Tag Archives: Rome

Pope Francis – There’s More Here than Politics

26 May Pope Francis Internet Memes - The Heart of the Matter
 I was struck during the events leading up to the election of Pope Francis. I got zero work done
the day the white smoke went up. I was glued to the streaming video feed from the Vatican. The
time between the white smoke and the actual announcement of exactly who was chosen to be the
new pope was almost unbearable. I was filled with so much anticipation and I just wanted to see
who it was. What was interesting for me and my friends was how much our experience contrasted
that of the recent presidential elections in our own country. We didn’t have the same sort of worry
or anxiety about who the next elected official would be, and where his ideologies would lead his us.
Our lives can change drastically depending on which civil politician is elected to office, and there is
a lot of uncertainty. It could go either way, if the wrong person is elected, it could damage this
country; and all my hope for a new beginning of the new age of prosperity, whatever, rides on the
right guy getting elected.
Pope Francis - There’s More Here than Politics
On the other hand, during these recent events in Rome, no one campaigned or tried to impress
us or dissuade us from liking his opponents. We weren’t swept up into the speculations between
the popular categories of ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative.’ To us, it didn’t matter who was elected. In my
friends who have met Christ and are changed by Him, I have found something exceptional,
something that provokes me and promises fulfillment and this is irrevocable. Images of Saint
Peter’s Square from that night come to mind. It was filled with Romans and pilgrims from across
the globe with signs that read “viva il papa”, long live the pope. It didn’t matter who would come out
those balcony doors. All those people were there and so excited and so happy to meet the new
pope, which means ‘papa.’  The words, “We have a pope” were such beautiful words to finally hear.
When Pope Benedict XVI announced he was stepping down, I was confronted with a unique
situation, and I was first confused and saddened. But it wasn’t the end of me, nor of my
religio-politcal leanings or ideologies. I was sad to see Benedict go, but I was certain the people of
the world would be guided well by the new pope. And indeed, I think we will be guided very well by
Pope Francis, I already feel an affection for him. His concrete gestures of humility and poverty, as
one of if not the most influential figure on the planet, really stick in my imagination. Its enjoyable to
watch the popular media scramble to squeeze him into one of their preconceived political
categories, “is he conservative or liberal?” Neither. He is pre-political. He proposes Christ to us;
reminds us of who loves our destiny truly. It’s not Obama and its not Romney.

– PJ Butler

In other news, Pope Francis internet Memes:

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I Do in Action: a Christian Vision of Marriage

2 Nov I Do in Action: a Christian Vision of Marriage

I Do in Action: a Christian Vision of Marriage

I’ve moved a lot over the last fifteen years. Between several cross-country moves from Minnesota to St. Louis, Washington, DC, and even Rome, I’ve become incredibly weary of it all. When I met my husband Burton, one of the first things I thought was, “Finally, I meet someone who’s actually from Minnesota! I’ll never have to move again!” So it came as something of a blow when Burton came to me last winter and said he wanted to pursue medical school—out of state, no less. Initially, all I could think was that this wasn’t what I signed up for on our wedding day. I could have put my foot down and said no. Burton would have accepted it and still loved me. Yet, even through a lot of tears and heartache, I knew without any hesitancy that I was called to say yes.

The truth is, this is exactly what I signed up for. Sacrificing yourself, your own wants, your own needs to your spouse’s wants and needs—that’s “I do” in action. If relationships were all about easy love and good times, we wouldn’t need the grace we get from the sacrament of marriage. When the angel came to Mary, Mary didn’t respond, “Yes—because this is what I already wanted and hoped would happen.” Mary’s “Yes” came despite any fear, worry, and dreams she may have already have had for her life. She needed grace to give her answer, and even more grace to live it.

My husband and I have been settled in our new home in Philadelphia for a month now. Every day that I wake up, I have to say “I do” to our marriage and “yes” to the new path that we’re on all over again. This doesn’t mean I have to pretend that everything is fine. Life isn’t easy for me here. He’s invigorated by his studies, but I spend my days looking for a job. I’m homesick, stressed about being unemployed, and feel lonely in a city where I don’t know anyone. But we talk about it, he listens and sympathizes and spends every free moment trying to make the transition easier. We’ve traveled in the area, walked through the whole city, and been on more dates than we ever had before. I feel the grace from our mutual “I do” to be more active in our life than ever before.

In a way, I’m actually treasuring this time of difficulty and sacrifice. That seems so backwards, doesn’t it? Certainly people have gotten divorced over less. But these are the times when I cling to the Lord. The Lord, in turn, calls me to trust Burton completely, and for him to trust me. Our future is without certainty, but we have hope and an understanding that our love means a willingness to sacrifice for each other.

-Allison Hendrickson