During his catechesis on vices and virtues, Pope Francis focused on sadness, which he called an “affliction that does not allow man to feel joy for his own existence.” He said there are two types of sadness: that which leads to repentance and closeness to God and that which is born when hope is lost. The Pope invited the faithful to combat the latter.
SUMMARY OF POPE FRANCIS' CATECHESIS IN ENGLISH:
Dear brothers and sisters:
In our catechesis on the virtues and the vices, we now centre our attention on spiritual sadness. Saint Paul speaks of a “godly grief” and a “worldly grief” (2 Cor 7:10). The former prompts conversion, enabling us to cling to hope and, therefore, leads to joy. The latter stems from dashed hopes and disappointments, eroding the soul with discouragement and sadness. Unlike most vices that seek fleeting pleasures, sadness indulges itself by wallowing in sorrow, hindering spiritual growth. As an antidote to this kind of despondency, the Desert Fathers recommended embracing Christ’s resurrection; for the risen Jesus redeems all the happiness that has remained unfulfilled in our lives. May faith cast out fear and Christ’s resurrection remove sadness like the stone before his tomb.
I extend a warm welcome to the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially the groups from England, Denmark, Malta and the United States of America. Upon all of you, and upon your families, I invoke the joy and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ. God bless you!