Have you ever thought of asking the pope a question? Well if I'm given the opportunity maybe I would too. Haha. Turns out this is what exactly happened several years ago. Well, to be exact, children were asked by Jesuit priests and lay colleagues/volunteers to send questions to Pope Francis. That's how he was able to answer them.
The result? Well, the book Dear Pope Francis (The Pope Answers Letters from Children Around the World) was created. This is another one which I bought back in May. Found it interesting to share to kids so I got it!
Hardbound, front book cover.
Before we start let me just share what a pope is. Some of you might not be aware so here is a screenshot (and it's source) from Wikipedia.
He's the head or leader of the Roman Catholic church. Now that you know what we're talking about, let's proceed.
If you open the book you'll see questions and answers, one after the other. Each one also has an accompanying illustration made by the asker. This makes it very kid friendly and easy to read.
259 kids to early teens from Peru, Australia, UK, US, India, Brazil, Singapore, Zimbabwe, etc., sent their questions. 30 childhood curiosities (from children aged 6 to 13) got answered. Every published letter came from 6 continents in 26 countries around the world. And of course a girl from our nation, the Philippines, was also included! Awesome. Haha.
All I can say is, it's highly recommended to everyone looking for something to read to their children. If you're a teacher or an English tutor for kids, well it's also a good teaching material.
I'd love to share more details of it but it would take too long. Haha. Here's 3 of the questions and answers I found worth mentioning instead. I will also share my thoughts before I tell you what Pope Francis said. 😁
Back of the book.
Oh, very smart question right? If I was to answer this I would say yes. Definitely. We all have a good angel watching over us. In the same way we also have some bad demon/s who whispers to us, especially when we do and think of bad things. Based on personal experience, we become susceptible to such especially when we get really emotional. (E.g. extremely angry, sad, happy, etc.)
Side note: According to Fr. Joseph P. Mendoza (Lipa Exorcist priest), also as read in the Bible, only 1/3 of all the angels rebelled out of all that God created. That's still a lot even if it's just a third which fell and became demons/devils and elementals or bad spirits here on Earth.
Or, let's put it another way. Perhaps we all have read or heard the saying, we have two wolves inside us. The one that grows is whichever we feed the most. So if we feed the bad wolf all the time then we become it. The good wolf will be hungry but it will still be there, trying it's best to make us a better person. Same as with our guardian angel.
Despite any of our bad behavior, our angel will still guide us if we know how to listen. Unfortunately if we are drowning in sin, we tend to be deaf to our heavenly guardians. The only way for us to hear them clearly again is to regret and repent our sins and go to confession. We need to confess those sins in order to be cleansed by God once more. That's the best way to do so.
🙏 Pope Francis' answer:
His words are simpler for kids to easily understand. He said, indeed we all have guardian angels. The best part of his answer is that he urges us to pray to our own angel for them to "be friends with the guardian angel of a person who is doing wrong". That person's angel can then urge the bad person to come to his or her senses.
Generally we have angels in order to help us think good thoughts while they also take care of us. The best part is, he said our angels are ALWAYS with us.
Oh my goodness. Haha. This has a long answer but let me make it short. According to Catholic exorcist priests (e.g. Fr. Chad Ripperger and Fr. Jocis Syquia), the devil has already been defeated. It has already been done.
Also in Revelations we can read how it says the devil (including demons and their human followers) will be thrown and locked in hell in the end of days. Well doesn't that mean we are just waiting for that to happen? This is why according to those two priests, the devil is already in what I will call "panic mode" right now. All the bad spirits are now trying their best to make a lot of people fall away from God.
So it's best for all of us to go back into the Lord's embrace by repenting and changing our ways now before it's too late. For sure you don't want to go to hell soon, right? 😉
🙏 Pope Francis' answer:
God already defeated the devil when Jesus was nailed and died on the Cross. He compares the devil to a dragon, a lizard and a dog.
When a dragon dies, the tail will thrash around destroying everything even if it's already dead. Same with the lizard (although that's a defense mechanism for such creatures 😁), the tail will continue to wriggle even if it's cut off.
As for a growling and barking dog, as long as it is tied up and we don't get near it then we are safe. There's no way we will get bitten if we're far from it.
Huh, not really. I did dance and perform in grade school whenever we had contests and inter-school competitions.
Can't say I like it but it was fun to practice with my classmates regularly and then compete with other kids. Or we would just perform in school programs whenever there was one.
🙏 Pope Francis' answer:
Well he said he likes dancing a lot and really enjoys it. "Dancing expresses joy and happiness." Young people have a lot of happiness in them.
He even mentions how King David danced in front of the Ark of the Covenant. The king forgot to act like one and danced like a kid! Even the queen scolded him when she saw how he danced and jumped.
Thus Pope Francis says, David's wife (Michal) was "sick with too much seriousness". "People who can't express joy are always serious." Better for children to dance now to avoid becoming too serious as adults.
(Ouch dear pope. Haha. I am still a serious person now even if I regularly danced as a kid. 😆 Well at least I think so. I guess I have another way to be happy instead of dancing. 😅)
The pope said the questions in this book were tough to answer. Haha. Yeah for sure, one question was even left half answered. 😅
I think there are really times kids ask the darndest things. 😆 Of course I've also read some of my friends' social media posts whenever their kids had some questions. Sometimes all we can do is just laugh because it's hard to answer what they're curious about or the situation is funny.
All I can say is, it's good to read and share books like these. It's not everyday kids get to ask the highest Catholic leader a question. Of course he is a busy man but still he had time to share what he knows. We can all read about it too!
How about you, would you ask the pope anything if given a chance? As for me, I think the book is enough to know some of the interesting things we are all curious about. Been watching online talks/seminars/interviews of Catholic exorcist priests, etc., so a lot of my questions have been answered since Lent. 😁 Still I recommend Dear Pope Francis for everyone to read because even if it is for children we adults can definitely learn from it.
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Photos with watermark are mine. Other images are from Pixabay.