As I approach my upcoming birthday, I am drawn to remember Pope Francis. There are moments that touch our lives and I remember where I was on March 13, 2013, when I heard he was the newly elected Pope.
As the representative of over 1.2 billion souls dedicated to Catholicism, I found hope in the Vatican appointing a leader who represented a close innocence and goodness to the spirit of Jesus Christ. I empathize with the role of offering comfort and faith to so many people during this critical time of the 21st Century, where religion and prayer are not often a priority. It seems that a lack of pure leadership and transparency in all faiths is at an all-time high. The world needs love, and those who honestly emanate love.
As a child, I had recurring dreams about Jesus and of a Pope. I was born in the Caribbean to an African mother, a Roman Catholic, and an Indian father, who was Hindu. We soon moved to the United States, where I was raised, so my interpretation of God was not necessarily one belonging to a faith of my own, but rather an acceptance based on culture and geography. I came to believe that God's children had created Him in their own image so they could connect personally. I was fortunate that my image was one of protection and love. Was it from the dreams?
Then, in my teenage years, I met Dadi Janki, a yogi, who very much offered me a sense of protection and good wishes. And yet, at the same time, as I continued to witness the unfolding of many religious paths and prophets, I wondered how some could be true and others not. What kind of God would love some and not the rest? I studied the history of religions to such an extent that I was inspired to feature them in an exhibit at the Meditation Museum located in metropolitan Washington, D.C. The Copper Age highlights the age of seeking, primarily to assist visitors and myself to see that when the inside of our souls' virtues, such as purity, love, peace, generosity, inner power reduced and became sabotaged by anger, lust, greed, attachment and ego (ALGAE), we innately began our search for God. We needed to fill that accelerating void inside and remove the algae that was stripping the soul of its power.
It still fascinates me to observe the aggression that some instill in promoting a fear-based approach towards God. Is it fear that converts souls into a religion, or is it the invitation to become aware that if we give sorrow to anyone, we will suffer the consequences? What if we were to focus more on not giving or taking sorrow from anyone?
We have given God many names, and said that He has done many things, but when we call out to Him, we ask Him to help us fix something. I remembered hearing that Jesus used to say, "ABBA" as his reference to God. Today I call God "BABA," and I wonder is this slight shift in name due to geographical and linguistic changes over time. Does it matter at all what we call Him, or is it about understanding who He really is? Isn't God ONE, and isn't His role to be the constant benefactor of love, peace, purity and truth? Even though these are abstract qualities, when they are experienced in our souls, they express a life filled with generosity, kindness, acceptance and love.
There would be no war, greed, fear, fighting or insecurity. The question for me is not which religion we adhere to, or the names which we focus on, but the honesty of seeing if we, His children, are lacking this experience of God's ocean of qualities inside ourselves? When I see Pope Francis, I feel from his presence, a soul who is experiencing love, generosity, sacrifice and kindness. And when anyone witnesses someone in that state, we are urged to become that too.
Pope Francis represents over a billion Roman Catholics in the world, but does his heart stop there, or does it expand to everyone? I defer to say, if he is what I feel, that Pope Francis has surpassed his faith and is a man whose soul is of real spiritual love and empathy for all. Many good wishes for his year of service as a Pope, but more so, as an authentic, loving, child of God the Father.
I send this video as a gift: Meditation Music -- I AM