“Pope visits slums” – taking it personally as a Vincentian
Pope Francis on Sunday (June 12th) began his final day in Paraguay with a visit to the Banado Norte slum in the capital, Asuncion. I have seen similar headlines about each of the Pope’s visits. But being a slow learner this is the first time I took it personally.
It finally dawned on me that not only is the Pope leading from the front as they say… but that this has personal implications. I began to think of the slums I never visit.
I have often reflected on the friends of Jesus. Then there is Vincent who so often went out to the peripheries. Fredereric Ozanam learned from the challenge of his friends to “go to the poor.” I am thinking of the Rosalie Rendu’s of my life who have understood what it means to go to the peripheries. I have posted about the home visits of the Vincent de Paul Society.
So the question comes up where are the slums in my life that I need to visit especially during this Jubilee Year dedicated to Mercy, this year dedicated to Consecrated Life and this year of Vincentian Family Collaboration. Would my profile of friends look anything like Jesus’. What “slums” do I visit?
Who are the people on my periphery? People who think differently, dress differently, don’t share my middle class values? Where are the places I never visit and, therefore, know no one?