In Pope Francis’ second chapter, “Amid the Crisis of Communal Commitment”, we explore the need to become a community which resists those things that deprive us of life and instead embraces the love of God.

To sustain a lifestyle which excludes others, or to sustain enthusiasm for that selfish ideal, a globalization of indifference has developed. Almost without being aware of it, we end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people’s pain, and feeling a need to help them, as though all this were someone else’s responsibility and not our own. (54)

Questions for your personal prayer:

  1. Do you agree with Pope Francis’ diagnosis of our global world as driven by consumerism, greed, inequality and exclusion? If you were to characterize the ‘signs of the times’ what words would you use to describe the twenty-first-century world we live in?
  2. If you were to see your spiritual life not as something which brings personal comfort but which sends you out to encounter others, would there be anything you need to do differently?
  3. Pope Francis’ description of ‘a defeatism which turns us into querulous and disillusioned pessimists, “sourpusses” is profoundly evocative. What is it, do you think, about church life that can so easily turn us into pessimists?

This week, we will continue with the third chapter, “The Proclamation of the Gospel.” To enrich your study we offer a Lenten Lecture delivered by Fr. John Connelly in 2014 called “Faith and Culture and the Primacy of Grace.” 

A link to the lecture is available here:

Revisiting The Joy of the Gospel: Chapter 2 – “Amid the Crisis of Communal Commitment”