Pope Francis was once asked by a 12-year-old girl in the Philippines, “Why does God allow children to suffer?”. The Pope was then told by a one-time homeless child, “Many children are abandoned by their parents [here]. Many children get involved in drugs and prostitution”. Although, the Pope had gone through years of theological and philosophical training, sat through debates and gone through countless services, nothing could prepare him for what that little girl asked.
Although I don’t know what was going through his mind, I suspect a thought went through his mind…what do you say to someone who is dealing with such a large burden? Especially someone that young? Or perhaps the Pope didn’t have to think because…
Even though the pope had answers he could have told her, all Pope Francis could do, at that moment, was to hug that 12-year-old girl.
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We’ve all read the headlines. Seen the news. It is everywhere we go and infects everything we see. The rampant and unchecked monster that has invaded the U.S.A., and the whole world. People make money off of it. Industries are formed by using it. From the average of 44 murders a day in the U.S. to the millions of refugees who have nowhere to go. Wars and rumors of wars. Nuclear missile testing. Angry mobs on the streets due to sexism and racism. Oh, and don’t get me started on politics.
The monster and elephant in the room that I’m talking about is…
Fear is that which drives us all to do, say, and act ways that we never believed that we could. It is when we as human beings drive away other human beings from the safety of own countries because we are afraid they will all try to kill us. We would have them die on our doorstep, rather than offering them help. It seems rather childish and immature, but we have legislation blocking people from receiving the aid they need. Often we believe a monster is a person, or group of people, only to realize that we have become the monsters ourselves.
Of course we will always afraid at some level, we just don’t always acknowledge it. We hide behind fear.
Afraid of death. Afraid of being unhappy. Afraid that the world will not be a comfortable place for our children to grow up in, if it is even around at all.
Friends, believe me when I say that we cannot let this monster control us. Fear may creep into our rooms at night and we may see it in every shadow on the walls; but, if we let fear control us, then it will destroy us.
We are missing out on one very important value of humanity.
In fact, one could say it is the most important value that MAKES US HUMAN…
Otherwise known as, EMPATHY for others. We have been told our whole lives (at least in the U.S.A.) to , “love your neighbor, as yourself”, to “love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you”. We have been told the U.S.A was founded on a set of “natural laws of morality”, i.e. God given rights.
But let us be real for one moment and look at the current reality… we are letting our neighbors die and hating our enemies. If we were employed under that set of morality, then we would be fired by now. We are letting fear control us, tear us apart and destroy us; with it, destroying others.
Is empathy and more importantly, LOVE, something that we are willing to let go of for a false sense of safety? Or, a better question…if we let go of our empathy for other people what do we have left inside us that actually makes us human?
All I’ve seen for a while is a lot of fear infected people who are slowly turning into the monster they despise.
“Love Will Get Its Way” was written off of the example of Pope Francis. The example that some questions are better answered with a big hug and a little LOVE.