Searching for unity and hope in the age of divisiveness

In A Gift of Joy and Hope, Pope Francis explores how joy and hope can permeate our everyday lives and relationships and inform how we interact with the world around us. In a society of division, hope and unity joy get the final word. Here are 6 quotes from Pope Francis for those grappling with finding hope in today’s world.

1. Share hope for the future

“Today our world is experiencing a tragic famine of hope. How much pain, emptiness, and inconsolable grief there is! Let us become messengers of the comfort bestowed on us by the Spirit. Let us transmit hope, and the Lord will open new paths as we journey toward the future.”

2. Seek community

“Let us ask the Spirit for the gift of unity; we can only spread the spirit of fraternity if we live as brothers and sisters. We cannot ask others to be united if we ourselves take different paths. So let us pray for one another; let us take responsibility for each other.”

3. Stay true to your faith

“In moments of crisis, you need to be steadfast in your convictions of faith. It is the moment of faith, faithfulness to God, faithfulness to previously made decisions. It is also the moment of conversion because this faithfulness can inspire changes for the better. Such faith does not push us away from good. Moments of peace and moments of crisis: we Christians need to learn to manage both.”

4. Be merciful

“Hope is a gift of God. We must ask for it. It is placed deep within each human heart to shed light on this life, which is so often troubled and clouded over by a number of situations that bring sadness and pain. We need to nourish the roots of hope so that they can bear fruit. Wherever someone has made a mistake, the Father’s mercy is all the more present, awakening repentance, forgiveness, reconciliation, and peace.”

5. Speak the Gospel always

“Christians are very much aware that if the music of the Gospel ceases to resonate in our very being, we will lose the joy born of compassion, the tender love born of trust, the capacity for reconciliation that has its source in our knowledge that we have been forgiven and sent forth. If the music of the Gospel ceases to sound in our homes, our public squares, our workplaces, our political and financial life, then we will no longer hear the melodies that challenge us to defend the dignity of every man and woman, whatever his or her origin.”

6. Serve one another

“Being of service to one another and serving each other frees us from sadness! By so doing, the Lord will free us of ambition and rivalry, which undermine the unity of communion. He frees us from mistrust and sadness, the latter being dangerous because it casts us down. It is dangerous! Be careful! He frees us from fear, from inner emptiness, isolation, regret, and complaints. Even in our communities, there is no shortage of negative attitudes that make people self-referential, more concerned with defending themselves than giving of themselves. But Christ frees us from this existential grayness.”