Being like Jesus
There is a legend from the Orient about a traveler making his way to a large city. One night he met two other travelers along the road: Fear and Plague. Plague explained to the traveler that, once they arrived, they expected to kill 10,000 people in the city. The traveler asked Plague if Plague would do all the killing. “Oh, no. I 'm only going to kill only a few hundred. My friend Fear will kill the others.”
Like bishops, each pope has a coat of arms and a motto. Benedict XVI’s motto was “Co-laborers in Truth,” Bl. John Paul II’s was “Totally Yours.” Pope Francis’ motto is Miserando atque Eligendo, “Lowly but Chosen.”
Every man longs to leave a legacy, to make a difference in the lives of others. What legacy has Pope Benedict left behind? What message has he left for us?
Eight years ago, the world cast him off as a shy, uptight rule enforcer. It doubted that young people could connect with a rapidly aging, theological conservative. It probably could’ve picked a dozen popes better for our liberal-minded, freethinking society than the 5’7” white-haired Cardinal Ratzinger. Well, needless to say, the world was wrong.
The former pope, Benedict XVI, is 85 years old. He is from Germany. His garb has been known to include red shoes, a giant gold cross, and a tiny hat. For the past eight years his entire life has been scheduled from daybreak to dark. His most recent gig was to shepherd a Church of nearly 1.2 billion people.
Though not as often as prior to getting married, now and then I still take kind-hearted people up on the invitation to speak. I’ve always found the entire thing a bit strange, getting paid to travel and speak about matters of faith and life. In fifteen years, no engagement has ever been the same.
Excuse the satire of this headline, but I’m glad it got your attention. I’ve long admired those rare authors whose sharp wit and keen ability to appeal to the imagination opens us to new levels of understanding and perspective.
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Since the pontificates of Pope Paul VI and John Paul II, the Roman Catholic Church has been commissioned to engage and embrace the world with God's message of love once more with ‘new methods, new ardor and new expression.’ It has come to be phrased, 'the new evangelization.'
For FOCUS, this means meeting college students across the nation where they are and challenging them to examine the meaning and purpose of their lives. Through personal relationships and friendship, we offer college students the true peace and fulfillment they seek in the good news of Jesus Christ and the teachings of the Catholic faith, inviting them to answer His calling in their lives.
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