Posts Tagged With: god

@PONTIFEXCELLENT: Noses & Kisses

<> on May 18, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican.At the end of Wednesday’s general audience in St. Peter’s Square, Papa Frank embraced a man. He took the man’s disfigured face in his hands, cradled it in his chest, kissed him, and blessed him.

I’d imagine the man is not used to being embraced like that — not by strangers, maybe not even by family and friends.

But the Pope is a lover and, as I’ve mentioned before, a hugger.

A photo of the embrace went viral (as it should have):

Pope Francis' General Audience

 

According to CNN:

The man the Pope comforted suffers from neurofibromatosis, according to the Catholic News Agency. The genetic disorder causes pain and thousands of tumors throughout the body. It leads to hearing and vision loss, heart and blood vessel complications, and severe disability from nerve compression by tumors.

Earlier today, Papa Frank tweeted the following: 11h

Saints are people who belong fully to God. They are not afraid of being mocked, misunderstood or marginalized.

I can’t help but wonder whether Papa Frank was thinking of that man when he tweeted that.

Also Wednesday at the general audience, @Pontifex congratulated a newlywed couple who are members of L’Associazione Arcobaleno Marco Iagulli-Onlus (an organization that uses clowns and humor to cheer sick children). They’re known by their red plastic noses — the international symbol for healing humor (think Patch Adams). They couple were wearing their wedding garb and their noses.

So Papa Frank put a nose on, too. (Have I said today how much I love this guy?)

Photo by Alamy Live News via the Daily Mail

Photo by Alamy Live News via the Daily Mail

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@PONTIFEXCELLENT: Baby Noemi

<> on May 18, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican.In the General Audience at St. Peter’s today, Papa Frank asked the 50,000 or so folks standing in the square for a solid:

Pray for a baby named Noemi.

Apparently the child, who he had met before the public audience and may even have been among those in the crowd, is gravely ill.

Papa Frank said, in part (translated from the Italian but watch the video below where you can see how expressive and funny and warm he is):

“And now, I will ask all of you for an act of charity. Don’t worry, it’s not about money,” he said, drawing laughter from the crowd. “Even though we might not know her, she is Baptized. She is one of us, she’s a Christian. Let’s express an act of love for her. First, in silence, let’s ask the Lord to help her at this very moment. May He give her health. Let’s take a moment of silence, then let’s pray a Hail Mary.”

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@PONTIFEXCELLENT: LGBTQ

<> on May 18, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican.Papa Frank cares about all of his flock — and just what part of all don’t you understand?

To wit, in a worldwide survey launched by the Vatican today, questions about how to care for (pastorally) LGBTQ folks and their families were among those posed in a lengthy questionnaire sent round the globe.

According to a report from Agence France Presse:

The Vatican on Tuesday launched an unprecedented worldwide consultation on the new realities of family life including gay marriage as part of Pope Francis’s efforts to reform the Catholic Church.

A questionnaire has been sent to bishops around the world asking them for detailed information about the “many new situations requiring the Church’s attention and pastoral care”.

“Concerns which were unheard of until a few years ago have arisen today as a result of different situations, from the widespread practice of cohabitation… to same-sex unions,” it said.

The 39 questions are unusual because of their non-judgemental, practical nature in what could be a signal of greater openness and increased pastoral care regardless of a believer’s background.

Referring to gay couples, one questions asks: “What pastoral attention can be given to people who have chosen to live in these types of union?”

“In the case of unions of persons of the same sex who have adopted children, what can be done pastorally in light of transmitting the faith?”

I’m so grateful Papa Frank is being, well, frank about issues related to LGBTQ and families in general (which are complex, no matter how they are created.) It’s much better than sticking his fingers in his ears and shouting “LALALALALALALA” with the hope that it might go away if he wills it to be so.

I like him. A lot.

Cartoon of Papa Frank tending to his flock by cartoonist Tony Jones: http://www.cagle.com/2013/09/pope-francis-tends-flock/

Cartoon of Papa Frank tending to his flock by cartoonist Tony Jones: http://www.cagle.com/2013/09/pope-francis-tends-flock/

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On My Nightstand

book pileEvery day a new book arrives in the mail from one publisher or another, or by my own choice from various booksellers (independent whenever possible).

Lately it’s been a bumper crop. Here’s what I’m reading these days:

AND HOW COULD I FORGET ( not pictured because it literally was under my pillow in bed) :

  • STITCHES: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope and Repair By Anne Lamott
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Hey. Watch This. (Updated)

oprah-winfrey-shared-a-photo-of-her-and-christian-author-and-pastor-rob-bell-during-filming-for-an-episode-of-her-super-soul-sunday-series-on-ownRob Bell and Oprah.

BOOM.

http://www.oprah.com/own-super-soul-sunday/event-viewing.html

West Coast (PST) viewing begins at 11 a.m.

(Update, 12:45 p.m. PST) So … Ms. Winfrey let the cat out of the bag:

 Oprah Winfrey ‏@Oprah 3h

@MalikaGhosh@realrobbell there is a part 2 but we split them .. Developing a show with @realrobbell

(Drops the mic.)Screen Shot 2013-11-03 at 12.41.00 PM

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PASTRIX Bonus

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The curse of a journalist is never having enough room for everything in one piece. It’s an art of subtraction that often is a painful but necessary practice.

So here’s something Nadia said that I wanted to share but didn’t have space for in the original column. After her reading/riffing at All Saints last week, during the Q&A someone asked her about grief.

I’m coming up on the one-year anniversary of my father’s death (I loved him more than life itself) and what Nadia said is

1) true and

2) actually helpful.

Nadia answered:

I have nothing other than grief is such a such a disfiguring process. And speed it up or deny that that’s true is to not honor it. And there is no way through but through. Sometimes all that somebody needs to is someone to go through it with them. Not to give them platitudes, not to try to speed it up. That’s it. That’s all I got. There is no magic there. It just sucks.

YES IT DOES.

A few minutes before that, while talking about something else, she also said the following, which will stay with me a long time, grief, grieving or not.

I’m almost always stricken by an experience of God. Broken into a million pieces and put back together.

Amen, sister.

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