Excerpts from Gaudete and Exsultate, the exhortation of Pope Francis

1 The Lord asks for everything; and what it offers is true life, the happiness for which we were created. He wants us let’s be holy and he doesn’t expect us to settle for a mediocre, watered-down, insubstantial existence.

6 – Do not think only of those who have already been beatified or canonized. The Holy Spirit spreads holiness everywhere in the faithful holy people of God.

10 – What I would like to recall with this Exhortation is above all the call to holiness that the Lord addresses to each one of us, this call that he also addresses to you: “You have become holy because I am holy”.

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14To be holy , it is not necessary to be a bishop, priest, nun or monk. Many times we are tempted to think that holiness is reserved only for those who have the possibility of taking some distance from ordinary occupations in order to devote a great deal of time to prayer. It is not so.

22 – Everything said a saint is not necessarily faithful to the Gospel , not everything he does is necessarily authentic and perfect. What must be considered is the whole of his life.

26 – It is not healthy to love silence and run away from the meeting with the other, to desire rest and avoid activity, to seek prayer and despise service.

§39 – One thing is a healthy and humble use of the raison to reflect on the theological and moral teaching of the Gospel; another is to pretend to reduce the teaching of Jesus to a cold and hard logic which seeks to dominate everything.

§43 – In the Church there rightly cohabit various ways of interpreting many aspects of Christian doctrine and life which, in their variety, “help to better explain the very rich treasure of the Word”. In reality “to those who dream of a monolithic doctrine defended by all without nuances, this may seem an imperfect dispersion”.

§44 – In reality, the doctrine, or better, our understanding and expression of it, “is not a closed system, deprived of dynamics capable of generating questions, doubts, interrogations”, and “the questions of our people, their anxieties, their struggles, their dreams, their struggles, their concerns, possess a hermeneutic value that we cannot ignore if we want take seriously the principle of incarnation . His questions help us to question ourselves, his questions question us.

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§49 – Those who espouse this Pelagian or semi-Pelagian mentality, although they speak of the grace of God in watered-down speeches, “ultimately trust only their own strengths and feel superior to others because they observe standards determined or because they are unwaveringly loyal to a certain catholic style .

§58 – Often, against the impulse of the Spirit, the life of the Church becomes a museum piece or becomes the property of a few . This happens when certain Christian groups place excessive importance on the fulfillment of certain norms, customs or styles.

§94Persecutions are not a reality of past because even today we suffer from it, whether in a bloody way, like so many contemporary martyrs, or in a more subtle way, through slander and lies.

§101 – The defense of the innocent who is not yet born, for example, must be unequivocal, firm and passionate, because this is at stake the dignity of human life, always sacred , and the love of each person regardless of development demands this. But the life of the poor who are already born is also sacred, of those who struggle in misery, abandonment, contempt, human trafficking, the hidden euthanasia of the sick and the elderly deprived of care, in new forms of slavery, and in all kinds of marginalization. “

Christianity is primarily made to be practiced. “

§109 – Christianity is mainly made to be practiced, and if it is an object of reflection, this is only valid when it helps us to embody the gospel in daily life . I recommend again to reread these great biblical texts frequently, to remember them, to pray using them, to try to make them flesh. They will do us good, they will make us really happy.

§135 – God is always something new, pushing us to relentlessly set out and move to go beyond what is known, to the peripheries and borders. He leads us where humanity is most hurt and where human beings, under the guise of superficiality and conformity, continue to search for the answer to the question of the meaning of life. God is not afraid! He is not scared ! He always goes beyond our patterns and is not afraid of the peripheries.

§138 – The Church does not need bureaucrats and civil servants so much as passionate missionaries, devoured by the enthusiasm of transmit real life . The saints surprise, disturb, because their lives invite us to emerge from quiet and anesthetic mediocrity.

§151 – Are there times when you put yourself in his presence in silence, when you stay with him without haste, and you allow yourself to be looked at by him? Do you let his fire ignite your heart? If you don’t allow him to fuel the warmth of his love and tenderness, you will have no fire, and so how can you ignite the hearts of others by your testimony and by your words? And if before the face of Christ you are unable to allow yourself to be healed and transformed, then enter the bowels of the Lord, enter into his wounds, for it is there that divine mercy has its seat.

§166 – How to know if a thing comes from the Holy Spirit or if it has its origin in the spirit of the world or in the spirit of the devil? The only way is discernment, which does not only require good reasoning skills or common sense. It is also a gift you have to ask for .

§173 – It is not a question of applying recipes or repeating the past, since the same solutions are not valid in all circumstances, and what will be useful in a certain context may not be so in another. The discernment of spirits frees us from the rigidity which is not appropriate before the eternal today of the Risen One. Only the Spirit knows how to penetrate the darkest recesses of reality and take into account all its nuances, so that, in a new light, emerges the novelty of the gospel .

Excerpts from Gaudete and Exsultate, the exhortation of Pope Francis