I was talking to one of my besties the other day, and we were chatting about the excitement in our hearts for The Holy Father’s visit to The Philippines. I was sharing with her how I could see and feel so much faith around me, while Pope Francis was here…
It was as if you could grab that contagious sense of faith and goodness right out of the air. On social media, friends, family, and friends of friends are sharing their experiences with faith, energy, and a strong sense of unity. It felt good to watch the live streaming of his different appearances, even if I was only sitting at home. I can only imagine how everyone must have felt in Pope Francis’ presence…
I am not one of the lucky ones to have been at any of the gatherings, like hearing mass at Manila Cathedral, or his meeting the families at the arena. Nor did I line up on any of the streets where Father Papa may have passed. I did not stand in the rain to hear mass at The Quirino Grandstand either…but that doesn’t mean that I did not feel a deepened renewal of faith in God and human kind because of his visit.
We live in a day and age where I can see all the live footage of Pope Francis’ visit on tv, or even live streamed by Rappler here on my computer. I can find what’s trending on Twitter and learn from someone else’s experiences who had a close encounter with The Holy Father simply by their 140 character tweet.
My friend, Dale and I got to talking. We talked a lot about The Pope from Argentina, how he’s a Jesuit, and how we both think he’s brilliant. I shared how I think that he is doing wonderful things to bring people of all different faiths together. He has the type of compassion, acceptance, and humility that religious leaders all over the world should take their cue from. He is a LEADER in the truest sense of the word, because the truth he speaks is not just for Roman Catholics alone. It’s easy to see how his faith, his logic, and his guidance is for humanity and HUMAN KIND.
To be completely honest, I was so busy during the time he was here that I am still playing catch up by watching all the coverage, the newscasts, and the photos on Rappler.
While I was catching up on some the footage, I felt as if I needed to take these notes. I knew that Pope Francis would surely pass on more than the quotable quotes and I wanted to be sure that I had time to digest what insight the holy father would pass on…
I found this piece that summed up some of the wisdom and faith in quotes that he passed on to the people of the Philippines (and the world) while he was here.
I will pull only a few quotes that I, myself, wrote down and repeated over and over again to myself so that I could fully understand the weight and meaning behind them…
“Be courageous. Don’t be frightened of crying.”
These words came in response to young, Glyzelle Iris Palomar, and her questions about children, suffering, and why God allows his children to suffer. Her questions for Our Holy Father were heavy. I had to look for the translation just to be sure I understood what it was she was really asking. I don’t know how I would answer such a question if I had to field it from my own children, because her questions are not easy to try and find answers to…
But Pope Francis fielded her question by asking the youth to not be afraid of crying…to not be afraid of showing compassion, and to not be afraid of not having the answer…
In fact he answered “…our response must be silence, or a word that is born of our tears. Be courageous, don’t be afraid to cry.”
“Certain realities of life we only see by eyes cleansed through our tears.”
Reality isn’t always pretty and life doesn’t always have a happy ending, but by allowing ourselves to cry…by empathizing with someone who is in a terrible situation we become more human. We become more like each other. In other words, I may not offer you the answer or solution to your problem, but I will sit with you and share your tears, your fears, and your hopes to come.
Remember how I have often called myself a “cry baby?” I have often shed tears (lots of them and sometimes in embarrassment) in different situations… but now, because Pope Francis says it’s ok, I can cry freely and proudly without shame or embarrassment. I cry because I FEEL…and that’s ok.
“Women have much to tell us in today’s society. They are capable of seeing things with a different angle and a different eye.”
Early in our marriage, Nino and I had trouble figuring out how to balance one another. I remember talking to my dad quite a few different times to try and understand the differences on how Nino and I approached challenges in our lives and in our relationship. While my Dad shared his point of view on all of the situations I came to him with, I also realized that my mother had a completely different view point. Both were equally valuable. I needed both opinions, wisdom, and insight shared with me on marriage, because there is no greater gift to be passed on than lessons learned from experience…
While much of the world we live on is determined by men and the machismo that accompanies some testosterone filled board rooms and businesses, I have always valued the relationships and insight given and shared with me by my sisters. We are all in this together, Mommas! I may have only figured this out recently…but I know it NOW. When a few women get together for a good cause, we can move mountains. We can make things happen and envision a better world for our babies…for ALL BABIES.
The future or the Philippines is not just in the education of our children, it is in the caring for our WOMEN as well.
“To be wise use three languages: think well, feel well, and do well.”
Oh….the simplicity of this quote.
I also seee this quote as “Do everything with INTEGRITY,” and it made me think of the principles and mantras I learned when I studied Reiki.
Just for today, I will give thanks for my many blessings.
Just for today, I will not anger.
Just for today, I will not worry.
Just for today, I will do my work honestly.
Just for today, I will be kind to every living being.
Yes, Please. AND Thank You. I will do this. And I will encourage my children, family, and my students to do the same.
I will do well for others. I will do well for my family. AND I will do well FOR MYSELF.
“We are not alone. We have many brothers who in this moment of catastrophe came to help. And we too, because of this, we feel more like brothers and sisters because we helped each other.”
AHHHHHH. The basic principle for HUMANITY that I have been trying to instill in my children and my students EVER SINCE.
We are all in this together. As parents, as women, as sisters, as MOMMAS….AS HUMANS.
As my friend, Neva once said “KINDNESS IS UNDERRATED.”
Let’s be kind to one another. We are all in it together. This is taught by ALL RELIGIONS, all over the world. It doesn’t matter what color, what gender, or what GOD you believe in…we are all in it together and I LOVE that Pope Francis reminds us ALL that we are brothers and sisters…
This message is NOT just for the droves of Roman Catholics who set out to see Him while He was here. This is for everyone. YES. Everyone. And I love that.
It makes me go back to what I have learned in YOGA and REIKI as well.
Namaste: I see the light in you. You see the light in me.
According to The World Bank in 2013, there are apparently 7 Billion people living on planet Earth. In the Philippines, at that same time, the population was around 98 million. We all have different paths in this lifetime. We all have ways in which we can strengthen and deepen our own spirituality that speaks to our souls…that helps us feel whole…and even gives meaning to our lives.
Just like each and every one of the 7 billion people have different fingerprints…we each have different ways to finding our sense of purpose of why we are here, our spirituality, and our faith. We are all but one part to that WHOLE population, doing our own things, finding our own ways, and if you are like me, you are trying to change the world, a little a time, and always for the better. Pope Francis has helped me with my faith in more ways than one during his trip to the Philippines, and I am thankful for that.
Pope Francis’ visit to the Philippines reinforced a faith that I have always had, he deepened my spirituality and I’m sure he had that same effect on many other Filipinos who had the chance to hear his words and take them to heart like I did.
Because I had the privilege to follow his visit, I know that I can continue to foster positivity, inclusion, and change in my little part of the world by way of writing, the example I set, and the relationships I value. I will continue to look for inspiration amongst my friends, my children, and my students…knowing fully well that there is a little bit of GOD and His light in all of us.
Thank you Pope Francis.
Photo Credits for the piece were taken off the Rappler website.