Thursday, September 24, 2015

#266: Pope Francis' visit to the States

I'm not even Catholic. But I was actually crying--crying--on the treadmill today. ON THE TREADMILL!!  AT THE GYM!!!

I was watching live as the Pope travel a few hundred yards down 5th Avenue to St. Patrick's Cathedral in NYC.  I almost never watch the TV on the treadmill, but I was glued to the screen this afternoon. I even crossed myself when he waved his arm in blessing in the direction of the camera. I was totally overwhelmed with emotion. It's as if his love came through the TV and hit me straight on.

Then I was amazed to find out the Pope had lunch today with poor and homeless people in New York.

He smiled the whole way down the street--and this guy has had a very, very long day. As I watched him walk into the Cathedral, he stopped a few times to [what I assume was] bless people. I kept thinking of what a snarky mood I was in today, and I found it so hard to be patient and kind to my students; this guy is The. Pope. and he is taking time to smile and be kind and present with and eat with people who are arguably more needy than many of us.

The feeling of "coming together" that I felt reminded me of how it felt in my world in the weeks after 9/11. Everyone came together for the mutual benefit of everyone else; we all let go of differences and and were especially kind to each other.

What a huge reality check/attitude adjustment/gratitude shot/perspective change today! If the Pope can be kind all day long to millions, I can probably find it in myself to be kind all day to my dozens.

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