Pope tasks youths … Says ‘mirror’ deceives

Pope Francis yesterday implored a youthful audience to turn away from the ‘illness’ of narcissism that produces only sadness. He encouraged young people to laugh at themselves and look outward to the needs of others.
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,’ the Pope said recently according to Catholic News Agency.
Francis called out the ‘the sickness of the mirror,’ which sees many drawn into a prolonged self-reflection that ‘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.’
He implored his audience: ‘Break the mirror; don’t look in the mirror, because the mirror deceives!’
The pontiff was addressing members of the Catholic Shalom Community during an audience at the Vatican. Young individuals from the community, which was on a pilgrimage to Rome, also got up to speak about their histories of drugs, loneliness and their experiences of conversion – as the Pope took notes.
Rather than dwelling on self-obsession, the Pope invited people to take themselves less seriously and look outward more often. ‘Look outside, look at others,’ he said.
‘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.’
Such self-deprecation ‘will refresh your soul’, he said; it ‘gives us joy and saves us from the temptation of narcissism’.
He applauded the testimonies of those who shared, saying that their stories demonstrated the power of rejecting ‘self-referentiality’ and instead ‘going out of yourself’ to encounter and share one’s life with others, which leads to joy.

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