In an interview recently published in part in the Argentine weekly “Viva”, the Pope listed his Top 10 secrets for bringing greater joy to one’s life:
While you read Pope Francis’s Top 10 Secrets to happiness and joy, count how many times he mentions Jesus, God or The Holy Spirit.
1. “Live and let live.” Everyone should be guided by this principle, he said, which has a similar expression in Rome with the saying, “Move forward and let others do the same.”
2. “Be giving of yourself to others.” People need to be open and generous toward others, he said, because “if you withdraw into yourself, you run the risk of becoming egocentric. And stagnant water becomes putrid.”
3. “Proceed calmly” in life. The pope, who used to teach high school literature, used an image from an Argentine novel by Ricardo Guiraldes, in which the protagonist — gaucho Don Segundo Sombra — looks back on how he lived his life.
“He says that in his youth he was a stream full of rocks that he carried with him; as an adult, a rushing river; and in old age, he was still moving, but slowly, like a pool” of water, the pope said. He said he likes this latter image of a pool of water — to have “the ability to move with kindness and humility, a calmness in life.”
4. “A healthy sense of leisure.” The pleasures of art, literature and playing together with children have been lost, he said.
“Consumerism has brought us anxiety” and stress, causing people to lose a “healthy culture of leisure.” Their time is “swallowed up” so people can’t share it with anyone.
Even though many parents work long hours, they must set aside time to play with their children; work schedules make it “complicated, but you must do it,” he said.
Families must also turn off the TV when they sit down to eat because, even though television is useful for keeping up with the news, having it on during mealtime “doesn’t let you communicate” with each other, the pope said.
5. Sundays should be holidays. Workers should have Sundays off because “Sunday is for family,” he said.
6. Find innovative ways to create dignified jobs for young people. “We need to be creative with young people. If they have no opportunities they will get into drugs” and be more vulnerable to suicide, he said.
“It’s not enough to give them food,” he said. “Dignity is given to you when you can bring food home” from one’s own labor.
7. Respect and take care of nature. Environmental degradation “is one of the biggest challenges we have,” he said. “I think a question that we’re not asking ourselves is: ‘Isn’t humanity committing suicide with this indiscriminate and tyrannical use of nature?'”
8. Stop being negative. “Needing to talk badly about others indicates low self-esteem. That means, ‘I feel so low that instead of picking myself up I have to cut others down,'” the pope said. “Letting go of negative things quickly is healthy.”
9. Don’t proselytize; respect others’ beliefs. “We can inspire others through witness so that one grows together in communicating. But the worst thing of all is religious proselytism, which paralyzes: ‘I am talking with you in order to persuade you,’ No. Each person dialogues, starting with his and her own identity. The church grows by attraction, not proselytizing,” the pope said.
10. Work for peace. “We are living in a time of many wars,” he said, and “the call for peace must be shouted. Peace sometimes gives the impression of being quiet, but it is never quiet, peace is always proactive” and dynamic.
How many times did The Vicar of Christ, as Pope Francis is seen in the Catholic faith, mention Jesus, God or The Holy Spirit? ZERO.
There are wise points in his top ten, such as #8, which may be somewhat of a challenge in writing this story. For full disclosure this reporter will reveal my personal beliefs, I am a non-denominational Christian who refers to myself as a Catholic lover, a Mormon lover and a Jehovah Witness lover. And it is not even a challenge to do that, as have a high opinion of all three of them as people, even though do have theological disagreements with all three of those faiths.
It is only fair to the reader of this news story, to know the above. Pope Francis’s interview has not gone unnoticed, with http://www.nowtheendbegins.com/blog/3850 being a highly critical assessment, based primarily on #9 Don’t proselytize; respect others’ beliefs, which indeed does seem to conflict with the teachings of the Bible and Christ.
For full disclosure again, the reader should know one of the motivations of this story being written. Many, maybe most, may find the following hard to believe, but it is true. I feel a personal connection to Pope Francis as a result of an answered prayer.
On February 8, 2013 I prayed for something audacious, to the point it was uncomfortable. Have experienced miraculous answers to prayers, before and after this. That day it seemed that Pope Benedict was not the right man for the job. Even though I am not a Catholic, he is seen by billions in the world as a symbol of the Christian faith.
He seemed to be a conformist, unlike Pope John Paul II who opposed the NAZIs and Soviets, at risk to his life. He seemed to buy into the fads of the times like “Global Warming” and was not very proactive, in my opinion. So the prayer was that a more appealing figure who was more non-conformist and independent thinking, would become Pope. It was already an uncomfortable prayer, then realized the only way the Pope changes is by death, so it was almost a prayer he would die, and the Bible says if you wish someone would die, it is having murderous thoughts. So then was extremely uncomfortable, and prayed that he would not die, that even though Popes do not resign (to best of my knowledge at that time), that it would happen another way.
Three days later on February 11, 2013, Pope Benedict announced his resignation in a speech in Latin before the cardinals, citing a “lack of strength of mind and body” due to his advanced age. He is the first pope to resign, on his own initiative, since Pope Celestine V in 1294, or over 700 years ago. When that happened, it just about knocked me on my tail.
It affected me for weeks.
In terms of being appealing to non-Christians and energetic, Pope Francis has fit the bill. In terms of being an independent thinking non-conformist, his Ten Secrets to Joy, do not indicate that is the case. It is shocking that Pope Francis as the “Vicar of Christ” would not mention him, or anything to do with the Bible, salvation or the Christian faith, except his #9, which says in effect, “Do not mention Christ.”
This is in direct conflict with the teachings of Christ and the Catholic Church. The Great Commission is one example: “And Jesus came and spoke unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Matthew 28
To those unfamiliar with the Bible, one of the chief things it tells people to do, is to proselytize.
There is a famous quote by Charles Peace, who was a career criminal in England in the 1800s. He committed numerous burglaries and was ultimately convicted and hanged for murdering a man. Awaiting hanging he told a clergyman who visited him in his cell:
“Sir, I do not share your faith. But if I did – if I believed what you say you believed – then although England were covered with broken glass from coast to coast, I would crawl the length and breadth of it on hand and knee and think the pain worthwhile, just to save a single soul from this eternal hell of which you speak.”
Every word in “The 10 Secrets” that Pope Francis put forth, could easily have been written by an Atheist, a Buddhist, or a Hindu, except the word church in #9 which could be replaced with Atheism or Buddhism or Hinduism.
In the position that Pope Francis has, he does not have the option to decide on his own to go against the clear teachings of Christ, his job is the opposite. He in effect disenfranchises the members of the Catholic Church by doing so.