Sunday, June 8, 2014


I'm about to head out for the hospital where my mother is recovering from a stomach virus and being tested for some heart problems. Please keep her in your prayers.

So, I only have a couple of minutes, but I wanted to write a few observations about the prayers in the Vatican Gardens this afternoon with Pope Francis, Shimon Peres, Mahmoud Abbas, and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. This is going to be quick and off the top of my head, so please forgive any mistakes, and what will probably be terrible grammar.

A short while ago, Maclin posted an item on Light on Dark Water entitled Thank Heaven for EWTN or something very like--I don't have time to check--and I thought about that as I watching and thinking, "Thank heaven I don't have to watch this accompanied by the incessant chatter of people who think they know what they are talking about. The fact that there was only translation and no commentary was a great blessing. Of course, it may have been that way on other channels. I don't know because I only watched one.

And then there were the prayers--so similar.  Who could have told them one from the other. Of course, they were mostly based on the psalms, but I still thought how similar our prayers are. This always strikes me when I watch a movie directed by Majid Majidi.

As I watched the musicians, I saw how some members of each group (or in the case of the Moslem, the one man) would be nodding their heads to the rhythm of the other group's music. It has always seemed to me that music is the closest thing to pure spirit that we can experience with our bodies, and, of course, it is the language of love, not just human love, but that Love from which all other loves proceed. So, it was lovely to see these musicians caught up in that language being created by those whom they might oppose on any other day.

Just looking at the group, I thought how seldom it is nowadays to see a group of people gathered and to see no texting, noone wearing a bluetooth, or plugged into headsets, no one holding up a phone to take a picture. Everyone there (although I'm sure they were distracted in their own minds) focused on the one person speaking or praying and the God Who was listening.

And, peaceful it was--profoundly peaceful. I'm so glad that it was outside.

And bless Pope Francis. Who else could have pulled this off?

Well, I have to run.


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