I have another piece over at Aleteia.
It took me a while to write it and even longer to actually send it out.
Sometimes I sit on pieces I write and eventually throw them away because I write them in the heat of the moment and then realize that I just need to pray on it and spare other people the burden of reading it.
But this one kept coming back to me so I decided to share it. I think this piece touches on something really fundamental about human relationships.
We use each other. A lot. It seems like it is something deeply rooted in our concupiscence. I have been on the receiving end of this in a couple interactions lately, and thankfully, it opened my eyes to the ways that I do the same thing to other people.
When I was a Quaker (or at least regularly going to Quaker meetings) I really admired the Quaker activists I got to know. They were really intense and passionate about different issues. But they were also really serious about not speaking about other people in a way that stripped them of their dignity. They would speak of recognizing “the inner light” in other people. That really stuck with me over the years. For me, it has come to mean that I need to recognize that others are made in the image and likeness of God. This has helped me to see when I dehumanize other people I disagree with or dislike.Anyway, I have been noticing the way that people have been doing this to Pope Francis. And it really got to me when I recently read a quote from him about feeling used after becoming pope.
Here’s an excerpt from the piece:
We turn Pope Francis into a weapon.
The pope who begs us to work for peace in our homes and in our world is used every day as a spear by different tribes to attack one another, within and outside of the Church. We use Pope Francis as a weapon to disappoint, tease and attack our “enemies.”