Love is the bottom line

September 29, 2015

love-isToday, the topic is the transcendent power of love.  It’s also about politics and sports and religion and leadership. But bottom line? It’s about love.

When I saw this as a Facebook post by my friend, Lisa Brock, I knew I had to have it.  Lisa was a former “competitor” of mine when I did consulting in Tampa years ago, although, really, I don’t strictly believe in “competitors” nor, do I think, does she. But I got to know her better when we both taught at the University of Tampa and I grew to admire her. And then, of course, there is Facebook and there, I got to really appreciate her thought process. Lisa always teaches me a little something and sometimes a big something. Her point of view is so well-reasoned and heart-felt–she’s a person of integrity in world where it’s in short supply.

What I love about this piece is that it goes beyond “The Pope isn’t doing enough” or “isn’t the church paternalistic” and it gets right down to the nitty-gritty, and that’s LOVE.

Pulling for the Pope and for Love

by Lisa Brock

Lisa Brock Headshot

Lisa Brock

I am not a Catholic but I have fallen in love with this Pope.

I believe he epitomizes the best that any religion can offer – and that is the transcendent power of love. I know people of many faiths and that has been a blessing to my life. I know good Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists and Hindus. I know good Bahais, Taoists and Sikhs – even atheists. And because of this, I have a sense of faith that is not driven by any particular doctrine or that has gone unchallenged nor have I learned in a vacuum.

But what I have mostly learned is that religion aside, we, meaning humanity in general and across race, culture and socio-economics, are pretty much the same with very similar aspirations. We want to have meaning in our lives, some sort of purpose and some kind of a family life. And we all want to be – need to be – unconditionally loved. And this is something that is lacking for many.

Religion, like politics often divides us but if we can set the differences aside – and focus on the love part – we can in fact get along. We can find common ground. And that is what the Pope did. He didn’t choose to see or meet just Catholics while he was here. Or the wealthy or dignitaries. He served as an example to ALL – regardless of religious belief – or non-belief. He sought out in the crowds, those with no agenda – because children, the homeless, those in wheelchairs with different abilities and those who have been victimized by church leaders have very little power. But they DO need love. I mean – we ALL need love.

As I was listening to what Ben Carson had to say about a Muslim President it became clear to me that he has probably never known a Muslim or at least not well. Of course there are ‘bad’ ones but we HAVE to wake up. There are some pretty bad behaviors attributed to Christians too. Every group you can THINK of has good and bad as part of the whole. It is more like human nature than it is the attribute of any given group. Or any religion. We have to stop being afraid to know people who are different from us. And we have to be open to learning.

As I watched the Pope work his magic, I worried more about the vacuum of leadership in our country. About a Congress who tried – purely on the basis of politics – to make his visit something that was wrong or bad. I worry about the lack of humility, the arrogance, the unyielding desire to win at all cost and to look the other way when wrong choices are made.

Whether it is Tom Brady using the legal system to win – though clearly he did something wrong, or Carly Fiorina overstating her success or Hilary Clinton dragging out the truth about her emails – I really do wonder – when did it become okay for our leaders to lie? To cheat? To use the legal system to absolve the truth of personal responsibility? Where is the leadership? But then I SAW it in Pope Francis.


It’s the bottom line, after all is said & done.

I hope that people everywhere who heard or saw him will ponder the message of the Pope and examine what his visit symbolizes. That we can and must do better. That like he did with sexual abuse victims – we have to take responsibility and stop blaming others for our own transgressions. That every life must be respected and every choice, closely examined through the lens of love. That even those who make egregious mistakes be treated humanely and with love. Even his message about women as Priests struck me in an interesting way. Perhaps he is saying that we denigrate the role of women by not valuing the many contributions already being made by Nuns everywhere? He made me wonder…why are their efforts less important or worthy? Is it because they are not Priests or is it because they are women and women’s work is somehow not as valued?

I admit that it troubles me still but again…I love that he did not duck it and he answered the questions before him. Life can be complicated and even though I may differ with him here or on other issues, I admire anyone who walks their talk in the humble way that he does. (As opposed to that way that say Trump or Ted Cruz walks his…)

THAT is how we teach and build character. That is how we become a ‘great’ country again to borrow a VERY overused phrase by our country’s Republican front runner. I hope and pray that Congress heard his message, saw his example and will feel pulled to re-examine what their leadership means. That truly would be an act of God.

I am pulling for Pope Francis. And especially for his message of love.

I’d love for you to comment on this post. And if you are inclined? Share it. Everywhere. Thank you.

37 comments on “Love is the bottom line
  1. The Pope has certainly re-instilled a message we’re forgotting in our country. That love can more than conquer; it is essential to every issue worth fighting for. War. Famine. Poverty. Abuse. If we loved one another more these things would certainly be more solvable.

    While I can’t agree with certain views of the Catholic faith, namely abortion and the non-acceptance of the gay/lesbian community, overall I agree with the tenets of what this Pope represents. As a Jew I was in the minority at a Jesuit college, and it was at Mass that I learned to give a sign of peace, even to strangers. I loved that. Let’s give everyone a sign of peace, always. That’s what the Pope is teaching. He’s the “coolest” Pope ever!

  2. Robin Rue (@massholemommy) says:

    Wouldn’t it be nice if we lived in a world where everyone just got along 🙂 She is a wise woman indeed.

  3. I really enjoyed your post. Yes it would be wonderful that everyone in the world can put everything aside and get along. Love is a big part of my life. I try to get along with everyone because life is to short. I know that because I am in end stage renal failure.
    I am catholic and I would personally have loved to meet the Pope.

  4. Helene Cohen Bludman says:

    Oh my goodness, I couldn’t agree more. I was so wowed by the Pope last week, especially the two days he was in my city of Philadelphia. I wrote my own “I’m Jewish and I love the Pope” post but haven’t published it yet!

  5. It was wonderful to see the Pope spread love and humility throughout his visit to our country. Watching him in our city of Philadelphia, (on tv), was exciting, even though the secret service turned most of the city into a police state. I understand the incredible fear of ‘God forbid’ something happened to him here, but it was a strange juxtaposition with the message Francis spread everywhere he went.
    Loved this post, Carol. Thanks for sharing!

  6. I wish that everybody thought like this. I try to instill love in my children so they will go out in this world and love everybody and not be filled with hate towards people just because they are different than you are.

  7. As you know I am not a religious person myself, but I have fallen in love with this Pope as well. He is just such a grounded good-hearted person. You can see in his eyes that you can trust him. IT would be amazing to live in a country run by someone with his outlook and morals. I hope there comes a day when that happens here, but until we see the Donald Trumps of the world as what they really are nothing will change. IT’s a sad state.

  8. Shaylee says:

    I am not Catholic (or religious for that matter) but I think Pope Francis is wonderful! Everything you hear about him is positive and towards the greater good. It especially helped when he chuckled at the baby dressed as mini-Pope recently. It showed he has a great sense of humour as well 🙂

  9. Keriann McKenna says:

    As a Catholic, the Pope is my Papa on earth. I love him dearly and pray for him. It is such a blessing to know others love him as well.

  10. Angie says:

    There is way too much hatred out there in the world, and it’s such a bummer. Love is so important, yet so many forget.

  11. tara pittman says:

    I am not catholic but I like the popes style. People do need to get along but it doesnt happen often when God is forgotten.

  12. Leslie says:

    I learned a lot while the Pope was here too. I was amazed that he told the politians to give away their wealth. Many people in my office had their own opinions about that but I think they missed the message. When the Pope left he was on a chartered American Airline plane and not a private jet. A lot could be learned if ears were open & minds weren’t closed.

  13. Amber NElson says:

    Love is stronger than anything, in my opinion.

  14. Great points. I try to live by the mantra that it’s not my job to judge people but rather my job is to love.

  15. Claudette says:

    My second Masters was pursued at a Catholic University – and I am not Catholic. It was a deliberate move on my part. I actually no longer label myself in anyway except to say that Love is my religion. This Pope has impressed me very much and in many ways similar to the writer featured. However, as I said, having studied at a Catholic University – theology to boot – I do understand the nuances of the teachings of the Catholic church and so I will remain on pause. Great post.

  16. Mykidsguide says:

    I love this Pope, too. I keep on crying every time I see and hear him speak. His messages are very powerful and he is so full of love for all of us.

  17. Estelle says:

    I like the Pope, but I didn’t like his paternalistic message to women who have had abortions–we forgive you. Excuse me but women, not men need to have agency over their bodies.

  18. Love this reminder…”We have to stop being afraid to know people who are different from us” I think we can learn so much from other people who have different backgrounds, faiths, families, and experiences from us…IF we stop and take the time to learn

  19. Elizabeth O. says:

    Now I understand why you admire her very much. She makes perfect sense, it’s really all about love. If we learned to take our differences aside, we would all be living in a better world.

  20. sh says:

    Thanks for sharing this deep and provocative post. It says so many things that have always gone through my mind. I especially like this line: “I admire anyone who walks their talk in the humble way that he does. (As opposed to that way that say Trump or Ted Cruz walks his…)”
    The Pope has shown the world a very special form of humanity; I do hope his messages remain with all of us who were touched by him.

  21. Lauren says:

    Thank you for these thoughtful reflections. It gave meaning to my day! Love is the answer!

  22. Jenn Peters says:

    I think it’s neat how the Pope’s visit has inspired so many good things. I just hope that they turn the right One 😉

  23. Rosey says:

    I agree, we do want to have meaning in our lives. That’s true regardless of race, religion, or so on and so forth.

  24. Wendy says:

    I’m not catholic either. I don’t agree with everything the Pope stands for but I agree with you. He is a great Pope!

  25. Liz Mays says:

    I think we need people who aren’t afraid to change the status quo, so I’m all for a little progression!

  26. I like the overall view of religion. This was a wonderful article and I think it’s important to look past religion and see people for their worth and what they have to offer

  27. LizZ H. says:

    Although Catholic by birth and family alone. I too have become honored by hearing about and seeing this Pope and his wishes and teachings. I feel like every word and sentence he speaks needs to be listened to.

  28. Urvi says:

    Totally agree with your thoughts about love. But not everyone give importance to love and that is main reason for things are going wrong…

  29. Religion has often been used to manipulate but it is hard to manipulate those who are doing what they feel is right out of love.

  30. Pope Francis is the symbol of what it means to be liberated, he has changed the course of papal lore and will continue to accept those who were once condemned by the church. I am not religious by any means but what I am is a lover of justice and he., a man of a church is rejecting biblical convention to create a new world where religion can be peaceful and not focus on war. I admire her sensibilities and acknowledgement of a world without hatred and I think we can all aspire to this vision of love.

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