"On the night of my election, I had an experience of the closeness of God that gave me a great sense of interior freedom and peace, and that sense has never left me," he told his friend, who is a fellow Latin American bishop.That same year, he was asked the same question many others asked after he became the Pope: "Who Is Jorge Mario Bergoglio?" And Pope Francis had the perfect reply: "I am a sinner. This is the most accurate definition. It is not a figure of speech, a literary genre. I am a sinner."But the great news is that despite being a sinner, God's love and mercy saved Bergoglio, and this is the same news that he is trying to spread to people all over the world.
God loves us even when we were sinners. As the Apostle Paul stated: "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8). The God we worship is a God who loves all sinners (murderers, thieves, cheaters, etc). Christ ate and walked with sinners so they could be converted. Out of love, He died for sinners so they could be redeemed.
The Apostle Paul also gave his testimony of how he was a sinner:
I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison, as the high priest and all the Council can themselves testify. I even obtained letters from them to their associates in Damascus and went there to bring these people as prisoners to Jerusalem to be punished (Acts 22:4-5). I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate to do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do - this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but is sin living in me that does it (Romans 7:15-20).
For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the Church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them - yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me (1 Corinthians 15:9-10). Although I am less than the least of all the Lord's people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ (Ephesians 3:8).