Francis, before he became Pope.

Francis, before he became Pope.

In the few months that he has been Pope, Francis has instilled a freshness into the Catholic Church. He is such a marked difference from his predecessor, Benedict. His simplicity and straight forwardness, his lack of theological pomp, are fitting for a world too overcome with material pursuits and possessions. Recently I came across this photo of Francis, when he was a cardinal in Argentina. Despite all the difficulties within the Church today, as well in other Christian denominations, it is always important to remember all the good little things that Christians do in the world. Caring for the sick, showing compassion to those who are downtrodden, looking out for the weakest and most vulnerable members of our world, have been integral parts of Christianity since Jesus walked the earth. You could find many such photos of many other clergy or laity such as one the above, but this one by the future Pope I find especially touching.

Constant theological fighting or a strident adherence to rules and regulations are aspects of many Christian denominations that I find quite distasteful; scenes like this are a good antidote to the pessimism that can creep into our souls after too much religious strife. Here we see a visible, concrete manifestation of Christian love, humility and compassion.  The world can be a dark and brutal place, and it is the duty all who consider themselves followers of Christ to do their best to shed as much light and love as possible in the midst of that darkness. This is nice example of that.