It seems as if I've not been blogging much about the Pope's visit to America, but that 's not really true. I've just been reading blog posts not writing them.
I was riveted to the television for the entire visit not wanting to miss a moment or a word of what he said. I downloaded all his speeches so I could read them and ponder them. Every excited expectation was met and then some as the Pope showed in every action, word and gesture, his purpose to spread Christ's hope and his personal humility. Maybe the most important event was one we never saw, The Healing in the Chapel when Pope Benedict became the healing pastor to five victims of the clerical abuse scandal. The sight of the Pope walking down the deep pit of Ground Zero to fall to his knees and pray for minutes in silence was the most moving.
I spent two days on and off writing a wrap-up post with lots of links and thanks to the people, reporters and bloggers who wrote so much better than I could and with great feeling about each of the Papal events.
What struck me and what I haven't seen discussed anywhere is what a profoundly counter-cultural moment in time it was. We are so used to a steady media diet of war, murder, terrorist attacks, fears, hatred, sex, politics and celebrity stories, that the six days when the media allowed us to see the Pope at the White House and the UN along with the splendor and beauty of the Catholic Mass were astonishing.
The contrast between the bleakness of most of what we see and the power of peace and love the Pope brought to our shores could not be greater. The contrast between the happiness of the huge crowds waiting for hours to see the Pope and the crowds at anti-war rallies or San Francisco rallies could not be greater. The clarity, intelligence and moral seriousness of the Pope's addresses contrasted sharply with the political speeches we are used to. We are not used to dignity, reverence and joy as part of our media diet.
Some seeds sown by Pope Benedict will flourish immediately, others may not be evident for months, even years. But grow they will. In a future full of hope, many will point to this visit as changing their lives.Posted by Jill Fallon at April 25, 2008 10:05 PM | Permalink