My good friend Margaret Lay - who is also a member of the Ballarat Interfaith Network - has sent me this article. It is worth reading. It is a bit question and answer-ish in style but what lies between - at the heart of this unusual conversation - is a wise commentary on modern society. Where is the this world at? Where is this world going? What are or should be its values? What is worthwhile? What impedes the good that would be done or should be done to others?
And you think that mystics have been important for the Church?"They have been fundamental. A religion without mystics is a philosophy."
And St. Francis?"He's great because he is everything. He is a man who wants to do things, wants to build, he founded an order and its rules, he is an itinerant and a missionary, a poet and a prophet, he is mystical. He found evil in himself and rooted it out. He loved nature, animals, the blade of grass on the lawn and the birds flying in the sky. But above all he loved people, children, old people, women. He is the most shining example of that agape we talked about earlier."
Jesus, as you pointed out, said:
Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. Do you think that this has happened?"Unfortunately, no. Selfishness has increased and love towards others declined."
We embrace. We climb the short staircase to the door.
I tell the Pope there is no need to accompany me
but he waves that aside with a gesture.
"We will also discuss the role of women in the Church.
Remember that the Church () is feminine."