Short, sweet, simple: Francis & the Rule of Three

UPDATED Sept. 27: How amazing is that? The pope just got done speaking to catechists tonight about his use of threes!

He posed a question and then prepared to give some answers:

“First of all, I will talk about three things: one, two, three, like old-timer Jesuits used to do, right? One, two, three!” he smiled, as the audience laughed and clapped.

Prophetic? or does he read the CNSBlog!!??

Pope leads general audience in St. Peter's Square at Vatican

Pope Francis speaks during a general audience in St. Peter’s Square in April. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis likes to boil most of his talks down to three bullet points.

The most memorable was his first homily as pope in a Mass with the cardinals who elected him, where he summed up faith in Jesus as being three kinds of movement: journeying, building, professing.

In some cases, like that March 14 Mass, he was capturing themes evident in the day’s three readings, but in most cases the “Rule of Three” works for Pope Francis as a simple framework upon which to hang just a few key concepts, making them easier for his audience to remember.

Since the pope basically inundated us with a huge number of texts this weekend, I thought it might be a fun time-saver for readers if they had a summary of Pope Francis’ important points by pulling out his “Famous Threes” from Sunday in Sardinia and Saturday at the Vatican:

Pope embraces young woman during encounter with youth in Cagliari, Sardinia

Pope embraces young woman during encounter with youth in Cagliari, Sardinia. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Visit with young people in Cagliari:

  • Experiencing failure, frustration, delusion.
  • Trust in Jesus (“who approaches our failures, fragility and sins to transform them.”)
  • Go out and be fishers of men (because experiencing Christ, his love, his mercy “is the greatest most beautiful adventure” ever.)

Visit with scholars, “world of culture:”

  • Delusion, disorientation, disappointment in world today.
  • Resignation, pass the buck, ignore.
  • Looking for hope in higher education so that it helps people:
  • Discern reality “without fear, without escapism, without doomsday mentality.”
  • Build culture of closeness, encounter, renewal.
  • Learn how to live in solidarity.

Visit with poor and prisoners:

  • Look to Jesus (“who is our joy, strength, certainty…whose path is humility, solidarity, service.”)
  • Follow Jesus (through charity, collaboration, forgiveness.)
  • Sow hope through charity. (Be charitable with love, tenderness, humility.)
Pope prepares incense as he venerates statue during Mass at Sanctuary of Our Lady of Bonaria in Cagliari

Pope Francis with the statue of Our Lady of Bonaria during Mass at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Bonaria in Sardinia. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Homily at Sanctuary of Our Lady of Bonaria. Why I came:

  • To share and confirm you in the faith.
  • To venerate Our Lady with you.
  • To look upon Mary’s tender gaze that’s “maternal, compassionate, full of care.”

Sunday’s written address to workers (which he scrapped for an impromptu talk):

  • Put the person and work back on center stage. (Economic crisis is ethical, spiritual, human crisis).
  • The Gospel is hope. Look at reality head on, understand it, find solutions together.
  • Dignified work for everyone. Protect people, environment, future.

Saturday’s address to Catholic communicators:

  • Communication is critical (for evangelization,  knowledge, relationships).
  • Our role is dialogue (to appreciate people’s desires, doubts, hopes. Listen, talk, encourage).
  • Do we bring people to Christ? Do we walk with people? Warm their hearts?

And here’s a mystery three-point pitch he made to German Chancellor Merkel this May:

Pope Francis gestures as he speaks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel during private audience at Vatican

The pope makes a point with German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a private audience at the Vatican May 18. (CNS photo/Gregorio Borgia, pool via Reuters)

Do you have any favorite Francis fragments? A Bergoglio soundbite?

Keep your eye out for them and let us know!

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2 Responses to Short, sweet, simple: Francis & the Rule of Three

  1. Grace auma adongo says:

    Long live Papa Francisco

  2. = )
    Father, Son & Holy Spirit .+.+.+.

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