The Pope concluded by saying, “when, on our weekly day of rest, we contemplate our lives and the world around us, let us be conscious of God’s provident care and conform ourselves, like Jesus, to the Father’s will, knowing that, in the end, “all is grace”. For, as the Psalmist assures us, in God alone do our souls find rest.”