In three short years, Jorge Bergoglio also known as Pope Francis the 266th pope of the Roman Catholic Church has already garnered a reputation for being one of the Catholic Church’s greatest leaders. He has radicalized the teachings of the Catholic Church through his modern understanding of today’s world. Going against tradition, Pope Francis has established a reign of humility and real service to those in need.
One of Pope Francis’ greatest strengths is practicing the things he preaches about. Not only has he asked the Vatican to be more involved with helping the poor and sick, he actively tours around the world personally providing services to people who need help. Pope Francis encourages everyone to look past their differences and come together to make the world a better place.
Here are 10 quotes from Pope Francis that will help all of us live with more humility, love, compassion, and understanding.
Lesson 1: Don’t Close Yourself Off
“A person who thinks only of building walls wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian. This is not in the gospel.”
Life is about making connections with other people. No matter your religion or your beliefs, you mustn’t isolate yourself. It’s important to go out there and get to know other people. You can’t get stuck in the things you believe and refuse to understand what other people have to say. As you move through the world, try to make friends and truly understand the people you meet.
Lesson 2: Be Mindful Of Other People
“Men and women are sacrificed to the idols or profit and consumption: it is the ‘culture of waste.’ If a computer breaks it is a tragedy, but poverty, the needs and dramas of so many people end up being considered normal.”
With the way that people live today, sometimes it’s easy to forget that there are bigger problems going on in the world. For many, the small trivialities of life take precedence in our minds and we get sad or upset over things that don’t really matter in the end. It’s important to have some perspective every once in a while and remember that other people may be suffering worse than you.
Lesson 3: Never Go To Bed Angry
“Perhaps you were mad, perhaps plates flew, but please remember this: never let the sun go down without making peace! Never, never, never!”
No matter how much hate or anger you may be feeling toward someone, it’s important to quickly make amends. Letting your rage stew only makes things worse and you’re not helping the situation any. The best thing to do is to be the bigger person and apologize first even if you feel that you were right. It’s more important to put the argument behind you than to win the fight.
Lesson 4: Learn To Love Yourself
“True love is both loving and letting oneself be loved. It is harder to let ourselves be loved than it is to love.”
For a lot of people, it’s easy to love someone but difficult to show that same love to yourself. It’s important that we all try to show ourselves the same kindness and appreciation that we would for someone else. Though loving others is a great thing, we have to stop being so mean to ourselves and realize that we are all worthy of love. We just all need to love ourselves better for who we are.
Lesson 5: It’s Okay To Relax
“Together with a culture of work, there must be a culture of leisure as gratification. To put it another way: people who work must take the time to relax, to be with their families, to enjoy themselves, read, listen to music, play a sport.”
Life today is hectic and tremendously hard work is valued above everything else. It’s not uncommon for people to work long hours and neglect every part of their life. We’ve created a culture that doesn’t really know how to take a break anymore. However, this type of life isn’t sustainable and we all need to take things easy every so often. We have to take the time to enjoy our families and hobbies.
Lesson 6: Never Stop Living
“Life is a journey. When we stop, things don’t go right.”
It may seem easy to give up on life when things get a little rough, but it’s important to remember that everyone’s life has ups and downs. You have to keep moving forward and never give up. When you stop trying, that’s when things actually get really bad. As long as you keep trying, your life is worth something.
Lesson 7: Learn To Let Things Go
“Wretched are those who are vindictive and spiteful.”
Holding grudges turns your soul and mind dark. It does no good to seek revenge when you feel like you were wronged. This is how wars start and this kind of hatred brings out the worst in people. It’s important to practice forgiveness so that your own soul may rest. Contempt just breeds bad feelings and holding on to negative emotions will make you deeply unhappy.
Lesson 8: Don’t Be Self-Centered
“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.”
Though outward beauty may be something that we are all taught to value, worshiping our own looks makes us ugly on the inside. Focusing on your outward appearance only creates an illusion of beauty. When you only pay attention to yourself, you fail to truly see the world around you. Vanity is only a façade to hide how much you may be hurting inside. It’s crucial to remember that looks aren’t the only thing that is important about you, it’s better to cultivate a well-rounded personality.
Lesson 9: Don’t Be Afraid To Voice Your Opinion
“I like it when someone tells me ‘I don’t agree.’ This is a true collaborator. When they say ‘Oh, how great, how great, how great,’ that’s not useful.”
Sometimes it’s difficult to go against the status quo, but differing opinions actually keep a conversation going. As long as you stay civil, it’s important to speak up when you disagree or feel differently than other people do about something. Having an open dialogue is important for cultivating new ideas. Being a sycophant is counterproductive and you prevent yourself from seeing things from a different perspective.
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Lesson 10: Listen to What Other People Have To Say
“This is important: to get to know people, listen, expand the circle of ideas. The world is crisscrossed by roads that come closer together and move apart, but the important thing is that they lead towards the Good.”
Everyone in the world has something of value to say. It’s important to truly listen to what other people are saying. Coming together despite our differences is the only way for us to move toward a better future for everyone. Life is so varied and everyone’s experiences and stories should be shared. Listening to other people without judgement helps broaden your horizons.