It’s nearing 11:00 PM, Wednesday evening, and I am finally returned to the comforting sanctuary of my deck, kept inside due to the extreme heat Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday.
It’s a comfortable night: a light cool breeze moving through the yard, carrying the refreshing scent of rain as a drizzle begins.
Teaching began at 8:00 AM and concluded at 3:00 PM, followed immediately by a nap.
I cleaned out some bookcases that are now in the new home of a young family friend who recently purchased her own home at age 20! Emily Rogers is, without doubt, an impressive young lady!
I boarded the bus for downtown to attend a showing of the semi-documentary, POPE FRANCIS, A MAN OF HIS WORDS.
It was not as impressed as I thought I would be, but all in all, I was quite inspired by Pope Francis’ words. I absolutely adore this man and his huge heart.
The narration, for some reason, could not keep me glued to the screen. For me, it was an awkward voice for the movie/documentary. Fortunately, it revolved around the message, and the pope, himself. That part, I absolutely loved.
This movie was released about the time hints of the refugee activity at our nation’s southwestern borders was beginning to slide into the light of our awareness. However, it struck a solid chord. The Pope’s message supplemented what I believe, and seemed to be a prophecy of where our nation was headed.
In his 24 September 2015 joint message to the United States Congress, The Holy Father said:
“In recent centuries, millions of people came to this land to pursue their dream of building a future in freedom. We, the people of this continent, are not fearful of foreigners, because most of us were once foreigners. I say this to you as the son of immigrants, knowing that so many of you are also descended from immigrants. Tragically, the rights of those who were here long before us were not always respected. For those peoples and their nations, from the heart of American democracy, I wish to reaffirm my highest esteem and appreciation. Those first contacts were often turbulent and violent, but it is difficult to judge the past by the criteria of the present. Nonetheless, when the stranger in our midst appeals to us, we must not repeat the sins and the errors of the past. We must resolve now to live as nobly and as justly as possible, as we educate new generations not to turn their back on our “neighbors” and everything around us. Building a nation calls us to recognize that we must constantly relate to others, rejecting a mindset of hostility in order to adopt one of reciprocal subsidiarity, in a constant effort to do our best. I am confident that we can do this.
Our world is facing a refugee crisis of a magnitude not seen since the Second World War. This presents us with great challenges and many hard decisions. On this continent, too, thousands of persons are led to travel north in search of a better life for themselves and for their loved ones, in search of greater opportunities. Is this not what we want for our own children? We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation. To respond in a way which is always humane, just and fraternal. We need to avoid a common temptation nowadays: to discard whatever proves troublesome. Let us remember the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Mt 7:12).
This Rule points us in a clear direction. Let us treat others with the same passion and compassion with which we want to be treated. Let us seek for others the same possibilities which we seek for ourselves. Let us help others to grow, as we would like to be helped ourselves. In a word, if we want security, let us give security; if we want life, let us give life; if we want opportunities, let us provide opportunities. The yardstick we use for others will be the yardstick which time will use for us. The Golden Rule also reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development.”
The pope went on to say:
“Each son or daughter of a given country has a mission, a personal and social responsibility. Your own responsibility as members of Congress is to enable this country, by your legislative activity, to grow as a nation. You are the face of its people, their representatives. You are called to defend and preserve the dignity of your fellow citizens in the tireless and demanding pursuit of the common good, for this is the chief aim of all politics. A political society endures when it seeks, as a vocation, to satisfy common needs by stimulating the growth of all its members, especially those in situations of greater vulnerability or risk. Legislative activity is always based on care for the people. To this you have been invited, called and convened by those who elected you.”
The movie was exceptional only due to the inspiring, reassuring words coming from this great man’s lips. I loved Pope John Paul II, but this pope truly rivets me with his message and his genuine love for all.
Here is Pope Francis’ entire Message to The US Congress.
The rain is pelting loudly against the canopy on the deck and the breeze is a bit cooler.
And, Wednesday is now a wrap.