“Siempre Adelante …” Always move forwards,
is a motto Pope Francis has shared for years and years.
I’ve listened to what Pope Francis has said so far. And he has stuck to a theme, a Catholic Theme of being “Our brother’s keepers,” “Charity,” “Being good stewards to the earth,””Respect for life,” and that we should go out from our homes and serve the least of these with all that we have, because as Christians, we are called to serve.
Along this process, I am reading, “The Great Reformer,” about Pope Francis.
Last night, as I was reading, I came across a sermon that the young Archbishop Bergoglio was giving to the church in Argentina. And I found that the message he was sharing so long ago about people, the “Pueblo Fiel,” and what a nation must do to build up its people, to care for the poor and to take care of the world, is the very same message Pope Francis has spoken in the U.S.
Along with his words, are words that come from politicians, who believe they know something particular of the Holy Father, and they speak with indictments against him. One Marco Rubio says that “The pope know nothing about the poor, and also that he wasn’t a scientist, so should keep his counsel to himself.”
I beg to differ…
Jorge Bergoglio was a Jesuit who worked in the Jesuit order for his entire adult life, until he left the order upon assuming the Throne of Peter. He worked in the slums of South America, with the poorest of the poor. Many Jesuit priests worked with the poor, much to the consternation with the church hierarchy, and at one point, with Jorge Bergoglio himself.
Which leads to the term the Pope of the slums …
Jorge Bergoglio is also schooled in science. He is very well learned for a pope.
It was the issue between many of the priests who worked in the favelas, who thought that their work was too important to be stopped. And two priests lost their licenses and ended up being kidnapped by the guerrillas and held captive and tortured.
When American politicians speak about what THEY think is the truth about the Pope, and try to indict him, those men should really shut their damned mouths.
There are common themes that Pope Francis repeats over and over again. They are themes that were born when Francis was a young Jesuit. And as he rose in the ranks of the church, his influence only grew. And the words became flesh for him, in the way he worked so hard for the “pueblo” and what he saw as justice, charity and peace.
We could all learn a little about the life of Francis, and what he sees and believes as important.
But we need to dig a bit deeper to learn that knowledge. The papacy of Francis is still young, but there is a wealth of words written about him, if you know where to look.
I think the themes of Charity, Love and Caring for others is universal. In his speech to Congress today he quoted the Golden Rule …
“Do unto others, as you would have them do unto You.”
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It has been a challenging few days indeed. I work every day to be present and accountable; consistently. If it were possible, I could use a few more “me’s” right about now.
I had a conversation with a friend the other night. And I am confused as to why people are the way they are. I am powerless over people. And sometimes I place unattainable expectations on them, knowing, that I am flirting with stupidity.
To this end, still, people continue to astound me with their selfishness and self centeredness.
I am not preaching from some lofty perch, like God. And I am surely not arrogant to think I hold sway over anyone except myself. I hear my friends speak words, and they don’t ring true. I have implored my friends with things to do. Certain, Specific, things that need to be done.
We must succeed, or else, great failure is at hand.
We must go out and serve our brothers and sisters with all that we have, if we are able. I am able, and I devote serious time to that outreach work. The more I talk, the less goes into action, by any of the people I need to act. Before I speak, I consider my words carefully. And the other day I found an opportunity to talk and I did that. Hoping that it would bring results.
I am saddened to say, nothing has changed.
I was talking to my friend and I told her my story. Well, one big story. To demonstrate where I learned to be present, accountable and consistent. And she does not dispute my abilities.
But she said to me that There is only one of me. And she fears that I will burn out and go away when I have had enough. I’ve learned that lesson, I am in it to win it.
But she is of the mind that every human being needs three Strong, Present, and Consistent people to guarantee their survival. She doesn’t have those three people. She has me and one other woman, who’s mother is suffering with Alzheimer’s Disease, but when needed she shows up and attends to what needs to be done. The other couple of folks, are unreliable, and inconsistent and can’t be depended on, not for lack of trying, but the lack of desire to be 100% present.
We all have lives. But one of our number is in dire need of support and I do not know what to do for her but to repeat, as often as I can, that right now, I am here.
I fear that message isn’t going to be enough to ground her permanently.
If I can’t get any other players into the game, and things don’t start looking up soon, my friend is going to pack up herself and the baby and go back to New Foundland. Forever.
I don’t know what else to do. My words fall on deaf ears, and my friends are unable to rise to the occasion. And that IS a problem, that I have no solution for.
In the end, I am only one man. I am not God and I can only do so much.
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I drank, I stank and I sank …
That is the short version of the share we heard tonight.
One of my friends spoke tonight. It was simple and to the point. In seeing another alcoholic drink, get drunk, loose his family, his job, his home and end up sleeping in the park, our man got sober.
Coming in, at first, he believed we’d all be brown baggers, dirty clothed, and sleeping in the park, but much to his surprise, we were happy, clean and well dressed people who welcomed him.
It was the commonality, the identity, and the honesty that kept him.
And for more than twenty five years, our man hasn’t had a drink since.
Tomorrow is Friday. We’ll see what that brings with it.
More to come, stay tuned …