The Bishop of Rome

 

 

More than 6Million devotees flocked the Quirino Grandstand last January 18, 2015 to attend the papal mass conducted by His Holiness, Pope Francis. It was record breaking and dubbed as the largest attended mass in the world; it even broke the record in 1995 when Pope St. John Paul II came here in the Philippines. It was very much celebrated and again placed the Philippines in the spotlight being Asia’s largest Catholic nation.

 

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More than 6Million people attended, but not me…

 

It was a cold Sunday morning, I don’t have TV at home or a radio to keep me posted on what’s happening; all I ever have are my gadgets, social media, and my unquestionable faith in God. I can fairly say that I have a love-hate relationship with Catholicism, with its doctrines, scriptures, and teachings, but nevertheless; I still am and will forever remain Catholic even if my parents convert (which will never happen). That I am sure of.

 

I don’t think I can ever wrestle with a crowd that big too who’s so eager to see the Pope that’s why I decided to take part in prayers instead. Though I am not exactly sure what I prayed for in the past days because there has been a lot running in my head; I made sure however to pray for Lolo Kiko asking God to guide him through the sea of sinners, mourners, and deprived in our barren land. I was never failed. His wisdom in his homilies were as sharp as a sword that resonated not just in the Philippines, but in the entire world. I’d like to share with you a few of his statements which personally made an impact in my most adventurous life as a faithful sheep of the Shepherd.

 

“Real love is about loving and letting yourself be loved. It’s harder to let yourself be loved than to love. That is why it is so difficult to come to the perfect love of God. We can love Him but we must let ourselves be loved by Him. Real love is being open to the love that comes to you. The love that surprises us.”

-Pope Francis, University of Sto. Tomas, Youth Encounter, Jan. 18, 2015

“And beside the cross was his Mother. We are like a little child in the moments when we have so much pain and no longer understand anything. All we can do is grab hold of her hand firmly and say “Mommy” – like a child does when it is afraid. It is perhaps the only words we can say in difficult times – “Mommy”.

Let us respect a moment of silence together and look to Christ on the cross. He understands us because he endured everything. Let us look to our Mother and, like a little child, let us hold onto her mantle and with a true heart say – “Mother”. In silence, tell your Mother what you feel in your heart. Let us know that we have a Mother, Mary, and a great Brother, Jesus. We are not alone. We also have many brothers who in this moment of catastrophe came to help. And we too, because of this, we feel more like brothers and sisters because we helped each other.”

-Pope Francis, Tacloban homily, Jan. 17, 2015

“Only by becoming poor ourselves, by stripping away our complacency will we be able to identify with the least of our brothers and sisters. We will see things in a new leaf and thus respond with integrity to the challenge of proclaiming the radicalism of the gospel in a society which has grown comfortable in social exclusion, polarization, and scandalous inequality.”

-Pope Francis, University of Sto. Tomas, Youth Encounter, Jan. 18, 2015

“Today, with so many means of communication we are overloaded with information. Is that bad? No. It is good and can help. But there is a real danger of living in a way that we accumulate information. We have so much information but maybe we don’t know what to do with that information. So we run the risk of becoming museums of young people who have everything but not knowing what to do with it. We don’t need young museums but we do need holy young people. You may ask me: Father, how do we become saints? This is another challenge. It is the challenge of love. What is the most important subject you have to lean at university? What is most important subject you have to learn in life? To learn how to love. This is the challenge that life offers you: to learn bow to love. Not just to accumulate information without knowing what to do with it.. But through that love let that information bear fruit.

For this the Gospel offers us a serene way forward: using the three languages of the mind, heart and hands – and to use them in harmony. What you think, you must feel and put into effect. Your information comes down to your heart and you put it into practice. Harmoniously. What you think, you feel and you do. Feel what you think and feel what you do. Do what you think and what you feel. The three languages…

Can you repeat this? To think. To feel. To do. And all in harmony…”

-Pope Francis, University of Sto. Tomas, Youth Encounter, Jan. 18, 2015

 

 

Pope-Francis-Dove

 

I haven’t seen the Pope, not even a slight glimpse of him; I have no claim to being part of our nation’s history, but this I can say and I can say for certain; his every word struck me right in the heart and assured me again of God’s love for us.

 

I’m a walk away from Villamor Airbase; I didn’t want to spend my energy outside. I patiently waited for his words and teachings. I reflected and I can say that January 15 – 19, 2015 truly made history for me. Salamat Lolo Kiko! In one way or another I feel connected to you; it may just be by chance, by coincidence, or maybe by who-knows-what, but I already knew you even before the whole world called you their Pope. -> (read my blog here: Jorge Mario Bergoglio as the Bishop of Rome) Habemus Papam Franciscum!

 

PS.

It’s good if you have seen the Pope in flesh and extended an extra mile to witness him officiate a mass, but I hope that it doesn’t end there. Prayer is still your primary weapon. The Pope himself is just another person representing the goodness of the Lord. Faith is what will bring wonders in your life. 🙂

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