Sunday, March 31, 2013


Johann Wagener 3-31-13

If you are intelligent and insightful enough to believe that there is something in this mass universe bigger than you or I which is not knowable but can be experienced none the less, then the story of Easter and the message it sends is well worth listening to.  In his first Easter as pope, Francis calls for peace in his own style

Even though Bill Maher would disagree, the message is from God. 
The messenger is Pope Francis I. 
The message is to all who profess to be “followers of Christ” (Christians) and especially to those of the elite class known as the 1% - many of which believe they have been “chosen” and therefore special and entitled.  

I believe the message Francis is sending is that the time has come for Christians to do more than thump their Bibles, wave their arms in the air, while singing praise with cries of “alleluia.” Simply put, to be a “true” follower of Jesus Christ one needs to walk in His footsteps, or as they say, “walk the talk”.

This is the message Francis (which is what he prefers to called) is delivering, and has already put it into practice, while challenging others to do the same.

First and foremost Francis is setting the example for fellow Christians by walking the talk;
His philosophy is in line with the teachings of Jesus.

He truly believes that True, authentic power is found in service 

He told the crowd of thousands gathered in the Vatican he would like "to ask all those who have positions of responsibility in economic, political and social life, and all men and women of goodwill. Let us be protectors of creation, protectors of God's plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment."

In addition, he said, "We must not be afraid of goodness or even of tenderness."
 "Protection is respecting each of God's creatures and respecting the environment in which we live, the pope said, further defining it this way: "It means protecting people, showing loving concern for each and every person, especially children, the elderly, those in need, who are often the last we  think about. It means caring for one another in our families. Husbands and wives must first protect one another, and then as parents, they care for their children, and children themselves, in time protect their parents. It means building sincere friendships in which we protect one another in trust, respect and goodness. In the end, everything has been entrusted to our protection, and all of us are responsible for it. Be protectors of God's gifts."

In addition, the pope cautioned, "One should never confuse simplicity and humility with weakness."


His lifestyle reflects who he is and what he represents.

For example, rather than live in the palatial quarters of the Vatican he has opted to occupy a few rooms in the Vatican hotel.

Pope Francis already has officials on the back foot with his lack of regard for protocol. He has insisted he will not live in the lavish Papal apartments. On seeing them, he said: ‘But there is room for 300 people in here.”  Vatican simplicity: Pope refuses to act like one

Indeed. Even after he became Argentina's top church official in 2001, the former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio never lived in the ornate church mansion that Pope John Paul II stayed in when visiting, preferring simple rooms in a downtown building, warmed by a small stove on frigid weekends when the heat was turned off. He did his own cooking and rode the bus to get around town.

By his example Francis is sending a message to those who can’t seem to do without gargantuan structures they call homes (excuse me, estates). One would assume that tycoons were intelligent but by the way they behave it seems the opposite is true. 

For example, only a self-centered, simple minded person would believe they need 10 bedrooms and 7 or more bathrooms in residences occupied by only a few people. Unless, of course, they were planning to convert it into a hotel. The Most Expensive Billionaire Homes In The World

To those who pay $50,000.00 to dine with a fool David Koch hosting $50,000-a-plate dinner for Romney in the Hamptons or blow $2,000 on a dish of pasta  The world's most expensive restaurant dishes  they might consider following Francis’ example;

He will eat in the common dining room as he has for the past two weeks, and celebrate 7 a.m. Mass in the hotel chapel as he has each day, inviting Vatican gardeners, street sweepers, hotel workers and newspaper staff to attend.

To the “rolex” crowd Photo Gallery of Rolex Owners Francis has a better idea on how to flaunt or make a social statement instead of modeling up to $150,000 wrist watches.

The world has already seen how Francis has cast aside many trappings of the papacy, refusing to don the red velvet cape Benedict XVI wore for official occasions and keeping the simple, iron-plated pectoral cross he used as bishop and archbishop.  

Then there’s the “prosperity gospel” crowd who have it in mind that hoarding wealth is a gift from God. How to spot a prosperity preacher. I’m not sure what Bible they are reading from, but it’s certainly not one Jesus would approve of.

The message from Francis is simple;

'Those who do not go out of themselves, instead of being mediators, gradually become intermediaries, managers. 

We know the difference: the intermediary, the manager ... doesn't put his own skin and his own heart on the line, he never hears a warm, heartfelt word of thanks,' he said.

When the Church does not do so, he added, “she becomes self-referential and then gets sick.” Church institutions, he said, “have their root in self-referentiality and a kind of theological narcissism” that “gives way to that very serious evil, spiritual worldliness.” 


He manages by example and involves himself in the process.

A message to those CEO’s who proclaim to do “Gods” work Blankfein Says He’s Just Doing ‘God’s Work’

“This is precisely the reason for the dissatisfaction of some, who end up sad — sad priests — in some sense becoming collectors of antiques or novelties, instead of being shepherds living with “the smell of the sheep”,” the Pope explained. “This I ask you: be shepherds, with the “odor of the sheep”, make it real, as shepherds among your flock, fishers of men.


Rather than playing ruler as most of todays “monarchs” do  he prefers to “guide” rather than “rule” and put’s aside most of the rituals that serve to separate rulers from their 

Rather than wasting money on silly rituals and living high off the hog today’s monarchs could better serve their subjects by divesting themselves of the wealth they hoard while living off the people they should be serving  The Queen pleads poverty: Royal aides asked Ministers for help with Palace heating bill on just one of the many properties she spends much of her time in. 

A home likely worth well over $5 billion: Buckingham Palace, their 775-room London residence has 52 royal and guest bedrooms and 188 staff bedrooms. Queen Elizabeth Lives Like A Billionaire

Speaking on the loggia of St. Peter's Basilica after his election the night of March 13, Francis told the tens of thousands gathered there that the cardinals' task during the conclave had been to "give Rome a bishop." And bishop of Rome is the title he has emphasized repeatedly ever since — not vicar of Christ, or any of his other official titles.

He signs his letters with just his name; Francis.