Thursday, September 24, 2015

Pope Francis and The Poor

I got goosebumps watching Pope Francis at St. Patrick's Cathedral in NYC tonight. I have long missed feeling a sense of community in my life, and have long searched for such. But I was also somewhat torn: The age-old pomp and circumstance of the Catholic Church were inspiring, but then I remembered what Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation were all about: Things have always gotten corrupt within the established order!

This quote from Pope Francis is inspiring to me: "The Eucharist is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak."

But then Francis is also quoted as saying that it's not enough to give charity to the poor/homeless--that one must meet them, encounter them... As one who has "met" and "encountered" "The Poor" and "The Homeless," let me tell you: The Poor and The Homeless don't behave on a daily basis like they might when meeting the Pope. I've met some of "The Poor" and "The Homeless" up close and personal at bus-stops/on buses: I've been cursed at, lunged at, belittled for being a "white woman on the bus." I've had to listen to assholes cursing at the top of their lungs--- just in general, or at exchange students or similarly weak-seeming women next to them. I've listened firsthand to a guy behind me on the bus spouting off to his buddy about how he was going to get his girlfriend pregnant before he had to go back to jail, just so she'd be eligible for extra government money.

I've been poor. Working poor, that is. I have ZERO sympathy, though, for the Pope's generic absolution for the slackers. "The Poor" are oh-so-humble in the abstract, but absolutely shitty in reality.

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