Sunday, January 18, 2015

Papal Visit: Pope Francis' Encounter with the Youth at UST

Wazzup Pilipinas!

At an encounter with the youth, Pope Francis had expressed so many wonderful words of wisdom for the youth present at the grounds of the University of Sto. Tomas (UST) in Espana, Manila. The Pope prayed for the 27-year old lady Kristel who died in Tacloban before proceeding with the program planned for the day.

There are so many beautiful words in Spanish that cannot be fully translated to English. How beautiful the Spanish language really is. I bet it sounds better in Spanish and understand the situation of the translator that not all Spanish words have an exact equivalent in English. What a waste that most Filipinos cannot speak it when our language is so close to Spanish. Que lastima!

The Pontifex said to allow ourselves to be surprised by God ... it will help us move forward. Indeed, all the so called surprises, including those that shocked us, is a way to lead us to a better and stronger future. "Don't be frightened by surprises. They shake the ground and make us unsure. But they move us forward."

"Why does God allow children to suffer?" Probably to teach us how to cry, to weep. There are certain realities in life we only see through eyes that are cleansed with our tears. "Don't be frightened of crying..learn how to weep!" In reference to the girl who wasn’t able to express her full statements in words, and could only only continue in tears, there are things we only understand with eyes that have been cleared by tears.

Pope Francis said "Be wise young people. To be wise: think well, feel well, and do well. Be surprised by the love of God." He then followed it up with "The danger is becoming a museum of information, of having everything, but not knowing what to do with it. No young museums." He captured it perfectly with "Youth Museum." Think of endless curation, self-motivated goals, putting achievements first.


To be wise, use three languages - to think well, to feel well and to do well. We are so overwhelmed by information, but the challenge is to find the appropriate ones that will truly be beneficial and useful. Let us not be like the psychology of computers that seemingly knows all. Most of us have been distracted by the influx of information technology that we have become dependent to it.

"Real love leads you to spend yourself in life and to leave your pockets empty." says the Pope of which I totally agree. We will not find real love with all the material things, fortunes and riches in this world.

Many times, givers give with pride at their resources. The Pope says the poor/orphans have also so much to give us. He said we lack only one thing: to become a beggar. "This is what helps you mature in your commitment to give to others. To learn how to offer up your hand from your own poverty." He also said to "Empty your pockets, but come with very full hearts."and mentioned "St Francis died with empty hands and pockets, but with a full heart."

He said we lack only one thing: to learn how to beg. To learn how to receive with humility. To learn to be evangelized by the poor, those we help, orphans? "Do you know that you too are poor? Your poverty, how to receive what you need? Do you feel with the poor, do something for the poor, ask them for wisdom? The poor have so much to offer us. Have I learned how to beg also for that? Or do I feel self-sufficient? This is what you need to help you mature in your commitment to help others. The poor, the infirm, they have much to offer us. To learn to help with your own poverty."

Pope Francis asks Ricki Macolor, a Yolanda volunteer who gave out solar lamps to the survivors in Tacloban, Leyte: You and your friends are going to give but do you allow yourselves to receive? Answer in your heart. The Pope asked him to answer in his heart and not aloud. always emphasizes the importance of silence. In silence we hear God. In silence, we allow the Holy Spirit to show the way. If @Pontifex asked the same questions to our politicians - you give but do u allow yourself to recieve. Many will probably answer - Claro que si. Padre Damaso came to mind with that "sinverguenza".

The Pope teaches a great lesson: To allow ourselves to receive with humility is something those of us used to just giving must learn. This is not easy to understand: to learn how to beg, to learn how to receive with humility, to learn to be evangelized by the poor. I am very touched when Pope Francis admonished us to listen "to the wisdom of the poor" saying they have a lot to teach us.

The Pope also calls out to the UST crowd looking for the women. The Pope is probably pushing for women’s greater role in society and hits the culture of machismo. Most women also see differently than men. Women are able to pose questions that men are not capable to understand.

Reality is superior to ideas. "The reality that you all have is superior than the paper in front of me.” Pope Francis chose to deliver a speech from the heart and not his prepared one, believing that reality is superior to ideas.

In my opinion, the Pope disarmed the youth and launched a simple but powerful attack on ideology of cynicism and self-centeredness. He tells the youth tells not to let the computer provide all the answers. We must allow God to surprise us. The influx of technology should not let us get lost and confused in thinking the answers are readily available to us using the Internet and its similarities.

"When you lose the capacity to dream, you lose the capacity to love, and the energy to love is lost." may also be a good thought to ponder. We should keep on dreaming even until our old age up to our last breath in this world.

"There is a challenge. It's a challenge of integrity."says the Pope pertaining also to the environment, to climate change, and towards the poor.

Pope Francis finally bidded goodbye to thousands of people gathered at UST. He'll return to the Apostolic Nunciature at Taft Avenue corner Qirino before going to Luneta at the Quirino Grandstand where thousands of people await since last night and early this morning to hear his message at around 3:30 pm for a concluding mass. Some people spent all night drenched sitting inside one of the quadrants at the Papal mass so they can witness the Eucharistic celebration only to be shooed away by police personnel saying the area is reserved for selected VIPs who have "tickets."

Not a dry eye among us! Everything! Every bits and pieces, every word he uttered has a meaning, has an impact, inspiring, life-changing. What the Pope said is not new. It is actually a reminder. A wake up call. What we should do now is follow through.

At the end of all the prayers and words of wisdom is the hope that the inspiration will lead to change in individuals, a change that will be sustained collectively as a nation. Will the "Pope Francis Effect' linger after he leaves? That's the challenge for the church and the faithful. The seed has been planted. It must be maintained and nurtured. Who is up for the challenge?

My message to those in attendance that this experience should not be all about posterity - etching the experience visually rather than internally. We should learn to live the learning that we heard from the Pope. Don't expect to see a change if you don't make one. "Walk every step, every mile, every road, and tell the world, tell the world of His Love."

*Photo credits to respective owners

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