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Discouraged, burdened, wounded? Here are 3 inspiring quotes from the start of the Pope’s trip

Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 09/13/21

Pope Francis finds the spirit of the Gospel in a Slovakian proverb.

Pope Francis closed the International Eucharistic Congress in Budapest on Sunday, and then left Sunday afternoon for Slovakia. He will be there until Wednesday. Here are three inspiring quotes from the start of his trip so far.

~

Temptation to discouragement never comes from God, never. It comes from the enemy, and can be fueled by any number of situations …

~ To bishops of Hungary.

The bread spoken of in the Gospel is always bread that is broken. This sends a powerful message for our life as a community: it reminds us that true wealth does not consist simply in multiplying the things we have, but in sharing them fairly with those around us.

The broken bread speaks to us of frailty; it demands that we take especial care of the vulnerable in our midst. No one should be stigmatized or suffer discrimination. Our Christian way of looking at others refuses to see them as a burden or a problem, but rather as brothers and sisters to be helped and protected.

~ To government and civil leaders in Slovakia

Wounds, however, can always turn into passages, openings that, in imitating the wounds of the Lord, allow God’s mercy to emerge. That grace changes our lives and makes us artisans of peace and  reconciliation.

You have a beautiful proverb: “If someone throws a stone at you, give him bread in  return.” How truly evangelical this is! It is Jesus’ own invitation to break the vicious and destructive cycle of violence by turning the other cheek to those who persecute us, by overcoming evil with good  (cf. Rom 12:21).

I am always struck by an incident in the history of Cardinal Korec. He was a Jesuit  Cardinal, persecuted by the regime, imprisoned, and sentenced to forced labour until he fell ill. When  he came to Rome for the Jubilee of the Year 2000, he went to the catacombs and lit a candle for his persecutors, imploring mercy for them. This is the Gospel! It grows in life and in history through humble and patient love. 

~ To bishops, priests, religious, catechists and seminarians of Slovakia.

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