The Institute for Spirituality and Health
Exploring the connections between spirituality and health.


Spirited Words

See below for a collection of reflections, writings, essays, poems, and other contributions that the ISH community has submitted over the years. We hope you enjoy.

If you are interested in submitting a piece to our blog, please contact Anyang Anyang <>. We publish writing that relates to our mission of enhancing well-being by exploring the relationship between spirituality and health.


Pope Francis Brings Hope to the World

By ishtmc

March 17th, 2013


Selection of Argentina’s Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as the 266th Roman Catholic Pope brings hope not only to Catholics but to people around the globe. Pope Francis has shared how he chose the name Francis. He says that just as it appeared the voting was going his way and it seemed “a bit dangerous” that he would be elected, his friend, Brazilian Cardinal Claudio Hummes, hugged him, kissed him on the cheek, and whispered in his ear, “Don’t forget the poor.” The pope says, “And that is how in my heart came the name Francis of Assisi.”

The Pope went on to say that Francis of Assisi was “The man of the poor. The man of peace. The man who loved and cared for creation — and in this moment, we don’t have such a great relationship with the creator. The man who gives us this spirit of peace, the poor man who wanted a poor church.”

One thing is certain, Pope Francis began his tenure exemplifying these principles. Standing before the massive crowd in St. Peter’s square, his first word was a simple “hello” to everyone’s delight. He then asked the people to pray for him and then join him in saying The Lord’s Prayer. The next day, he surprised everyone by demanding to pay his own hotel bill. And, he then walked past a limosene and climbed into an ordinary car to take him to the Vatican. Clearly, this man wants to model the qualities of St. Francis of Assisi — he is not entitled, he is a simple man of God and a man of the poorest among us.

May people of all faiths support and pray for this man as he begins the arduous task of leading the Catholic church’s 1.2 billion souls worldwide. As for me, I shall pray for him daily and may God richly bless all of us through this man. He is just one man, but I pray he can make a difference and by God’s grace, I believe he will.

Sara Moore