Pope Francis’s Book ‘A Good Life’ Published in English

| 03/7/2024

By: Fernanda Pierorazio

The Good Newsroom spoke with editor Beth Adams about the 15 essential habits for living with hope and joy that the Pope recommends

The cover of Pope Francis's book, "A Good Life."
The cover of Pope Francis's book, "A Good Life."

In “A Good Life,” the international best-selling book published in 2021 by Pope Francis, the pontiff shares 15 rules on how to live a happy and fulfilled life. An English translation of the book was published last month. 

These 15 rules allow readers to find hope and meaning in every circumstance. It encourages them to defend and protect the light that shines within them, to believe in the beautiful, to find meaning in struggles, to work for peace and to build something wherever they are in life. It also reminds them of the importance of gratitude, warns Christians against complacency, and encourages real, face-to-face connection as opposed to only having conversations online through screens. He points them toward the light and speaks with powerful vulnerability about times when Pope Francis himself has faced darkness, calling everyone to meaningful prayer.

Beth Adams, editor of the English edition, spoke with The Good Newsroom. “What I love about his words in general and this book in particular, is that he doesn’t sort of pretend that the world is easy or that life is easy for everyone. But he is unfailingly optimistic, despite that. What comes through, is that he wants us to turn to God, to get to find joy in the world around us, no matter what difficulties are facing. And it’s clear that that joy comes from knowing God, and I find that incredibly inspiring and helpful in my life,” she said about Pope Francis’ message through his book.

Despite life’s challenges, Pope Francis emphasizes that people were created by God for this moment, encouraging everyone to find joy and celebrate the wonder of existence.

“What comes through and what’s clear to me, having read the book multiple times, is that Pope Francis does want readers to find happiness and joy and contentment. So, the 15 mindsets that he shares encourage us to do that. So, he encouraged us to see God, to see people the way God sees us. The whole book is just full of practical wisdom,” Adams added.

In the book, Pope Francis also talks about topics, such as insecurity and anxiety, conditions that many people currently go through. “This is one of my favorite parts of the book, the pope, is very vulnerable in this section. Throughout the book, I would say it’s very clear that he believes in the value of a human being. One of the messages of the book is that every person is special and unique. So, I hope that readers are going to be reminded through these pages that God loves them exactly as they are and has plans for every one of us. And I hope that it can be encouraging to people who are struggling.”

Beth points out that even the Pope talks about a particular occasion when he felt vulnerable. “Even the Pope goes through hard times, and he talks about a dark time in his own life and how he needed to ask other people to pray for him and sort of the encouragement that he was given at that moment, which reminds me that, no one is immune to suffering. Even somebody like the pope struggles. And so, he has compassion for that, for everyone who is struggling. And that is clear. There’s always hope, which is what I hope readers will take from this, that he gets it. He knows what it’s like to struggle, but there is always hope.”

“So much of our lives are spent on screens these days. And in the book, he really encourages us to look up from the screen, to build real relationships, to listen to one another, to engage in the real world over the virtually. And he doesn’t say don’t use computers or don’t use phones. He acknowledges that not only are they necessary, but they’re good for careers and good uses for them that can help people. But throughout that whole section, he is still really encouraging us to focus on people in real life rather than screens. And I think that that’s because of… the epidemic of loneliness that we’re seeing throughout the world,” Adams said of what she thinks is the most important chapter for Pope Francis.

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