Throughout the past week, I found myself feeling so inspired by the words of Pope Francis during his visit to the United States of America. I continue to find, as many others do, his message and his manner so appealing. There is no duplicity in him, or at least it seems that way. He preaches, and from all evidence, lives a life of love and mercy and promotes peace and unity.
Pope Francis exudes the essence of one who is centered in prayer, has a desire to remain faithful to God, and is filled with and guided by the Holy Spirit. He is inclusive and calls us to look beyond ourselves to focus on the common good. He challenges us to be faithful to God and sets an example through his own actions. Not only that, but what makes his words and actions even more meaningful (at least to me), he does all of this, without making it about himself. All that he says and does seems to point to something greater…to God.
“Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.” – Matthew 5:16
What a great example! One that extends to more than just one group of people, one that is so life giving and aspires a closer relationship with God and others. Pope Francis calls us to be true to who God created us to be. To have a Pope named Francis, who comes to us in the name of God, through Jesus and with the Holy Spirit, at this time in history, how fitting!
Lord, make me an instrument of thy 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 to self that we are born to eternal life.
– Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi