If you have not done so, I highly recommend reading every word of last weeks interview with Pope Francis released in 16 Jesuit journal worldwide. America Magazine published it both online and in their recent issued, and titled it appropriately, “A Big Heart Open to God”.
In a recent dotMagis post, I wrote about both the inspiration and challenge I felt as I read his words:
Pope Francis puts forth key principles of being a minister of the Gospels:
§A person who warms the hearts of people
§A person who helps others heal their wounds
§A person able to walk through the dark night with others
§A person able to dialogue with others
§A person able to descend into another’s darkness without getting lost
This section of the interview both affirmed my call to accompany others on their spiritual journeys and challenged me to reflect deeply on how I walk with others. Truthfully, I am not sure how I would answer my own self-assessment of being a minister of the Gospel. Do I warm the hearts of people? Am I able to help others heal their wounds? Is my own prayer life solid enough that I can walk into another’s darkness without getting lost? Do I have the ability to dialogue with others while knowing my beliefs and still being open to hear where the other person is coming from? Do I start from the other person’s story or from my experience?
I feel a “holy stretching” is in my future as I take these principles and questions to prayer and as I pray to become a minister of the Gospel who has the ability to heal the wounds of others.
What is your response to Pope Francis’ interview?