14 Youth Page

posted Oct 5, 2017, 10:26 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Oct 5, 2017, 10:27 AM ]

Pope calls youth to 'break the mirror' of narcissism

Pope Francis told youth to steer clear of modern society's narcissistic tendencies, which he referred to as a vain “illness.” He said they should instead concentrate on helping others and on developing a healthy ability to laugh at oneself.

He elaborated: “This culture that we live in, which is very selfish, (always) looking at yourself, has a very strong dose of narcissism, (of) contemplating oneself and ignoring others.” In turn, narcissism “produces sadness, because you live worried about 'dressing up' your soul everyday to appear better than you are, contemplating to see if you are more beautiful than others.”

This is called “the sickness of the mirror,” he said, and told young people to “break the mirror; don't look in the mirror, because the mirror deceives!” Instead, “look outside, look at others. And if, one day, you want to look at yourself in the mirror, I will give you a mirror: look in the mirror to laugh at yourself.” Doing this, he said, “will refresh your soul.” To know how to laugh at ourselves, he added, “gives us joy and saves us from the temptation of narcissism.”

Pope Francis spoke off-the-cuff in Spanish to youth who were members of the Catholic Shalom Community during an audience in the Vatican's Paul VI Hall. As usual, Pope Francis was careful to take notes, as he listened to various testimonies from the group, including from three youth who spoke about their experiences of loneliness, drugs, their search for God and their process of conversion.