Today my thoughts go to Pope Francis. Maybe because yesterday we got a nice surprise from him. He wrote to us saying: Dear Sisters, I accompany you all in this General Chapter. May God give you courage and patience to allow “life to unfold.” And please, I ask that you pray for me. Affectionately, Francis. It’s hard not to be moved by these words! I’m also thinking of him, of course, because in a moment he will go to Poland and it is a pity that I’m not there.
I remember exactly where I was in March 2013, when he was announced Pope. The first news was puzzling: A Jesuit pope? With the name Francis? It was already sounding like a lot of noise 😉
A few months ago I was asked to write what are my expectations of the current pope, and here’s what I wrote then:
When I heard the question about my expectations of Pope Francis, it seemed difficult. But when I got deeper into the topic, it turned out to be extremely difficult! I decided to approach the subject from a different perspective and first imagine what would my dream church look like. Then I tried to find the places where the pope could be involved. This is the picture I got: I dream of a shepherd who would speak in the language of his sheep, not philosophical or theological mumbling; who would openly name the errors of people of the Church and strive to treat instead of hiding them (especially the great sins of pedophilia, greed and pride); who would be open to dialogue with other cultures and religions; who would take the Gospel to the people in all the peripheries of society; who would not condemn, but preach the love of the merciful God; who would place a particular human tragedy over the moral law; who would be present among the people, and not look down on them; and above all, who would be a shepherd listening constantly to the Holy Spirit and not afraid of radical changes under the influence of that voice.
As you can see, Pope Francis makes my dreams come true with excess. I think that’s because he is a man immersed in the Holy Spirit, who allows himself to be led and does not care about the political connections or conventionalities. It is difficult to expect anything of a man like this, except one: just continue. The only thing, however, that remains my dream is for the whole Church to follow Francis – from cardinals and bishops to the slightest parishioner. I feel that we have a long way to go.
Recently, I have a little less work than I thought, so I have more time to read things on the Internet. I must admit that I am surprised at the amount of negative comments about Francis. As I read the Gospel, I cannot imagine a person who would be following Jesus more directly – he always stands side by side with the poor and sinners, admonishes those who turned the law into their god, comes with mercy to everyone without exception. But there are people, and a whole lot of them, who read the Gospel and Francis’s actions in the opposite way. I’m far from making a simple statement, that I am right and they are wrong, because this is in some way a great mystery. God works in the hearts of people in different ways and thus constantly reminds me that things are not obvious, that “His ways are not my ways” (cf. Isaiah 55.8).
I just hope that we are all looking for the true good, and not our self-interest, as the two apostles of today’s Gospel. We know, however, that even such as them, God can handle.