By Junno Arocho Esteves Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The humble counsel of courageous women should never be disregarded but rather embraced as advice full of God’s divine wisdom, Pope Francis said.
Women like the biblical heroine Judith are an example of trusting God amid sufferings and difficulties when it is easy to give up hope and fall into despair, the pope said Jan. 25 during his weekly general audience.
“This is my opinion, but women are more courageous than men,” the pope said to applause.
As the pope arrived for the audience, the sounds of classical music echoed throughout the Paul VI audience hall as a youth orchestra from Bolivia played for the pope.
The Anglican choir of London’s Westminster Abbey and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger also were present and greeted the pope at the end of the audience.
Pope Francis focused his audience talk on Judith, “a woman of great beauty and wisdom,” who reproached the people of Israel for their lack of trust in God to deliver them from foreign invaders.
“They were at the point of saying, ‘God has sold us,'” the pope said. “How many times have we come to situations that test our limits where we are not even able to trust in the Lord? It is an ugly temptation.”