Wow! The extended Christmas weekend is winding to a close and I’m just moved by the love I’ve been a part of over the past 2 weeks.
Looking at friends’ Christmas and vacation photos have moved me, but one specific picture of a dear friend’s Christmas photo in front of her tree moved me deeply.
See, she has been a friend of mine since she was a child. Her parents brought up the Holy Eucharist at my wedding.
Rewind – my parish closed in 2010 and was merged with another. It has been a painful and difficult journey and I’ve felt like a spiritual hobo on a tramp steamer called the USS Fuller.
So I’ve had lots of different friends, many not of my chosen faith help me on my journey. However, none have helped me as much as our new Holy Father Pope Francis.
Raised by a mother who did not agree with Vatican II, a convert father, and coming to full communion through Confirmation into the Roman Catholic faith at age 24; my journey, like a lot of things I have and will continue to do, was not easy.
When Pope Francis, a Franciscan, was selected, I was overjoyed as a Siena graduate, lover of Saint Francis of Assisi’s works, I felt encouraged more than ever by Pop Francis’s words, but most importantly, his actions.
Today I tearfully found out that this dear girl, now a mother herself twice over, has a beautiful daughter with severe health challenges.
Rewind again, I recently also discovered a great hockey dad I know was a Roman Catholic too! I have wanted to take a pilgrimage to Philadelphia in September of 2015 to have an audience with Pope Francis. I think a cheesesteak eating selfie would be amazing and totally doable with our Holy Father!
So back to my friend, well, she told me today her daughter has been very sick since birth was in the ICU in an Italian hospital.
She told me in her despair and praying for her daughter’s health and her strength a commotion was afoot and into the ICU walked none other than Pope Francis. She told me how he embraced her and her husband and that she felt as if he had known them their whole lives and acted like just, as she put it, a “regular” guy.
So if I lose my “bet” with my friend, that’s ok. I would much rather have Pope Francis comfort a mother that needs it than waste his precious time eating a cheesesteak with me.
I have my 2 degrees of separation, and that’s fine by me!