Here I sit, freshly showered, full of the half hamburger I brought home from lunch at the Swiss Pastry Shop (they have the best hamburgers), ready to write a thousand words—my goal for tonight. But instead my mind is on the Pope.
A friend who is in DC for three months wrote that she had been sitting on the steps of the Capitol since 5:30, met many interesting people from all over the country who talked about their reasons for being there, expected to have a good view of the Pope when he arrived. I could almost sense the awe of the occasion from her pictures and text. Pope Francis’ visit to the U.S. is a momentous, attitude-changing event.
I missed most of the Pope’s address today. I heard some in the car—I’ve been told he’s self-conscious about his English, although commentators say he speaks it better than he realizes. I understood individual words (not always easy for the hearing impaired) but I couldn’t put it all together into a continuous thread. I missed the evening news recap—company for happy hour—but found a website that gives valuable insight into many aspects of the Pope’s visit and its impact. If you’re interested, go to http://www.dailykos.com/?detail=email It’s an admittedly liberal site but I think it gives a clear and unbiased look at the Pope and his recent encyclical. Read “The Pope hits a triple hitter.”
I like the Holy Father because he articulates much of what I’ve thought—his concern for humanity over the rules of the church (telling leaders to forget about abortion gay marriage, etc.) and concentrate on helping the poor of God’s people. I have long believed that we are indeed our brother’s keeper—only regret that I don’t act on that enough. And he called today for abolishing the death penalty, which I think is barbaric and a terrible blot on our country’s reputation—especially in Texas. I love that he rides around in the back seat of a Fiat and refuses to wear the traditional red shoes. This is a man whose concern for humanity outweighs his sense of self-importance—rare, I suspect, even in popes.
Sure, I disagree with him on some points, but sometimes I wish he could run for president. I think he outshines our current candidates. And I’m sorry I’m a spectator for this event. I, who hate crowds, would have loved to be in front of the Jumbotron this morning.