Monday, December 16, 2013

"Lord, I trust your gaze"

I suspect that both of my readers know that Pope Francis sat for another well-publicized interview last week. This time he was interviewed by Andrea Tornielli for the Italian newspaper La Stampa. I certainly encourage you, if you have not already done so, to read the entire interview. It is quite short, but no less luminous for its brevity.

I was immediately struck by two things. The first was how he spoke about ecumenism, particularly "an ecumenism of blood." But what most struck me was when Tornielli asked him what he had to say about the suffering of children:
One man who has been a life mentor for me is Dostoevskij and his explicit and implicit question “Why do children suffer?” has always gone round in my heart. There is no explanation. This image comes to mind: at a particular point of his or her life, a child “wakes up”, doesn’t understand much and feels threatened, he or she starts asking their mum or dad questions. This is the “why” age. But when the child asks a question, he or she doesn’t wait to hear the full answer, they immediately start bombarding you with more “whys”. What they are really looking for, more than an explanation, is a reassuring look on their parent’s face. When I come across a suffering child, the only prayer that comes to mind is the “why” prayer. Why Lord? He doesn’t explain anything to me. But I can feel Him looking at me. So I can say: You know why, I don’t and You won’t tell me, but You’re looking at me and I trust You, Lord, I trust your gaze

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