All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all.
Mrs. Cecil Frances Humphrey Alexander
Pope Francis never ceases to amaze me, and in a good way. He is the most all-embracing, open-hearted pope in my recollection. He has been a steadfast advocate for open-mindedness towards people and causes often scorned in our society—the LGBT community, the poor, migrants, abortion rights. He has called the Catholic Church “obsessed” with abortion, gay marriage and contraception.
Today he has called for a “global mobilization” to end human trafficking.
Last week he joined leaders of the Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and Christian faiths, promising to use their religions towards eradicating “modern slavery” and human trafficking by 2020.
When Pope Francis was archbishop of Buenos Aires, he was known to sneak out at night and break bread with the poor; he would sit on the street and eat with them, let them know they were cared for. The Pope’s trusted archbishop Konrad Krajewski is the Vatican Almoner, who has the a centuries-old job of handing out alms. Krajewksi said,
“The Holy Father told me at the beginning: ‘You can sell your desk. You don’t need it. You need to get out of the Vatican. Don’t wait for people to come ringing. You need to go out and look for the poor.’ ”
It’s been said that Francis sometimes disguises himself as a priest and sneaks out to serve the homeless with Krajewski.
Every morning a Vatican official goes from the Vatican hotel where Francis lives to Krajewski’s office with a pile of letters the Pope has received from parishioners asking for assistance. On the top of each letter, Francis may write “You know what to do” or “Go find them” or “Go talk to them.”
In his weekly address last month, the Pope declared, “All animals go to heaven.”
Whether you believe in a heaven or not, it’s a wonderful sentiment. Why shouldn’t one’s furry loved ones follow them into the afterlife?
He said, “Heaven is open to all creatures, and there [they] will be vested with the joy and love of God, without limits.”
Francis goes further to say that humankind’s role is not limited to serving the divine:
“The vocation of being a ‘protector,’ however, is not just something involving us Christians alone; it also has a prior dimension which is simply human, involving everyone. It means protecting all creation, the beauty of the created world, as the Book of Genesis tells us and as St. Francis of Assisi showed us. It means respecting each of God’s creatures and respecting the environment in which we live.”
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Pope Francis ran for Congress? Maybe he could get some real work done. Sorry, had to add my two cents.
He is a reminder of what we all can be, religious or not, and of the good that can be found in all of us.