Cardinal Sarah: ‘Mercy Has a Name: Jesus Christ’

‘The world today needs saints with heroic witness,’ the African cardinal reminded World Meeting of Families attendees, starting with families.

(photo: Antoine Mekary/Aleteia via

African Cardinal Robert Sarah addressed the World Meeting of Families this morning, discussing “The Light of the Family in a Dark World.”

“God is a family,” he reminded attendees.

“The relationship with God and our fellow human beings is called to reflect the very life of the Trinity.”

In contrast, he said, “The heart of the devil’s lie is this: ‘God wants to limit you. He does not want to see your life fulfilled. So fulfill yourself as you decide is best.’”

The cardinal then talked about how that is the beginning of losing meaning in life: how Cain murdered his brother Abel; how violence spirals out of control; how, down to our age, we see addiction, abortion, religious persecution and terrorism. “If we do not go to the source, which is sin, nothing changes.”

Cardinal Sarah also mentioned euthanasia and same-sex “marriage” and cited Pope Benedict as saying the light of family life was being “snuffed out” due to modern culture.

“Even members of the Church can be tempted to soften Christ’s teaching on marriage and the family.”

Separating what comes from the magisterium with pastoral practice, changing it in “accord with certain circumstances, is a form of heresy,” the cardinal emphasized.

“The Book of Genesis is not just a story; it’s our story,” the cardinal added. He then extended the invitation of Pope Francis: “Enter into your heart. When we begin to look at what we are capable of, we ask ourselves: ‘Am I capable of speaking evil of another and morally killing him?’”

Then he went on to say, “Repentance is good news. It’s the beginning of a journey of healing.”

“Welcome the mercy of God,” he told the audience. “This mercy has a name: Jesus Christ.”

“This Spirit, the Holy Spirit charity — love until the end — can overcome all that seems humanly impossible within the family.”

“All those wounded by personal sin and the sin of others — the divorced, the separated, those who have cohabitated, who get closed in on themselves and those in same-sex unions — can and must find in the Church a place for regeneration without any finger pointed at them,” he stressed.

He then talked about how this is the testimony that the Christian family gives: love to the end.

To make love visible, “the Christian family, wellspring of faith, hope and love, becomes the first evangelizer.”

He added: “The world today needs saints with heroic witness.”

Then he told a story of a firefighter whose charitable spirit caused his wife to revert to the faith. She had wanted no children, but they ended up having 10 kids. Tragically, the husband died on 9/11; and the wife died five years ago. The large family takes care of its younger members.

Following this touching story, Cardinal Sarah praised large families.

Families are indeed a light in this dark world!

St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans.

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