Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Tuesday 01 December |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Charles de Foucauld
home iconChurch
line break icon

Young people, break your mirrors! Know how to laugh at yourselves! Pope Francis recommends

Le pape François rencontre les Youtubeurs du monde entier au 6e Congrès mondial du réseau éducatif Scholas Occurrentes au Saint-Siège ©HO / OSSERVATORE ROMANO / AFP

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 09/04/17

Gives some concrete advice for living in a culture too focused on "contemplating oneself"

Here’s some wisdom from Pope Francis today, given when he met with young people of the Shalom Community. The pope spoke off-the-cuff in his native Spanish, replying to questions from three representatives of the youth.

One of the things he spoke about was the culture of being focused on ourselves.

Here’s what he said:

[Answering one of the young people, referring to what she said:] You escaped from something that causes sadness, which is being centered on oneself, self-referentialism. A young person who closes in on himself, who lives only for himself, ends up being — and I hope you understand this word because it’s an Argentinean word — empachado (could be rendered as overdosed, or bloated, or stuffed to the point of feeling ill). That is, full of self-referentialism. There’s an image that comes to mind — this culture that it falls to us to live in, it’s very egotistical, [characterized] by looking at oneself. It has a very large dose of narcissism, of existing contemplating oneself, and therefore, ignoring others. This narcissism causes sadness because you live worried about putting your makeup on your soul every day, of appearing better than you are, of considering whether you are more beautiful than the others … it’s mirror sickness. Young people, break your mirrors! Don’t look in the mirror because the mirror plays tricks on you. Look outside yourself, look toward others; escape from this world, from this culture that we are living in — which you referred to — which is consumerist and narcissist. And if one day you want to look in the mirror, here’s some advice for you: Look in the mirror to laugh at yourself. Try it some day. Look, and begin to laugh at what you see there. It will refresh your soul. To know how to laugh at oneself gives joy, and saves us from the tendency of narcissism.

Pope Francis
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in eight languages: English, French, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful...
Andrea Bocelli
J-P Mauro
Andrea Bocelli to perform live Christmas conc...
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to t...
John Paul II
Philip Kosloski
St. John Paul II's guide to a fruitful Advent
Fr. Patrick Briscoe, OP
6 Questions to determine if your heart is har...
John Burger
British archaeologist confident he has found ...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.