We saw major steps in ecumenism and cultural interchange with Pope Benedict XVI. This movement on the “big picture” was truly beautiful and enriching for the Church.
It certainly seems as though we are now receiving enrichment of a different kind; Pope Francis in his preaching and in his public messages to date seems to be honing in on the individual and his/her relationship with God.
Pope Francis’ recent Twitter feed is my case in point:
And most recently: “Never speak poorly of others.”
These tweets are all short extracts taken from recent homilies and addresses. Each speaks to an aspect of one’s personal relationship with Christ and the nature of how that relationship expresses itself in relationship with others. It is the encounter with Christ that is important! Pope Francis is inviting each one of us to take a good look at ourselves, to stand as we are before the Lord and to receive His love and mercy and seek to live out the love we have received. His messages are simple but important… and potentially very powerful in their effect, if we take them to heart.
Its almost like Pope Francis is acting as a personal spiritual director to every single individual in the Church throughout the world! How amazing that such a thing is even possible! Changing hearts. This can only be done by the Holy Spirit. It seems that He is working through our Holy Father in this way… we need to open ourselves up to these graces!
Both the “big picture” and the “grassroots growth” need attention. Each of us needs a shepherd to help lead us to Christ as individuals, and we also as the People of God, as a Church, need a shepherd. Both men are different, and the Holy Spirit has given each individual holding the Office of Pope a different task. Isn’t encouraging to see that all of us are being well tended?