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‘No complaining’: That sign on the pope’s door is as powerful as an encyclical


Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 07/14/17

There's truly no one else on the planet who has to bear the weight of so many problems. Let's pray for him.

Every parent in the world can perfectly understand why Pope Francis — the spiritual father of the whole globe — has light-heartedly decorated his office door with a sign he was given the other day at a general audience.


the sign reads in big letters. It continues in smaller text:

Violators are under the influence of I’m a victim syndrome with a resulting decrease in sense of humor and in the capacity to solve problems. Punishment will be double if the violation is committed in the presence of children. In order to become the best “you,” you must concentrate on your own potential and not on your own limitations. Therefore: Stop complaining and get busy making your life better.

We get you, Pope Francis. Boy do we get you. If I can barely stand the complaining from just four children (well, and my husband joins in too; of course, so do I), what must it be like to have the weight of the whole world on your shoulders, day in and day out?

We don’t stop often enough to try to imagine what it’s like to be the spiritual leader of a church that’s catholic, universal. The sheer number of problems that must be presented to a pope is mind-boggling.

It reminds me of a story told about Pope John Paul II when he was greeted by a small boy who told him, “When I grow up I want to be the pope!”

The pontiff looked deep into the eyes of the child and remarked that he had no idea what he was asking.

Read more:
Pope: The affection of God’s people helps us be good priests

According to Vatican Insider, Pope Francis got his new office decoration from an author and psychologist, Salvo Noé.

On June 14, Noé had the opportunity to greet Francis for a few moments at the end of the general audience: He gave him a book, a bracelet and the sign, which the pope immediately showed his appreciation for, saying, “I will put it outside my office door where I receive people.”

The sign has been brought to the attention of all of us thanks to an elderly Italian priest who is a long time friend of the pope.

A smiling Pope Francis pointed it out to his friend as he was leaving the office after a recent audience. Delighted by the message, the priest snapped a picture and got the pope’s permission to share it.

Let us hope that all of us who see it stop and pray for the Successor of Peter, that the strength of God might hold him up and help him to bear the weight of the world he must carry each day.

St. Peter and all the holy popes of history, pray for our pope!

Read more:
Priests need real “friends” too, says pope

Pope Francis

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