Catholics around the world celebrated the election of Pope Francis last week. Today, I join my brothers and sisters in Christ by sending my prayers and congratulations.
All followers of Jesus Christ are compelled to do justice, to love goodness, and to walk humbly with our God, by loving our neighbors as ourselves, especially the most vulnerable. The Catholic Church serves more vulnerable people than any other entity worldwide and here in America, and has been a strong advocate for those in need.
For 62 years, World Vision has also been blessed with the opportunity to answer this call. In many of the countries in which we serve, including the United States, we have done so alongside the Catholic Church. Together, we have worked to make sure children have enough to eat, families are able to earn enough to live, and communities have what they need to be healthy. We have also joined and raised our voices together to speak up for justice and peace.
I have always known and admired the Catholic Church’s heart for people who are struggling. The more I learn about how much Pope Francis personally shares this same heart, the more excited I become about the opportunities for World Vision and the Catholic Church to do even more together for the world’s children and their families. We share a desire to see communities doing justice, loving goodness, and walking humbly with God.
Please join me in praying for the Lord to protect and lead Pope Francis in the work God has given to him.
Rich Stearns is the president of World Vision U.S.
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As an encouragement, here is a prayer commonly attributed to St. Francis of Assisi:
Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life.
Read more about World Vision's faith in Christ and our partnership with churches -- and learn how we use child sponsorship as the basis for bringing hope to children, families, and entire communities in need around the world.