Archbishop Angelo De Donatis, papal vicar for the Diocese of Rome, holds a copy of Pope Francis' exhortation, "Gaudete et Exsultate" ("Rejoice and Be Glad"), during a news conference on the exhortation at the Vatican April 9, 2018. The document is on the "call to holiness in today's world." (CNS/Paul Haring)
On April 9, 2018, Pope Francis released the papal exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate ("Rejoice and Be Glad"), a 98-page document focused on how Christians can live holy lives.
Signs of the Times: The pope acknowledges that living the Beatitudes means "going against the flow" of the world. Francis urges us to let the Lord's words "unsettle us, to challenge us and to demand a real change in the way we live."
Signs of the Times: As a spiritual guide to those seeking to be better Christians, Pope Francis recognizes that many are tempted to follow the wrong paths to holiness. These are not bad people following the path of sin, but good people getting lost in the woods without a map.
Before he was pope, before he was archbishop of Buenos Aires, Francis spent much of his Jesuit life as a spiritual guide to young Jesuits. He was not a great theologian, although he was well read in theology.
Grace on the Margins: Francis' new apostolic exhortation demonstrates that his limited understanding of women and the restrictions he places on women's vocations in the world and the church have serious spiritual ramifications.
Distinctly Catholic: Pope Francis' new apostolic exhortation is an encouraging effort to urge all Christians on. Yet some passages appear directed at specific audiences or events in the recent life of the church.
Christians cannot quest for holiness with prayer alone but must strive to serve those most in need, particularly migrants "who risk their lives to offer a future to their children," Pope Francis says in a new major teaching document.