Sunday, March 24, 2013

Wonderful scenes... St Peter's Square this Palm Sunday, with Pope Francis greeting young people who gathered there for the traditional start of World Youth Day. He will be in Brazil this summer for WYD itself, and his warm enthusiasm for the celebrations is evident. He sees himself as being in the footsteps of his two great predecessors in this:  " I too am setting out on a journey with you today, in the footsteps of Blessed John Paul II and Benedict XVI. We are already close to the next stage of this great pilgrimage of the Cross. I look forward joyfully to this coming July in Rio de Janeiro! I will see you in that great city in Brazil! Prepare well in your communities — prepare spiritually above all — so that our gathering in Rio may be a sign of faith for the whole world.”

The meeting between him and Papa BXVI yesterday was rather moving to watch - even just sitting at home, crouched over a laptop. (Auntie has been rather housebound, with a bad cough and cold).  Papa Francis gave BXVI a lovely icon of "Our Lady of Humility", and told him that this was a special gift because BXVI had taught us all so much by by example about this virtue...

Watching BXVI - who looks rather old and frail, and so kindly and dear - kneeling there next to the new Pope, was of course at one level an extraordinary thing, but at another level it all looked rather comradely and normal. Two men in the service of God, getting on with what needs to be done in the service of the Church.

Palm Sunday Mass this morning at Westminster Cathedral.  I had planned to go to the Ordinariate parish at London Bridge, for an outdoor procession etc, but the weather was so bitter that I just couldn't manage it and headed instead to the warmth of the Cathedral. The singing of the Passion narrative was immensely powerful, done from the great pulpit with three fine voices and of course the choir, up in the apse. Vast crowd attending, great stacks of palm being handed out, Archbishop coming down the aisle as Mass ended, showering blessings...

Over the next days and weeks, watch the mass media - all following, irritatingly, the same line - seeking to stir up stories about how there will be splits between followers of BXVI and followers of Pope Francis. Don't go along with it. The truth is more prosaic: recent pontificates have shown a notable unity of course and of purpose and this looks set to continue.


Anonymous said...

Just refer to yourself as "I", please! It is considered so annoying and pretentious to continually refer to yourself in the third person. You mistakenly think it makes you sound endearing. It doesn't.

Joanna Bogle said...

Auntie has no illusions about sounding endearing. It is a matter of using different styles so as to vary the pronoun from time to time.

For what it's worth, I find your split infinitive irritating...but I don't assume you use it to appear endearing.

Keep reading the blog and let's try to have large minds and a sense of humour!

Anonymous said...

Joanna aka Auntie, you make my day, every day!

Connie K.
Florida, USA

Anonymous said...

I understand that it is now respectable to question the strict dogma concerning split infinitives, especially where their use sounds clumsy in practice. In general though they are better avoided.

As to the sentence in question the passive voice seems unwarranted. A simpler and more direct recasting might read: "I find it annoying and pretentious that you refer to yourself continually in the third person."

Terry said...

Considering the fact that this blog is entitled "Auntie Joanna Writes", I rather enjoy the use of Auntie as a third person. I find it fun, and not the least bit pretentious.

Anon, you should get over yourself. If anything, you're the one being pretentious and arrogant.