All of us, at times, have to deliver important and difficult messages to family and friends, those closest to us, colleagues and workmates, members of the same sporting team. Sometimes we know that the message will disappoint or cause hurt or even anger. It may permanently change a relationship.
Many people duck the responsibility; others wish that someone else would do it or they wish they could be somewhere else. They dont want the confrontation or the risk of losing a friend, being misunderstood or losing popularity.
The attached article shows a Pope who is remarkably brave in facing up to the challenge of delivering difficult messages. The difficulty is not so much in the subject matter of the message. It is more in the close proximity of the audience, their power and opportunity to make his life very hard and the need he has of their support in his wish to take the church back to Christ.
Francis seems to have little fear; he is not stupid. At the same time, he has identified a few key themes ( which he shares with us) which underpin much of what he says and does. "Does " is the first; his personal demonstration, simple and not earth changing ....but maybe they will be. Other themes include simplicity of language, words and expression we all can understand and identify with. Then there is the focus on the poor and the disadvantaged. Mercy. Accentuate the positive....the things that unite all creation rather than divide.
I wonder about his formation; what are the life experiences that brought him to this time and place.....and made him the persion he now is.
In any event, as the article shows, he knows that the leadership demonstrated by the Curioa etc is essential to the life of the church...and the immediate challenge of change. It has to be more than his leadership.
And thatb is where we all come in.......as Catholics we all have the a similar challenge in whatever way we can best use our talents and opportunities. His example and themes are also for us .........as are his words to the Curia to whatever extent we think they apply.
In the meantime, may God protect and guide a good person whio, at this time of his life, happens to be the Bishop of Rome.
Merry Christmas Francis and may 2015 be a good year for you and the work you do.