“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 14: 11
My family and I were so very blessed to be able to watch most Papal events during Pope Francis’ historic visit to the United States. We were able to watch him with our loved ones, which was wonderful because they love him just as much as we do. Pope Francis is so humble, so beautiful, kind and merciful. His talks inspired me so much. He made us laugh and cry. His charismatic way of talking and speaking from his heart brought so much joy to me and my family. He exudes joy. His smile is contagious. It reminds me of my grandfather whom I adored and miss very, very much.
Pope Francis is the epitome of the virtue of humility. Let us remember that humility is the root of all virtue. He imitates Christ so much and calls all of us to do the same. He speaks from his heart, he is real and so easy to listen to. He loves all of God’s children and expects us to do the same. Remember, God is love and we are all called to love all God’s children as He loves them, even our enemies.
It genuinely upsets me that there are people out there who complain about him, who do not trust Him or think he is some rebel Pope out to change the teachings of the Church. He has repeatedly said, and I heard him myself, say,” I am a son of the Church.” His social teaching is of the Church! He is not some liberal-minded person that some paint him out to be! I for one trust him completely. More than that, I trust that the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity–God Himself inspired the good Cardinals of the Catholic Church to choose the right man to be the successor of St. Peter. That is who he is my brothers and sisters. He is the successor of St. Peter, whom Jesus chose as the first Pope. He is the Shepherd of the Universal Church, the Servant of the Servants of God. He is the Bishop of Rome. He is the leader of the Holy Roman Catholic Church. We have no right to distrust Him because God does not distrust him. He was chosen by God to lead us. Who are we to not trust God? Who are we not to trust the Holy Spirit? He has not once strayed or spoken against Church teaching and he never will. His love of the Church and God’s children is so completely evident by how he lives his life. His care and concern for the poor and the sick and handicapped, and the children is so amazing. Did you see how he embraced all those in the crowds who were in wheelchairs and handicapped? He continually went out of his way to do so. At one point at the airport, he got out of his small car and walked over to a child in a wheelchair and embraced him and kissed him. He blessed him and his family was so grateful. They will never forget those moments. It brought tears to my eyes. He is so beautiful, so full of love of life and so full of love for the marginalized, the unborn, the immigrant, the lonely, the lost, the poor and the sick.
The secular media continues to lie, misrepresent and manipulate things about him and his role on earth. I read after his visit that conservatives were disappointed about certain things that he failed to say while he addressed certain audiences. Whom did they interview and how many ‘conservatives’ did they ask? Where is the proof? Let me assure you that I am a very conservative Catholic Christian. I pledge obedience to the Holy Father, and my heart and mind are completely conformed to the teachings of the Church. I was not disappointed at all in anything he said or did. His history-making speech to Congress was incredible. He spoke of the sacredness of human life at every single stage of development, he spoke of the attacks against marriage and family, he spoke of how we all need to strive for the common good and for solidarity with our fellow human beings. He did not leave out anything. He was indeed brilliant!! He spoke with authority but yet with gentleness. What a powerful witness for God he was when he spoke to those politicians, some of whom it was quite clear did not agree with him. What courage he showed for Christ as his Vicar on Earth.
Pope Francis also spoke quite eloquently about the need for us to be open to dialogue with those of differing beliefs. He encouraged us to be gentle, kind, merciful towards those who do not share our Catholic-Christian beliefs. I believe he meant Protestants, Muslims, all people of differing religions, even those who are non-believers. He said if we are to attract them to the True Faith in the Universal Church then we must do it with love and our example. Our way of life and our willingness to listen to them and their beliefs must be the first steps towards unity. Our friendships must be genuine and true otherwise how will we show them the truth of what we know that Jesus came to give us in the Catholic Church. I agree with him wholeheartedly. After all, Jesus did say, “This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 14: 35
Pope Francis is a true loyal son of the Catholic Church. He is our Holy Father and Our Shepherd. Jesus, Our Lord and Savior is the Invisible Head of the Church in Heaven but Pope Francis is the Visible Head of the Church on Earth. Jesus established a Living Authority on Earth before he went to Heaven. That authority is in the Supreme Pontiff, the Bishop of Rome in union with the Bishops, the successors of the apostles appointed by Christ himself. After all, did not Jesus say to Peter, “And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16: 18-19
We must accept and follow our Lord’s words without fail. Do you really believe that Jesus would let us alone on earth to interpret the Bible on our own without any moral authority to guide us? The only true authority on this earth when it comes to faith and morals is the Pope, the Holy Father, the successor of St. Peter. I trust him to guide the Church and to always do the right thing, shouldn’t you?
Pope Francis, we love you. Please pray for us and know that as you asked us over and over in all humility while you were with us in the United States, after every speech or homily to pray for you that we will indeed do that. You are in our prayers each day as we say our family rosary. We pray for your health, your safety and for all of your prayer intentions. At Holy Mass this past Sunday, we sang “Long Live the Pope” at the end of our celebration and I pray you will have many, many more years to lead and guide us on this journey we are all on together towards our true home in Heaven.
May God bless you Pope Francis for all you do for ALL of God’s children. You are an inspiration to us all. May we imitate you in all things but especially in your unwavering humility!!