Since assuming the papacy, Pope Francis has made one thing abundantly clear: it was no mistake that he wanted "Francis" to be his papal name. And for good reason. Francis is a symbol of austerity, simplicity and poverty. The founder of the Franciscans is "the man who gives us this spirit of peace, the poor man," he told journalists soon after his election to the papacy. "Oh, how I would like a poor Church, and for the poor." At this news conference, he shared with the reporters about the conclave and  Cardinal Hummes, a friend from Brazil who congrataulated him after he received the necessary two-thirds majority and told him "Don't forget the poor."

Pope FrancisHe demonstrated a few days ago that he has not forgotten this admonition. In speaking to a Catholic Association gathered at St. Peter's, he shared: "If we step outside ourselves we find poverty.... It breaks my heart to say it, finding a homeless person who has died of cold is not news." "We cannot become starched Christians, too polite, who speak of theology calmly over tea. We have to become courageous Christians and seek out those who need help most."

He has identified for us the present crisis in values: "If investments in banks fall, it is a tragedy and people say 'what are we going to do?' but if people die of hunger, have nothing to eat or suffer from poor health, that's nothing. This is our crisis today. A Church that is poor and for the poor has to fight this mentality."

May we heed his call.