Friday, April 18, 2008

The Pope Comes to America

Some random thoughts on Pope Benedict's visit.

I am so glad the Pope is addressing the sex abuse scandal in the church. Especially his meeting with the victims yesterday. To say he was "ashamed" implied responsibility and is a start toward healing.

I will not be attending any of the Masses or events in New York. However I can remember visits of two other popes.

In 1965, we attended the Mass at Yankee Stadium when Pope Paul VI visited. My son was a baby and it was the first time I left him. Very difficult since I was nursing and spent all day with a breast pump. All turned out well and I still remember my excitement as the Pope motored around the field to the cries of "Viva Papa!"

In 1995, my son was living a half block from Central Park. My daughter and I stayed overnight and all three of us rose bright and early to attend the Mass in Central Park with John Paul II. It was gray and rainy and my son had a terrible cold. But once again, it was worth it. I remember the intensity of John Paul's presence, a sense of deep spirituality that even my non-Catholic friends noticed. I remember his wonderful sense of humor. He won me over that day!

And I think I know Pope Benedict in a new way, thanks to this visit. He seems warmer and gentler than he appeared to be as Cardinal Ratzinger. I love his smile. How amazed my German-American grandmother would be that we have a German pope!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Welcome Spring!

Just returned from a short visit with my daughter and her family in California. What bouncy, strong boys my 2 and 4 year old grandsons are!

Now to celebrate Spring, which returned to New York while I was gone. A poem from the past.

April’s Showers

I love the garden when it’s wet,
the trees streaked dark with sweat,
when all the woods are blurred with tears
that cling to sprouting sprigs.

The river blinks but does not pause
along its steadfast course,
while I in stirring stillness sit
beside its muddied shores.

The birds cry out in joyous song
to wake my sleeping ears.
Then all creation holds me light
and lifts me to my feet.

© E. M. Ramos 4/12/2001