Don’t let yourself go numb.
What you think is not what counts. What you do is what counts.
Get out and help the others.
Are we capable of counting our blessings?
These were the first suggestions, advice or orders that Pope Francis delivered in his speeches in Washington, DC.
I have been glued to the TV for the last three days watching the Pope’s visit to Washington, DC and now to New York.
What a great man, so noble and yet so humble, riding his little Fiat or the famous popemobile. I wished I could have seen him live, but I watched every minute of his appearances on TV here in the USA. His arrival in Andrews Airport, his visit to the White House, the service at St. Matthew Cathedral, and the canonization mass at the Basilica.
Today the Pope was amazing when he delivered his talk at the Congress.
Here it is, reported by Elise Viebeck, a reporter for The Washington Pos.
“The visit was a historic moment for Congress. No pope had ever visited Capitol Hill, let alone addressed a joint meeting of the chambers. As a result, leaders prepared their members with specific instructions: No touching the pope. No flash photography. No selfies. No cheering.
Compared with a typical joint session, lawmakers hewed fairly close to this guidance. The normal hollering you’d expect during a State of the Union address was all but absent. Lawmakers sat like chastised children for the first 10 minutes of the speech. Apparently there were a handful of cellphones that rung, but the noise was not picked up by TV cameras.
Imagine how much worse it could have been. As a precaution, leaders installed a thick layer of polite and decorum-conscious lawmakers around the center aisle. This prevented publicity-hungry members — or those simply caught up in the moment — from trying to touch, hug or kiss the pope. No such moments took place, to leaders’ great relief.
Pope Francis opened the speech with a reference to the “land of the free and the home of the brave,” which brought everyone to their feet, including the normally reticent members of the Supreme Court. Members stood after the Pope called America the “land of dreams,” after he invoked the golden rule–“Don’t do unto others what you don’t want others to do unto you.” — and after he praised the virtues of family life.
Some looked down at their phones. Some tweeted pictures (Reps. Tim Huelskamp, Tom Graves and Karen Bass). At least one member whooped (Rep. Nydia Velazquez). There was partisan applause and unnecessary clapping.
Perhaps most visibly affected by the remarks was Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), whose face remained in a perpetual grimace as he tried to stop his tears. The speaker finally cracked on the West Front, as the pontiff prayed for the crowd.
Speaking in Spanish, Pope Francis greeted listeners (“Buenos dias”) and prayed for God to bless the children present and their families. As the pope asked the crowd to pray for him and send him good wishes, Boehner lost it. He stood between Reps. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)–proudly displaying her little golden cross around her neck– blowing his nose and wiping his face with a white handkerchief.”
Sweet Christmas Kisses 2 takes you from the Smoky Mountains to Florida’s sun-drenched beaches, from the Italian Alps to Paris, France, and even to a quirky little town in Arizona. The Sweet Christmas Kisses 2 bundle features all-new, stand-alone stories that are sure to make you laugh, sometimes bring tears to your eyes, but always put you in the Christmas spirit.
My contribution to this box is:
Christmas Papa by Mona Risk, New York Times, USA Today, National bestselling and Award-winning author.
With twin toddlers to care for, she can’t forget her past until a playboy’s kisses challenge her to believe in herself.