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Pope says "Don't Proselytize"


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In latest interview, Pope Francis reveals top 10 secrets to happiness

By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Slowing down, being generous and fighting for peace are part of Pope Francis' secret recipe for happiness.

In an interview published in part in the Argentine weekly "Viva" July 27, the pope listed his Top 10 tips for bringing greater joy to one's life:

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."
 

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Pope Francis greets the crowd as he arrives to lead a general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican last month. (CNS/Paul Haring)
 

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.

Pope Francis also talked about the importance of helping immigrants, praising Sweden's generosity in opening its doors to so many people, while noting anti-immigration policies show the rest of Europe "is afraid."

He also fondly recalled the woman who helped his mother with the housework when he was growing up in Buenos Aires.

Concepcion Maria Minuto was a Sicilian immigrant, a widow and mother of two boys, who went three times a week to help the pope's mother do laundry, since in those days it was all done by hand.

He said this hard-working, dignified woman made a big impression on the 10-year-old future pope, as she would talk to him about World War II in Italy and how they farmed in Sicily.

"She was as clever as a fox, she had every penny accounted for, she wouldn't be cheated. She had many great qualities," he said.

Even though his family lost touch with her when they moved, the then-Jesuit Father Jorge Bergoglio later sought her out and visited her for the last 10 years of her life.

"A few days before she died, she took this small medal out of her pocket, gave it to me and said: 'I want you to have it!' So every night, when I take it off and kiss it, and every morning when I put it back on, this woman comes to my mind."

"She died happy, with a smile on her face and with the dignity of someone who worked. For that reason I am very sympathetic toward housecleaners and domestic workers, whose rights, all of them, should be recognized" and protected, he said. "They must never be exploited or mistreated."

Pope Francis' concern was underlined in his @Pontifex Twitter feed just a few days later, July 29, with the message: "May we be always more grateful for the help of domestic workers and caregivers; theirs is a precious service."

END
 

Copyright © 2014 Catholic News Service/USCCB. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed.
CNS · 3211 Fourth St NE · Washington DC 20017 · 202.541.3250

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Once again, the pope is relying on his own understanding and using human reasoning for his counsel, rather than the Word of God. I also think he's making the common mistake of confusing proselytizing with evangelizing. And what's wrong with persuasion? How else can you communicate and reason on the scriptures without persuading someone who is ignorant or disagrees with you. As JW's this is what we do. While respecting other people's opinions and beliefs and without being dogmatic or confrontational, we use the scriptures as the basis for our teaching and beliefs. It's not our goal to force or coerce people to make a conversion, but to help them make an informed decision after getting the all the facts and seeing the truth from the scriptures.

 

We are evangelizers not proselytizers. As Jesus foretold, "This good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a WITNESS ... not a conversion ... " In our efforts to make disciples, this is done of one's own free will, without any deception or hidden agenda on our part; purely altruistic and out of love for our neighbor. Who else can make that claim. Certainly not the Catholic Church!

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It's interesting his list of 10 things are all personal experience, opinion and observation. He's the pope (nope not gonna capitalize it) and a supposed religious leader, his secrets to happiness should be coming from his relationship with God. There isn't one positive scriptural quote and there is one negative comment against the main message of Christ himself, preach the Kingdom. What a phony!

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I like everyone's comments here.  :)

And we can even be more direct & firm about the pope(we are in unity here Sister Cheryl - no capital for this bad title)

or any part of the catholic church, christendom or any other religion.

I say this because our Anointed brothers have shown us by example

how we can feel about all these above.

Remember the Friday Afternoon talk at the RC where the speaker used this scripture and then spoke some

very firm words!

 

________________________________________________________________________________________

““Woe to you who are versed in the Law, because you took away the key of knowledge. You yourselves did not go in, and you hinder those going in!””(LK 11:52)

 

 

"Religious leaders(back in Jesus' day) took away the “key of  knowledge”

They were obligated to teach others, but instead put up road blocks

Today, this group is more evil, enslaves millions with lies

Babylon the Great are self-serving hypocrites"

_________________________________________________________________________________________

 

The FDS sound like Jesus when he was speaking to the hypocritical Pharisees!

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"The church grows by attraction""

Seriously??? It's not growing at all!!!!! Hahhahha

Supposedly, the Catholic Church had a growth of 14 million people in 2012.  However, they count more than just active adult parishoners as members.  Once Catholic, always Catholic, they believe.  Additionally, the practice the baptism of infants no doubt skews the numbers.

 

Yes, the new members converting to Catholicism do so because they are attracted to something... it's not Bible truth, however.  I've never heard anyone say "I want to be Catholic because they understand the scriptures and have the truth."  LOL.  More likely they are blind, don't care what the Bible really teaches, are attracted to the pomp and circumstance or are attracted to some nice Catholic girl or guy.

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False teachers and Hypocrites... Jesus own words.    As was mentioned they are not christian or they would be talking to people about how they can gain salvation.    Ignoring Jesus own words as was already commented on ...Go  Make disciples.   It just goes to show they are men pleasers.   How disgusting they they come under the guise of christianity while encouraging their church members to leave people alone. "Live and let live" is such a worldly philosophy along with the rest of their narrow-mindedness.   Sorry,  on a soap box here! :-)     Very soon these FALSE TEACHERS and all those who follow them will be receiving their judgement.     How I thank Jehovah that he saw something in me to GET ME OUT OF THAT FALSE and FILTH!      How could they proselytize ,  they don't know anything other than what they have been told by the priest, preachers.     How appropriate the talk at our International Convention.

How Babylon the Great Has "Shut Up the Kingdom"       Keeping people in Ignorance!    And some of these people are more than willingly to stay in ignorance.   Brothers , I must say it is so heartwarming to be with others who have come out of this disgusting , filthy, excuse for guiding people, Babylon the Great and to be a part of Jehovah's CLEAN organization.       Have a great day brothers and sisters and thank Jehovah each day for seeing Bible truths.

Edited by A fellow servant
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Yes, the new members converting to Catholicism do so because they are attracted to something... it's not Bible truth, however.  I've never heard anyone say "I want to be Catholic because they understand the scriptures and have the truth."  LOL.  More likely they are blind, don't care what the Bible really teaches, are attracted to the pomp and circumstance or are attracted to some nice Catholic girl or guy.

Agreed.  I think it is an attraction based on emotion, rather than reason.

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I just noticed his saying:

 

"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."

 

Hmm, that sound is interesting though..

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I just noticed his saying:

 

"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."

 

Hmm, that sound is interesting though..

Yes, please go ahead with "the call for peace"!!!!

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