After a long day writing at the press center and covering Pope Benedict XVI’s meeting with interreligious leaders at the John Paul II Cultural Center, I needed to have a drink with my fiance. He had spent the day as one of the thousands of excited Catholics waiting to see the pope drive by The Catholic University of America in his popemobile.
After we met up and started discussing the day, I discovered he had a lot to say about how Pope Benedict’s soft, gentle voice touched him and how the pope’s comments about religion’s contributions to a secular society and the importance of the family revived his faith. So, like any editor, I told him to sit and write it down.
Here’s an excerpt from his comments, something I like to call “notes from a normal Catholic guy.”
“The words of the pope during his visit to our city have strengthened my faith in the church. As a young man who is soon going to be married and start a family, the pope’s discussion of the importance of family and the values cultivated through family life given at the White House was very personal for me.
“The most eye-opening part of the Holy Father’s visit to Washington was his discussion on secularism in America today. As a child of the 1990s I’ve frequently struggled with the continuous push to remove God from my public life. I was also moved by the pope’s historical recount of how the foundation of America was laid with a shared belief in God without forcing one specific belief over another. He clarified that God and religion — any religion — should not be excluded from the state, government or public view.”
Sometimes it’s good to take off the reporter hat and get back to the basics of being a Catholic and appreciate the spiritual side of the pope’s trip to our country.