Pope Francis: We Need to Keep Sunday to be Happy
The Pope's 10 tips for happiness
CNN | August 5, 2014
Just when I thought my amazement with Pope Francis had run its course, he did it again. In a long interview with an old friend who was writing for an Argentine magazine, the pope put forward a 10-point plan for happiness. From where I sit, it seems, well, pretty good if not perfect.
1. Live and let live. It's an echo of the Pope's earlier remark on gays: "Who am I to judge?"
2. Give yourself to others. That is, give your money and your time to those in need. Don't just sit around like stagnant water. Give all you have and then some.
3. Move quietly in the world. It's very like the Native American suggestion that one should walk "in balance and beauty" on the ground, making the least disturbance.
4. Enjoy leisure. The Pope says that consumerism has brought with it unbearable anxieties.
5. Sunday is for families. This is actually one of the Ten Commandments. Honor the Sabbath. (Exodus 20:8) Once a week, give a whole day to meditation, worship, family life, tending the needs of the spirit. This is healthy living.
6. Find jobs for young people. Who would have guessed that job-creation would be on list for happiness? But the Pope is right.
7. Respect nature.
8. Let go of negative things quickly. The Pope tells us not to complain about people who annoy or frustrate us, to let go of things as rapidly as we can.
9. Don't preach your religion too forcefully. Proselytism brings on paralysis, the Pope tells us.
10. Work for peace. The Pope has preached this message from the beginning of his time as pontiff.
Pope Francis has, in this unlikely venue, given us his own Sermon on the Mount, his Ten Commandments for happiness and inner peace. One can only be grateful for his wisdom, which is rooted in a sincere faith, in hard-earned wisdom, and a very practical knowledge of human needs and potentials.