Little things

The Pope and I

P and J.jpgYeah right! that’s me greeting the pope last Saturday after a time of prayer at St. Peter’s square.
What’s was it like? It was cool, literally. When I was told 3 days ago, I didn’t believe it. I thought ‘you’ve got to be kidding me. Actually, you’re goating me, ha ha’.
So I left home cold as a fish, took the tram to Risorgimiento {near St. Peter’s} with two friends. We arrived there in good time, got registered, received the tickets, mingled with the others who had come for the same purpose, passed the controls and got seated on the platform, far from the crowd and very close – less than a stonethrow – from the stage where the Pope was to sit.
How did it begin? One friend had registered to attend the marian Jubilee celebration which was part of the many activities of the Pope for the Jubilee year. She was coming with a group of 8 Nigerians, she said. Out of the blues, she was invited with two others of her group to personally greet the Pope at the end of the ceremony. She did a ballot with all the names of the 8 and I was chosen. Boy! Anyway, here we are.
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The ceremony was lovely and warm. There was a procession from different delegations of different countries with images of Our Lady. Then the Pope arrived!
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This ain’t no joke. My excitement mounted. We prayed the rosary with the Pope and at the end, each one of the select group, a total of 80 persons, got to personally greet the pope.
How was it?
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It was beautiful! You know, He was waiting to hear from me, from each one. He listens as he advises us to do.

Take time, quality time. This means being ready to listen patiently and attentively to everything the other person wants to say. It requires the self-discipline of not speaking until the time is right. Instead of offering an opinion or advice, we need to be sure that we have heard everything the other person has to say. This means cultivating an interior silence that makes it possible to listen to the other person without mental or emotional distractions. Do not be rushed, put aside all of your own needs and worries, and make space. Often the other spouse does not need a solution to his or her problems, but simply to be heard, to feel that someone has acknowledge their pain, their disappointment, their fear, their anger, their hopes and their dreams. How often we hear complaints like: “He does not listen to me.” “Even when you seem to, you are really doing something else.” “I talk to her and I feel like she can’t wait for me to finish.” “When I speak to her, she tries to change the subject, or she gives me curt responses to end the conversation”. {Amoris Laetitia, no. 137}

And this’s what I told him ‘I’m reading Amoris Laetitia’ I said and he smiled. ‘And I like it’ ‘Thank you’ he replied. I kissed his papal ring and went on. Yeah, just like that.
Then it really struck me how ordinary the Pope was, the Pope is. And I made one resolution ‘to pray for him everyday.’ I invite you, dear friend, to join me.

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