Thursday, May 28, 2009

How I Spent Four Hours On A Yellow School Bus Today

Thankfully, I had the foresight to bring a book along with me today on the field trip. My new son-in-law passed it along to me on Sunday, and I grabbed it as I headed out the door this morning a little after seven AM. Peggy Noonan's inspiring prose is elegantly woven together in a complete work entitled John Paul the Great. Like the title and the beloved pope, the books itself is great.

It is appropriate to leave you with a quote, taken from JPII himself, on his first visit to Poland after being named pope (found on page 32).

As a bishop does in the sacrament of Confirmation so do I today extend my hands in that apostolic gesture over all who are gathered here today, my compatriots. And so I speak for Christ himself: "Receive the Holy Spirit!"

I speak, too, for St. Paul: "Do not quench the Spirit!"

I speak again for St. Paul: "Do not grieve the Spirit!"

Now, just days before we celebrate the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, these words of John Paul II are as appropriate as ever.

And if you have four hours to pass on a big yellow school bus with some sixty elementary-aged kids, I highly recommend taking along Ms. Noonan's book. It almost turns a field trip into a pilgrimage - almost.

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