Monday, April 21, 2008

Ubi Petrus, ibi Ecclesia

At the prayer breakfast this morning, Arch(?)bishop Finn summed up in a single phrase what I with my many words have been circling around and trying to find a way to express: “In this extraordinary week, we have been in the heart of the Church. Ubi Petrus, ibi Ecclesia – where Peter is, there is the Church.” For these few days, Rome was not the center. Washington DC was. The coming-home that I associate with St. Peter's, I experienced here. And I don't want it to end. Not that it does – more than any earthly place or person, the Eucharist is the center of the Church – but there are other sensible graces that come with the Holy Father. There's a real sense of the presence of the Spirit. We've had our Shepherd with us, and he has truly tended his flock. As before – soon come; too soon gone.

Christ our Hope – Christ our Truth. Freedom is not freedom when it ignores truth; when it ignores reason and rules. That was such a huge part of Benedict's message, as it has ever been – at the Mass; to Catholic educators; again at the UN. I'm not going to delve further into what he said; I am as I said exhausted and besides I don't have transcripts with me. But that point loomed large: relativism is not freedom; relativism is only a stifling of dignity and hope. There's no freedom in freedom of worship if faith is kept of out public life; is expected to be left at the church door in the name of “tolerance”.

And yet again – thank You, Lord, for such a Pope. Thank you for such an example of Christian dignity and kindness. Thank you for showing us, through Benedict, what it is to be strong in faith and in You. Grant, Lord, that we may answer with the renewal he calls us to; that we may work to end evil and find ways to bring good out of it.

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