Pope Francis says: “Our faith in Christ, who became poor, and was always close to the poor and the outcaste, is the basis of our concern for the integral development of society’s most neglected members. Each individual Christian and every community is called to be an instrument of God for the liberation and promotion of the poor, and for enabling them to be fully a part of the society. This demands that we be docile and attentive to the cry of the poor and to come to their aid” (Pope Francis, Joy of the Gospel no.186, 187). Further he asks us Am I anxious for God, anxious to proclaim him, to make Him known? We think of our personal interests, our works, and many other things. Do we feel the restlessness of love? Do we believe in love for God and for others? Or are we unconcerned by this? Not in an abstract manner, not only in words, but the real brother we come across, the sister who is beside us! Are we moved by their needs or do we remain closed in on ourselves, in our communities which are often “comfortable communities” for us?” (Pope Francis, Rejoice no.12).
It is the gift of compassion that helps us to be sensitive to the cry of our brethren. According to Pope Francis, Mercy is the fundamental law that dwells in the heart of every person who looks sincerely into the eyes of his brothers and sisters on the path of life (The Peace of Mercy, no.2).Specifically speaking, compassion is the tireless ability to identify spontaneously with those who is in need, to know in one’s heart a solidarity with all who are suffering or underprivileged. “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters” (1Jn 3:16). Only compassion can bring us a daily willingness to forgive those who have hurt us, and the dynamism to go out daily in service to the poor and the needy.“The Church’s very credibility is seen in how she shows merciful and compassionate love” (The Peace of Mercy, no.10). In his opinion, nothing in our preaching and in our witness to the world can be lacking in mercy. Led by the Spirit of God we need to become “doers of the Word,” even when it is very hard.
Pope Francis further says that when a priest is not a father to his community, when a sister is not a mother to all those with whom she works, he or she becomes sad. This is the problem. For this reason I say to you: the root of sadness in pastoral life is precisely in the absence of fatherhood or motherhood that comes from living this consecration unsatisfactorily, which on the contrary should lead us to fertility” (Pope Francis, Rejoice .no.10).