“Don’t forget to pray for me.” – Pope Francis
Pope Francis’s visit to America last week renewed my hope. Actually, that’s an understatement.
I couldn’t pull myself away from his words. His deep understanding of our history, our cultural, political, and societal perplexities are impressive.
Above and beyond all, I was energized by his ability to point out our human defects – our shortcomings – while offering specific guidance to those who have ears to hear. He is thorough and gentle. His words are inspiring. Pope Francis is a soul on a mission. He represents not only the Catholic Church, but the whole of humanity. He’s inclusive, non-judgmental, and humble – both a teacher and a disciple.
Let’s learn from the Pope what it means to be a force for good in the world without force or accusation. Ask yourself:
- Are you strong enough to have a conversation with a friend or co-worker, without judging them, when you see abuse happening, or do you stay complicit?
- Do you have the courage to address injustice when you see it – be it structural racism, inequalities in power, absurd policies like gun control? These are a few of the issues that mean the most to me.
I think Americans want to believe our country is the land of the free and the brave. That idea certainly covers up our fear and cowardliness.
My approach to facing all this is not as gentle as Pope Francis, I just want you to know. I think it’s insane that we settle for feeling hopeless.
Self-esteem determines how you handle the apathy of the tribe. We as a species ultimately decide where we will go, but to have a say in this process, individuals must grow beyond ‘group mind’.
Life evolves. We are each being called to become a force for good, to bring civilization intoa new era that revolves around the heart. The problems of the times call for creativity and ingenuity. Our mission is draw new lines, to make conscious choices that empower each other and enrich us all as a community and as a nation.
This will require both action and prayer, for ourselves and for everyone around world on this common mission.
The Prayer of St. Francis
“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; 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; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.”
What if every one reading this called his or her representatives? I’ve been told that when those phone lines light up in mass it gets their attention.
- Let’s call on our congressmen and demand medicaid and federal funds made available for the poorest of the poor. For all of you living in South Carolina, visit: http://www.
- In June, the Supreme Court approved of independent redistricting of districts in the states. That means we can reverse the effects of gerrymandering. You can contribute to this effort by contacting www.Advantage2020.org or by calling your state representative.
- President Obama has stepped up to the podium 15 times since taking office to address the massacres of innocent people that have become a regular occurrence in our country. “This will continue until our elected officials take steps to change the gun laws,” he says. He suggests that we make this a one issue vote when electing our representatives.
You can make a difference.
You can be a force for good.
Don’t let mass media scare you into a state of resignation!