This past September, on Thursday evenings from 7:00 – 8:30 pm, six people participated in a book discussion on Let Us Dream: The Path to a Better Future, conversations of Pope Francis with journalist and biographer, Austen Ivereigh, on the COVID crisis and our collective future. In these conversations, Pope Francis speaks to those of us in the Catholic Church and also to everyone seeking the common good for society and the planet. Each week, we took turns sharing what passages resonated, challenged, or confused us, and this created a very rich learning experience. In addition, we had the pleasure of getting to know who we worship with on a deeper level, one way to make our Collaborative worship and actions much more meaningful.
Pope Francis is challenging us be church in action and the first action we need to take is to see more clearly! Those of us who are privileged with food, housing, education, work, healthcare, security must step out of our comfort to really see the humanity in those who are living on the margins. Pope Francis challenges us next to redesign our economies so that every single person “has access to a dignified existence while protecting and regenerating the natural world.” Pope Francis warns and advises us to see sin as the “rejection of limits that love requires.” We have to limit our excesses in the name of love. We have to limit our blindness and prejudices to see clearly the dignity and need of our neighbors. The Pope also reminds us that this will take humility and plenty of humor!
The group had a great time discussing this challenging wisdom. And we reminded each other weekly as we did so, “Who am I to judge?”