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Pope Francis: 15 habits for ‘A Good Life’


“Never for a moment think your struggle is pointless” (Rule 6). Pope Francis’ new book shares timeless spiritual wisdom to help readers of all ages overcome attachments to materialism, sloth and a passive life of being entertained.

“Never for a moment think your struggle is pointless” (Rule 6). Pope Francis’ new book shares timeless spiritual wisdom to help readers of all ages overcome attachments to materialism, sloth and a passive life of being entertained.


By Emily Woodham

Assistant Editor


A Good Life: 15 Essential Habits for Living with Hope and Joy by Pope Francis (Worthy Publish, 208 pp., $28.00) is a book that encourages all ages to live with hope and joy by following 15 rules or habits based on Christian virtues and principles.


The book begins with the 15 rules for a good life as a prologue. They include “Never for a moment think your struggle is pointless” (Rule 6) and “Always have the courage of truth” (Rule 13). Pope Francis expands upon the rules in the chapters that follow.


With a pastoral tone, the pope expresses his concerns for society. He encourages both young and old to leave behind attachments to materialism, sloth and a passive life of being entertained. With his admonishments for individuals to take personal responsibility for their choices, he emphasizes the need for gentleness and charity to take root in communities.


Each chapter can stand alone as a means for meditation and prayer, inviting the reader to consider the aspects of their lives that need change, renewal and perseverance. The pope frequently asks readers to reflect on their choices and know where each decision leads.


The book touches on social justice issues, but its primary purpose is to guide readers to a full Christian life. Some passages are directed at youth, but Pope Francis notes these timeless truths are for all ages.


When addressing problems caused by a passive, selfish life, his serious tone is softened by his desire to console people in their suffering.


Pope Francis references the COVID-19 pandemic throughout the book, originally written and published in Italy in 2021. At times, there is a clear intent to uplift people after the heartbreaking loss and setbacks due to the pandemic, but he also uses the pandemic to highlight the need for Christian compassion and courage.


The English translation by Oonagh Stransky was released in the United States on Feb. 20.


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