Did you hear about Pope Francis’ new Apostolic Exhortation, Gaudete Et Exsultate? It’s pretty amazing, if I do say so myself. Not only is it the spiritual food that our world and Church needs today, it’s not too theological, and it’s short! (Don’t get me wrong: I loved Evangelii Gaudium and Laudato Si, but man… they could have used an editor!)
If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, this week’s Catholicism in Focus serves as a good guide to what an Apostolic Exhortation is, what this one is about, and most importantly, what it’s got to do with you!
In the meantime, here is a collection of my favorite quotes!
1. The Lord asks everything of us, and in return he offers us true life, the happiness for which we were created. He wants us to be saints and not to settle for a bland and mediocre existence.
6. “We are never completely ourselves unless we belong to a people. That is why no one is saved alone, as an isolated individual.”
22. “Not everything a saint says is completely faithful to the Gospel; not everything he or she does is authentic or perfect. What we need to contemplate is the totality of their life, their entire journey of growth in holiness.”
28. “Needless to say, anything done out of anxiety, pride or the need to impress others will not lead to holiness. We are challenged to show our commitment in such a way that everything we do has evangelical meaning and identifies us all the more with Jesus Christ.”
37.”Thanks be to God, throughout the history of the Church it has always been clear that a person’s perfection is measured not by the information or knowledge they possess, but by the depth of their charity.”
66. “Let us allow his words to unsettle us, to challenge us and to demand a real change in the way we live. Otherwise, holiness will remain no more than an empty word.”
94. “Accepting daily the path of the Gospel, even though it may cause us problems: that is holiness.”
102. “We often hear it said that, with respect to relativism and the flaws of our present world, the situation of migrants, for example, is a lesser issue. Some Catholics consider it a secondary issue compared to the “grave” bioethical questions. That a politician looking for votes might say such a thing is understandable, but not a Christian, for whom the only proper attitude is to stand in the shoes of those brothers and sisters of ours who risk their lives to offer a future to their children.”
116. “The saints do not waste energy complaining about the failings of others; they can hold their tongue before the faults of their brothers and sisters, and avoid the verbal violence that demeans and mistreats others.”
119. “Here I am not speaking only about stark situations of martyrdom, but about the daily humiliations of those who keep silent to save their families, who prefer to praise others rather than boast about themselves, or who choose the less welcome tasks, at times even choosing to bear an injustice so as to offer it to the Lord.”
125. “Hard times may come, when the cross casts its shadow, yet nothing can destroy the supernatural joy that ‘adapts and changes, but always endures, even as a flicker of light born of our personal certainty that, when everything is said and done, we are infinitely loved.'”
134. “Like the prophet Jonah, we are constantly tempted to flee to a safe haven. It can have many names: individualism, spiritualism, living in a little world, addiction, intransigence, the rejection of new ideas and approaches, dogmatism, nostalgia, pessimism, hiding behind rules and regulations. We can resist leaving behind a familiar and easy way of doing things. Yet the challenges involved can be like the storm, the whale, the worm that dried the gourd plant, or the wind and sun that burned Jonah’s head. For us, as for him, they can serve to bring us back to the God of tenderness, who invites us to set out ever anew on our journey.”
137. “Complacency is seductive; it tells us that there is no point in trying to change things, that there is nothing we can do, because this is the way things have always been and yet we always manage to survive.”
164. “Those who think they commit no grievous sins against God’s law can fall into a state of dull lethargy. Since they see nothing serious to reproach themselves with, they fail to realize that their spiritual life has gradually turned lukewarm. They end up weakened and corrupted.”
171. “The Lord speaks to us in a variety of ways, at work, through others and at every moment. Yet we simply cannot do without the silence of prolonged prayer, which enables us better to perceive God’s language, to interpret the real meaning of the inspirations we believe we have received, to calm our anxieties and to see the whole of our existence afresh in his own light. In this way, we allow the birth of a new synthesis that springs from a life inspired by the Spirit.”
So ecumenical…..a pastoral message touching all who seek to live by, and follow, the Gospel of Jesus, the Christ.
I found this exhortation to be a clarion call to the basics of the faith. To not let our human view of our gospel call to get in the way of what God asks of us. I appreciate the way Br. Casey lifts up key points, at the same time I appreciate the manner and style of how the Holy Father presents this exhortation of life in the Gospel that should lead us to “Rejoice and be Glad” in all things in life. Peace and all Good.