Pope Francis’ “Puzzle Box Picture”

by | Oct 21, 2022 | Formation, Reflections | 1 comment

Years ago, I could easily lose track of time with a 500 or1000 piece jigsaw puzzle. The picture on the puzzle box inspired me to see how the pieces fit together.

Today the frustration of dry skin and clumsy fingers have taken much of the fun of connecting so many pieces together. (But I realize these Mindwalks are another form of working on life’s puzzles.)

This morning I read a reflection, “Either an Evangelizing Church or a Worldly Church”-

It provided me with the picture on the “Pope Francis puzzle box”?

Why the Cardinals elected the man we know as Pope Francis

Almost 10 years ago, in the meetings, before the conclave began, then Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio spoke of his vision of the challenge facing the Church,

 “When the Church does not go out of herself to evangelize, she becomes self-referential and then sick. […] When the Church is self-referential, without realizing it, she believes she has her own light. She ceases to be the mysterium lunae and this gives rise to the most serious evil of spiritual worldliness***.

When we make the Church into what we see in the mirror, instead of stretching ourselves to the “existential peripheries”, we plunge the Church into spiritual worldliness. We make the Church sick.

In these words, we have a picture of the program of Pope Francis

In this tenth year of his pontificate, we will now try to show how it is being realized, considering five main documents: three apostolic exhortations (Evangelii Gaudium, 2013; Amoris Laetitia, 2016; Gaudete et Exsultate, 2018) and two encyclicals (Laudato Si’, 2015; Fratelli Tutti, 2020).

Pope Francis –  a decade of visionary documents

At the center of Francis’ thought is the Church, a Church that evangelizes and finds her reason for being in evangelizing. “

This is in full harmony with the teaching of St. Paul VI, who once proclaimed: “Evangelizing, in fact, is the grace and vocation proper to the Church, her deepest identity. She exists to evangelize.”

The church exists for something bigger than my personal salvation.

“Evanglium Gaudium” highlights the joy and excitement of waking up to this new understanding of God. We are, individually and collectively, God’s beloved, brothers and sisters.

Laudato Si’’’ reminds us that everything is connected.

“Fratelli Tutti” teaches us that everyone is connected.”

Amoris Laetitia is now the Church’s “roadmap” on family issues. It focuses first on what is good in people’s lives, even in imperfect situations, because these positive elements are, precisely, signs of the grace of God already at work”

This is the law of gradualness, which St. John Paul II introduced in his 1981 apostolic exhortation, Familiaris Consortio.

Pope Francis often concludes with a chapter dedicated to spirituality and the call to conversion.

Pope Francis – call to holiness and recognition of the “saints next door”

Vatican II forcefully reminded us of “the universal call to holiness!”

Walking in its footsteps, PopeFrancis dedicated his apostolic exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate to the call to holiness in the contemporary world.

For Francis, the world is to be made better by everyone, together.

For a Christian, this responsibility is closely related to a profound spirituality, aimed at letting the experience of God permeate everyone’s outlook on life and personal conduct.

Francis sees the Church formed by all believers. It is thus connected to Vatican II and its revalorization of the role of the laity (cf. EG 102).

No wonder Francis decisively points to synodality as a renewed way of being Church.

He asks us to encounter each other… “Approaching, speaking, listening, looking at, coming to know and understand one another, finding common ground” (FT 198).

What picture do we see…

  • The splinter in another’s eyes?
  • Or a call to share the “joy of the Gospel?”

***Examples of spiritual worldliness

Originally posted on Vincentian Mindwalk


1 Comment

  1. Sister Jane Burger

    A great review, Fr. John!! Thank you so much! I appreciate, even more that Pope Francis has been and is our great shepherd…a holy man, an intelligent man! Praise God!

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