Pope Francis spreading his message of love and tolerance has been a joy to behold. In this age of school shootings, political vulgarities and negativity, the Pope has shown that deep down inside of everyone there is a spark of divine goodness just waiting to bloom. How is it that one man has brought people from all faiths, political parties and races together in a spirit of peace and harmony? The answer can be summed-up in one word – Truth. The Pope lives his truth.
Pope Francis has tapped into the truth that we all have a purpose and we are all loved. That all will be forgiven. That there are no “throw-away” people. By dining with the poor, visiting prisons and reaching out to the disenfranchised, he sets an example for us all and defines what it means to be a Christian. God did not create any human garbage and does not expect his children to be treated as such. We all need each other to ensure our own survival and the continuing expanding quality of life we all enjoy. Without being preachy or judgmental he has challenged us to put aside our own short-term, selfish needs for the greater good of humanity and the world we inhabit. All the great thinkers and writers understood the power available when we all join hands for the greater good. The Declaration of Independence starts with the words “WE the people” – not I, me or mine. The Lord’s Prayer begins with the word “OUR Father” and goes on to tell us to “Forgive US OUR Trespasses as WE forgive those who Trespass against US.” It does not say forgive ME MY trespasses and I’ll think about forgiving someone else. It says “AS WE forgive so shall WE be forgiven.” The first step of the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous begins with, “WE admitted . . .” not “I admitted I was powerless over alcohol.”
Pope Francis spoke at length about the environment and our responsibility to care for it. The environment is more than just the planet and the world we inhabit, it also includes our spiritual, physical and emotional environment. One look at the stress our planet is under or at the addiction rate in the modern industrial world shows what happens when we don’t care for our spiritual, physical and emotional environment. The end result is broken families, human misery and financial ruin. Our current answer to addiction and mental health issues is incarceration. Prison does no more for treating the disease of addiction than it would for treating the disease of cancer. The Pope made it a point to visit a prison in Philadelphia. His demonstration of love and forgiveness is an example to be emulated by everyone. He told the prisoners in attendance: “Jesus did not ask what have you done or where have you been? He invited ALL to embrace him.” When visiting a hospital for addiction, he said: “We have to learn to embrace those in need, we need to overcome the darkness of drug dependency.” Notice he did not mention punish or incarcerate. He spoke only of embracing those in need.
Pray for solutions to our societal needs. Ask where you can contribute and in what capacity. When the answers come take fearless action and don’t look back. Pope Francis like many others started from humble beginnings. He followed the dictates of his conscience, took daily action and allowed God to guide him to the position where he can influence the world around him. We all have a purpose. Maybe God has been preparing you for just this moment to make his world a better place. Have faith, take action, let go and let God.