Keeping Perspective for the Pope’s Visit

Pope Francis in the PhilippinesOn the eve of Pope Francis’s visit to the United States, Michelle Francl-Donnay turns to the story of Mary and Martha as she and her fellow Philadelphia-area residents worry about the reality of hosting a pope.

Help! Pope Francis is coming to Philadelphia and like Martha in Luke’s Gospel, we are all anxious and worried about many things. Traffic boxes and train passes. Will we be able to get to work or to the events? Tickets. Will we be able to see the Pope?

Work. How many people will be sleeping on cots in cafeterias and offices so that the sick will be cared for and people kept fed and safe?

Extra work, extra people, extra hassle. We are all Martha at the moment—wishing it was our turn to be Mary. To have the choice to sit, and enjoy whatever those days might bring.

Francl-Donnay finds an Examen—as written about by Mark Thibodeaux, SJ—to be helpful in keeping focus.

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  1. Praying for helpful “Martha’s” with lots of energy, humour,creativity to pitch in and help the work go smoothly. Keep breathing! I will keep praying for all of you!

  2. I was just volunteering in the credentialing center at the Marriott Marquis here in Washington. Some of the 7,800 media reps who want access during the pope’s visit were checking in. Lots of Marthas here! The examen becomes all the more important.


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