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Rome Reports

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Pope at General Audience: Poverty of spirit frees us from pride, allows us to ask for help

Pope Francis exchanged dozens of affectionate greetings with pilgrims gathered in Paul VI Hall. He even made one of them pope.

During his catechesis, he explained the first Beatitude, which praises the poor in spirit. The pope explained that the poverty of which the Gospel speaks is not merely a question of material wealth. Rather, he said it refers to the acceptance of one's personal limitations.

How many times have we been told the opposite. 'We need to be something in life, to be someone.' If I have to be 'someone,' I have to compete with others and live with an obsessive concern for my ego. If I don't accept being poor, I will hate everything that reminds me of my fragility.

The pope said poverty is lived out especially in personal relationships. He said this becomes particularly apparent in marriage, as couples often clash with their own, and each other's, limits. Asking forgiveness and forgiving may be difficult in some cases, but necessary nonetheless.

Being poor frees us from pride, from demanding our own self-sufficience. It gives us the right to ask for help, to ask forgiveness.It's so hard to ask forgiveness.

The pope then recommended making the effort to free oneself from one's ego in order to be capable of loving, forgiving, and living more fully.