Friday, October 2, 2015

Pope Glow: 4 Easy Ways To Keep Yours Alive

In case you didn't hear, Pope Francis recently visited the US for the first time in his life.  He spent two days in my city, Philadelphia.  A travel opportunity had been presented to me months earlier, so I wasn't here.  But I couldn't help but pay attention.  The glow was apparent through social media posts and through the energy that lingered in the Philadelphia area after the Pope had departed.

I'm not Catholic, but I think this pope is special.  He speaks passionately of the power of love.  He challenges those in power to consider the less powerful.  He is deeply concerned about the effects of consumerism on individuals and on our planet.  And he walks the walk.  He rides around in a small Fiat, a car that retails for about $20,000.  He lunches with homeless people instead of leaders of the US Congress. He visits prisoners when he could be visiting mansions filled with wealthy, supposedly important people.  I pay attention to him.

The glow was still here the day after he left, but the day after that, I could feel it slipping away.  Even on my morning walk, horns were honking, cars were being hurtled down the street as if the driver was the most important person on the planet.

It is hard to keep the glow, isn't it?  Whether it comes from the visit of a spiritual person, a vacation or a good yoga class, it is a challenge.  Modern life is filled with complexities and attention-getting devices.  But we should try to keep the glow because it keeps us balanced and focused on what really matters.  So, here are 4 quotes from Pope Francis, each followed by a simple action you can incorporate into your life to keep your Pope Glow. Or to get a Pope Glow if you didn't have one in the first place.

  • Remember the little things, the gestures that often go overlooked.  Love is shown in the little things.”  
Write your favorite Francis quote (this seems to be a reliable resource) on a post-it note.  Put it somewhere you can't avoid, like your computer screen or bathroom mirror.  Stop and savor on a regular basis every day. 


  • "The culture of prosperity deadens us; we are thrilled if the market offers us something new to purchase; and in the meantime all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle; they fail to move us."
There's some shiny object that will entice you on your next trip to the mall or the grocery store.  You won't need it. Oh, you might try to convince yourself that you need it, but you know that you don't.  Don't buy it.  Leave it there, along with the rest of the junk that you really don't need.



  • "An integral ecology is also made up of simple daily gestures which break with the logic of violence, exploitation and selfishness.  We should also consider taking public transit, car-pooling, planting trees, turning off lights and recycling."
Pick up a piece of trash and throw it in the trash can.  Walk to your next appointment. Turn off the lights when you leave the room.


  • "To protect creation, to protect every man and every woman, to look upon them with tenderness and love, is to open up a horizon of hope; it is to let a shaft of light break through the heavy clouds; it is to bring the warmth of hope!"
Take your headphones out of your ears and smile at someone as you are walking down the street. Don't honk your horn. Don't push your way to the front of the line. Don't whine when you have to wait.  

Pope Glow.  Let's make it part of our daily existence.


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