MANILA, June 30, 2013— Pope Francis admits that inner peace is helping him cope with the tough job as head of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.
Three months after assuming as Bishop of Rome, the pope said it is the inner peace that consoles him despite the “magnitude of responsibility” that he is facing.
Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle shared this story about the pontiff in his homily during the Pope’s Day Mass at the San Agustin Church in Intramuros, Manila last Friday.
The cardinal was in Rome two weeks ago for a meeting and had an audience with the pope who displayed once again his direct style and sense of humor.
“When he approached me, I said: ‘Your Holiness, I’m from Manila. I want to remind you, I’m from the Philippines.’ He said: ‘Oh, really? I thought you are from a kindergarten school.’ I said: ‘Oh my, then Pope Benedict said I just received first Holy Communion… now I’m in kindergarten retreating,’” said Tagle.
The following day, the cardinal had a personal audience with Francis and returned the joke but was instead amazed by the pope’s humility.
“I told him: ‘Look, a few months ago you were Cardinal Bergoglio. Look at you now… Imagine I have to call you Pope Francesco,’” Tagle said.
“You know what he said? ‘Ah, the mystery…I’m a poor sinner but the wisdom of the love of God,’” he added.
The cardinal said he then asked Francis how he was doing.
Francis replied: “This is something that I can’t explain. I look at the magnitude of the responsibility and I see it everyday but what I marveled at is that in my heart there’s peace. Peace that does not come from me.”
“I should be rattled by now. I should be spending the nights sleepless, but there is peace thanks to the mercy and compassion of God,’” Tagle quoted the pope as saying. “I was so tempted to say ‘I have heard (Saint) Peter. I have heard (Saint) Paul.”
Eleven other bishops concelebrated the Pope’s Day Mass with Papal nuncio Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto as the main celebrant. Also in attendance were some members of the diplomatic corps. (CBCPNews)