On Pope Francis’ ‘Church must help the poor’: Christian values and good governance

If we step outside of ourselves, we will find poverty.

Today, and it breaks my heart to say it, finding a homeless person who has died of cold, is not news. Today, the news is scandals, that is news, but the many children who don’t have food – that’s not news. This is grave. We can’t rest easy while things are this way.

We cannot become starched Christians, too polite, who speak of theology calmly over tea. We have to become courageous Christians and seek out those (who need help most).

Sometimes I doze off, the fatigue of the day makes you fall asleep, but he (God) understands.

I say this is an apt message for the country, a reminder, especially that the election is over and real work awaits all of us. Apart from hard work and a heart for others, the message of Pope Francis is one that acknowledges human limitations.

I’m huge on sleep – I need eight hours of sleep and not less and more if I’m fatigued from the day before – and I brought this with me when I was in the convent. I was always the last to get into the chapel for the dawn prayer – sneaking in is the correct word – because I was reluctant to rise. In the chapel, during meditation time and before prayer and Mass, my favorite place was on the floor at the very back. Pretended to meditate. But actually slept. I was not unaffected however. I thought, God, how you must dislike me like this. (Or, how Mother Superior suffered in silence, because she was aware of my ruse but she kept quiet which to me is worse than being confronted. I now know she knew me more than she showed.) But later on, I realized that yes God understands, is patient as time is long. But I also realize that He expects me to do something about it, if I could, to work on pushing the barrier that is my limitation, so to speak.

In the context of this country’s post-elections, this means that we each do the best we can given our limitations. The voters, aware and understanding of their elected officials’ limitations, nonetheless expect certain things from them. This of course works both ways. The good Christian in us, if it’s not the elected official in us, according to Pope Francis, is supposed to guide us to how we can actually make good governance work.


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