VATICAN CITY – For Christians, memory involves remembering God's promises for the future; it's not about "nostalgia, which is a real spiritual pathology," Pope Francis said.
Memory, not nostalgia, helps Christians work for God's kingdom, pope says
Nostalgia "blocks creativity and makes us rigid and ideological people even in the social, political and ecclesial spheres," he said, while memory, which is "intrinsically linked to love and experience," is an essential dimension of human life.
The pope sent a video message Nov. 26 to Italy's national Festival of the Social Doctrine of the Church, a three-day online event focusing on the theme, "Memory of the Future."
The title, Pope Francis said, is a call to hope.
"For us Christians, the future has a name and this name is hope," he said. "Hope is the virtue of a heart that does not close in the dark, does not stop at the past, does not just get by in the present, but knows how to see tomorrow."
If one has been baptized into Christ, the pope said, then one must remember the sacrifice that Christ made for the salvation of all and live a life that prepares for his promised coming again and for the establishment of his kingdom.
"We are therefore called to live our lives in communion with God, that is: in the intimacy of prayer in the presence of the Lord; in love for the people we meet, which is in charity; and finally toward mother Earth, which indicates a process of transfiguration of the world," he said.
"We cannot live as believers in the world unless we manifest Christ's very life in us," Pope Francis said.
"This attitude helps us to overcome the temptation of utopia, of reducing the proclamation of the Gospel to a simple sociological horizon or to becoming involved in the 'marketing' of various economic theories or political factions," he said.
"With the strength and creativity of God's life in us," the pope said, Christians will fascinate others and draw them to the Gospel, as well as promote "projects of a new, inclusive economy and politics capable of love."