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Pope Francis Calls on Faithful to Embrace Faith, Hope, and Charity in New Teaching Series

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During his address in St. Peter's Square, Pope Francis introduced a new focus in his series of catechetical teachings, centering on the theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity. He highlighted these virtues as essential pillars that sustain a Christian lifestyle.

Photo credit: Alex Shute

Photo credit: Alex Shute

Highlights

By Catholic Online (California Network)
4/24/2024 (2 months ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Pope Francis, theological virtues, St. John Paul II, Christian living, virtues, Vatican

Pope Francis also commemorated St. John Paul II, whose life demonstrated the transformative power of these divine virtues. With the 10th anniversary of St. John Paul II†s canonization on the horizon this Saturday, Pope Francis called on the gathered faithful to "Remain faithful to his legacy. Promote life and resist the allure of the culture of death. Through his intercession, let us seek God's gift of peace, a cause passionately championed by him during his papacy."

Pope Francis described faith, hope, and charity as "fundamental attributes" of Christian life and a potent antidote to self-reliance. He articulated that these virtues do not belong to the solitary hero but are shared in the community of followers of Christ. "The Christian is never alone," he declared. "He acts not from personal effort alone but as a humble disciple walking in the footsteps of Jesus."

Reflecting on earlier discussions about the cardinal virtuesâ€"prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperanceâ€"Pope Francis pointed out that while these are crucial for a moral existence, it is the theological virtues that guide Christians toward a richer, more fulfilling life. These virtues are nurtured through an ongoing, vibrant relationship with God.

Pope Francis also clarified that the cardinal virtues are not obsolete under Christianity but are instead "enhanced, purified, and integrated" into it. He emphasized that a life grounded in theological virtues protects against vices, particularly pride, which can undermine a lifetime of good deeds.

In his call to the global community, Pope Francis posed a reflective question: "If a person has amassed a wealth of good acts and received widespread acclaim, yet sought only self-glorification, can he truly be considered virtuous?" He reassured the faithful that the Holy Spirit rejuvenates these virtues in those who open their hearts: "If we have lost confidence, God restores our faith; if we feel disheartened, God rekindles our hope; if our heart is hardened, God melts it with His love."

Concluding his message, Pope Francis reiterated his call for peace in troubled regions such as Ukraine, Myanmar, and between Israel and Palestine, solemnly reminding us that "War is always a defeat."

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