Tuesday, May 17, 2005

The Church and drama

The day Pope Benedict was elected, the drama of it all really hit me. First there was the white smoke, then we all ran to the TV to hear the name. But we had to wait a while as the bells kept tolling, people kept pouring into St. Peter's Square, and the tension mounted. As the cameras focused on the balcony, from time to time we could see the curtains moving a bit as if someone inside was peering out. Meantime people around the world were hanging on with great interest.

The Church knows how to do drama. So the other day I came across something in an unexpected source that confirmed this. I happened to be paging through George Burns' biography of his wife, Gracie Allen. Burns was Jewish and Gracie was a devout Catholic. They made a trip to Rome to see Pope Pius (it must have been Pius XII but he didn't specify). Gracie was very excited and nervous to see the Pope, while George took it all in stride. He said, "The Pope's entrance was stunning. Maybe the Catholics know about miracles, and maybe they know about saints, but they've never received enough credit for what they know about show business. In my 85 years in the business, that was easily the greatest entrance I've ever seen. The Catholics know more about backlighting and indirect lighting than any stage manager.... His exit was even more impressive than his entrance."

1 comment:

AuntieCoosa said...

You don't say where to post comments about Pope JP II or B16, so these are mine posted here:

"Stupidity is also a gift of God, but one mustn't misuse it." ~ Pope John Paul II The Great
"Where the Church itself becomes the state freedom becomes lost. But also when the Church is done away with as a public and publicly relevant authority, then too freedom is extinguished, because there the state once again claims completely for itself the jurisdiction of morality." Josef Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI
" By allowing the rights of the weakest to be violated, the State also allows the law of force to prevail over the force of law." Josef Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI

I went to Italy on a 'budget tour' in 2001, but was unable to stay long enough to see Pope John Paul II, although I was able to tour some of Vatican City and see the Sistine Chapel. I became devoted to Pope John Paul II and prayed for him daily from that time on. Since his death, I sense his presence more strongly when I pray. My screen saver at home and at work is a later photo of Pope John Paul II. I am reading his book _Memory_and_Identity_ at the present time. (I have made exclamation mark notations on every page for phrases I want to remember.) I marvel at the wisdom of this man. He was totally devoted to The Church and to Our Lady.

I have an online subscription to Catholic Culture and ZENIT and am amazed at the intellectual level of Pope Benedict XVI. I thought Pope John Paul II was amazing, but it seems that Pope Benedict XVI is even more amazing. As I read his homilies and translations of his other public spoken and written statements, I am awed that we are so blessed by our God. I don't know if everyone realizes how blessed we and the entire world are to have this humble, wise, and faithful servant of God as our Pope.

In a few words? I look to the heavens and say "Wow, God, You are so awesome. You blessed us with Pope John Paul II (the Great) and in the fullness of time, you took him to be with You. And now You have chosen Pope Benedict XVI and Your blessings continue to be poured out upon Your faithful. Wow, Lord God, Wow!"

(When I hear people say how when they get to heaven they're going to have a discussion with this Prophet or that Evangelist, I shake my head and wonder at their presumption. Me, I will be speechless and tears of joy will flow and my silent mouth will form one word: WOW. THAT is how I feel when I hear or think of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI.)