“In your nature, eternal Godhead, I shall come to know my nature. And what is my nature, boundless Love? It is fire, because you are nothing but a fire of love. And you have given humankind a share in this nature for by the fire of love you created us.”
So moving despite all the criticism, to see this compassionate gesture in the face of the greatest refugee crisis of our times. I suspect history will look back on this mercurial, passionate and tender-hearted Pope far more kindly than his contemporaries.
John Allen in Crux:
Perhaps what the lack of resistance suggests is that Francis’ accent on what might be called an “Ecumenism of the Here and Now” is actually working.
In a nutshell, when Francis reaches out to other Christians, or for that matter followers of other faiths, he does not begin with history, with what went wrong in the past. Instead, he focuses on the present, and what the two parties can do together right now to move the ball on their shared social, political and cultural concerns.
From John Henry Newman: A Portrait in Letters, the letter written to Emily Forley, a young Catholic convert:
It is God’s mercy to bring us over difficulties. As time goes on, you may be cast down to find that your warmth of feeling does not last as it once was, and instead of it you may have trials of various kinds. Never mind; be brave; make acts of faith, hope, and charity; put yourself into God’s hands, and thank Him for all that he sends you, pleasant or painful. The Psalms and Saint Paul’s Epistles will be your great and abiding consolation.
“Rejoice with trembling.” I say all this, not as dissuading you from enjoying your present joy and peace, but that you may enjoy them religiously.
I repeat, God bless you, keep you, and direct you. Through His grace you have begun life well. May he give you perseverance.