Thank you so much for posting this. I have always loved Jesus and followed His teachings but for most if my life I felt very uncomfortable with the majority of organized Christian religion. The tone of meanness and putting people down, controlling others and general hateful judgements felt so wrong and hurtful to me I could not cope with being around it.
Pope Francis has inspired me and lifted my heart. I recently read a piece in my local newspaper from a conservative Catholic who mocked all of us so inspired by Francis and Saud the majority of Catholics snd Americans really do support the nastiness. I felt very let down on reading it and felt the writer was in error. This has confirmed my belief that most people really do love and care for others more than they enjoy judging and hating. Thank you!
What a difference a year makes. And what a difference a pope makes. At Christmas services this year, the priest at our local church told the families gathered for the children’s pageant that Jesus loves and is represented in everyone, including gays and lesbians. Our local church isn’t Jesuit, nor particularly liberal, but before Pope Francis stepped up with a new message of inclusivity, none of us had ever expected to hear anything like that at church, let alone at Christmas Eve mass. The congregation cheered.
The priest also pressed his core Christmas theme that the greatest joy we will experience is the joy we feel when serving others. Serving the poor is another significant shift in focus that Francis has brought to reinvigorate the church. Surely, there is no message more central to Jesus’ teaching and the Christian tradition than serving others and loving humanity, and, yet, prior to…
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