This is floating around facebook and I just LOVE it! It reminds me of one of my very first blog posts. I don’t know Fr. Martin. In fact, I’ve never even heard of him. But his lovely post made me realize I was on to something way back when. I only briefly followed through, but I think it’s time to revisit that little idea. My originally proposed 10 notes is a little ambitious for my current state in life. However, considering the fact that all of my thank you notes from Leila’s birth remain unwritten, a small start will still be a tremendous improvement over my current approach. I think I’ll start with just one note a week. It’s manageable, obtainable, and, hopefully, the start of a really good habit.
“If Pope Francis can take time out of his unbelievable schedule to write a handwritten note to someone he’s never met, then I can surely find time to express my gratitude more fully to others. Getting a note today from the Pope did something strange to me: It made me want to be more generous. Friends had told me that the Pope rises early (someone said before 5 a.m.) and I imagine him sitting at his desk in his little room, writing many notes to a variety of people. And I thought of how stingy I can be with my own time. Maybe you feel something of the same when you see this note. (By the way, you’ll see that the Pope even took the time to neatly address the envelope.)
Bottom line: If the Pope can find time to be kind to others, if he can pause to say thank you, if he can take a moment make someone feel appreciated, then so can I. So can we.”
A handwritten letter from Pope Francis to Fr. James Martin, SJ, a priest he does not know.
Notice the Pope’s signature! :) (By the way, in the comments of the original picture, Fr. Martin gave permission for these photos to be shared. He wasn’t concerned that his mailing address was visible.)
In a homily on May 14 Pope Francis explained that the devil tricks people into being selfish, then leaves them loveless. This wisdom is brilliant. And timely. And timeless. I so love the simplicity with which Pope Francis explains our beautiful faith. More than simple, he makes it so applicable. You walk away from him knowing how your faith should impact your behavior. His wisdom is so practical.
But back to selfish and loveless.
I think that is the root of the problem in that 32 video I posted a few weeks ago.
I think the majority of women my age lead fairly selfish lives. I don’t have evidence to back that up. It’s simply my opinion based on the people I know and know about. I think most women I know of are completely self-obsessed, only interested in what’s good for them, easy for them, or fun for them. And I think this is why they feel so empty, like the woman in that video.
Now, before you misunderstand me, I am well aware that I, too, am an incredibly selfish person. I, too, choose ease, and fun, and self-advancement when possible. I’m certainly not pretending that I’m some kind of selfless saint. It’s just that my lifestyle is intrinsically less me-focused than the lifestyles that many other women my age choose. I am raising four other human beings. All of whom have many needs. Most of which have to be put before my own. Despite my own selfish tendencies, my lifestyle often doesn’t allow for many selfish choices. But I’m happy. And incredibly fulfilled.
It’s not as though each moment of my day is pure bliss. Any mother, or even pet owner, knows that when you are responsible for another life there are many less than blissful moments. But when I step outside myself and look in on me and my life, I don’t see the monotony and discontent that the lyricist in that video sees. I see joy. I see love. I see happiness.
So, basically, I think the Pope is right. I think he hit the nail right on the head. And I think that 32 video is evidence to support my theory.
Pope Francis’ catchy one-liners are so timely for a world that wants all of its information delivered in 30 second sound bites. It’s just one of the many reasons I love him! Such statements will catch the attention of the under-catechized people sitting in the pews each week, those that have fallen away, and even people who are entirely disengaged and open up the door for real dialogue with them. What a gift for the Church to receive in the Year of Faith!
“The confessional is not a dry cleaner.” ~ Pope Francis