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Mark Shriver, Pope Francis, The Year of Mercy, Sharing Strength

            My friend Mark Shriver, an ally of ours who runs Save The Children Action Network, has a book being published on Tuesday called Pilgrimage: My Search For the Real Pope Francis.  In connection with that he wrote this op-ed for the New York Times about the Pope and mercy, It is also very much about bearing witness, personal transformation, and how each of us can make a difference in the world.  I think you’ll find that it resonates with our work, especially how one shares their strength, whether Catholic, or as in my case, not.  An excerpt:
“I had considered mercy from an intellectual perspective and believed the pope was essentially calling me to be nicer to people. But he is calling on us to live mercy on a deeply personal basis that changes the very essence of who we are.
In his book “The Name of God Is Mercy,” he described an episode from his time as a rector in Argentina. The parish church sometimes helped out a woman whose husband had left her, and who had turned to prostitution to feed her young children.
            “I remember one day — it was during the Christmas holidays — she came with her children to the College and asked for me. They called me and I went to greet her. She had come to thank me. I thought it was for the package of food from Caritas that we had sent to her. ‘Did you receive it?’ I asked. ‘Yes, yes, thank you for that, too. But I came here today to thank you because you never stopped calling me Señora.’ ”
The story forced me to think about how I treated people in need, particularly the homeless man I saw outside my office every day. I occasionally gave him money, but I didn’t stop and look him in the eye; I didn’t ask his name, let alone call him Mister.
Now I know his name is Robert. When I give him money or buy him breakfast, I ask him how he is doing. I don’t do it every time I encounter a homeless person, but I am getting better.
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/24/opinion/sunday/this-merciful-year.html

Mark is an upcoming guest on our podcast Add Passion and Stir, available on iTunes and @ http://addpassionandstir.com/
 

 

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