Posted by: Walk.Build.Proclaim | September 24, 2013

A Big Heart Open to God…a lay persons response, Part 2

Yesterday’s post, I tackled the first 3 things that I learned from Pope Francis’ interview from earlier this week with the Jesuits.  Today I present my last two “lessons learned” from this interview.

4. A Deeper Theology of Women and Women’s Role in the Church: For as long as I can remember there has always been a contingent (mostly made up of women) that hold a particular grudge, because women at this time are not allowed to be ordained in the Catholic church. This contingent never seems to want to take a good hard look at the variety of roles of leadership and service women do have in the Catholic Church. Instead it seems to be easier to focus on the “no” like a three year old that was told they couldn’t have a cookie ten minutes before dinner.  I am NOT one of the women in the contingent that only focuses on the issue(s) surrounding women’s ordination.

I personally feel very blessed to have the education in theology that I do have. I have earned degrees at two outstanding schools. I have been able to expand upon my education with continuing ed programs in the areas of scripture studies and theology at places like Princeton’s School of Theology, St.John’s University, Boston College and Notre Dame. All schools, programs that just 50 years ago would not have been an option for me. I worked for 17-years in the position of a Director of Youth Ministry; during this time I was charged with the formation of thousands of students!! I was able to lead a variety of scripture classes for adults. I’m now in a position that can best be described as that of a Chaplain (although I don’t like that title). I provide Pastoral Care to a variety of people in any given day. I take Communion to people who are unable to get to Mass on a regular basis. I break open the word with those people, I pray with some of the most marginalized in society.  I truly feel as though I am ministering the way Jesus instructed His Disciples to Minister, without regard to color or creed, or disability. It doesn’t matter to these people that I am a woman!

Does the church need a clearer, deeper theology of women and the role of women in the church. YES that is absolutely something that is needed. Where do I think we should start is with a careful study of the many many women in scripture and what those roles in those communities in those times were, I would guess that we’d find many more similarities than differences.

Pope Francis, PLEASE go ahead and put together a study group of Men & Women to develop this theology, raise the questions, I trust that you will do this with prudence and prayer.

Lastly:Seeking God in all things:  Much has been written about the fact that Pope Francis is a  Jesuit In the article A Big Heart Open to God  the topic of how Pope Francis embraces and lives the Jesuit lifestyle as the Pope was addressed. One of the tenants of being a Jesuit is to actively Find God in all things. This would seem a lot easier said than done. Pope Francis had a wonderful answer to HOW he continues to Find God in All Things.  “Finding God in all things is not an ‘empirical eureka.’ When we desire to encounter God, we would like to verify him immediately by an empirical method. But you cannot meet God this way. God is found in the gentle breeze perceived by Elijah. The senses that find God are the ones St. Ignatius called spiritual senses. Ignatius asks us to open our spiritual sensitivity to encounter God beyond a purely empirical approach. A contemplative attitude is necessary: it is the feeling that you are moving along the good path of understanding and affection toward things and situations. Profound peace, spiritual consolation, love of God and love of all things in God—this is the sign that you are on this right path.” 

Can you even imagine a world where people actually look for God in all things, regardless of Who/What you call God? To look for that loving, merciful and creative energy in every person, in every situation. I think then and only then will we truly achieve world peace.

I will personally be more than happy to settle for family peace! If we could just make it our goal to look for God in each member of our family. Immediate and extended and truly believe that there is only good-will intended for each other.  This too would bring a different kind of world peace. It’s a peace that is obtainable with a little bit of time, patience and love.

There are so many more things that we can all learn from Pope Francis’ interview, both about him and his style of leadership, reform, prayer life as well as ourselves. If you haven’t read this article yet I’d really recommend it.  It was very well written. It is now a piece of history as this kind of interview has never happened before!  Go ahead, check it out  America Magazine A Big Heart Open to God

If you have any thoughts, comments, reactions to what you read in this interview or with this bloggers reaction and lesson learned, feel free to join the conversation by leaving a comment.

Thank You for entertaining my reaction to this historical interview as well.

Up next, Don’t Judge me by what I watch on TV.



  1. Especially connect with #5. Wish we could all look for the good ( and consequently the God) in all we encounter. Start with the assumption that we are all truly we’ll-intentioned. What a beautiful place this would be!

    Please excuse the brevity… Sent from my iPhone

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Gary Neal Hansen

Theology. It's good for you.

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