The universal appeal of Pope Francis was evidenced once again during his address to Congress. He models transformative leadership by appealing to what is best and most noble within a national culture. He won’t be confined by labels or partisan ideology, even though many would prefer such categories.
Today Pope Francis lifted up four Americans who model what is best about the United States. Abraham Lincoln led the country in the ideal of freedom for all, realizing that unity depends on liberty balanced by the ideal of the common good. Martin Luther King, Jr., embodied a dream for liberty, free from discrimination amidst a society of plurality of races and beliefs, even at the cost of his life. Dorothy Day worked tirelessly for peace and justice when labor practices disenfranchised the poor and war raged around the world. Thomas Merton invited all to enter into dialogue and appreciate our deep need for God.
We, Dominican Sisters and Associates of Peace, stand in solidarity with Pope Frances as we pray together for God’s Peace in all the places of brutality, suffering, and violence. There is much to be treasured in his address to Congress. We hope that you will be able to reflect on the text of his presentation for your own transformation.