by Catherine Jacobs |
I can easily relate to Pope Francis. I feel that this is true for many people on campus. We’re in a place that values an open mind and an open heart: college. College is a place to hear different opinions, to reflect and to find out who you truly are and what you believe in. I find that Pope Francis is someone who has that open mind and heart and welcomes different opinions and thoughts, even though he may not agree with everyone. He’s always willing to listen to anyone, and is open to learning. I think that’s a lesson for every college student.
Don’t block out someone who is conservative or liberal, Catholic or atheist just because you aren’t. Listen to everyone’s views, even if you don’t agree. And like Pope Francis, you can disagree with grace and continue to love that person. I think that’s a powerful lesson for all of us.
It’s extremely meaningful to me that Pope Francis not only visited the United States two weeks ago, but visited for six days! He celebrated Mass with the people of America, blessed our babies, prayed with our religious leaders and hit us with messages that we needed to hear. When he spoke to our leaders in Congress, he celebrated what’s best about America — opportunity, dreams, diversity, a desire for equality. This was the basis for his calls for change in our society. “If you want security,” he told them (and all of us), “Give security… if you want opportunity, give opportunity!” Whether it comes to immigration, taking care of the planet, or social justice, one thing’s clear: We need to love one another and support each other. He wants us to never forget that the person in front of us, no matter how different, is another person, with a story, with needs and with dignity. In short, while disagreement will be inevitable in our diverse country, we must always love people first. With love, we can fix the problems we have in today’s society here in the U.S. Pope Francis reminded us of our duty to be there for each other as brothers and sisters, and I think that’s a basic and clear message that we needed to hear.