Last Sunday, 4th September, Pope Francis beatified John Paul I - the man who was Pope for only 33 days in 1978. In his homily last Sunday, Pope Francis said that:
"With a smile, Pope John Paul managed to communicate the goodness of the Lord. How beautiful is a Church with a happy, serene and smiling face, a Church that never closes doors, never hardens hearts, never complains or harbours resentment, does not grow angry or impatient, does not look dour or suffer nostalgia for the past, falling into an attitude of going backwards. Let us pray to him, our father and our brother, and ask him to obtain for us “the smile of the soul”, a transparent smile that does not deceive, the smile of the soul. Let us pray, in his own words: 'Lord take me as I am, with my defects, with my shortcomings, but make me become what you want me to be' (General Audience, 13 September 1978). Amen".
'When we speak of "adult Christians" in prayer, at times we exaggerate. Personally, when I speak tête-à-tête with God or with the Blessed Virgin Mary, more than an adult I prefer to think of myself as a child. The mitre, skullcap and ring disappear; I give a holiday to the adult and the bishop and also to heavy burdens, sober and pondered, and let myself go with the spontaneous tenderness of a child in front of his papá or mamma. To be – at least for half an hour – before God as I truly am with my wretchedness and also with the best of myself: to feel rising from the depths of my being the child of other days who wants to talk and chat with the Lord and love him and who sometimes feels the need to cry that he may be granted mercy, all this helps me to pray. The rosary, a simple and easy prayer, helps me to be at times a child again and of this I am not in the least ashamed.
Blessed John Paul I