You would’ve thought he was literally glowing – like he was a real angel or saint, right there before your eyes.
Honestly, I never thought Pope Francis’ visit would be such a big deal. I didn’t understand why a friend of mine couldn’t help but cry when she saw the Pope in person– until I saw him. I was so overwhelmed by the sight of him that it brought me to tears too. Upon seeing him, all the walking, waiting, struggling for the best spot possible, dealing with a crowd that was as equally anxious to see him, and the many false alarms of his arrival, suddenly didn’t matter anymore. My endearment and respect for the Pope had grown to levels unparalleled after witnessing his presence and listening to his message for the youth,
He reminded us of what it really means to cry, and more importantly, why we must allow ourselves to learn how to cry. It made me think of the many times I let my pride get the best of me and refused to show weakness, or denied myself of really understanding other people because I somehow felt entitled to do so out my own perceived self-sufficiency – like I knew better than to get to know them, forgetting that they, too, have baggage of their own. So, thank you, Pope Francis, for painting the clearest, simplest, yet most poignant picture of compassion there is: “Certain realities of life we only see through eyes cleansed in tears.”
I’m at a point in life where I feel like I have to educate myself about everything, or at least know a little about everything. I do really enjoy it – The process of learning. But then it made me think of how most kids nowadays think the same way – that we’d be better off just because we already know so much. To a certain extent, knowledge is power. But the Pope made me realize that it’s a misconception to believe that being knowledgeable equates to being powerful. We often fall into the trappings of being youth museums, unable to realize that what truly empowers information is the motivation to share it out of sheer love and genuine service.
Most people think that it’s always only a battle between the head or the heart – always treating one as an obstacle to the other in making decisions everyday. I remember the countless times I’ve found myself in this debate. And sometimes even judging people for thinking too much and disregarding feelings, or for feeling too much and ending up not thinking clearly. From this day on I will bear in mind the Pope’s wisdom on what should govern the head, the heart and the hands: Love. If you know how to love, and you do things out of love, then you will know how to think well, feel well, and do well.
But the most eye-opening lesson I learned from him today is that we are, in our own ways, poor. And sometimes, we can be no poorer than the street children we refuse to help, or the typhoon victims who have lost so much. But there is something to learn from a position of helplessness. And there is something powerful from the ability to admit to one’s shortcomings. Often times I’m guilty of feeling as if I can do everything by myself. So I do it all on my own, and just somehow end up busying myself with things for myself. But I don’t want to be that person anymore – I don’t want to be the kind of person who fails to recognize the moments when others really need someone to be there for them, or being mistaken with just how much help they really need.
Here’s to the Pope who is awesomely changing the Catholic landscape, but wholly keeps the sacredness of the his faith and holiness. Here’s to a transformational Church leader who inspires and shows people that religion does not come in only black or white, because as long as love prevails, then no one deserves to be condemned. Here’s to the Pope who started off his speech by empowering women, reminding everyone that the world needs more of us strangely for the tears we shed when there are simply no words. Here’s to the Pope who encourages us to “weep” more in our lifetime, who taught us to learn and think more so we can feel about it and act on it, who wanted us to see the poor in a different light – as reminders of what we are lacking and as teachers of mature and sincere generosity -, who inspires us to leave space for God’s mysteries because He reveals Himself through surprises.
Lastly, here’s to the Pope who had the courage to allow God to speak through him out of spontaneity, and really prove to us that His words are far more important than what he originally thought he should share – just as His ways are far more superior than what we think we know.
Thank you, Pope Francis. Mahal ka namin.