Walking Cross-Town. Heal the wounds. Heal the wounds from the ground up.


“Pray for me.”

Soft spoken and gentle, he leans into a man and his child amid the throng on the streets of DC.

He repeats.

“Please pray for me.”

I ponder that for a moment.  And, I keep walking.

Barricades are coming up. Husky NYPD officers are manning their stations. NYPD Commissioner Bratton quipped that the pontiff will have “6,000 guardian angels watching him.” He means “Six thousand police officers, 1,173 police cars, 818 tons of concrete barriers and 39 miles of metal and wood barricades are what is needed to help protect Pope Francis on his visit to NYC.”

6000 Guardian Angels. 818 tons of concrete. 39 miles of metal and wood barricades.

I walk.

The flock is amassing.

Man with Gramophone stands in front of Madison Square Garden warning of Armageddon.

I walk.

Disciples raising human sized posters of Christ calling for the coming of a resurrection.

I walk.

Anti abortionists with cardboard cut-outs of unborn fetuses shouting “Life!”

I walk.

The damaged, the wounded, sit against the towering granite skyscrapers, with their hands out.  The sidewalk darkened, drying, the stench of urine. A whiff fills my lungs. There’s life.

I walk.

“Hey Handsome!  You in the nice suit.  How about some change for the homeless?”  He shakes his tin can with a cut out on top urging me on for a donation.  I glare at the con man. Feeling the chill he moves to the next victim.

Pray for me? 

Pray for us Pope.

Pray for us.


  • Post inspired and post title source: Inspired by: David Brooks who speaks of Francis’ gift. “Learning through intimacy, not just to study poverty, but to live among the poor and feel it as a personal experience from the inside.  And he quotes Pope Francis: ‘The thing the church needs most today is the ability to heal wounds and to warm the hearts of the faithful; it needs nearness, proximity…heal the wounds, heal the wounds. …and you have to start from the ground up.’”
  • Related Posts: Commuting Series.


  1. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    “Pray for me” …. he asks. How can anyone not?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on vanbytheriver and commented:
    I’ve been wanting to write about the Pope’s visit, was not sure how to best address it. David Kanigan found a way, brief and brilliant.


  3. Wonderful, DK, just wonderful. I find his humility so profound….

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Very moving and provoking David. Brilliant!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great writing David…it gave me goose bumps just reading your words.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “Not just to study poverty, but to live among the poor and feel it as a personal experience from the inside.” He is definitely making a difference in the world. His open heart and mind to new ideas, will bring peace from the ground up. Great piece Mr Kanigan.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. kindness and compassion. truth.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Definitely time to pray for all of us…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The angel power needed to protect him while here shows your request is very timely. Loved how you wrote it up.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I hope he has a large team of angels. Pope Francis is not like other popes. I just love him.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Yep, he’s one of the best popes there’s been, at least in my (humble and not super- informed) opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. beautiful piece, David. Pope Francis is an example for all of us.

    Liked by 1 person

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