I’ve got ten excellent quotes for you today . . . and I’ve not even finished reading the second chapter! Evangelii Gaudium is a veritable gold mine of Catholic teaching and thought. Thank you, Pope Francis.
Here we go:
1. Christ, who told us to forgive one another “seventy times seven” (Mt 18:22) has given us his example: he has forgiven us seventy times seven.
2. I can say that the most beautiful and natural expressions of joy which I have seen in my life were in poor people who had little to hold on to.
3. God asks everything of us, yet at the same time he offers everything to us.
4. In fidelity to the example of the Master, it is vitally important for the Church today to go forth and preach the Gospel to all: to all places, on all occasions, without hesitation, reluctance or fear.
5. The biggest problem is when the message we preach then seems identified with those secondary aspects which, important as they are, do not in and of themselves convey the heart of Christ’s message. We need to be realistic and not assume that our audience understands the full background to what we are saying, or is capable of relating what we say to the very heart of the Gospel which gives it meaning, beauty and attractiveness.
6. Saint Thomas Aquinas taught that the Church’s moral teaching has its own “hierarchy”, in the virtues and in the acts which proceed from them. What counts above all else is “faith working through love” (Gal 5:6).
7. If something should rightly disturb us and trouble our consciences, it is the fact that so many of our brothers and sisters are living without the strength, light and consolation born of friendship with Jesus Christ, without a community of faith to support them, without meaning and a goal in life.
8. Can we continue to stand by when food is thrown away while people are starving?
9. Almost without being aware of it, we end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people’s pain, and feeling a need to help them, as though all this were someone else’s responsibility and not our own.
10. We have created new idols. The worship of the ancient golden calf (cf. Ex 32:1-35) has returned in a new and ruthless guise in the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose.
Aaaaand there you have it. These few quotes are enough to give anyone plenty of intellectual Catholic meat to chew on . . . at least for today. Happy contemplating!