Pope Francis clasping hands with an inmate at a Philadelphia prison yesterday.

Pope Francis clasping hands with an inmate at a Philadelphia prison yesterday – Click here for PZ’s commentary.


Did you cry at any point as you watched Pope Francis in action during his visit? If you did, when was it? What made you cry?

Now it wasn’t just John Boehner! I noticed as I watched the Pope inter-acting with individuals, and especially with individuals in acute need or distress, that it was those encounters that touched me personally. (I was abreacting all over the place.)

I don’t have spina bifida. I’m not in a wheelchair. I’m not six years old, nor 84 (yet). Nor am I homeless. But hey: Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child! My tears flow freely, and often not freely enough. In other words, I identify with distress and need. I identify with exclusion, tho’ you might not know it. I identify with rejection and exile, tho’ again, you might not know it.

The point is, everybody’s at their own point of need. Everybody’s got something they’re thinking about that’s painful.

Pope Francis, walking in the steps of the great Understander, the great Sympathizer, touched the core pain. He touched the core pain of many, many people. It was busting out all over.

I think we’re each walking in “The Tracks of My Tears”. (Thank God for Smokey Robinson and the Miracles.) And when they bubble up, you can just smell the healing.