If you could ask Pope Francis any question, what would it be? Well that’s exactly what Loyola Press did – they asked kids ages 6 – 13 years old, from around the world, to write the pontiff. The publisher compiled 30 of the letters and the Pope, himself, responded to these letters.
Natasha, an 8-year-old in Kenya, asks to know more about Jesus and inquires how Jesus was able to walk on water. He responds by explaining that Jesus walked naturally and normally on water. “He walked as you walk! He walked, one foot after the other, as if the water were land. He walked on the water’s surface as he saw the fish under his feet frolicking or racing around.”
Emil, a 9-year-old in Dominican Republic, has a question about our deceased relatives – can our lost relatives see us from heaven he asks? The Pope reassures Emil that his loved ones are nearby and that yes they certainly can see everyone. He assures Emil that they pray for us, and they lovingly take care of us as they watch us from heaven. And he references Emil’s drawing that pictures angels around Emil by saying, “The way you have drawn them, they are flying around me. But they are “flying” next to you. They are accompanying you with their love.”
The innocence and curiosity is captured within each drawing and accompanying illustration. The questions are simple yet profound in terms of the honesty that lies within each inquiry. Even though each question is asked by a child, the truth is that most adults don’t really have an answer and have probably wondered the same.
For example, when you pray, have you ever wondered how does God actually listen? Ryan, a 7-year-old in the United States of America, asks the pontiff how is God able to listen? He assures Ryan that he listens, but not with his ears. “God can hear us even if words don’t come out of our mouths. God listens to the heart.” He goes on and encourages the ability to have an open heart. The Pope ends with saying, “And Jesus, because he is God, is near to every person and listens to everyone. He is God, and he can do this.”
Dear Pope Francis is a beautiful collection of questions that the world, no matter what age, shares. It’s a book that brings the world together and focuses on faith. There is no book like this collection, as it provides thoughtful and inspiring responses from the Pope himself and reinforces the belief of a great future.