After the Ash Wednesday Mass with the commissioning of the Missionaries of Mercy was well over and the relics if Padre Leopoldo and Padre Pio were on their way, something caught my eye over to the side above the statue of St Peter, namely, the image of Pius IX.
He’s the one responsible for the dogmas of the Immaculate Conception and papal infallibility. When he spoke, he spoke as Peter. I always felt attracted to his teaching, of course, and felt a reverence to his person. But today was different. It was much more personal, like a good friendship.
I suppose in some remote way, I share his deep concern for the promulgation of the glorious truth of the Immaculate Conception. He wrote of this ineffable mystery with the ease of a sainted pastor, and I with all the academic agony that could possibly be mustered at the time, at least that is what I’m told about the level of difficulty of my writings by the ad hoc commission of the Pontifical Biblical Institute. It is what it is. It is true though, that the one who writes with ease knows his topic well. Whereas the one who writes like I do knows nothing at all. Perhaps Pio Nono will pray for me in all of my ignorance. :-) Anyway, before that…
I did have THE MEETING, which was at vesting time for Mass. Not to worry, thought I. I’ll be able to slip in the back side of the basilica and race to where the other priests were already lined up for Mass. Race means hobble after this past week of going about Rome. Seeing that I had only seconds to spare, my fellow priests helped me vest and off we went in a flurry. God is good.