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astfrancisI’m on my way out early this morning to share with 25 people interested in considering influences in their lives of faith. I have chosen four from the 2000 years of Christianity. My choices are those that follow here.

  1. Jesus, without whom there would be no Christian path.
  2. Saint Francis, the “Little Poor Man of Assisi,” who surrendered everything of himself for God in love, who delighted in all of God’s creation and who founded a religious order that thrives today in an attempt to renew/rebuild the Church.
  3. The Second Vatican Council, which “opened the windows” fifty years ago to let in the Holy Spirit, ushering in a new way of being Roman Catholic that reverberated throughout the Christian world and engaged lay people in a way that had not been seen since the early days of Christianity. The opening lines of the document on The Church in the Modern World say this: The joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the people of this age, especially of those who are poor or afflicted in any way, these too are the joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the followers of Christ. Indeed nothing genuinely human fails to raise an echo in their hearts.
  4. Pope Francis, named for the above-mentioned saint, who has rocked the world with his simplicity, his humility and his loving ways. Francis has given new hope for people the world over for a Church that is less hierarchical, more Christ-like and ecumenical, focusing on the ideals expressed at the Second Vatican Council, calling Catholics and others to care for the needs of the world as his predecessor, St. Francis, did so vividly.

What people/events would be on your list?