After we have kindled the flame of hope in us, it has to be nourished, Pope Francis said.
“There can be times,” he said, “when it risks being extinguished by the worries, fears and pressures of daily life. A flame needs oxygen to keep burning, in order to grow into a great bonfire of hope.”
The pope gave two pieces of advice for keeping hope alive: to spend time daily in prayer and to make the decision to live in hope.
“When you feel surrounded by the clouds of fear, doubt, and anxiety and you no longer see the sun, take the path of prayer,” he said, recalling Benedict XVI’s words in the encyclical Spe Salvi: “For ‘when no one listens to me any more, God still listens to me.’”
“Let us take some time each day to rest in God, especially when we feel overwhelmed by our problems: ‘For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from him (Ps 62:5).’”
“St. Paul’s invitation to rejoice in hope,” the pope said, “calls for concrete choices in our everyday lives. I urge all of you to choose a style of life grounded in hope.”
He pointed to the example of social media, where “it always seems easier to share negative things than things that inspire hope.”
“So my concrete suggestion is this: Each day, try to share a word of hope with others. Try to sow seeds of hope in the lives of your friends and everyone around you,” he said.
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