Pope Francis arrives in the US today, and there is so much chatter and commentary, disagreement and discord, that it might become very easy to miss his – and ultimately God’s – message to us.
Something he said in Cuba on Monday struck me:
“If you are different than me, why don’t we talk?” Francis asked the crowd. “Why do we always throw rocks at that which separates us?”
Some questions for reflection, and please do comment if you wish…
- How can we find pathways to conversation with those with whom we disagree?
- How important is it for each of us to be “right?”
- What is the danger in changing our minds or hearts?
What is it that we really disagree on? I have found that our fundamental disagreements are not those of how we would like our society to be/look/act, but rather a difference in agreeing on how we get to that point. Like any relationship, a little give-and-take goes a long way. I’m feeling a little pride in myself today because it appears the Pope and I think the same…let’s talk!
In today’s America sides are taken and there is no more respectful disagreement. The “other side” is demeaned, name-calling is quite socially acceptable, and the divide grows wider. And I’m not just talking about politics. Look at sports fans (?) as they “root” for their teams. It’s ugly out there in society.
Let’s face it, Fran, if you and I had taken that attitude we’d never have become friends. We should be poster models for the Pope’s “Why don’t we talk?” campaign. 🙂
How important is it for each of us to be “right?”
If you’re gay person wanting the legal protections of MARRIAGE to your Beloved—inc everything from flowers at the wedding, to adopting children from the adoption agency—it’s blessedly important for gay people to be treated as if their love is “right”, regardless of the belief-systems of corporations (profit or non-).
I never replied to you JCF, and for that I apologize… I began to, but could not find the right words, then I lost track and I am sorry. While I understand your point very well, and my heart aches, I reluctantly say that perhaps you did not understand the point of the post. What I meant was that at large – and I do mean at large – to talk with another that does perhaps hold that recalcitrant point of view on whatever is closest to our hearts, may begin a slight process of transformational change or metanoia. Perhaps in God’s eyes, these microsteps are more significant that our human eyes can see.
To talk to another, and I say this with great respect as we have discussed many things that sometimes seem to stand between us, is a gift of sorts. If we can detach ourselves periodically (basically I suck at this, take note) God might surprise us. It is not so that we can gain agreement or be right, no matter how personally such issues touch us, but to cooperate with what we do not always understand. In fact, I would underscore that we might be well advised to talk to others on issues that don’t rub against the most tender surfaces of our own hearts. At first anyway.
Does any of this make sense?