The Pope discusses the Book of Ecclesiastes and “sin of sloth” in his General Audience

In his ongoing catechesis on the value of old age, Pope Francis addresses the possibility of feeling a sense of “listlessness born of a loss of passion for our vocation” and “fear that justice and peace are unattainable goals.”

In response to this temptation, the Pope said “Ecclesiastes rejects all such resignation and instead urges obedience to the commandments and trust in God’s saving plan.” He urges all elderly to continue to put their faith in God “to renew our lives and to change our world.”

SUMMRAY OF THE POPE’S CATECHESIS IN ENGLISH:

Dear brothers and sisters:

In our continuing catechesis on the meaning and value of old age in the light of God’s word, we now consider the Book of Ecclesiastes, with its proverbial refrain, “Vanity of vanities! All is vanity” (1:2).

With great realism, the elderly author speaks of how easy it is to grow disillusioned with life and to give up the struggle to make our world a better place.

That temptation, of course, is perennial; even today, great scientific and technical progress is often accompanied by a growing sense of disenchantment and resignation: we fear that justice and peace are unattainable goals.

The Christian spiritual tradition speaks of the sin of “sloth”, the listlessness born of a loss of passion for our vocation to resist evil and to strive to grow in holiness and fidelity to God’s word and his promises for our world.

Ecclesiastes rejects all such resignation and instead urges obedience to the commandments and trust in God’s saving plan. May his wisdom and experience be reflected in all those elderly persons who continue to put their faith in God’s word and its power to renew our lives and to change our world.

I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially those from Nigeria, Lebanon and the United States of America. In the joy of the Risen Christ, I invoke upon you and your families the loving mercy of God our Father. May the Lord bless you!

 

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