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Letter: Heartened by call to humility

Pope Francis celebrates the Easter Mass at the

Pope Francis celebrates the Easter Mass at the Vatican. (March 31, 2013) Credit: Getty Images

It was refreshing to read about Pope Francis urging priests and nuns to practice humble lifestyles and to refrain from materialistic trappings ["A papal caution on smartphones, fast cars," News, July 7].

Obviously, it is a plea to resurrect or reconnect to the Christian teachings of humility and help the unfortunate. He is correct when he stresses the importance of mission work to put the focus back on spiritual endeavors and not waiting on line for the next iPhone.

It is an oversimplification to state that materialism has dulled the humanitarian senses of all people practicing religion, not just Catholics. In Latin, "relig" means "coming together." Fittingly, the pope invoked the spirit of the late, great Mother Teresa as an example of how selfless missionary work in the theater of destitution could bring all of us back to humility and joy.

Altruism is not drudgery. In fact, from a philosophical perspective, the rewards are the most self-serving imaginable.

Kenneth Gaughran, Farmingville