SHARING THE WISDOM OF TIME

BY POPE FRANCIS AND FRIENDS

“To walk toward the future, the past is needed.” –Pope Francis

STORIES

See more stories about ... LOVE  | HOPE  | STRUGGLE  | DEATH  | WORK  | ALL

Klaartje Merrigan


LoveI had been without a partner for three years and saw many of my peers getting married, having children, and settling down. I was scared and felt like I was running out of time. I confided my fears to my grandmother on one of the many Sunday afternoons I spent with her. When I told her that it felt as if it was too late for me to settle down, she laughed out loud, joyfully, kindly. ‘You have all the time in the world, my dear. You are so young. What do you want in a partner? Look for that, and don’t settle for less. You have all the time in the world.’

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Father Ángel García Rodríguez


LoveI know he will have problems like all young people. But I know he has a father who has learned that, when you have a son, the least important thing is that he finishes college. The most important thing is that, when he has a fever, you are there to take him to the doctor; when he suffers from a broken heart, you are there to give him your support. And when you are not there anymore, you have left him an inheritance—an education—that will give him opportunities. I think being a parent is the most dangerous and, at the same time, the most wonderful thing.

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Bernarda de Jesus Zapata de Pardo & Ramón Antonio Pardo García


LoveWe have been married for 60 years. Love hasn’t changed throughout the years. Our love is the same. We respect each other. Never fight. We don’t call each other names. We pray the rosary together. We love each other like we are told at church: until God sets us apart. We have been poor, but we have had enough.

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Cedric Prakash, SJ


LoveThe other day I was writing a document. Somebody was standing by my side and spilled his whole cup of coffee on it. I had done a lot of work. I had made all my markings. And it was all blotched. At first, I did not know how to react. But now he will never forget the way I decided to react. I just asked him, ‘Shall I make you another cup of coffee?’

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Cassuis Paxton


LoveIn 1981, Cassuis Paxton moved with his family to the San Gabriel Valley. In this video he describes some simple actions we can all take to begin to overcome bias.

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Basil Brave Heart


HopeHere’s another time my grandmother taught me about forgiveness. We used to go out and pick cherries and plums. Before we started picking the fruit, she would take a little bread and some dried meat, and we would go sit down on the canvas, and then she’d make a prayer: ‘These plums are our relatives, and we’re going to pick them in a very careful, kind, and sacred way. I don’t want anyone to break any branches. We’re going to take what we need and leave some for someone else.’ That’s an ecological, spiritual way of living. So, everything was spiritual.

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Leah Chase


HopeLeah Chase, the famed New Orleans chef and inspiration for a classic children’s animated movie, has fed musicians, Presidents, and countless visitors in her restaurant Dooky Chase’s. In this audio clip, she discusses how she prays.

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Desmond O’Grady, SJ


HopeDesmond O’Grady is a Jesuit priest who served in many prominent positions throughout Ireland. He was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. He shares what living with the disease has taught him and how it has changed the way he lives life.

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Marijke Elsenburg


HopeYears later, Debby, the daughter of a good friend, came to visit. She had just discovered that she was unintentionally pregnant. I held back from saying much; I only listened. I was just there, for her and with her. There was trust. She felt welcome and safe. The picture of her daughter now hangs in my living room.

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Margaret Irwin West


HopeIrish artist Margaret Irwin West believes that hope is like the sun: even if you can’t see it, it’s always there. In this audio clip, she discusses what inspires her artwork.

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Greg Boyle, SJ


HopeWith the help of parishioners and the local business community in Los Angeles, Greg Boyle has worked to build Homeboy Industries into one of the largest, most comprehensive, and most successful gang intervention, rehabilitation, and reentry programs in the United States. In this audio clip, he discusses God’s loving mercy. [Greg Boyle, SJ] I think this place reminds you that we need a better God than the one we have, you know? Sometimes we settle for this lesser God, this partial God, this puny God, this more realistic God, than the God we actually have. But these folks remind you of the God who we actually have.

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Rev. Patrick Render, CSV


StruggleAfter 25 years in the priesthood, Fr. Patrick Render was given time for a sabbatical to discern the future direction for his life. He shares some of the wisdom he gained during that time.

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Christine Nampande


StruggleAfter my husband died in 1989, his relatives attempted to evict me from our family house and land. I decided to rent land for cultivation. I had to travel four miles from home to that land every day with a child on my back. But I thank God that I reported the case and the judge was true and fair. Both properties were returned to me, and it’s where I am now.

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Greg Boyle, SJ


StruggleWith the help of parishioners and the local business community in Los Angeles, Greg Boyle has worked to build Homeboy Industries into one of the largest, most comprehensive, and most successful gang intervention, rehabilitation, and reentry programs in the United States. In this audio clip, he discusses the power of going to the margins. [Interviewer] Is there somebody that stood out over the years where you feel like—and I’m sure you have had thousands—where you really reached and were able to show them their goodness or you had an exchange where you saw that before their eyes?

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Joseph Gicheru Chege


StruggleI remember seeing soldiers coming home after the war in 1945 when I was a young boy. We were scared. We were told that Hitler and the French and British would be coming to Nairobi to have some tea and that we should put out our lamps. The French ended up settling in Isiolo, the Germans in Kilimanjaro, and the British Empire took over our country. That was a big deal—it shocked us all. We used to eat our food in the dark because we were afraid of getting bombed.

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Robert Hamilton


StruggleTimes of struggle challenge us to be honest with ourselves. They help us recognize when we are trying to rationalize something we want or want to avoid instead of concentrating on what is the right or just thing to do. The hardest lesson can be overcoming fear—fear of failure, fear of personal loss, fear of embarrassment—because decisions informed by fear almost always lead to the worst results. Faith in what is right and true and just must be the guiding principle.

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Desmond O’Grady, SJ


StruggleDesmond O’Grady is a Jesuit priest who served in many prominent positions throughout Ireland. He was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. He shares what living with the disease has taught him and how it has changed the way he lives life. In this audio clip, he discusses understanding and accepting his limitations. [Desmond O’Grady, SJ] Oh yeah, I mean the anxiety at the early stages was high. Not being able to remember, yeah, not being able to remember that either in detail, but I know that there was a time of considerable confusion when I’d be saying, ‘I know how to get places!’ Like finding directions. I’m a Dubliner, born and bred, lived here all my life. I love walking around the city. Now I can’t. Someone says to me, ‘How do I get to Mespil Road?’ and I say, ‘Oh Mespil Road, oh yeah.’ And I would find I couldn’t do it. I know I know, but I can’t articulate it. And that upsets me, and sometimes then I feel that I don’t want to admit it. So that upsets me even more. But I’m getting used to that.

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Kerry Egan


DeathSix years ago, I met Jim. I was his hospice chaplain. At our first meeting, he told me he had a message to get out to thousands of people. ‘I know what it feels like when the Holy Spirit has a job for me,’ he said. ‘I’ve got to get a message out, but how can I do it when I can’t even get out of this recliner?’

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Desmond O’Grady, SJ


DeathDesmond O’Grady is a Jesuit priest who served in many prominent positions throughout Ireland. He was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. He shares what living with the disease has taught him and how it has changed the way he lives life. [Interviewer] You have a great sense of, first of all, honesty. You tell the truth as it is. You then have, you’ve come, it would appear, to an acceptance of that through awareness. And then you take action. That’s a powerful way of dealing with anything in life, and particularly with something potentially as debilitating as Alzheimer’s.

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Chan Jae Lee


DeathChan Jae Lee is the 76-year-old founder of Drawings for My Grandchildren, a popular Instagram account (@drawings_for_my_grandchildren) in which he and his wife create paintings and stories for their grandchildren in the U.S. Lee and his wife live in Korea.

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Angela Martínez Morales


DeathIn my 72 years, I’ve learned to live a life of tranquility and love. God has given me plenty of life. He has given me life to do something for others, to serve in all that I can, because God gives us all gifts that we discover through understanding and discernment. Yes, serving others is God’s reward.

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Guri Rygg


DeathI was 10 or 11, and I thought Grandma was ancient. (She was probably about 60 at the time!) I thought it was time to ask whether she was afraid of death, since she was so old. Grandma looked at me and laughed a little to herself. She sat and thought. Then she asked, ‘Have you been inside Nidaros Cathedral?’ Of course I had been there, I said.

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Leah Chase


DeathLeah Chase, the famed New Orleans chef and inspiration for a classic children’s animated movie, has fed musicians, Presidents, and countless visitors in her restaurant Dooky Chase’s. In this audio clip, she discusses the challenge and the need to keep living our lives after the death of a loved one.

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Leah Chase


WorkOne time, not too long ago, a food critic came through here. And boy, I was four beans—and four beans is a good rating for a restaurant in New Orleans. She took me down to one. I mean, she just tore me to pieces.

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Constance Caruso


WorkIt is never too late to become who you might have been. I was tomorrow’s woman in the 1950s, and I didn’t fit. I was in a job that didn’t fit me because they wouldn’t pay attention that there was somebody in here. I had no sense of my capability. So, I lived each day in agony, but that pain was good—it’s the fire that turns us into something we could become. We grow by fire.

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Jesús Landáburu Sagüillo


WorkI’d had a very good season (1986–1987), and again, a new coach decided not to play me. In the preseason, I hardly played, and in the first match, I was not even on the roster. This time, however, I had matured. Instead of sulking and reacting like a child, I decided to make a greater effort. I showed my ability. I trained doubly hard. In the afternoons, I ran in the Retiro [a park in Madrid]. A few games later, I was playing again, first string, having demonstrated my worth.

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Martin Scorsese


WorkWhat can you learn from failure, which is finally just as fleeting? I think I’ve learned more from failure, rejection, and outright hostility than I have from success. Actually, what I learned from failure prepared me to learn from success.

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Leah Chase


WorkLeah Chase, the famed New Orleans chef and inspiration for a classic children’s animated movie, has fed musicians, Presidents, and countless visitors in her restaurant Dooky Chase’s. In this audio clip, she expounds on the importance of work and some of what it has taught her.

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Kerry Egan


DeathSix years ago, I met Jim. I was his hospice chaplain. At our first meeting, he told me he had a message to get out to thousands of people. ‘I know what it feels like when the Holy Spirit has a job for me,’ he said. ‘I’ve got to get a message out, but how can I do it when I can’t even get out of this recliner?’

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Leah Chase


WorkOne time, not too long ago, a food critic came through here. And boy, I was four beans—and four beans is a good rating for a restaurant in New Orleans. She took me down to one. I mean, she just tore me to pieces.

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Rev. Patrick Render, CSV


StruggleAfter 25 years in the priesthood, Fr. Patrick Render was given time for a sabbatical to discern the future direction for his life. He shares some of the wisdom he gained during that time.

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Basil Brave Heart


HopeHere’s another time my grandmother taught me about forgiveness. We used to go out and pick cherries and plums. Before we started picking the fruit, she would take a little bread and some dried meat, and we would go sit down on the canvas, and then she’d make a prayer: ‘These plums are our relatives, and we’re going to pick them in a very careful, kind, and sacred way. I don’t want anyone to break any branches. We’re going to take what we need and leave some for someone else.’ That’s an ecological, spiritual way of living. So, everything was spiritual.

VIEW THIS STORY

Leah Chase


HopeLeah Chase, the famed New Orleans chef and inspiration for a classic children’s animated movie, has fed musicians, Presidents, and countless visitors in her restaurant Dooky Chase’s. In this audio clip, she discusses how she prays.

VIEW THIS STORY

Constance Caruso


WorkIt is never too late to become who you might have been. I was tomorrow’s woman in the 1950s, and I didn’t fit. I was in a job that didn’t fit me because they wouldn’t pay attention that there was somebody in here. I had no sense of my capability. So, I lived each day in agony, but that pain was good—it’s the fire that turns us into something we could become. We grow by fire.

VIEW THIS STORY