Pope's Quotes: Faith as a journey

Youths surround Pope Francis as he meets with students from Jesuit schools June 7 in Paul VI hall at the Vatican. (CNS photo/Max Rossi, Reuters)

My favorite quotes from Pope Francis:

On June 7, Pope Francis addressed students of Jesuit schools in Italy and Albania. In the general audience hall, looking out at 9,000 students, alumni, parents and teachers, Francis held up his prepared speech and said: I’m supposed to read this to you, but that could be “a tad boring.” Let me give you just the highlights and then take some questions from you, he said.

Accounts of the encounter report that the event's presenters seemed hesitant about the pope's request, saying that no questions had been prepared in advance. Francis waved them away and took 10 unscripted questions from students in the hall.

A teenage boy told the pope that he was trying hard to believe in God and be faithful, but that he often struggled with doubt. "What can you say to help me and others like me?" he asked the pope.

The life of faith is a journey, Francis answered.

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“Journeying is an art because if we're always in a hurry, we get tired and don't arrive at our journey's goal,” he said. “If we stop, we don't go forward and we also miss the goal. Journeying is precisely the art of looking toward the horizon, thinking where I want to go but also enduring the fatigue of the journey, which is sometimes difficult. … There are dark days, even days when we fail, even days when we fall … but always think of this: Don't be afraid of failures. Don't be afraid of falling. What matters in the art of journeying isn't not falling but not staying down. Get up right away and continue going forward. This is what's beautiful: This is working every day, this is journeying as humans. But also, it's bad walking alone: It's bad and boring. Walking in community, with friends, with those who love us, that helps us. It helps us to arrive precisely at that goal, that 'there where' we're supposed to arrive.”

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