Is the Pope challenging us to become more like the poor?
Well, we have to be very careful, firstly the Pope is speaking in Italian (not his native Spanish, despite how similar the two languages are), which we then translate into English by a translator. In any case of translation, the simultaneous translator will always perform poorly in comparison to a translation done over time. Even then, our reliance on someone else to translate what the Pope says, always means that we must be careful to weigh everything carefully and not give way to fanatical “yes-man”isms (Incidentally, this is related to the inherent weakness caused by abandoning Latin – more another time).
So we have to be careful here; If he has challenged us to “becoming more like the poor” as we understand those words in English, then we need to be aware of some things. His understanding, and use of these words depends upon his personal Theology (something that is not subject to Papal Infallibility). And we must be cautious here, because “become more like the poor” smacks of Liberation Theology… St Francis may have divested himself of all his personal wealth, but he never said that we all should do the same.
If, however. he is challenging us to be more like what is outlined in these two meditations, then great!
Forgiving Love (1 of 2 – 45 min runtime)[audio http://centerforchristiannonviolence.org/data/Media/BTL_14_The_Lamb_of_Forgiving_Love.mp3]
Serving Love (2 of 2 – 45 min runtime)[audio http://centerforchristiannonviolence.org/data/Media/BTL_15_The_Lamb_of_Serving_Love.mp3]
Now what I am not saying, is that we should set ourselves up as mini-Popes judging every word our present Supreme Pontiff says, picking this, ignoring that. We are not pick-and-choose cafeteria catholics. The Supreme Pontiff deserves our filial trust and obedience. What I am saying is that we have, by the Supreme Good that Is God, been given the gift of reason, and that we should use it. We have to trust in God. We have to reflect on what is said to us. As Our Lady “pondered within herself” the words that the Angel Gabriel bore to her (Cf 1:26). And once pondered, discerning the spirit to be good, do obediently.