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Pope Francis

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Pope Francis

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Pope to religious in Egypt: Consecrated persons must turn obstacles into opportunities


The pope entered the patriarchal seminary of Maadi in this vehicle so he could greet and bless hundreds of people and even drink some mate.

This was a special meeting dedicated to more than 1500 priests, seminarians, religious men and women. First of all, the pope wanted to give them a message of encouragement.

"I want to encourage you! Do not be afraid of the burdens of your daily service and the difficult circumstances some of you must endure. We venerate the Holy Cross, the instrument and sign of our salvation. When we flee the Cross, we flee the resurrection!"

Pope Francis then named some of the dangers consecrated people face on a daily basis. He spoke to them about seven temptations in particular. 

"But consecrated persons, though the Spirit’s anointing, are those who turn every obstacle into an opportunity, and not every difficulty into an excuse! The person who is always complaining is really someone who doesn’t want to work."

Along with this temptation to complain, Pope Francis also spoke about others who are dragged down by pessimism, envy, comparing oneself to others, being an individualist, and aimlessly walking without direction or one's identity.  He also mentioned one temptation that has an Egyptian name. 

"The temptation to become like Pharaoh – we are in Egypt! – that is to harden our hearts and close them off to the Lord and our brothers and sisters. Here the temptation is to think that we are better than others, and to lord it over them out of pride; to presume to be served rather than to serve."

The pope reminded them to always keep in mind their first encounter with Christ and asked them not to forget to pray for him.

After praying the Our Father, the meeting concluded with Pope Francis blessing all the pilgrims.