I apologize for this rambling nature of this terribly nostalgic post. It’s just that a reader alerted me to the film version of my biography from before I was born. I am such a donkey.
I’ve been in all the places seen in the film (in the depths and heights of the Secretariat of State of the Holy See, including the ol’ “terzo piano” countless times, etc.) and had laughs and skirmishes with both the Swiss Guard and the Vatican Police and… you know… the “others”, from the lower to the higher end. The boy in this film had the right idea about getting around with some of the security characters: just act like you own the place and you’ll be just fine, you know, the ol’ Jedi-Knight trick. ;-) That’s because there’s always someone new who’s on probation and doesn’t yet know you. I’ve written elsewhere extensively about donkeys in Vatican City State, real and figurative. I’ve had dealings with a skeptical Franciscan crowd, only for them to come around to agreeing with me. I know about secret passages… etc.
And while I met Saint John Paul II I think on eight different occasions, communications with Benedict XVI proved more difficult until someone told me his brilliant idea of simply presenting myself in my own name, not making any higher-up ecclesiastic a courier for me, just letting those in heaven do the work for me. And that worked perfectly. Just like with the little boy in this film. Amazing. I am such a donkey. And then there’s Pope Francis, but I digress.
For the record, let it be known that I’ve prepared a gazillion people to go to heaven with the last rights, also making them laugh (which is important). I made sure that everyone who was dying had their instructions to tell Jesus that there was a donkey-priest down on this earth who needed His special help. One parishioner said that they might as well just use my name instead of saying “donkey-priest”, because otherwise Jesus won’t know who they are talking about. I asked, “What do you mean since there is surely only one priest in the world sending so many to heaven to say such a thing to Jesus? And the answer, of course, was that there are so very many donkey-priests that one would have to narrow down the herd a bit with a proper name! I surely have the best parish in the world. Amen.
P.S. If you’re wondering what in the world I’m talking about in all of this, you’ll just have to watch the film. And should you make it to heaven before I do (we must have hope!), you are hereby charged with telling Jesus about an ailing donkey-priest down here who needs His help in a particular way.