10 Quotes From Pope Francis to Help You Get Through Anything in Life
Pope Francis is many things to the Catholic Church; he is, at all times, a leader, a teacher, a father, a friend, a revolutionary, and a scholar. Above all else, however, the Pope is a philosopher, studying the Bible and his lifetime of experiences to find answers to the world's problems.
Since his election in 2013, Pope Francis has shared countless words of wisdom. Although most of them concern the Church and the world at large, many of his quotes are tremendously helpful in dealing with our everyday concerns. It doesn’t matter whether or not you’re Catholic—or whether you’re even religious—good advice is good advice.
If you need guidance at any point in your life, the following messages might just be what you need:
WHEN YOU’RE FEELING OVERWHELMED WITH RESPONSIBILITIES
It’s easy to place one of the world’s most influential people on a pedestal, and even easier so to assume that it takes a person of nearly superhuman talents to be a world leader. The Pope himself, however, reminds us that he is just as human as we are, with all the same flaws and mundane aspects of his life. If a normal person is able to all the duties of being Pope, then you have the capacity to do the same as well.
WHEN YOU’RE INSECURE ABOUT YOUR ABILITY
“If we start without confidence, we have already lost half the battle and we bury our talents.” (from Evangelli Gaudium: The Joy of the Gospel)
Pope Francis reminds us that our own fear of failure is what stops us from doing our best, like a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy. Inversely, approach each endeavor with a healthy amount of confidence makes us more likely to succeed. We just need to trust in ourselves, and the rest will follow.
WHEN YOU NEED SOME PERSPECTIVE
“How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure but it is news when the stock market loses two points?” (from Evangelli Gaudium: The Joy of the Gospel)
Too often are we tied up in our own personal fortunes that we forget the people around us. These words should as a reminder for us to step back every now and then to re-assess our values.
WHEN SOMEONE CRITICIZES YOU
“No one can grow if he does not accept his smallness.” (from The Name of God is Mercy)
Whenever we’re faced with our shortcomings, our first instinct is to defend ourselves. What we sometimes miss is the fact that criticism is given because people believe in your ability to improve yourself. Every critique is an opportunity to become a better version of yourself, so keep listening.
WHEN YOU FEEL LIKE HOLDING A GRUDGE
“If our hearts are closed, if our hearts are made of stone, the stones find their way into our hands and we are ready to throw them.” (from Encountering Truth: Meeting God in the Everyday)
Anger and bitterness can make us do things we normally wouldn’t consider. We burn bridges we eventually regret. The surest way we can peacefully coexist is to learn how to forgive, and how to let go of our pain.
WHEN YOU’RE STUCK IN A HEATED ARGUMENT
“This is important: to get to know people, listen, expand the circle of ideas. The world is crisscrossed by roads that come closer together and move apart, but the important thing is that they lead towards the Good.” (from a 2013 interview with La Repubblica)
We’ve all felt the temptation to dismiss people who vehemently disagree with us as idiots, but that just turns the argument into a waste of time. Every viewpoint comes from somewhere and trying to understand the other side helps us find common ground with each other. Instead of trying to “win” arguments, we should find ways to compromise and work toward a mutually beneficial solution.
WHEN YOU’VE FAILED AT SOMETHING IMPORTANT
“The most important thing in the life of every man and every woman is not that they should never fall along the way. The important thing is always to get back up, not to stay on the ground licking your wounds.” (from The Name of God is Mercy)
In this message of perseverance, Pope Francis reminds us not to dwell on our failures but to focus on recovering from them afterward. We shouldn’t let our losses keep us down; we need to get back on our feet and keep moving forward.
WHEN YOU’RE GRIPPED BY SADNESS
“Joy adapts and changes, but it always endures, even as a flicker of light born of our personal certainty that, when everything is said and done, we are infinitely loved.” (from Evangelli Gaudium: The Joy of the Gospel)
It might be difficult to notice during times of depression, but there’s always something to be happy about—even if you aren’t the religious sort. When you feel like you’re drowning, it sometimes helps to realize that there’s someone out there who cares about you. Sometimes, that’s all you need to stay afloat.
WHEN YOU’RE HAVING MARITAL PROBLEMS
“Living together is an art. It's a patient art, it's a beautiful art, it's fascinating.” (from the Vatican’s 2014 Valentine’s Day event, The Joy of Yes Forever)
Like all great works of art, a marriage comes with its struggles. Every flaw, when worked on by a patient, steady hand, not only becomes a part of the piece’s beauty, but it adds texture to it. Treat your relationship as a painting that you and your partner are constantly working on together, and you should be able to withstand anything.
WHEN YOU NEED TO BRING SOME ROMANCE BACK INTO YOUR LIFE
Grand gestures make for great stories, but it’s the tiny, everyday acts of love that keep a relationship going. There’s no better feeling than knowing that you can be completely comfortable with another human being, so make sure that your partner feels that way when they’re with you.
WHEN YOU’RE STRESSED BEYOND BELIEF
“For all the obstacles we see before us, gratitude and appreciation should prevail over concerns and complaints.” (from an address in 2015)
When you feel like you’re buried under six feet of stress, take some time to think about what it is about your projects for which you can be thankful. Regaining a bit of positive perspective should help lighten the emotional load.
WHEN YOU’RE DISSATISFIED WITH YOUR LIFE CHOICES
“Life is a journey, along different roads, different paths, which leave their mark on us.” (from an address in 2015)
While it might be easy to dwell on missed opportunities and where you might have ended up had you taken them, it can be uplifting to reflect on the choices you did make, and how they formed the story of your life thus far. Your life is remarkable; you just haven’t gotten used to seeing it that way, yet.
WHEN ANGER IS STARTING TO CLOUD YOUR JUDGMENT
“…Acts of destruction are never impersonal, abstract or merely material. They always have a face, a concrete story, names.” (from a 2015 address at the 9/11 Memorial Plaza)
There are times when anger can feel so intense, it becomes expressed in physical, verbal, or emotional violence. Avoid lashing out at these moments by remembering that whoever it is you’re unhappy with—be it your partner, your child, or even the cashier at the supermarket—is a person with thoughts and feelings of their own. Violence dehumanizes both the victim and the attacker, so make sure that it is never an option for dealing with your feelings.