Pope-apalooza! By: Kris Rooney

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Wow!  On every channel, Facebook, Twitter, conversation and now this parish blog…all everybody is talking about is Pope Francis.  He is making his way through all of these audiences with the same message:  let’s be open, have dialogue, be kind, love one another.  What seems to strike people the most is HOW he is saying it.  He means it.   He talks to Congress about helping the poor, and then he goes and eats with them.  He praises women religious, and he makes an impromptu stop to visit them.  He says to put the marginalized first, and then he prays for them.  It is simple and clear that love is his mission, and ours.

What moments have stood out the most for you?  For me, I got choked up when he went out on the speaker’s balcony after speaking to Congress and addressed the crowd.  He looked at the children and families and called them the most important ones.  He blessed them, and then asked for prayers for himself.  Even if you’re not the praying kind, he said to send good wishes his way.  He was speaking as an equal.  There was no judging in his voice.  He only felt a love for those in front of him.  And today, I teared up again listening to him at Ground Zero.  His heart was breaking with everyone’s in the room.  He asked to pray in silence among a people where multiple religions and ethnicities were represented.  You could hear a pin drop.   Then children came out to sing, “Let There Be Peace on Earth”.   It made me really want to be that peace somehow in my life.  This pope listens and feels what we feel.  He inspires this empathy in those around him.  He inspires me to be a better listener too, and to always be present and affirming to those I encounter.

If you get a chance, try to take a few minutes to think about the coverage you have seen and what it means to YOU and your life.  How is love your mission?  Is there something the pope has said that hits a cord in you?  Is there a subtle way that he approaches life that you would like to emulate?  With all the Pope-apalooza, a moment of reflection could bring a lot of meaning into your own world, and with it, peace.

And by the way, on October 8th 6:30pm, we will meet at St. Kateri Tekakwitha’s Parish Center on Rosa Road to discuss “Laudato Si, On Care for Our Common Home”, the pope’s Encyclical.  This will be a wonderful opportunity to dig deeper into his philosophy on caring for each other and our earth.  It may help you in your own reflection too.  It can be found here :  Laudato Si or call the parish office for a printed copy ($1.50).

Feel free to share your own ruminations here or with me…I’d love to hear them.

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