Vatican City, Dec 7, 2016 / 04:13 am
For Pope Francis, one of most needed virtues of modern time is hope, which is something he said must never be abandoned no matter how hard life gets, and which is often expressed in the simple act of a smile.
Referring to the "dramatic moment" of Israel's exile in the desert, Pope Francis said Dec. 7 that this time was especially hard for the people because they had lost everything, and felt "abandoned and without hope."
The desert is a difficult place to live, he said, but noted that it is precisely inside the desert that the people of Israel are able to walk in order to return "not only to their homeland, but to return to God, and to hope and smile again."
"When we are in darkness and difficulty the smile doesn't come, but there is the hope that teaches us to smile on that path to find God," Francis said, noting that one of the trademarks of those who break away from God is "the absence of the smile, the smile of the hope of finding God."