While donation campaigns and charitable contributions for the needy are important, true Christian charity involves a more personal touch, Pope Francis said.
Coming face to face with the poor may pose a challenge and tempt people to turn the other way and give in to “the habit of fleeing from needy people and not approach them or disguise a bit the reality of the needy,” the pope said during his general audience in St Peter’s Square on 19th October.
“Poverty in the abstract does not challenge us. It may make us think, it may make us complain, but when you see poverty in the flesh of a man, a woman or a child; this (certainly) challenges us!” he said.
The square was packed with thousands of people, many of whom attended the canonisation Mass of seven new saints on 16th October. Among the pilgrims was a group from the pope’s native Argentina who sang folk music and dressed in traditional ponchos.
Picture: A woman gives a coin to a panhandler in Ronda, Spain on 17th October. Coming face to face with the poor may pose a challenge and tempt people to turn the other way, Pope Francis said during his general audience in St Peter’s Square on 19th October. (CNS photo/Jon Nazca, Reuters).