My impression is that Pope John Paul II was a good guy. I feel the same about Pope Francis. Looking at that smile of his, I’m sure that he and I would have a good time over coffee at a sidewalk café in Rome.
I read today that he’s writing a book called Dear Pope Francis, his responses to questions posed by thirty kids from around the globe. The article talked about how determined the Pope was to give deep answers to the soulful questions the children asked. “Often, he looked off into space and tried to imagine the child in front of him. And in his gaze I saw care, love.”
Those young folks deserve no less. They need adults to neither look down nor look up at them … just eye to eye, on the level, one human being to another. It’s not important that one of them is 79 and the other somewhere between 6 and 13. There’s the wisdom of accumulated years, and then the spontaneous insights of youth.
One boy asked, “Will the world be again as it was in the past?”
Pope Francis responded, “There are those who manufacture weapons so that people fight each other and wage war. There are people who have hate in their hearts. There are people who are interested only in money and would sell everything for it. They would even sell other people … No, when the time comes, the world will not be as it was. It will be far better than it was in the past.”
Children need to hear hope, to hear love, not just from famous human beings such as the Pope, but from all us adults. They also need to see this on our faces and in our deeds. Are we strong enough to let go of antagonism, entrenched opinions, and a general malaise? Yes we are.