If you have not been hiding inside a tree or running for President, you are aware: Pope Francis is in da house.
No, not Tabby’s Place, alas. But, as I type these words, the Pope is a mere hundred miles from Ringoes, NJ, and he’s got us having all kinds of papal fun-cio.
Whether you are Roman Catholic or Rasta or a rhinoceros,* odds are you like this particular Pope. This simple, stubbornly joyful, Jesus-powered man has the gift of pointing all eyes towards the Light.
From his unflashy Fiat to his unhesitating embrace of the aching and the odd, Pope Francis reminds us that love is simpler and stronger than we realize.
We don’t need to make much of ourselves.
We don’t need to fear.
We don’t need to wait one hour to be loved.
We all come to this business of loving cats differently. But the common thread in all our oddball anecdotes is that we’ve been loved, and so we love.
Maybe you’ve been loved by cats.
Maybe by people.
Certainly you’ve been loved by God, who apparently digs loving us through cats and people, papal or otherwise.
We love because we’ve first been loved. I’d bet all the Mumfords in Manchester that, at some point, when you were small and bare and stock-still with fright, someone loved you well.
And so you love the weak ones.
And we are all the weak ones.
We love with the love we’ve known. We walk in the light we’ve been given.
Pope Francis delights to remind us of all that we’ve been given. There’s a party-ready twinkle in the man’s eyes, the sort of holy joy that life can’t snuff.
And with good reason.
All that we can’t do — make ourselves good! make ourselves sparkly! make ourselves acceptable! — has already been done by the only One who loves us enough to do it.
The rest is gravy.
So much gravy.
We’ve been given all we need.
Now we get to invite all the other beggars and bumblers and crazy cats to the party.
We belong to each other.
We’re invited into Love’s presence just as we are, and Love will make us different.
Love will have its way, rolling through us like a mighty tide.
Let the waves crash over you as you check out these cats meditating on Francis-isms.
*I hear they’re Presbyterian, but this hasn’t been independently verified.