This New Year, reflect on a selection of writings and addresses from Pope Francis to help yourself start 2021 right. We compiled them below!
1. Build Bridges, Not Walls
“Every Christian always builds bridges of dialogue with others, not walls of resentment. A Christian should always seek the path of listening, the path of reconciliation, with humility and meekness, because that’s what the Son of God has taught us.” (Read: The Pope’s Christmas Teachings That We All Need to Remember)
– Santa Marta homily, January 23, 2015.
2. Let Yourself Be Moved by Suffering … and Then Do Something
“You know, brothers, that hypocrites do not know how to weep, they have forgotten how to weep, they do not ask for the gift of tears… When one performs good work, the desire arises almost instinctively in us to be esteemed and admired for this good action, to gain satisfaction from it. Jesus calls us to perform these gestures without ostentation, and to rely solely on the reward of the Father ‘who sees in secret’ (Matthew 6:4, 6, 18).”
– Ash Wednesday homily, February 18, 2015.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Recognize When You’ve Done Wrong
“We must learn the science and wisdom of accusing ourselves … I accuse myself, feel the pain caused by the wound, learn where it has come from, and then indict myself regarding it. Do not be afraid of remorse, for it is a sign of salvation.”
– Santa Marta homily, September 28, 2017.
4. Dream of Love
“You can’t have a family without dreams… Once a family loses the ability to dream, children do not grow, love does not grow, life shrivels up and dies. … Dreaming is very important. Especially dreaming in families. Do not lose this ability to dream!”
– Manila homily, January 16, 2015.
5. Avoid Attachment to Riches
“The attachment to riches is the beginning of all kinds of corruption, everywhere… There is a mystery in the possession of wealth. Riches have the ability to seduce and make us believe that we are in a paradise on Earth. That ‘paradise’ is a place without horizon.” (Read: 3 Times Lolo Kiko Proved He Was Serious About Fighting Corruption)
– Santa Marta homily, May 25, 2015.
6. Pray Daily for Your and Your Loved Ones’ Health
“The Church invites constant prayer for her own loved ones stricken with suffering. There must never be a lack of prayer for the sick. But rather, we must pray more, both personally and as a community… [I]n general, times of illness enable family bonds to grow stronger. I think about how important it is to teach children, starting from childhood, about solidarity in times of illness. An education that protects against sensitivity for human illness withers the heart. It allows young people to be ‘anesthetized’ against the suffering of others, incapable of facing suffering and of living the experience of limitation.
– General audience, June 10, 2015.
7. Be Strong in Faith So as to Overcome Division
“When we give of ourselves, we discover our true identity as children of God in the image of the Father and, like him, givers of life; we discover that we are brothers and sisters of Jesus, to whom we bear witness. This is what it means to evangelize; this is the new revolution – for our faith is always revolutionary – this is our deepest and most enduring cry.” (Read: A Look Into the Pope’s Relationship With World Leaders)
– Mass in Ecuador, July 7, 2015.
8. Work Hard for Your Dignity and That of Your Family
“Work — I repeat, in its many forms — is proper to the human person. It expresses the dignity of being created in the image of God. Thus, it is said that work is sacred… I rejoice greatly when I see governments go to great lengths to find jobs and try to see to it that everyone has work. Work is sacred, work gives dignity to a family. We have to pray that no family is left without work. Therefore, work too, like a celebration, is part of God’s creative plan.”
– General audience, August 19, 2015.
9. Don’t Let Yourself Be Robbed of Hope
“In the daily reality of life, there has to be room for dreaming. A young person incapable of dreaming is cut off, self-enclosed. Everyone sometimes dreams of things that are never going to happen. But dream them anyway, desire them, seek new horizons, be open to great things.”
– Mass in Havana, Cuba, September 20, 2015.
10. Remember That God Never Abandons Us
“Jesus has always shown us that God is not a severe and intolerant boss, but rather a father full of love, of tenderness, a father full of goodness. And therefore, we can and we should have an immense confidence in him.”
– Santa Marta homily, November 20, 2017.
11. Find Happiness by Creating Harmony
“When we pass judgment on a person we create exclusion, perhaps saying: ‘Not with this man, not with this woman, not with this one … no.’ In doing so, we remain in our little group and we are selective, and this is not Christian.” (Read: Good Christian Checklist: Have You Done Your Duties This Christmas?)
– Santa Marta homily, November 5, 2015.
12. Know That You Are Loved, So That You Can Give Love and Forgiveness
“We are all so nervous when something does not go according to plan; we scream and shout, we are impatient… The Lord, however, says ‘Calm down; yes, you’ve made a mistake but don’t worry, don’t be afraid. I forgive you.’”
– Santa Marta homily, December 10, 2015,