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Christians to 'stay with God despite sin', says Pope Francis

Followers must request the grace 'to die at home, in the Church'

06 February, 13:47
Christians to 'stay with God despite sin', says Pope Francis (ANSA) - Vatican City, February 6 - Pope Francis on Thursday reminded Christians that they have the possibility of remaining within the grace of God despite their sin and invited followers to ask to 'die at home'. "Sinners yes, traitors no! And this is grace. To remain among the people of God until the end. To have the grace to die within the Church, within the people of God," the Pope told worshippers at a Vatican guesthouse where he has been living since being elected to replace Benedict XVI last March.

The Argentine pontiff then exhorted Christians to ask for this grace.

"'Lord, give me the gift of dying at home, within the Church!'," he said.

"And the Church is mother to such an extent that it wants us even in that state, dirty many times over, but the Church cleans us up: it's a mother!" continued the Pope.

He then stressed the importance for Christians of asking for "the grace to die in hope, in the knowledge that we are being waited for on the other side" and of considering what they will leave as an inheritance.

"There is a popular saying that in life every man must leave a son, plant a tree and write a book," Francis said. "What inheritance will I leave to those who come after me? Have I done so much good that people want me as a mother or father? Have I planted a tree? Have I given life, wisdom? Have I written a book? This is inheritance: our witness as Christians that we leave to others".