Three Words that Define People by Pope Francis

I’ve been reading portions of a number of books on Pope Francis. The most recent one is Pope Francis: Conversations with Jorge Bergoglio: His Life in His Own Words. The following quote is from an interview before Cardinal Bergoglio was elected as Pope. I really like it.

“For me there are three words that define people and constitute a compendium of attitudes—incidentally, I don’t know whether I can claim to have them myself—and they are: permission, thanks, and forgiveness. The person who doesn’t think to ask permission barges through life, going ahead with his own agenda without bothering about other people, as if other people didn’t exist. In contrast, the person who asks for permission is more humble, more open, more conciliatory.

What can be said of  a person who never says ‘Thanks’ or who feels in his heart that he has nothing for which he should be grateful to anybody? There is that very eloquent Spanish saying, ‘Manners make the man.’ Gratitude is a flower that blossoms in noble souls. And, finally, there are people who think it is unnecessary to ask forgiveness for anything. They suffer the worst sin: the sin of pride. And let me say it again, only someone who has had to ask forgiveness and who has experienced forgiveness can forgive. For this reason, anyone who doesn’t ask forgiveness is lacking something in his day-to-day life. Either he was not given a chance to learn properly or he has been taught badly by life.” (180-81)

Pope Francis


About Louis

I am a 1997 graduate of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
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