Pope Francis – Why the Only Future Worth Building Includes Everyone

Note: This is a fabulous TED talk, done recently by the Holy Father, Pope Francis.

Here is the transcript of this amazing talk:

0:11 [His Holiness Pope Francis Filmed in Vatican City First shown at TED2017]

0:15 Good evening – or, good morning, I am not sure what time it is there. Regardless of the hour, I am thrilled to be participating in your conference. I very much like its title – “The Future You” – because, while looking at tomorrow, it invites us to open a dialogue today, to look at the future through a “you.” “The Future You:” the future is made of yous, it is made of encounters, because life flows through our relations with others. Quite a few years of life have strengthened my conviction that each and everyone’s existence is deeply tied to that of others: life is not time merely passing by, life is about interactions.

1:27 As I meet, or lend an ear to those who are sick, to the migrants who face terrible hardships in search of a brighter future, to prison inmates who carry a hell of pain inside their hearts, and to those, many of them young, who cannot find a job, I often find myself wondering: “Why them and not me?” I, myself, was born in a family of migrants; my father, my grandparents, like many other Italians, left for Argentina and met the fate of those who are left with nothing. I could have very well ended up among today’s “discarded” people. And that’s why I always ask myself, deep in my heart: “Why them and not me?”

2:35 First and foremost, I would love it if this meeting could help to remind us that we all need each other, none of us is an island, an autonomous and independent “I,” separated from the other, and we can only build the future by standing together, including everyone. We don’t think about it often, but everything is connected, and we need to restore our connections to a healthy state. Even the harsh judgment I hold in my heart against my brother or my sister, the open wound that was never cured, the offense that was never forgiven, the rancor that is only going to hurt me, are all instances of a fight that I carry within me, a flare deep in my heart that needs to be extinguished before it goes up in flames, leaving only ashes behind. Continue reading “Pope Francis – Why the Only Future Worth Building Includes Everyone”

Charles C. Twombly – Humility and the Desire for the Other in a Russian Icon

To the right is an icon, a Russian icon.  During the Middle Ages, Russia (as we might call it today) was out of the European loop.  It was more linked to the Byzantine Empire and Asia than to Europe.  But this icon, painted (or written) by the great iconographer, Andrei Rublev, is dated around the beginning of the fifteenth century and therefore falls within our time-line.

Let’s look at it.   It’s sometimes called “The Old Testament Trinity” or “The Hospitality of Abraham.”   It’s a representation of God, but what we actually see are three angels, very feminine ones at that.  So where’s God?  For the Orthodox Christians of the East, God could not be represented at all, at least in his eternal being.  God is a spirit; he’s invisible.  So we have three angels instead.  The story of the three mysterious visitors in Genesis, chapter 18, gives us warrant to call them an image of God because the word of the Lord comes through their mouths in such a way that God himself is said to speak. Continue reading “Charles C. Twombly – Humility and the Desire for the Other in a Russian Icon”

Richard Rohr – God’s Goodness and Humility

The two adjectives most applied to God by Franciscan mysticism were the goodness of God and the humility of God. Hardly any of us would say God is humble, but Francis did. He and Clare fell in love with the humility of God; because if God emptied himself and hid himself inside the material world then God, who was revealed in Jesus, was surely a very humble kind of God. This is a total surprise to history, and so much a scandal that most Christians would still resist it consciously or unconsciously.

Francis fell in love with the humanity of Jesus more than his divinity. It was Jesus’ humanity that he wanted to draw close to, and that he fell in love with. He just wanted to be the most humble man around, which was his “imitation of God” (Ephesians 5:1). Only in that humble state could he find God, because that’s where God had gone and Francis wanted to go where Jesus went and where God was hiding. Continue reading “Richard Rohr – God’s Goodness and Humility”