Pastor Pope Francis – Leaving Those Red Shoes Behind

By on September 28, 2015

By Heather Duzan−

Pope Francis traded in the traditional Red Shoes for simple brown ones.  

This Pope moved out of the palace into an apartment.  

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This Pope refuses the levels of security past popes accepted. Pope Francis says “God is in charge of my life and I’m not afraid.” (a bit paraphrased)  How would pharmaceutical companies do if more of us held to this philosophy??  He is challenging traditional ideas and if he is successful, Catholicism will see the merciful, kind heart of God, rather than the Disgusted Being He is often portrayed to be; not only in Catholic circles, mind you, but in protestant ones as well.  

I come from a great vantage point – I was raised Roman Catholic. I am very familiar with the history, traditions, sacraments and the role of the Pope in leading the Catholic church. I left this community when I was in my mid 20s as my life journey would depend on a more personal relationship with Jesus. Embracing sobriety in the 1980s, I attended a 12 Step retreat lead by a Catholic priest who was part of Vatican II. He was assigned the role of taking Pope John’s new and life giving changes to the parishes throughout Europe.  His excitement was soon extinguished by the rejection of him and these new ideas by the people…It took decades for parishioners to embrace simple things like saying Mass in English, turning the altar around, asking everyone to greet each other. All designed to bring a more relational element to the community – and no one was interested in their brother! 

Implementing change is hard. Even when you are a Pope.

There is a temperament type that insists on justice. The Pope’s desire to extend absolution to socially abhorrent sins, i.e., abortion, is shocking and disappointing to many pro-life people. Yet, I rejoice! Because it reminds us that no action or behavior is outside the reach of God’s mercy and love.  Our God is all about justice.  We do not get to terrorize the life of another for our own sake without raising God’s ire! It is why He sent his Son, Jesus. Human nature wants to categorize everything in black and white terms; but God’s grace is GRAY!  What is black and white is his tireless pursuit of rebellious children.

Yes, a sound spiritual justice system attaches penalties to all kinds of behaviors like gossip, slander, unforgiveness, gluttony (overeating!), self-righteousness. To God of all creation, these will inspire His wrath every bit as much as the termination of a precious life.  As furious as He may be, failure does not disqualify us from eternity with Him because of His grace.  Yes, penalties are assessed for anti-loving actions, but Jesus PAID THE PENALTIES for these offenses, so we don’t have to.   

If Pope Francis does anything, I pray he will bring a new understanding of the Gospel: that we are ALL sinners who have fallen short of God’s glory, that there are NONE righteous, NOT ONE; we have NO standing to judge the lost.  I pray he heightens his call to believers to the very same compassionate mercy we ourselves receive every day, AND that we are not saved by traditions, or membership in a church, or because of our good works.  Ideas like these are NOT the Gospel. We are saved by His goodness alone. 

I do not agree with everything Pope Francis is imparting; but I know his smile, warmth and compassion shows us Jesus more than we have really ever seen from a Pope.  His move away from riches and wealth into a humble lifestyle tells us much about his heart and sincerity. 

I am reminded of God’s words through Isaiah:

Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. – Isaiah 43:19

God is again doing a new thing.  Will we open our eyes and our hearts to it?


Originally posted on Love and Other Crazy Matters.

About Heather Duzan

Certified Life Coach - Coach Training Institute - since 2005 Recovery Coach - Drug And Alcohol Inpatient and Outpatient Treatment programs Speaker - Energetic, engaging, funny, passionate communicator of positivity and hope. Author - Published The Warrior Wife Combat Training Manual in 2013. Harley Chick - I ride a big fat candy apple red Harley Davidson. Married and Happy Wife - Joe high school sweetheart Mother and Grandmother - My children are amazing grown-ups. My Grandgirls the apples of my eyes. Overcomer - I had to admit my own alcoholism in 1988. By God's grace I have been a sober 12-Stepper since. Rhinestone Rider - Charter Member Northern California Chapter - my biker chick gang. Crazy Doggy Lover - All living things actually. Lover of God - Disciple of Jesus. For 30 years He has poured his love and grace over me.

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Pastor Pope Francis – Leaving Those Red Shoes Behind