Don’t give up Faith just because it’s hard, says Pope

Don’t give up Faith just because it’s hard, says Pope
The Pope in Ireland


The closing Mass in Phoenix Park

Christians face enormous challenges in bearing witness to their Faith, but must never be “swayed or discouraged” by those who resist it, the Pope has said.

Speaking in Dublin’s Phoenix Park at the closing Mass of the World Meeting of Families, the Pope said that being a Christian isn’t “easy”, and the challenges they face today are no less difficult than those faced by the earliest Irish missionaries.

“I think of St Columbanus, who with his small band of companions brought the light of the Gospel to the lands of Europe in an age of darkness and cultural dissolution,” he said, explaining that their “extraordinary missionary success” was based on the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

“It was their daily witness of fidelity to Christ and to each other that won hearts yearning for a word of grace and helped give birth to the culture of Europe. That witness remains a perennial source of spiritual and missionary renewal for God’s holy and faithful people,” the Pontiff said.

Addressing a crowd of an estimated 300,000 people, Francis pointed out that there will always be people who resist Christ’s message, but like St Columbanus, Christians must endure against those “who ‘murmur’ at its ‘hard words’”.


“Yet like St Columbanus and his companions, who faced icy waters and stormy seas to follow Jesus, may we never be swayed or discouraged by the icy stare of indifference or the stormy winds of hostility,” the Pontiff said.

The Pope added, however, that even Christians can “find the teachings of Jesus hard”, especially in the struggles and difficulties of everyday life, but that this can be overcome with the strength of the Holy Spirit.

“How difficult it is always to forgive those who hurt us; how challenging always to welcome the migrant and the stranger; how painful joyfully to bear disappointment, rejection or betrayal; how inconvenient to protect the rights of the most vulnerable, the unborn or the elderly, who seem to impinge upon our own sense of freedom,” he said.

“Yet it is precisely at those times that the Lord asks us: ‘What about you, do you want to go away too?’ With the strength of the Spirit to ‘encourage’ us and with the Lord always on our side, we can answer: ‘We believe; we know you are the Holy One of God’.”