During his recent visit to New York City, His Holiness spoke about his interactions with Mohatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, the Trappist monk Thomas Merton, Muslim leaders in India and rabbis around the world.
Eboo Patel, in his Faith Divide blog, wrote: "His message was clear -- live out the view of compassion in your own faith or secular tradition, learn to admire views of compassion in other traditions, come together across faiths on the common ground of compassion."
In my work with the Interfaith Youth Core, I am surrounded by young people from many different religions who understand the importance of making time and choosing compassion when it comes to interfaith interactions.
As co-host of "30 Good Minutes," a show devoted to exploring religious values, I am fortunate to meet many people from different faith traditions who are deeply committed to finding ways we can live together peacefully and respect one another. I am inspired by all of them who tell me the time is now to make interfaith cooperation a reality.
And so, in a life so short on time, might you consider one more choice? No matter what your religious beliefs, you can choose to respect people of many different faiths or no faith at all. It's up to each us to make the time to connect and find our own personal inspiration. I hope we can all get better at connecting and making the time to make better choices. Our world depends on it.
Dan Pawlus is vie president of communications for Interfaith Youth Core and a regular contributor to The Faith Divide on the On Faith blog of the Washington Post. He is also co-host of "30 Good Minutes," a weekly ecumenical and interfaith program on WTTW 11 (PBS) in Chicago. Pawlus has been an active member of St. Monica's Parish Community in Santa Monica, Calif., and is currently a parishioner and part of the music ministry at Old St. Patrick's Church in Chicago.