The Evangelii Gaudium, a 2013 apostolic exhortation Pope Francis released on “the primary mission of evangelization in the modern world,” is a very long document, yet, the themes it covers are powerful. There are many impactful quotes that come from his work. Pope Francis discusses topics of: mercy, marriage, the poor, and encountering Jesus. It is a very uplifting and inspiring work. There was one portion that stuck out to me and I believe relates to IMT very closely.

Pope Francis discusses joy in his Evangelii Gaudium. To be exact, he uses the work joy 109 times in his text. Joy is something that can often be lost as we grow older or as we become so inundated in our fast-paced and technology-filled society. I believe that we can get so caught up in our jobs, school, and other issues that we lose our sense of delight and happiness. Pope Francis stated:

“Sometimes we are tempted to find excuses and complain, acting as if we could only be happy if a thousand conditions were met. To some extent this is because our technological society has succeeded in multiplying occasion of pleasure, yet has found it very difficult to engender joy.”

I believe this speaks a very real truth in our world. We are becoming accustomed to instant-gratification and having multiple sources of stimulation simultaneously. I think that this is pulling us away from the things that can bring us true joy. Things like quality time with friends and family, quiet time to yourself, exercise, or even rest. These are experiences rather than products. I believe the words of Pope Francis can be applied to our daily lives.

I think Pope Francis’s stance on joy can also relate to IMT. Pope Francis is saying that we are getting used to finding excuses and complaining about situations. We want a number of things to go right for us, in order to reach a state of happiness. I think this relates to the Perception of Influence. Pope Francis is warning us to not be one who believes in the perception of influence. This person would be: emotional, surprised and reactive. They want things to happen before they take action. They will blame others, as opposed to taking on accountability. Instead of doing this, we should head Pope Francis’s warnings and act more like a Type A individual who does not have a perception of influence. They will be at peace, think of others, and be accountable.

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