VATICAN CITY: Moments of rest and celebration were the focal point of Pope Francis’ general audience, during which he spoke out against a profit-centered mentality and encouraged families to live life at a more human pace.
“Celebration is a precious gift from God. It’s a precious gift God has made for the human family. Let’s not ruin it,” the Pope said on Wednesday.
He spoke to pilgrims gathered in the Vatican’s Paul VI audience hall for his second general audience after taking a break for the month of July.
As part of his continued series of catecheses on the family, Francis announced he would shift focus to the different rhythms of family life, such as celebration, work and prayer.
Beginning with celebration, the Pope noted that it is God’s own invention, as can be seen in the biblical account of creation when God himself rested from his work on the seventh day.
God teaches us the importance “of dedicating time to contemplating and enjoying the fruits of our labors, not only in our employment or profession, but through every action by which we as men and women cooperate in God’s creative work,” he said.
Francis emphasized that to celebrate doesn’t mean “to escape or be overcome by laziness,” but rather involves returning our gaze to the fruits of our labor with both gratitude and benevolence.
Celebration, he said, “is above all a loving and grateful look at work well done,” and means taking time to pause and be with friends and loved ones. He added that celebration is a time to watch our children grow, to look at the home we have built, and think: “how beautiful!”
The Pope observed that it is also possible to celebrate in times of difficulty, even if it means celebrating “with a lump in the throat.”