THE POPE IS CATHOLIC…I’M NOT!
Well, I thought that would get your attention. But seriously, this blog IS about the Pope!
I recently read a story online about the Pope speaking to a group of school children and admitting that he never wanted to be Pope. Now, I am Baptist by religion. I was born Baptist, I was raised Baptist, my children are being raised Baptist…you get my drift. That being said, I will readily admit to not being “up” on all things Catholic, (heck, I’m not even “up” on all things Baptist, now that I think about it). But for some strange reason, with the election of THIS Pope, Pope Francis, I have become extremely intrigued by the papacy (I know, I’m appearing all knowledgeable about this, aren’t I?). I have all sorts of questions for my Catholic friends, I sit and watch every time I see Pope Francis on the tube… I AM REALLY INTO THIS STUFF! And I mean, REALLY into it! (Robbie Cox, it is OK if I use REALLY in that context, right? You’re making me nervous here, dude. LOL).
Anyway, reading about this interview that he’d done with the kids put it all into place for me. I have since come to realize that the reason I’m so intrigued by this man and all that he does, is because for the first time since I’ve known anything about the Papacy, what I like about THIS Pope so much, IS HE SEEMS SO DOWN TO EARTH! Utter humility is what comes to mind when I think about Pope Francis! THIS Pope makes me want to Google everything about the Papacy, makes me want to run to the bookstore and get books on the history of the Papacy, (well, honestly I just like running to the bookstore) but what I’m trying to say is..THIS Pope peaks my interest so much and in so many ways, that I want to be clear on all things POPE.
I can recall seeing previous Popes being carried in their Pope-mobile (I figured their feet weren’t supposed to touch the ground or something…but in jumps my Catholic friends correcting my ASSumptions. “It’s tradition that they be carried”, they said. “You have to understand everyone wants to see him and touch him”, they continued). I’ve seen people crying when he walks by (I still don’t get that one), and I’ve seen people kneeling at his feet and kissing his ring (again, I’m told it’s tradition).
Going back to the interview with the kids, I read that the Pope tossed aside his prepared remarks and asked the kids “would you like to ask me some questions?” To which the kids replied with a resounding “YES!”
He shared with them why he chose not to live in the Papal residence and instead live in the Vatican Hotel. “I need to live among people for my psychiatric health”. Do you think that any of his predecessors felt this way, yet were too afraid to voice it? Pope Francis, when asked by 6-yr old Teresa if he wanted to be pope, replied “I DIDN’T WANT TO BE POPE”. Again, speaking these words, would this have been typical of other Popes had they felt this way? I need clarity here.
The article goes on to say that Pope Francis “has shown himself to be remarkably comfortable around children”. Anyone being loving of, and with children, definitely ranks high in my book.
I was most impressed when he shared with the children about the “scandal of poverty and how the world frets when the stock market dips but cares nothing when a homeless person dies.” This moved me to tears, because he really hit the nail on the head. This is a man after my own heart. NOW, I AM SURE OF WHY I AM SO IMPRESSED WITH HIM. To me, he’s the real deal. No arrogance, no airs, just humility. VERY, VERY HUMBLE.
Lastly, my Catholic friends have shared with me that Pope Francis chooses to live like the people. That he “has great concerns for the poor and is committed to dialogue as a way to build bridges between people of all backgrounds, beliefs and faiths”. I did my research to some extent and I do know that he chose the name “Francis” in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi. How he lived, I will sum it up in his prayer, The PRAYER OF SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI:
“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved, as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen”.
I spend a little time on Twitter, promoting my book as well as promoting others. A couple of Tweet-friends have tipped into my Direct Message box to ask me why is it that I continually push for everyone there to support each other, the way I do. Well, I do it because I think that this world is filled with SELFISH people which is why I have raised my daughters to be SELF-LESS people. In my world, it is more about giving and less about receiving. It is more about helping than being helped, and it is more about others than myself. It is the way that I live. If it is the mission of Pope Francis to bridge all faiths and religions, I have crossed over and it is all thanks to him. There are no Priests and Popes in my religion, only Reverends and Pastors yet, I have been moved by a POPE, unlike anything that I have ever felt under the leadership of any Reverend OR Pastor.
I am humbled.
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