I have been in Rome for nearly a month now, working on the details of my studies. Nothing definite to report there.
On Sunday a group of us were privileged to attend the Holy Father’s Mass for the Feast of the Presentation, which was also the 18th World Day for Consecrated Life. You can read his homily here.
I found Pope Francis’ simple and yet significant notice of the Presentation as a meeting between the young and the old—between the Holy Family and the Simeon and Anna—to be remarkably astute, as it is a revealing and accurate exegesis of St. Luke’s gospel reading. The youth are in the Temple to observe the Law. The old are there under the spirit of Prophecy. The Holy Father goes on to reiterate what he has said before, religious must preserve their traditions in the fervor of youth and at the same time be open to the wisdom of prophetic grace:
And in the consecrated life we live the encounter between the young and the old, between [observance] and prophecy. Let’s not see these as two opposing realities! Let us rather allow the Holy Spirit to animate both of them, and a sign of this is joy: the joy of observing, of walking within a rule of life; the joy of being led by the Spirit, never unyielding, never closed, always open to voice of God that speaks, that opens, that leads us and invites us to go towards the horizon.
It’s good for the elderly to communicate their wisdom to the young; and is good for the young people to gather this wealth of experience and wisdom, and to carry it forward, not so as to store it in a museum, but to bring it forward addressing the challenges of life, to carry it forward for the sake of respective religious orders and of the whole Church.
Here are some recent photos:
Just took this in the Paddington train station. The gentleman said the Great Horned Owl is used for taking care of the pigeons, of which there are many at Paddington. I have seen the noble bird before at the station, but have not yet been fortunate enough to seem him in action. One has hope. I am not sure what “taking care of” exactly means, but I will let you know when I find out.
These pictures where taken during a pilgrimage we made, the day Pope Francis was elected, to a nearby relic of the beginnings of Christianity in Cornwall, namely, the ruins of St. Piran’s Oratory in Perranporth. The area is characterized by rough sand dunes covered with thin grass, brambles and brush. The Oratory is now no longer visible but is marked by a stone memorial. When St. Piran escaped martyrdom and managed to reach Cornwall from Ireland, even though he had been thrown in the ocean chained to a millstone, he built the oratory in thanksgiving for his deliverance and in order to preach the gospel to the people of Cornwall. Continue reading
So I welcomed Pope Francis in with a bang last night on the way back from a Communion call. No one hurt, thank God. And, no, I would prefer not to share the details, not because they are embarrassing (of course), but because I would not want to imply that any differences between English and American driving laws had anything to do with it. And no, there was no alcohol involved. For the fact that I am still here to write about it, and in doing so perfect health, and that no one else was hurt, I thank God, Our Lady, St. Francis and my Guardian Angel. Nuff said.
I was will have more to say about our new dear Holy Father in the coming days, just as soon as I get the insurance details ironed out and have a few moments to get un-rattled.