On this sunny, blustery February day, we have just returned, our little family of four, from a standing-room-only Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City, where the celebrant was the newly minted Timothy Cardinal Dolan. Given the politics of these days, I expected he might preach about the intrusions that politicians are making into Catholics' lives of faith. But he didn't, at least not overtly.
Instead, the joyful man in the red hat preached the Gospel, reminding us that, just as Jesus learned during his 40 days in the desert, during Lent we need to realize that our lives must be lived with God's will, not our will, for God's kingdom, not our kingdom, for God's values and not the passing values of the world we live in. (Thanks to my CL friend Dan Finaldi for sharing the photo he took after Mass)
If you never have heard him preach, know that Timothy Cardinal Dolan is a great story teller with an infectious smile. He told us about a woman named Karen, an attorney and a new Catholic convert, who traveled with hundreds of other pilgrims with him to Rome recently, to celebrate his elevation to cardinal.
Karen wanted to have him serve her First Communion last Friday in St. Peter's Basilicia, but a scheduling conflict (he had an appointment with the Pope Benedict XVI) meant she had to wait. Rather than wait until Monday, when he would be celebrating a Mass, Karen told Timothy Cardinal Dolan she would take her First Communion from one of the hundreds of priest celebrating Sunday Mass at St. Peter's Basilica.
Repent, and believe in the gospel."