Just listening to Pope Francis’ book feeling comforted by what he says and the way he sees the world. He’s so different from other Popes and religious figures and he reminds me of the humanity that is so hard to see sometimes.
One of the things he was talking about was his own personal “covid” stories. These are analogies about thing that have happened in his life that caused him to change the way he thought or saw the world. One of the things, as seemingly dumb as it sounds, really stuck with me for a moment while out of a run to burn off some my own ‘covid calorie buildup and stress’ was about how he was in Germany and he felt really out of place and how being out of place was wrecking for himself, maybe to find his way home from how far he had traveled or something like that but it stuck with me because I too, feel out of place. I have felt out of place since I moved to this town and the isolation and loneliness can be pretty hard to cope with sometimes but I manage through other means to make sure I don’t fall off a cliff.
I guess I don’t imagine someone like a Pope or Cardinal or some other religious figure to ever feel out of place because they have family everywhere they go. Me, I have just my immediate family (kids and husband) and the rest of the people I meet have not been very inviting to me. I mean, they start off okay but then I get to know them or them me, and we are so incompatible as humans who think very different things or see life through incredibly different eyes, that I have not been able to make any real connections here. At best, I tolerate those around whose opinions and beliefs are disgusting to me because for whatever it is worth, I can still see where they are coming from or how those thoughts or ideas were formed and they all stem from some idea that THEY are the ones who have been deprived of something or mistreated by something.
These are people who have more than I have ever had and will always have more than I will likely ever have and yet, their position is always that the world has treated them bad and somehow they hate poor people. I mean, they don’t come out and say “I hate poor people” but there is this sentiment of disgust or this idea that poor people are just banes to their existence, that helping them through tax money or charity is akin to being crooks, thieves, freeloaders etc… and these people, ALL of them claim to be christians. It’s something that I could never understand and part of the reason I cannot accept christianity as my own.
This is not to say that I don’t believe in certain principals or that spirituality is cannot be found through it OR that through enough faith or actual seeking, they cannot become “good christians” but most lack the desire to do so and live with this idea that they have it all right, the absolute truth and just an utterance of their loyalty to their variety of Jesus, will absolve all the things they ever did wrong. On the one hand, I think that is the beauty of Catholicism, that ultimately everyone is forgiven through the blood of Christ but not he other hand they are so intolerant and hypocritical and mean and ruthless and immoral in so many ways that I hardly believe they believe in the same deity or idea.
Anyways. The point I was getting at was that I am always stuck and it was nice to hear the Pope say that this is actually okay. That my doubts and thinking and questioning and all those things that others tell me are not good because I lack faith or loyalty or just don’t know anything or should sit down and shut up or that I have beeb seen by the devil or I am a demon or some other none-sense, is good because there are factual truths and then there are the ones that take a lifetime to figure out even if you ultimately never do.
I think it was his way of saying that we can only get as close as we can but the point is that we keep trying to build a better world, to be creators of the world that we want and that doubt isn’t a crime or a sin more that it is what moves us or those who live with these internal conflicts to understand more of the world, to be makers of the world, to see the world in ALL of it’s parts and to love it nonetheless.
THAT is what I really think I needed to hear today.