Sr. Connie Probst, OSF, Director of Mission, Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Help
The elderly woman was weeping and grieving when I met with her. Her grandson had been shot at close range. Months later she allowed herself to approach the man who held her grandson as he breathed his last. The man shared with her that he did not do much – that he just kept repeating, ‘Go with God’ as he held him. The elderly woman handed him a card and a picture of her grandson. What a sacred encounter!
Pope Francis has continually challenged us to live the joy of the Gospel through a culture of encounter. Jesus teaches us the way. Each person He met was respected, seen and heard, and each one experienced compassion.
Pope Francis's encyclical, “Fratelli Tutti, on Fraternity and Social Friendship,” offers a tender challenge to all people of goodwill in a fractured world. Instead of seeing a person from another nation, religion or group as "other," the Holy Father challenges us to see a neighbor, a brother or a sister. He encourages a culture of encounter.
Such encounters should move us to action; to service that always looks at faces, touches flesh, senses closeness and even, in some cases, suffers that closeness and tries to help those in need.