Pope Francis thanks charitable workers for ‘Love in Action’ at WYD

Love in Action

On the third day of his visit to Portugal, Pope Francis delivered a heartfelt message of praise and encouragement to charitable outreach workers for their selfless dedication to ‘love in action.’

During the 37th World Youth Day (WYD) in Lisbon, the Pope commended representatives of aid and charitable centres, urging them to continue making life a gift of love and joy.

Addressing the gathering, Pope Francis emphasised the significance of “concrete love” and rejected the notion of “abstract love.”

Francis passionately remarked “Concrete love is that which gets its hands dirty, and each one of us can ask: is the love I feel for everyone here, what I feel for others, concrete or abstract? When I shake hands with a person in need, with a sick person, with a marginalised person, do I do it quickly so that they do not ‘infect’ me?”

He called on individuals to ask themselves if I am disgusted by poverty, and warned against living what he described as “distilled lives” which exist only in our imaginations and not in reality.

Be an “inspiration to others”

The Pope instead called for living in a way that “leaves a mark” and can be an “inspiration to others.”

Expressing gratitude to the charity workers for their invaluable contributions, Pope Francis encouraged them not to lose heart and to persevere in their mission. He offered a touch of humour, saying “And if you get discouraged, have a glass of water and keep going,” as he deviated from his prepared speech to connect with the audience on a personal level.

Love, the Pope emphasised, is a path to happiness in the afterlife and a source of joy on Earth. By embracing love and compassion, individuals can expand their hearts and find meaning in their lives.

Pope Francis urged young people to embrace this approach, stating “All of us can do it and everyone needs it, here and throughout the world.”

The Pope then appealed for people to get close to the most vulnerable.

“While we are all fragile and in need, the Gospel’s compassionate outlook leads us to see the needs of the most vulnerable. It likewise impels us to serve the poor – the excluded, the outcast, the discarded, the little ones, the defenceless – those most beloved of God, who made himself poor for” the Pope said.

The Pope called on the faithful to live their lives by offering a gift of love. “Loving is a gift for all! Please, carry on making life a gift of love and joy.”


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