The pope shared a story with the priests, a memory from his own experience in priestly ministry in Argentina.
“Once, in a very dark moment in my life, I asked the Lord for the grace to free me from a difficult and complex situation. A dark moment,” he said.
“I had to preach the Spiritual Exercises to some women religious, and on the last day, as was customary in those days, they all went to confession. One elderly sister came; she had a clear gaze, eyes full of light -- a woman of God.”
“At the end of the confession, I felt the urge to ask her a favor, so I said to her, ‘Sister, as your penance, pray for me because I need a particular grace’... If you ask the Lord for it, surely he will give it to me.’”
“She paused for a moment and seemed to be praying, then looked at me and told me, ‘The Lord will certainly give you that grace, but make no mistake about it: he will give it to you in his own divine way’.
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Pope Francis concluded: “This did me much good, hearing that the Lord always gives us what we ask for, but that he does so in his divine way. That way involves the cross, not for masochism, but for love, love to the very end.”