On Monday 9th April, Pope Francis published a new apostolic exhortation on holiness called Gaudete et Exsultate (Rejoice and Be Glad). This is a much-needed document which aims to help us be holy in the modern world. There are many juicy quotes from Pope Francis within this document, but below we’ve highlighted our top 10:
1. “The important thing is that each believer discern his or her own path, that they bring out the very best of themselves, the most personal gifts that God has placed in their hearts, rather than hopelessly trying to imitate something not meant for them.” (§11)
2. “We are frequently tempted to think that holiness is only for those who can withdraw from ordinary affairs to spend much time in prayer. That is not the case. We are all called to be holy by living our lives with love and by bearing witness in everything we do, wherever we find ourselves.” (§14)
3. “When you feel the temptation to dwell on your own weakness, raise your eyes to Christ crucified and say: ‘Lord, I am a poor sinner, but you can work the miracle of making me a little bit better’. In the Church, holy yet made up of sinners, you will find everything you need to grow towards holiness.” (§15)
4. “Do not be afraid of holiness. It will take away none of your energy, vitality or joy. On the contrary, you will become what the Father had in mind when he created you, and you will be faithful to your deepest self. To depend on God sets us free from every form of enslavement and leads us to recognize our great dignity.” (§32)
5.“Do not be afraid to set your sights higher, to allow yourself to be loved and liberated by God. Do not be afraid to let yourself be guided by the Holy Spirit. Holiness does not make you less human, since it is an encounter between your weakness and the power of God’s grace.” (§34)
6. “We will find it hard to feel and show any real concern for those in need, unless we are able to cultivate a certain simplicity of life, resisting the feverish demands of a consumer society, which leave us impoverished and unsatisfied, anxious to have it all now.” (§108)
7. “So let me ask you: Are there moments when you place yourself quietly in the Lord’s presence, when you calmly spend time with him, when you bask in his gaze? Do you let his fire inflame your heart? Unless you let him warm you more and more with his love and tenderness, you will not catch fire. How will you then be able to set the hearts of others on fire by your words and witness?” (§151)
8. “Think of your own history when you pray, and there you will find much mercy. This will also increase your awareness that the Lord is ever mindful of you; he never forgets you. So it makes sense to ask him to shed light on the smallest details of your life, for he sees them all.” (§153)
9. “The devil does not need to possess us. He poisons us with the venom of hatred, desolation, envy and vice. When we let down our guard, he takes advantage of it to destroy our lives, our families and our communities.” (§161)
10. “God asks everything of us, yet he also gives everything to us. He does not want to enter our lives to cripple or diminish them, but to bring them to fulfilment.” (§175)
Do you have a favourite quote from Gaudete et Exsultate? Let us know in the comments.
Gaudete Et Exsultate (“Rejoice and Be Glad”) is available now.