Upon hearing the news, I said to Suzy, “We have a new Pope.” Her response to my statement was, “He’s not mine.” Francis I is going to have to make a lot of changes before Suzy joins the fold. But her comment got me to thinking about the similarities of the different branches of the Christian faith. What do we all believe in? Here’s one — Jesus came to live with us to show how human flesh looks and acts when enlivened and inspired by the presence of the divine.
When I was on the track and field team in high school, one of my good friends was a pole vaulter. One day as I watched him soar over a fourteen foot hurdle, I said, “How do you do that? How does it feel to get so high? He answered, “It’s not the taking off that’s hard, it’s the knowing how to land.”
I’ve written a lot about darkness and troubles lately, but during Lent we also experience highs. Intimate experiences with God leave us exalted. But the real world doesn’t live in the clouds, we have to learn how to bring the inspiration and passion of those experiences into our everyday lives. We are called to bring the exaltation of our soaring in the clouds down to earth. The difficulty, what we practice during Lent, is the challenge of our landing.