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Pope at Audience: Never Lose Hope … Never

Urges Faithful to Let Child of Season Let Them Smile With Joy

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Never lose hope… Never…
Pope Francis stressed this during this morning’s General Audience in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall, as began a new series of catecheses on the theme of Christian hope. 
In this Season of Advent, “the time of expectation, in which we prepare ourselves to receive once again the consoling mystery of the Incarnation and the light of Christmas,” he noted, it is important to reflect on hope.
“When we find ourselves before a child, perhaps we might have many problems and many difficulties, but a smile comes to us from within, because we find ourselves before hope: a child is a hope!
“And so,” he continued, “we must be able to see in life the way of hope, which leads us to find God, God who became a Child for us — and it will make us smile”
Need Hope
“We need hope! We feel lost and also somewhat discouraged, because we feel impotent and it seems that this darkness will never end.
“However, we must not let hope abandon us, because God walks with us with His love.”
The Pope encouraged faithful to allow ourselves to be taught by the Lord what it means to hope, beginning with the prophet Isaiah, ‘the great prophet of Advent.’
Comfort
In the second part of his Book, the Jesuit recalled, Isaiah addresses the people with a proclamation of consolation: “Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God. ”
God the Father consoles by arousing consolers, proclaiming that “the warfare is ended, sorrow is ended, and sin is pardoned.”
“For the people, consolation begins with the possibility to walk on the way of God, a new way, straightened and passable, a way to prepare in the desert, so that one can go across it and return to the homeland.”
Therefore, Francis highlighted, to prepare that way means to prepare a way of salvation and of liberation from every obstacle and hindrance.
 
“When we are in darkness, in difficulties, we cannot smile and it is, in fact, hope that teaches us to smile to find that way that leads to God,” he said.
“Life is often a desert, it is difficult to walk in it, but if we entrust ourselves to God it can become beautiful and wide as a highway. Suffice it never to lose hope, suffice it to continue to believe, always, despite all.”
No More Deserts … Doesn’t Disappoint
“Let us wait confidently for the coming of the Lord and no matter what the desert is of our lives – each one knows in what desert he walks — it will become a flowering garden,” Francis said, underscoring: “Hope does not disappoint!”
Pope Francis concluded, reminding faithful tomorrow is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, for which, he will continue the annual tradition of paying homage to Mary near Rome’s Spanish Steps, and likely will visit afterward Rome’s Marian Basilica, Santa Maria Maggiore.
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On ZENIT’s Web page:
Full text: https://zenit.org/articles/general-audience-on-christian-hope/

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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