Pope Francis reflected on the theme” Educate to Hope,” in his Wednesday General Audience, September 20, 1017 in St. Peter’s Square. He urged: “If boredom paralyzes you, get rid of it with works of goodness!”
He continued: “Work for peace in the midst of men, and don’t listen to the voice that spreads hatred and divisions. Don’t listen to these voices.” He reminded the crowd that “Human beings, in as much as they are different from one another, were created to live together. In opposition, be patient: one day you will discover that each one is a recipient of a fragment of truth.”
The Holy Father repeated his theme of love for each person: “Love persons. Love them one by one. Respect everyone’s way, linear or troubled as it might be, because each one has his story to tell.
“Each one of us also has his own story to tell. Every child that is born is the promise of a life that, once again, shows itself stronger than death. Every love that arises is a power of transformation that yearns for happiness.”
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Pope Francis’ Catechesis, September 20, 2017, St. Peter’s Square
Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
The theme of today’s catechesis is “Educate to Hope.” Therefore I will address it directly with the [Italian familiar] “you”, imagining that I’m talking as educator, as father to a youth or to any person open to learn.
Think: there, where God has planted you, hope! — always hope.
Don’t yield to the night: remember that the first enemy to subject is not outside of you but within you. Therefore, don’t give room to bitter, dark thoughts. This world is the first miracle that God wrought, and God has put in our hands the grace of new prodigies. Faith and hope go together. Believe in the existence of higher and more beautiful truths. Trust in God the Creator, in the Holy Spirit, who moves everything to the good, in the embrace of Christ who waits for every man at the end of his existence; believe; He waits for you. The world moves thanks to the look of so many men who opened breaches, who built bridges, who dreamed and believed, even when they heard words of derision around them.
Never think that the battle you wage down here is altogether futile. Shipwreck doesn’t await us at the end of our existence: beating in us is a seed of the absolute. God doesn’t disappoint: if He has put hope in our hearts, He doesn’t want to suppress it with constant frustrations. Everything is born to flower in an eternal spring. God has also made us to flower. I remember that dialogue when the oak asked the almond tree: “Speak to me of God.” And the almond tree flowered.
Build wherever you are! If you are on the ground, get up! Never remain fallen, get up, allow yourself to be helped to stand up. If you are seated, start walking! If boredom paralyzes you, get rid of it with works of goodness! If you feel empty and demoralized, ask the Holy Spirit to fill your nothingness again.
Work for peace in the midst of men, and don’t listen to the voice that spreads hatred and divisions. Don’t listen to these voices. Human beings, in as much as they are different from one another, were created to live together. In opposition, be patient: one day you will discover that each one is a recipient of a fragment of truth.
Love persons. Love them one by one. Respect everyone’s way, linear or troubled as it might be, because each one has his story to tell. Each one of us also has his own story to tell. Every child that is born is the promise of a life that, once again, shows itself stronger than death. Every love that arises is a power of transformation that yearns for happiness.
Jesus has given us a light that shines in the darkness, defend it; protect it. That single light is the greatest richness entrusted to your life.
And, above all, dream! Don’t be afraid to dream. Dream! Dream of a world that is not yet seen, but which will certainly arrive. Hope leads us to believe in the existence of a creation that extends to its definitive fulfilment, when God will be all in all. Men capable of imagination have given man scientific and technological discoveries. They have ploughed the oceans and tread lands on which no one had ever stepped. Men who cultivated hope were also those that overcame slavery, and brought better conditions of life on this earth. Think of these men.
Be responsible for this world and for the life of every man. Think that very injustice against a poor man is an open wound, and diminishes your own dignity. Life doesn’t cease with your existence, and other generations will succeed ours, and many others also. And every day ask God for the gift of courage. Remember that Jesus has overcome fear for us. He has overcome fear! Our most treacherous enemy can do nothing against faith. And when you find yourself fearful in face of some difficulty of life, remember that you don’t live only for yourself. In Baptism your life was already immersed in the mystery of the Trinity and you belong to Jesus. And, if one day, fright takes hold of you, or you think that evil is too great to be challenged, think simply that Jesus lives in you. And it’s He with his meekness who wants, through you, to subject all man’s enemies: sin, hatred, crime, violence — all our enemies. .
Always have the courage of truth, but remember: you’re not superior to anyone. Remember this: you’re not superior to anyone. Even if you remained the last to believe in truth don’t shun the company of men because of this. Even if you lived in the silence of a hermitage, bear in your heart the suffering of every creature. You are Christian and, in prayer, give everything back to God.
And cultivate ideals. Live for something that surpasses man. And if one day these ideals required of you to pay a hefty bill, never stop bearing them in your heart. Faithfulness obtains everything.
If you make a mistake, get up again: nothing is more human than to commit errors. And those same errors must not become a prison for you. Don’t be caged in your errors. The Son of God came not for the healthy but for the sick: therefore He came also for you. And if you err again in the future, fear not; get up again! Do you know why? Because God is your friend.
If bitterness strikes you, believe firmly in all the persons who still work for the good: the seed of a new world is in their humility; frequent persons who have kept their heart as that of a child. Learn from wonder; cultivate amazement.
Live, love, dream, believe and, with God’s grace, never despair.
A warm welcomes goes to the Italian-speaking pilgrims. I am happy to receive the seminarians of the Pontifical International College Maria Mater Ecclesiae of Rome, the Consolata missionaries, the women religious of the Company of Mary Our Lady and the Benedictine Nuns of Vetralla. I greet the parish groups, the numerous devotees of Saint Charbel Maklouf, the families and directors of the companies that have adhered to the initiative “Un Fiocco in Azienda” of Manageritalia, the Italian Federation of Ancient Games and Sports Flags,” the members of the Archie-Confraternity of Mary Most Holy Assumed into Heaven of Terravecchia-Serra San Bruno. May the visit to the Tombs of the Apostles foster in all the sense of belonging to the ecclesial family and motivate an ever more industrious service.
A warm welcome goes to the Arabic-speaking pilgrims, in particular from the Middle East! Dear brothers and sisters, don’t yield to the night. Work for peace in the mist of men and respect everyone’s way, because each one has his story to tell. May the Lord bless you!
I greet the young people, the sick and the newlyweds. Tomorrow is the feats of Saint Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist. May his conversion be an example to you, dear young people, to live life with the criteria of the faith; may his meekness sustain you, dear sick, when your suffering seems unbearable; and may his abandonment of the world’s calculations remind you, dear newlyweds, of the importance of the logic of love in the marital life you have undertaken.[Original text: Italian]
© ZENIT translation by Virginia M. Forrester