Pope Francis renews faith, practices what he preaches

Show, don’t tell” is one of the most fundamental rules you’ll ever hear in a creative writing class, whether it’s at Gannon University or anywhere else that’s got some merit with that sort of thing.

You want the reader to see, hear, feel, smell and taste what you’re writing, so that he or she can create a picture that will carry through the rest of the poem, story or other work.

It’s not necessarily an easy thing to do, but it’s also what makes great writers so great. A lot of it comes down to hard work, but I think the core of being able to paint a picture like this comes from talent; something you’re born with.

In light of recent events, I can think of no better example of “show, don’t tell” than Pope Francis.

As a Catholic and altogether interested person, I’ve been keeping an eye on what the new pontiff has been doing and saying, particularly around Easter time.

I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t honed great expectations for the guy as soon as I heard he was a Jesuit.

He lived among the people in a small apartment and cooked for himself every day. He even used public transportation to get where he needed to be.

Sounds like a genuinely good guy so far, right?

Then it came out that Pope Francis declined to live in the papal suite in favor of the guest quarters, a smaller, simpler space than the grandiose housing of Benedict XVI and others.

Francis celebrated Holy Thursday at a juvenile detention center, washing the feet of young men and women.

Not only is it unheard of for the pope to be at a detention center during Holy Week, but its doubly so for him to wash the feet of a woman. Usually it’s other priests, bishops or cardinals; exactly the kind of people we’re told Jesus wasn’t out to serve in his day.

But this isn’t meant to be a commentary about other popes, or even the Catholic Church in general, of which I am a proud member.

Pope Francis is showing us all how it ought to be done. He is practicing what he preaches; something I honestly don’t see much of these days, from anyone.

If nothing else, his election and what he’s already chosen to do with the papacy is refreshing. It gives me hope for the future, that young Catholics have been provided with the opportunity to grow up watching Francis’ example.

He is Catholic through and through, something the rest of us mostly aspire to be.

And that’s exactly what being Catholic means to me. It’s not all debates about marriage and abortion; it’s about caring for the poor, serving those less fortunate than yourself, and being an altogether decent human being.

I know a lot of people who are one, or a couple of those things, but Pope Francis seems to exhibit the whole package.

My hope for now is that he has a long, flourishing papacy, and shows the true values of Catholicism to the rest of the world, instead of telling them like so many before.

 

KELLY MORELAND

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