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Don't be "spiritual tourists," Pope says

In his homily for daily Mass on Monday, Pope Francis warned the congregation at the chapel of the St. Martha Residence against a lack of spiritual direction in the Christian life, calling Christians who won’t submit to the Holy Spirit’s direction “existential tourists.”

Pope Francis yesterday said that Christians should be open to the Light of Christ, and not be spiritual tourists.
Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images

“They are wandering Christians: turning around and around, as if life was an existential tourism, without destination, without taking promises very seriously,” the Holy Father explained, reflecting on the day’s Gospel, about a public official’s daughter who was healed because the man believed in Jesus’ promise, as well as on the Old Testament reading from Isaiah. Saying that many Christians were spiritually “immobile,” the Pope said that “we have so many behind us that have a weak hope.”

“Yes, they believe that there will be heaven and everything will go well,” the Pope continued, stating that “It's OK that they believe it, but they do not seek it! They fulfill the commandments, the precepts: everything, everything … but they are immobile. The Lord cannot make leaven of them among his people, because they do not walk,” the Pontiff preached. Francis said that the Holy Spirit cannot even use these “immobile” people to leaven the world. “They are wandering Christians: turning around and around…without destination,” the Pope warned. Despite the fact that we have a tendency to wander without destination or to be spiritually stationary, Lent is a beautiful time to think if I am walking or if I am too stationery,” the Pope preached.

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