General Audience of 22 February 2017



Saint Peter's Square
Wednesday, 22 February 2017



Dear Brothers and Sisters: Rather than being something we possess and use for own pleasure, Saint Paul reminds us that creation is God’s gift, which reveals to us his loving plan. But when we are self-centred and commit sin, we break our communion with God, and the original beauty of human nature and creation is marred. Thus, rather than show God’s infinite love, creation bears the wounds of human pride. The Lord, however, does not abandon us, but offers us a new horizon of freedom and salvation. Saint Paul reminds us of this truth, by inviting us to hear the groaning of all people and things, and even the groaning of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. These groans are not sterile, but speak of the pangs of birth, the ushering in of new life. Despite the many signs of our sins and failings, we know that we are saved by the Lord, and even now contemplate and experience within ourselves and all around us signs of the Resurrection, a new creation. We know that Jesus wants to heal us and creation once and for all, and reconcile us in his love. Let us see ourselves and the world with Christ’s eyes. And when we are discouraged or tempted to despair, let us remember that the Holy Spirit comes to our aid, to keep alive our cries to God, and to reveal new heavens and a new earth which he is preparing for us.

Holy Father:

Saluto i pellegrini di lingua inglese presenti all’odierna Udienza, specialmente quelli provenienti da Inghilterra, Irlanda, Norvegia, India e Stati Uniti d’America. Su tutti voi e sulle vostre famiglie invoco misericordia e pace, e prego il Signore che questi doni possano aiutarvi ad avere cura del creato, e ad aiutarvi l’un l’altro. Dio vi benedica!


I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, particularly those from England, Ireland, Norway, India and the United States of America. Upon all of you, I invoke the gifts of mercy and peace, and I pray to the Lord that they may help you to care for creation and one another. May God bless you!