Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Bowling and the Pope

Of all things, I was at a bowling alley, earlier in the evening, when the Holy Father was praying Vespers with the US Bishops at the National Shrine.

The alley is one town over, in another county (ah Georgia and it's tiny counties!), about 15 miles south of the Tennessee border. Through the door I could spy a gas station across the street that proclaimed, in bold red, "DAWG GAS."

The TV was tuned to CNN as we walked in, which was covering the Vespers live.

I also had a splitting sinus migraine, which made everything just a tad bit more surreal.

The alley wasn't crowded, but people would turn and stare at the TV curiously. The folks I was with (all good Catholics), chattered a bit about the Holy Father being in the US. I prayed that the ibuprofen would kill the headache soon.

I sat so I could follow the bowling, as well as the Pope. The CNN tag at the bottom read, "Pope talks to US Bishops: To Address Sexual Abuse Crisis." Like that was the only thing he was going to say. The Vespers sounded absolutely beautiful. The hymn as they processed in --- was it Thomas Tallis' Spem in alium? I thought I recognized the swelling harmony of the 40-part motet. If it was, it would be most fitting: Spem in alium numquam habui praeter in te Deus Israel .. , "I have had hope in none other than Thee, O God of Israel ..." (I was wrong. It was actually Tu es Petrus. Also quite appropriate!)

Luckily the volume was low enough that the singing was audible but the chatter of the anchors was drowned out.

I got to watch the opening bit of his address to the US Bishops, up till the part where he urged the Bishops to welcome immigrants. (YAY!)

The full texts are now out:

Address to the Bishops
Q&A session with the Bishops

I've just skimmed over them and, as with everything he says or writes: he makes my heart sing! I'll read them later when I feel a little less woozy the migraine

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