Today is Easter. It seems right that I state my opinions of the new Pope today. I'm not Catholic, although Mary, the mother of Jesus is my deity of choice these days.
I like Pope Francis. I sometimes call him Pope Frank. I would be happy to have him to my house. I'd make him a roasted chicken with herbed rice, a salad and some chocolate cake for dessert. He'd probably partake in a glass of red wine and I'd ask him to tell me stories about his days working the door at a club in Argentina. Then I'd suggest we play a board game.
He's got a bunch of firsts going for him. He's the first Jesuit pope. He's the first pope from an American continent. He's the first pope from the western hemisphere.
I was very interested to see how his service would be different from the other popes during my lifetime simply because he is a Jesuit. They are dedicated to faith and learning. Their lifestyle is very simple as part of their beliefs, being humble is a large part of being a Jesuit.
I actively look for the news about what the Pope has said or done. First, he chose to live in a much smaller, simpler residence instead of the papal apartment. While he has the option of living in a huge flat with a live in staff, he chooses a much smaller guest house with a sitting room where he can have visitors. He sometimes cooks his own meals. When he dines with the others, he sits where there is a seat available, not in a place reserved for him.
He wears plain black shoes. This has been pointed out, his plain black shoes, sturdy and able to be worn a long time.
He kisses babies and allowed the kid who climbed up to see him during a mass remain with him while he spoke, patting the kid on the head as he hugged the pontiffs' legs. The kid draped himself in the pontiff's chair to watch the service from behind Frank's back. I really love the photo of the pope showing this boy the ornate cross he was wearing.
He has made it clear that he wants to put his focus on people near the fringes of society, those who are incarcerated, homeless, poor or drug addicted. Frank prays for everyone. EVERYONE. He excludes no one in his hope for a peaceful world. He's a man, not a god. It's not his job to judge.
As a Jesuit, he taught other theological philosophies and has said we should be accepting of those of other belief systems. He chooses to worship God in one way, others choose a different path. Frank isn't going to get into telling the world that his path is the only way. His path is HIS path and your path is YOUR path.
I like that he does things that display an example of humility and faith. He washed the feet of the incarcerated and women during the week leading up to Easter, which caused quite the stir. It appeared that there were people out there who felt that humility has a place, but come on!
He tossed out his notes on Palm Sunday and chose to wing it instead. Then he went for a ride in the Popemobile but jumped out to take selfies with teenagers from Argentina.
Before he heard confessions, he himself gave confession to a priest. Not a cardinal or a bishop, just a priest, then he went and heard confessions from worshipers. If he thinks people should be doing it, he does it.
He's very much a secular humanist and I like him. I just want to hug him every time I see him on telly. I want to thank him for renewing my belief that there are people of power in the world who are good at heart.
And he'd probably kick my ass at Trivial Pursuit. Unless I get mid-1980's hits, then we might have an even match.
Amanda's beauty tip of the day: Body scrubs and lotions from the dollar store can work just as well as more expensive brands. Don't let the fact that they're cheap scare you away from them.