Read an Excerpt From "Pope Francis' Little Book of Wisdom"

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Pope Francis' Little Book of Wisdom: The Essential Teachings
Compiled by Andrea Kirk Assaf

Part One: Hope & Joy

Daily contemplation of the Gospel helps us to have true hope. Keeping our gaze fixed on Jesus is the core of hope.

To protect creation, to protect every man and every woman, to look upon them with tenderness and love, is to open up a horizon of hope; it is to let a shaft of light break through the heavy clouds; it is to bring the warmth of hope!

This is Christian hope: that the future is in God's hands.

You have in your heart a promise of hope. You are bearers of hope. You, in fact, live in the present, but are looking at the future. You are the protagonists of the future, artisans of the future.

Freedom and hope go hand in hand… wherever this is no hope, there can be no freedom.

Do not allow yourselves to be robbed of hope, and carry one! On the contrary, sow hope.

Christ is the one who renews every wonderful thing of creation; He's the reason of our hope. And this hope does not delude because He is faithful. He can't renounce Himself. This is the virtue of Hope.

Hope is the most humble of the three theological virtues, for it hides itself in this life.

It's best to not confuse optimism with hope. Optimism is a psychological attitude toward life. Hops goes further.

Hope is having our hearts anchored to our loved one, our ancestors, to where the saints are, where Christ is, where God is.

Hope is not for one person alone, hope is something we do together! We must keep hope alive together, all of you, and all of us, who are so far away.

There are difficult moments in life, but with hope the soul goes forward and looks ahead to what awaits us.

Anyone exercising a role of leadership – allow me to say, anyone whom life has anointed as a leader – needs to have practical goals and to seek specific means to attain them. At the same time, there is always the risk of disappointment, resentment, and indifference, if our plans and goals do not materialize. Here I would appeal to the dynamic of hope that inspires us to keep pressing on, to employ all our energies and abilities on behalf of those for whom we work, accepting results, making it possible to strike out new paths, being generous even without apparent results, yet keeping hope alive, with the constancy and courage that comes from accepting a vocation as leader and guide.

We are all called to rekindle in our hearts an impulse of hope, that should result in concrete works of peace, reconciliation, and fraternity.

There is never a reason to lose hope. Jesus says: 'I am with you until the end of the world.'

Every period of history is marked by the presence of human weakness, self-absorption, complacency, and selfishness, to say nothing of the concupiscence which preys upon us all. These things are ever present under one guise or another; they are due to our human limits rather than particular situations. Let us not say, then, that things are harder today; they are simply different. But let us learn also from the saints who have gone before us, who confronted the difficulties of their own day. So I propose that we pause to rediscover some of the reasons which can help us to imitate them today.

For us Christians, wherever the Cross is, there is hope, always. If there is no hope, we are not Christina. That is why I like to say, do not allow yourselves to be robbed of hope. May we not be robbed of hope because this strength is a grace, a gift from God which carries us forward with our eyes fixed on Heaven.

Christian hope is not a ghost and it does not deceive. It is a theological virtue and therefore, ultimately, a gift from God that cannot be reduced to optimism, which is only human. God does not mislead hope; God cannot deny himself. God is all promise.

This is the joy which we experience daily, amid the little things of life, as a response to the loving invitation of God our Father: 'My child, treat yourself well, according to your means… Do not deprive yourself of the day's enjoyment (Sir 14:II, 14). What tender paternal love echoes in these words.

The Gospel, radiant with the glory of Christ's cross, constantly invites us to rejoice… Why should we not also enter into this great stream of joy?

No one can strip us of the dignity bestowed upon us by this boundless and unfailing love. With a tenderness which never disappoints, but is always capable of restoring our joy, He makes it possible for us to lift up our heads and to start anew.

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