Pope Francis has embraced each opportunity in his Papacy to speak about the injustice and materialism that is spreading throughout the world. You can read some of his most famous quotes and insights below.
The Encounter of Faith “Faith is born of an encounter with the living God who calls us and reveals his love, a love which precedes us and upon which we can lean for security and for building our lives. Transformed by this love, we gain fresh vision, new eyes to see; we realize that it contains a great promise of fulfilment, and that a vision of the future opens up before us. Faith, received from God as a supernatural gift, becomes a light for our way, guiding our journey through time..” (Lumen Fidei, No.4) Casting “Leave behind the self-interest that hardens your heart, overcome the indifference that makes your heart insensitive towards others, conquer your deadly reasoning, and open yourself to dialogue and reconciliation.” (Pope Francis at a prayer vigil for peace in Syria 8th September)
Family Life “The life of a family is filled with beautiful moments: rest, meals together, walks in the park or the countryside, visits to grandparents or to a sick person… But if love is missing, joy is missing, nothing is fun. Jesus always gives us that love: he is its endless source. In the sacrament he gives us his word and he gives us the bread of life, so that our joy may be complete.” (27th October, 2013) Mission Sunday “Faith is God’s precious gift, which opens our mind to know and love him. He wants to enter into relationship with us and allow us to participate in his own life in order to make our life more meaningful, better and more beautiful”. (Pope Francis for Mission Sunday 2013) The Christian Calling “And I ask myself: Am I a Christian by fits and starts, or am I a Christian full-time? Our culture of the ephemeral, the relative, also takes it toll on the way we live our faith. God asks us to be faithful to him, daily, in our everyday life.” (October 2013)
“Creation retains its beauty which fills us with awe and remains a good work. But there is also ‘violence, division, disagreement, war.’ This occurs when man, the summit of creation, stops contemplating beauty and goodness, and withdraws into his own selfishness.”
On St. Francis
“St. Francis wanted a mendicant order and an itinerant one. Missionaries who want to meet, listen, talk, help, to spread faith and love. Especially love. And he dreamed of a poor Church that would take care of others, receive material aid and use it to support others, with no concern for itself. 800 years have passed since then and time have changed, but the ideal of a missionary, poor Church is still more than valid.”
On need for the church to evangelize:
“This is still the Church that Jesus and his disciples preached about. We need to avoid the spiritual sickness of a church that is wrapped up in its own world: when a church becomes like this, it grows sick. It is true that going out on to the street implies the risk of accidents happening, as they would to any ordinary man or woman. But if the church stays wrapped up in itself, it will age. And if I had to choose between a wounded church that goes out on to the streets and a sick, withdrawn church, I would definitely choose the first one.”On using technology: “We also try to reach out to people who are far away, via digital means, the web and brief messaging.”
On abortion:“Every child that isn’t born, but is unjustly condemned to be aborted, has the face of Jesus Christ, has the face of the Lord,” On vanity: “An example I often use to illustrate the reality of vanity, is this: look at the peacock; it’s beautiful if you look at it from the front. But if you look at it from behind, you discover the truth … Whoever gives in to such self-absorbed vanity has huge misery hiding inside them. Concerning outreach of the Church in Buenos Aires: “Instead of just being a Church that welcomes and receives, we try to be a Church that comes out of itself and goes to the men and women who do not participate in parish life, do not know much about it and are indifferent towards it. We organize missions in public squares where many people usually gather: we pray, we celebrate mass, we offer baptism which we administer after a brief preparation.” On human trafficking: “In our city there are people committing human sacrifice, killing the dignity of these men and these women, these girls and boys that are submitted to this treatment, to slavery. We cannot remain calm.” …. The cardinal urged his fellow citizens to report “breeding grounds for submission, for slavery,” “altars where human sacrifices are offered and which break the will of the people,” asking that “everyone do what they can, but without washing their hands of it, because otherwise we are complicit in this slavery.” On the “discarding culture”: “This culture consists of applying the “death penalty” through abortion, and in “hidden euthanasia” of the elderly through neglect and maltreatment.…“there is hidden euthanasia, the social infrastructure pays up to a certain limit, but discards the elderly when, in fact, they are the seat of the wisdom of the people.” Children “are maltreated; they are neither educated nor nourished. Many are forced to prostitute and exploit themselves.” Concerning a hands-on approach to the poor: “Jesus did not preach his own politics: he accompanied others. The conversions he inspired took place precisely because of his willingness to accompany, which makes us all brothers and children and not members of an NGO or proselytes of some multinational company.” Priests and their sheep: “A church that limits itself to just carrying out administrative duties, caring for its tiny flock, is a church that in the long run will get sick. The pastor who isolates himself is not a true pastor of sheep, but a ‘hairdresser’ for sheep who spends his time putting curlers on them instead of going to look for others.Today we have one in the pen and 99 we need to go looking for.”
The need to mature in life like fine wine: The future pope tells a story of being in an airport and seeing an older, very well-known, successful businessman waiting at baggage claim. He said it’s common to see young people be impatient, but it came as a surprise to see an older gentleman get “infuriated because his bag was late.”“It made me sad to see a person who wasn’t able to enjoy the wisdom of old age. Instead of improving (with age) like a fine wine, he had gone sour like a wine gone bad.”
Knowing how to let children grow and go is like flying a kite: “There’d come the moment when the kite would begin making a ‘figure 8’ and begin falling. In order to keep that from happening, you mustn’t pull the string. The kids who knew more than us would scream, ‘Give it some slack, it’s wobbling!'”“Flying a kite resembles the approach you need to take regarding a person’s growth: sometimes you need to give them some slack because they are ‘wavering.’ In other words, it is necessary to give them time. We have to be able to set limits at the right moment, but other times we need to know how to look the other way and be like the father of the parable (the Prodigal Son) who lets his son move out and squander his fortune so that he learns from experience.”
Salvation from sin is like being saved from drowning: Being upfront and honest about one’s sinful nature actually helps create a more authentic encounter with God. There are people who believe they are righteous, follow the catechism well enough and abide by the Christian faith, but they don’t have the experience of having been saved.”“It’s one thing to hear about a boy who was drowning in a river and the person who jumped in to save him; it’s another to have personally been at the scene and lent a hand; and even another for it to have actually been you who was drowning while someone jumps in the water to save you.””Only we big sinners have this grace of knowing what salvation really means.”
Sin is a stain only Jesus can remove: “Sin is not a stain that I must wash out. What I need to do is ask forgiveness and reconcile myself, not go to the drycleaners…. I have to go encounter Jesus who gave his life for me.”
People need to learn from the “shipwreck culture” and salvage the past to build the future: “The shipwrecked castaway faces the challenge of survival with creativity.”.“He needs to begin building a hut using the boards from the sunken ship, together with new things found on the island he’s washed up on.””In every new era, one can apply the image of the shipwreck because there are things that we no longer need, temporary things, and (eternal) values that get expressed in another way.”
Pain versus resentment: “Resentment is like a full house with lots of people crammed inside so they can’t see the sky, while pain is like a city in which there are still lots of people, but at least you can see the sky. In other words, pain is open to prayer, tenderness, the company of a friend and thousands of things that offer dignity. That’s why pain is a healthier situation” than resentment.
Optimism versus hope: “It’s best to not confuse optimism with hope. Optimism is a psychological attitude toward life. Hope goes further. It is an anchor that one hurls toward the future, it’s what lets you pull on the line and reach what you’re aiming for” and head in “the right direction.” Hope is also theological: “God is there, too.”God’s patience is “comfortable and sweet like a summer’s night.”Death, who is “eager,” knocks daily; “I run from it, but it smiles at me inviting me to accept it.”