Pope Francis is at the White House.
I’m watching the live broadcast of Pope Francis’s visit to the White House and President Obama’s address. No matter where you fall on the religious or political spectrum, you cannot deny the impact and importance of this event. It is a powerful and moving scene. From the President’s remarks to the Pope’s soft spoken “God bless America” to the thousands of people that have lined the street, this is a special day.
I am not Catholic. Yet, I am amazed at the popularity of this Pope. Actually, it goes well beyond popularity. I remember growing up in the time of Pope John Paul II. He was a very popular Pope. He traveled all over the world. He was well received and the only Pope many of us ever knew until his passing in 2005. He reigned for over 26 years.
But Pope Francis is more than popular. He is loved. And not just by the Catholic Church. That alone would be an accomplishment. Catholics, like Protestants, range from liberal to conservative, old school to new school, both dogmatic and liberal. Yet, the entire Church has rallied behind this Leader. He is not just liked. He isn’t merely popular. He is loved.
As he ended his speech, someone yelled out from the crowd, “We love you, Pope Francis!” and the crowd went nuts! The t.v. cameras caught a sly smile from the Pontiff as he turned and walked away. Only to move to the balcony to greet people once again.
So, why is this Pope loved so much? Why has he been accepted by the Catholic Church, Protestants, and those who do not even consider themselves religious? He has connected on a personal level to old and young. Pope Francis has a huge following among millennials.
I believe it comes down to one specific reason. Pope Francis has one philosophy that I see him live out daily. It is this philosophy that has caused so many people to accept him and follow him.
A Love First Pope
Pope Francis has adopted and lived by a Love First philosophy since he first became Pope. In a world of strong opinions, hate crimes, and judgment, a Love First worldview is a refreshing change. It is revolutionary. It’s also what the world needs.
When the Pope is asked a tough question, he answers from a place of Love. This is why the homosexual community has embraced Pope Francis, in large part. They know their lifestyle doesn’t exactly mix with the traditional Catholic Church. But they honor and respect Pope Francis. Why? Because he approached them with a Love First mentality. He came from a place of Love.
The Phosphorus Project believes in a Love First worldview. We believe in capital “L” Love- the kind of Love Jesus has for the world. This is a Love that listens before speaking. This is a Love that seeks to understand before getting everyone else to see our view. This is a Love that sees all people as God’s children, created in His image. This is a sacrificial Love.
Pope Francis has exemplified a Love First mindset. And the world loves him for it.
What about us?
So, what can we learn from this? We may not have the global stage that Pope Francis does. But we all have a story. We all have someone that looks up to us. We all have influence on some level. Let’s adopt a Love First worldview. Let’s show care and concern wherever we go. Let Love be your guiding principle when you post on social media, email, text, call, or talk in person.
If we live with a Love First mindset, we may, like Pope Francis, change the world.
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