by Fr Duncan McVicar on 08/09/2014 -
In a new interview, Pope Francis has given a 10-point plan for happiness: “The Romans have a saying, which can be taken as a point of reference,” the Pope said. “They say: Campa e lascia campà (Live and let live). That’s the first step to peace and happiness.” He then went on to list the other nine, the next being “giving oneself to others.” “If one gets tired,” he said, “one runs the risk of being egoistic, and stagnant water is the first to be corrupted.” Third, he propos-ed that one “move quietly” and cited the Argentine novel Don Segundo Sombra, – there is a very beautiful thing, a man who looks back on his life, the Pope says. In his youth, the protagonist was a rocky stream that ran over everything, but as he became older, he was a running river and in old age was “quietly peaceful.” He also repeated his concern that a people who doesn’t take care of its elderly “has no future.” Fourth, the Pope advocated playing with children and the importance of a healthy culture of leisure, reading and enjoying art. “Consumerism has led to the anxiety of losing” this culture, he said. Fifth, the Pope stressed the importance of sharing Sundays with family. Sixth, he said helping young people find employment is a key to happiness. He said it’s important to be creative with them because if they lack opportunities, “they fall into drugs.” He said the rate of suicide is “very high among young people without work.” Turning to the international situation, the Pope drew attention to the increasing number of conflicts and wars across the globe. “War destroys,” he said. “And we must cry out for peace. Peace sometimes gives the idea of stillness, but it is never stillness. It is always an active peace… Peace is the language we must speak.” The Holy Father also spoke about those fleeing the horrors of war and other calamities and how many countries are not generous in helping refugees. The Pope also spoke about environmental issues and how mankind continues to waste the bounty given by God. He also appeared to voice his opposition to extracting wealth from the earth at the expense of the environ-ment. This has been taken by many to imply fracking — a controversial method of extracting gas that opponents say risks contaminating water supplies. “When, for example, you want to make use of a mining method that extracts more than other methods, but it contaminates the water, it doesn’t matter,” he said, according to Vatican Radio’s report on the interview. “And so they go on contaminating nature. I think it’s a question that we are not facing: Humanity, in its indiscriminate use of and tyranny over nature, is it committing suicide?” In the interview, the Pope also reiterated the Church grows by attraction, not proselytizing. “The worst thing you can do is religious proselytizing, which paralyzes,” he said.
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