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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

When a mother loses a child, reach out with tears, not words, pope says

In the depths of despair, when no words or gestures will help, then cry with those who suffer, because tears are the seeds of hope, Pope Francis said.

When people are hurting, “it is necessary to share in their desperation. In order to dry the tears from the face of those who suffer, we must join our weeping with theirs. This is the only way our words may truly be able to offer a bit of hope,” he said during his weekly general audience on 4th January.

“And if I can’t offer words like this, with tears, with sorrow, then silence is better, a caress, a gesture and no words,” he said.

In his first general audience of the new year, the pope continued his series of talks on Christian hope by reflecting on Rachel’s inconsolable sorrow and mourning for her children who “are no more,” as written by the prophet Jeremiah.

Rachel’s refusal to be consoled “expresses the depth of her pain and the bitterness of her weeping,” the pope told those gathered in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall.

Picture: Pope Francis listens to a speaker as he leads his weekly audience in Paul VI Hall at the Vatican on 4th January. (CNS photo/Tony Gentile, Reuters).