>>The Pope was very happy, (and) laughed with all of us. That is a side of him that I wish more people would know, because it is not well known, said 33-year old Juan Carlos Piedra, from Ecuador, in an interview with CNA.<<
Truly — this Pope seems somber to the point of severe, especially compared to his predecessor.
Good to hear he has a light side.
Those who have met him say he is a shy, gentle scholar. A colege professor by trade.
Outward appearances can be quite deceiving. Consider that as successor to Peter in a direct line of descent from the first Apostle on whom the Catholic Church was built, Pope Benedict XVI carries the weight of the worldwide church on his shoulders. That includes suffering through scandals, fighting secularization and nihilism which have overtaken so many throughout the world, witnessing the martyrdom of innocent christians, and the list goes on and on.
Youth, growing up in a socialist nation where unemployment is near 40%, gay marriage and abortion are legal, struggle daily to remain faithful to their christian values. His message to these youth and, for that matter, ALL catholics, is to embrace the cross of Christ, lift up their hearts and carry His message to all the world. We must never give up hope!
I am watching the live coverage right now. With no exaggeration, more than a million people are gathered on an airport field with the pope for a prayer vigil service. After days of excruciating heat, it is now pouring rain - a driving rain, winds are gusting but no one is in any hurry to leave. The pope has addressed the question of coping with the turmoil of contemporary society. It is found in the Gospel of St. John: "As the Father has loved me, so I love you. Abide in my love!"
I will post the entire address later. Wow ... what a sight! Driving rain ... winds gusting, young people jumping up and down, clapping their hands and shouting they love the pope! This should confound the socialists.