"...the poor are at the centre of the Gospel, which is the greatest thing we have; they are the privileged recipients of divine mercy. If we remove the poor from the Gospel, it no longer makes sense." ~ Papa Francesco (Pope Francis)
*Papa Francesco is the term used to refer to the current pope, Pope Francis.
'I was somewhat nonchalant about it, feeling it was a perfectly natural and yet an important thing to do.'
"I see. Do you wish them harm?"
"No, no. I just wish the harm in our name would stop and he would be removed from power so the damage he is creating could stop."
I hadn't realized how much this situation had been weighing on my heart, but really, a lot of my time since his election has been spent in despair and anger.
After a while of heartfelt disclosure, I ended with, "and of course I'd like to be prepared to take communion during the Christmas Eve mass."
The priest responded simply, "Of course. Of course. Well, stay open to receive the blessing of Papa Francesco. Just stay open to receive the blessing during the service."
"Oh. Okay," I stuttered taken aback. Surely next I was going to receive a litany of 'Hail Marys' and other prayers to recite for penance.
"Do you know the Lord's Prayer?"
"Say one Lord's Prayer."
"Oh, okay, thank you. Thank you."
I went on to recite the prayer and then just sat for a while outside the confessional, near the grand baldachin drinking it all in.
'Stay open to receive the blessing of Papa Francesco. Just stay open to receive the blessing during the service.'
"What?! You got only one Lord's Prayer?!" Jim said incredulously.
I kinda laughed, "Yeah, why?"
Having received confirmation and being well versed in the usual acts of contrition, which included reciting the rosary or other prayers numerous times depending on the severity of the sin, Jim was astounded that was all I had to do.
"Oh," I said sheepishly shrugging my shoulders.
We both laughed our way onto the next task which was to retrieve our tickets for the Holy Mass.
(To be continued.)
JoAnn Saccato, MA is a mindfulness teacher, author, life coach, educator, and consultant in Northern California. She is author of Companioning the Sacred Journey and Mindful and Intentional Living: A Path to Peace, Clarity and Freedom