I don't know if you read or even accept correspondence from non-Catholics, but I opted to write to you to let you know that you have quite a few admirers among the general populace here in the United States. I live on the west coast, in California, and I don't have the means to make the trip to the East Coast to see you in person, so I will have to follow your visit via television when I can. I look forward to hearing your calls for social justice, economic equality, and responsible stewardship of our natural resources.
Your holiness, this openness, and unprecedented concern for the least among us, is the reason so many people have taken to you. In a world where it seems that those with the resources and power to change the circumstances of those around them could seem to care less, you are in a unique position. You are the first person that I can recall, in my admittedly short 43 years on the Earth, to have the kind of authority needed to speak the truth about social and economic injustice, without being shouted down by those who profit from violence and poverty. You can speak freely and from the heart about such issues as greed, wrath, and injustice without being accused of ulterior motives. You have a position from which to shine a light on the so often overlooked people of this world, which coming from someone with your power is so rare that it is actually non-existent.
Your Holiness will never know how much those of us here in the trenches, just struggling to get by day to day, appreciate your willingness to give voice to the rest of us. Not just the poor, but the much maligned working class, and the rapidly shrinking middle class, who are finally starting to understand that the bottom line here in America is profit, no matter the human cost.
Which leads me to the prayer. As a Christian, I understand the concept of prayer as a necessary, and integral part of everyday life. Especially for you, Your Holiness, as you travel into what might turn out to be hostile political territory, which it shouldn't be, but you never know with some people, particularly when uncomfortable truths and flaws are being pointed out. Of course, my particular brand of Christianity, which mixes in some progressive and feminist ideology, means that we are not going to agree on every issue, but I identify with enough of what you say that I certainly hope that those in power here in the US, will listen carefully to what you say, specifically about the economy and the environment, and take it under consideration rather than just discarding it out of hand.
Your Holiness, I pray for traveling mercies as you travel to the United States, and for the entirety of your visit. I pray that hearts and minds will be touched by your visit, and lives will be changed for the better by what words are spoken while you are here. And even if there is disagreement with something that is sung or preached, I pray that everyone will find at least one positive takeaway from your mission here in the US. I pray that you will enjoy your stay here in the US, however brief it is, and that you will know the depth of the commitment of the citizenry to at the very least attempting to help the helpless, care for the environment, and do our very best to become the good people that we want to be. I have always believed that there is something in every sermon, or every word that is preached that will have a special meaning to someone, even if it is only one person in the audience, that could spark a change that will positively impact the rest of their lives. I pray that your visit will spark that positive change here in the United States, not just for the elite class, but for everyone.
I look forward to your visit later this week, and reading more of your statements on the world we live in. I wish more people in power had your courage and vision, but maybe this may just spur more of them to think more about the people they depend on to vote for them, and less about the people that pay for the campaigns.
Wishful thinking, I know, but a Christian (Ok, Lutheran, but who's counting?), can dream, right?
Yours in Christ,