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I am a pastor and a clinical psychotherapist. My life's passion is defining healthiness from a human perspective and paralleling it to the holiness of God, divine perspective. Shifting perspectives creates a paradigm that is alongside of rather than over and against. The parakalein of God and the paradoxes of humanity are redefined. Humanity is all about winning and yet we are losing ground everywhere. Divinity is all about letting go of the desire to win and the fear of loss. The Divine embraces the world with loving care regardless of anything.

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Reflections of Pope Francis visit to America

Posted by Don Paine

I sat with a friend who was at Madison Square Garden to see her pope, Pope Francis.  A Pope of the People, for the People, and with the people.  In this he was really a "with us" representative of the God who is with us.  She was overtaken by his presence, not his holiness.  She saw his holiness and respected that but it was his presence that moved her along 18,000 others who gathered that day.

Moving days, powerful words, momentous issues accompanied the popes visit.  Of all that I heard him say one thing stands out, "Only when the strongest among us care for the weakest among us is God's will being done".  The way of the world is that the strongest or at least those in power, abuse, misuse, or neglect the weakest through exploitation, oppression, or suppression.  The way of the God of love, hope, and faith is the way of serving the weakest, nurturing strength in them, and building them up to the equality of peers. Jesus came not to be served, but to serve and to give his life that people in oppression might walk the path to redemption, that is finding their place as loved members of the community of earth.

Maybe when Jesus said the first will be last and the last will be first was his way of saying there is ultimate equality of rights, opportunities, and responsibilities for all, to all.  Only when this is true will there be liberty and justice for all.

Thank you Pope Francis for visiting America and challenging us a the strongest nation on earth to lead with humility conferring dignity on all people.  The strongest religious body is called to do the same. Amen



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