Pope Francis and Me

A Reflection by Sister Joanne Frey, MHSH

“The One who sat on the throne said to me, ‘See, I make all things new!’”                
Revelation 21:5

Yes, you surely did Lord.  He takes our breath away, and our hearts rise because it is a new resurrection.  We know resurrection comes from death, surrender, wisdom, transformation and more.  So, from where did this resurrection come from?

Are you thinking Benedict XVI, the Pope who, during his lifetime, chose to take a personal risk to surrender authority, power, governance, to another?  Surely a Jesus figure:  What is Benedict teaching us—that risk is necessary to allow something new to happen, to open the people of God, the Church, to a new spring, to a new planting of joy?

Pope Francis meets Benedict XVIPope Francis sets his first fully expressed exhortation on a solid platform, an urgent call to look to joy, forgiveness and redemption in full measure to be shared and experienced by all God’s children.

I ask myself how Pope Francis has changed me.  I have always prayed for the person called to serve us in the papal office.  Perhaps some of this response to the papacy is because I am a member of a Pontifical Congregation.  However, I feel deeply that today my prayer is with our Holy Father.

The Inauguration Mass For Pope FrancisI read that he spends an hour each day in the Presence of the Blessed Sacrament.  In spirit I join him there and with him ask Our Lady to untie some of the knots in my day’s experience.  The Pope’s devotion to our Blessed Mother has encouraged private devotions—whichever ones we may choose.  I love his devotion to Our Lady Untier of the Knots and his action of commissioning the copy of the famous painting and taking it to a favorite chapel of his in the small mission in Argentina.

Francis’s work on Romano Guardini also influences my life today.  Years ago, as a scripture student, I was fascinated with the writer’s masterwork, The Lord.  Now I have his Jesus Christus in paperback and on the Kindle so as long as the eyes cooperate, I’ll enjoy the book that I’m quite sure Pope Francis has read.

Pope-Francis-kisses-the-feet-of-a-childHe has indeed influenced my life.  I thank God for him and send him God’s love in my prayer each morning and often throughout the day.  You can take my word:

95-year-old women religious can be influenced by God’s servants.

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3 Responses to Pope Francis and Me

  1. Donna says:


  2. Catherine Strasburg says:

    Beautiful story. Please email me; my emails to you bounce back. catstrasburg@hotmail.com

  3. Lynne Mudarri Sheridan says:

    Inspiring!.. And so are you Sister Joanne! I remember you fondly from St. Bernard’s in Newton.

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