All last week the media was abuzz with the pope’s U.S. visit. Pope Francis has been a much talked about religious figure over the last few years for not only Christians, but people of other faiths as well. Even if you’re not Catholic or Christian, there are four lessons learned from the Pope’s U.S. visit.
For days, adoring crowds in Washington DC, New York City, and Philadelphia welcomed Pope Francis. He was very busy throughout the week, meeting with the United Nations General Assembly, addressing Congress, attending the Festival of Families, and conducting multireligious services. Pope Francis made a lot of grand gestures and eloquent speeches.
Listed below are four lessons learned from the 2015 U.S. Papal visit.
- Respect the planet. When addressing the United Nations, Pope Francis talked about his concern for the planet, especially with our global culture of waste. Taking better care of the environment is something we should all strive to accomplish. Recycling and conserving energy is a small start, but it is a step in the right direction.
- Strive for peace. While addressing the U.N., the pope also spoke on the importance of fostering peace. Respecting others and starting “authentic dialogues” with people who are different from us can be a challenge, but it’s important. By getting to know other people better, we can find common ground that will help us foster peace.
- Support the vulnerable. At the National Historical Park, Pope Francis gave a speech applauding the U.S. for its gradual effort to “eliminate every kind of racism and prejudice.” And in his speech, the pope made a further call to action, reminding people that caring for the dignity of the weak and vulnerable is essential to the American spirit. By supporting every member of our community, we can all live a more mindful life.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Throughout his visit, the pope asked individuals and large crowds to remember to pray for him. Asking for help is a simple but profound request that many of us have trouble with. It can be a humbling and vulnerable thing, but by reaching out to others we create a strong sense of community.