15 Amazing Quotes from Evangelii Gaudium


November 27, 2013 by mattfradd


Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, is beautiful. Simple, yet profound, and definitely worth your time. I read it to my wife tonight over a glass (or three) of wine.

You should do likewise (unless you don’t have a wife, in which case you should propose, marry, buy wine, download the letter and then read it. Come on; chop-chop!)

Ok. Here are 15 fantastic quotes from the letter which I’ve broken into seven categories. Enjoy:


1. “Let me say this once more: God never tires of forgiving us; we are the ones who tire of seeking his mercy.”

2. “I want to remind priests that the confessional must not be a torture chamber but rather an encounter with the Lord’s mercy which spurs us on to do our best. A small step, in the midst of great human limitations, can be more pleasing to God than a life which appears outwardly in order but moves through the day without confronting great difficulties.”

3. “The Eucharist . . .  is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak.”


4. “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 occasions of pleasure, yet has found it very difficult to engender joy’.”


5. “An evangelizer must never look like someone who has just come back from a funeral! Let us recover and deepen our enthusiasm, that ‘delightful and comforting joy of evangelizing, even when it is in tears that we must sow… And may the world of our time, which is searching, sometimes with anguish, sometimes with hope, be enabled to receive the good news not from evangelizers who are dejected, discouraged, impatient or anxious, but from ministers of the Gospel whose lives glow with fervour, who have first received the joy of Christ’.”

6. “Instead of seeming to impose new obligations, [Christians] should appear as people who wish to share their joy, who point to a horizon of beauty and who invite others to a delicious banquet. It is not by proselytizing that the Church grows, but ‘by attraction’.”

7. “The Church evangelizes and is herself evangelized through the beauty of the liturgy, which is both a celebration of the task of evangelization and the source of her renewed self-giving.”

The Poor

8. “I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security. . . . More than by fear of going astray, my hope is that we will be moved by the fear of remaining shut up within structures which give us a false sense of security, within rules which make us harsh judges, within habits which make us feel safe, while at our door peole are starving and Jesus does not tire of saying to us: ‘Give them something to eat’ (Mk 6:37).”

9. “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. The culture of prosperity deadens us; we are thrilled if the market offers us something new to purchase; and in the meantime all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle; they fail to move us.”

10. “I beg the Lord to grant us more politicians who are genuinely disturbed by the state of society, the people, the lives of the poor!”

Marriage and Family

11. “Marriage now tends to be viewed as a form of mere emotional satisfaction that can be constructed in any way or modified at will. But the indispensible contribution of marriage to society transcends the feelings and momentary needs of the couple. As the French bishops have taught, it is not born ‘of loving sentiment, ephemeral by definition, but from the depth of the obligation assumed by the spouses who accept to enter a total communion of life’.”

Women and the Priesthood

12. “The reservation of the priesthood to males, as a sign of Christ the Spouse who gives himself in the Eucharist, is not a question open to discussion, but it can prove especially divisive if sacramental power is too closely identified with power in general. It must be remembered that when we speak of sacramental power ‘we are in the realm of function, not that of dignity or holiness’.”

Encountering Jesus

13. “The primary reason for evangelizing is the love of Jesus which we have received, the experience of salvation which urges us to ever greater love of him. What kind of love would not feel the need to speak of the beloved, to point him out, to make him known? If we do not feel an intense desire to share this love, we need to pray insistently that he will once more touch our hearts. We need to implore his grace daily, asking him to open our cold hearts and shake up our lukewarm and superficial existence.”

14. “It is impossible to persevere in a fervent evangelization unless we are convinced from personal experience that it is not the same thing to have known Jesus as not to have known him, not the same thing to walk with him as to walk blindly, not the same thing to hear his word as not to know it, and not the same thing to contemplate him, to worship him, to find our peace in him, as not to.”

15. “I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them; I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day. No one should think that this invitation is not meant for him or her, since ‘no one is excluded from the joy brought by the Lord’.”

Download Evangelii Gaudium here:


Oh, and you see those buttons down there where it says “share this:” Go ahead, no one’s looking; click ’em.

16 thoughts on “15 Amazing Quotes from Evangelii Gaudium

  1. mithriluna says:

    This is great Matt! I’ve been so busy lately I didn’t even know he released this apostolic exhortation. Thank you.

  2. Clement says:

    This is a Pope that I loved and admired ! He will revive the Catholic church to be a people’s church and also truly Christ centred. He is very outspoken and courageous in the defence of our fellow Christians who’re murdered one every hour world wide, especially in the Middle East, Egypt, Pakistan, Africa and most Muslim countries. Our God will bless him and protect him.

  3. Thanks Matt. I have downloaded the PDF file. I will read it. I do like your 15 quotes. What a wonderful Pope to lead our Church in this dark age.

  4. Abandoned says:

    “The Eucharist . . . is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak.”

    I wish it were powerful. All I get is a Jesus silent and not talking to me. I get the King of the Universe, who should be appearing in glory and awesomeness, coming dressed up as bread and wine without any willingness to talk. Imagine if the most powerful man on earth came visiting in tattered jeans and a dirty T-shirt, and not engaging in any conversation. I’d feel like “he doesn’t care” and that’s how I feel. Prayer to me is a monologue, and not a conversation since He doesn’t want to talk to me.

    I wish I had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. All I have is a corporate one. I am part of the body of Christ, but not in his heart. I am afraid I will die and Jesus will say “I do not know you, go away you evildoer.”

    • Chris Byrum says:

      @Abandoned, I’m ignorant and I have no wisdom, but I have suffered abandonment, loneliness, and feeling far from what seemed to me to be a silent God. I found the heart of my Savior through scripture, through prayer in the midst of suffering, and through other people and relationships. I’m sure there are priests and mature brothers/sisters in your area that could offer you counsel, wisdom and comfort. That being said, if you don’t feel like you have people to talk to, and you ever simply would like someone to talk to and pray with, you can ask Matt for my email and I would gladly give him permission to give it to you if he will do that. I don’t have much to offer other than someone who would be happy to try and walk along with you, but I have found that to be a great treasure in my own life.

      With love,

    • Matsutoya says:

      You are hurting too much inside. What is the source of your pain? I have felt abandoned a lot in my life as well, but I found it was coming from either my parents or a total misjudgment. . .

      • Abandoned says:

        Perhaps if Jesus would actually talk to me and give me some semblance that I have a personal relationship with him. I listen to Catholic radio and I hear testimonies where people have personal encounters with Jesus Christ. I wish He would talk to me, let me know I’m on the right track, or if I’m not, tell me what to change.

        Prayer is a monologue to me. A one-way street. A message goes to God, none to me.

      • Chris Byrum says:

        @Abandoned, I don’t know if this will be helpful for you or not, but here are some thoughts that have been helpful for me. When I first became a Christian I remember being confused at reading the cry of Jesus on the cross “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”. I have since come to see his cry as demonstrating how deeply our Savior joined himself to us in our suffering, how fully he gave of himself to take on our sins, and how profound His love for us is. Pope John Paul II spoke about this far more eloquently than I ever could:

        You are not alone in this experience of abandonment and feeling cut off from God. Mother Teresa experienced this feeling for most of her life of service in Calcutta, and still though she lacked the feeling of His presence and anguished in that, she pressed on in love and faithfulness in her work. Perhaps you are thinking that this still doesn’t seem comforting at all. Many of us, including myself, have experienced that feeling of abandonment when God seems silent and far away and we are suffering. I urge you to read Psalm 22. It was the first line of this Psalm that Christ spoke in his anguish on the cross, but read on to take in the rest of Psalm 22. To quote from Pope John Paul II:

        “..the conclusion [Psalm 22] becomes a hymn of liberation and an announcement of salvation granted to all by God. The experience of abandonment is therefore a passing pain…from this thought his soul took strength and joy in the knowledge that at the very height of the drama of the cross, the hour of victory was at hand.”

        You will one day see the Lord in all of his glory. I understand that you feel that this is what you need now, and what you get instead is bread and wine. I would urge you to consider that when you walk faithfully in the midst of suffering you are offering up a beautiful sacrifice to God. When you then participate in the Eucharist and praise the Lord you are joining your sacrifices to his sacrifice not metaphorically but in reality. In his incarnation, in his death and resurrection, in our baptism, and in the Holy Eucharist Jesus Christ recreates us and unites us to himself. As St. Peter said in his second epistle, “he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature”.

        I take great comfort in that promise even when the feeling of God’s presence isn’t there. I urge you read scripture and soak your spirit in the words of the Lord, his prophets, and the apostles. Keep participating in the sacraments and remind yourself of what is happening in those moments despite what you may feel. Keep praying even though it feels like a monologue, and I cannot strongly enough express the hope that you will also seek his face in those around you. I have found that many times God has offered me tangible grace and love through human interactions, both in service to others, and through others giving me support and comfort when I was in need.

        God Bless you. You have been on my mind since you wrote your post and I am praying for you. I pray that you will know God’s love throughout your mind, body, and spirit, and that you will know his comfort and peace.

        With love,

      • Abandoned says:

        “demonstrating how deeply our Savior joined himself to us in our suffering”

        Then why won’t he talk to me? I hate the silent treatment.

        “Mother Teresa experienced this feeling for most of her life of service in Calcutta”

        I can’t handle 50 years of this!!!

        We might as well be dead. If I’m continuing to be out of work because God does not love me anymore and won’t tell me what I’m supposed to do to lift the curse he imposed on me, my savings will run out and me and my family will be on the street begging for pennies from passer-bys.

        “You will one day see the Lord in all of his glory. ”

        Not unless I make it to heaven. This assumes God actually wants me. God doesn’t want to talk to me.
        God doesn’t want me to find a job. God just wants to punish and hurt me.

        “you are offering up a beautiful sacrifice to God. ”

        That’s nice. It is not enough to lift the curse.

        “I cannot strongly enough express the hope that you will also seek his face in those around you.”

        No matter how much I seek, I can’t find him. I go to a CINO church. I can’t find anyone who is a mystic and has a connection with God so I can get a personal relationship with God.

        Unless I find a mystic, I’ll never be able to have a personal relationship with God, because he doesn’t want me. He won’t talk to me and tell me how I’m supposed to get this curse lifted.

        I am in desperate need of a mystic, someone who has an actual CONVERSATION with God.

      • Abandoned says:

        And I worry about being condemned under 1 tim 5:8. If I cannot find a job, or find a LEGITIMATE way to earn money, I won’t be able to provide for my family. I’m doomed.

    • Olivia Gonzalez says:

      Abandoned. I just read all your sharing. And I am trying to understand yourself and your situation. I do appreciate your openness & honesty. This is important so that you expose and risk yourself to have people come forward and help you in their own various ways according to their own knowledge, background, experience, & relationship with God, etc.

      I come to you not as your adviser but more as a concerned supporter, You know, Jesus said to love your neighbor. So I love you as my neighbor, as simple as that. What I saw in your sharing is a lot of doubts, fears, questioning God, complains, I am not saying this is bad. Who knows this maybe God’s way of leading you to Him. God uses everything & everybody, will even allow evil for good. The bible indicates this. Having listened to you through your sharing, what I find important for you right now is:1 prayer,2 patience & 3 spending time with Scriptures.Prayer puts your heart into God’s heart, an inner intimate heart to heart conversation with your Father, your Daddy, Who loves you so more than you will ever know. I say this through my own experience. These are not just beautiful words from my mouth. There is an appropriate Prayer which you may like to google, also my favorite, I hope you will like & memorize. Prrayer of St Francis. It starts like this…

      Lord make me an instrument of your peace
      Where there is hatred, let me sow love,
      Where there is injury, pardon,
      Where there is doubt, faith
      Where there is darkness, light
      And where there is sadness, joy…..

      I pray this almost daily because it helps me as I face my fellowmen & the world. It applies to all people regardless of faith & beliefs.

      The second suggestion is Patience – I was told once in a retreat many years ago that God always answers prayers. He says YES, NO and WAIT. Your answer now is WAIT.Be patient in your prayer. Talk and listen to Him. You said He does not listen to you, If you think so, change your way of listening ro Him. Remember He is your God and no other. You are not His God. Sometimes you act as if you are. God has a plan made for each one of us. (Jeremiah 9:11) Read this. And again, believe, Only when you believe will he you. And pray that His Words will come alive in your heart and in your life. What will it take for you to surrender, go down on your knees, in all humility and say “Here I am Lord. heal my unbelief.” And believe. My dear Abandoned, I realize this is all easier said than. But you have to start somewhere,Every believer did. I did.About 15 yrs ago. And you know what? It is well worth it! I now believe there is heaven on earth.You are on your way to your journey only you can traverse. But you are not alone. You will never be alone. As Jesus said,”I will be with you always until the end of time.” You will have a community of supporters like me, Like the ones you read. And many others along the way. My #3 suggestion is spending time reading slowly the Scriptures (or watch EWTN). Never lose hope my friend. It was only through my faith in God inculcated in me by my mother that I was able to rise above and transcend all my past challenges and difficult periods in my life. At the present time, I am facing the most challenging and most difficult of them all. I do not have time to complain because God has given me the grace or the gift of joy. The joy in my life surpasses all my suffering right now.

      May you have peace, hope & joy in your journey,

      Rest assured of my prayers. I do solemnly believe my earnest prayers change my life,
      my world, and those around me and that includes you.


      If you desire to contact me, you may ask Matt.

  5. […] 15 Amazing Quotes from Evangelii Gaudium. […]

  6. I enjoyed reading it very much. A favorite quote of mine was “Proclaiming Christ means showing that to believe in and to follow him is not only something right and true, but also something beautiful, capable of filling life with new splendour and profound joy, even in the midst of difficulties.”

  7. […] – Fr. Z Let’s Listen to Pope Francis on Economics – Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, OTS 15 Amazing Quotes from Evangelii Gaudium – Matt Fradd 21 Important Quotes from Evangelii Gaudium – Brantly Millegan, Aleteia Did […]

  8. […] Ok. Here are 15 fantastic quotes from the letter which I’ve broken into seven categories. Enjoy:…more […]

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