What Would the Desert Fathers Think of Pope Francis Blessing the Disabled Man?

Agape in action.

Surely you’ve seen the video of Pope Francis stopping his ride into St. Peter’s Square so he could give a blessing. Deacon Greg shared it earlier,

…and it’s going viral like the fire in Chicago after Mrs. O’Leahry’s cow kicked over her lantern.

And rightly so.

In one of my first blog posts, I shared how much I admired the Desert Fathers and Mothers, and how they helped me swim the Tiber. When I saw Pope Francis stop and dismount from his vehicle this morning, and bestow that loving blessing on our brother and his fellows, I remembered the following saying,

A monk once posed this question to an elder: There are two brothers, one of whom remains praying in his cell, fasting six days at a time and doing a great deal of penance. The other one takes care of the sick. Which one’s work is more pleasing to God? The elder replied: If that brother who fasts six days were to hang himself up by the nose, he could not equal the one who takes care of the sick.

Often times, the best lessons on leadership are taught by example. Pope Francis is leading, and even if his actions remind me my own unworthiness and shameful lack of agape, I intend to follow his example.

Because his example is Jesus Christ’s example, and it leaves my heart burning within me.


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