Host a fancy dinner party even if you think your current home isn't fancy enough. Put some daisies in that crystal vase. Pour lemonade in your lovely punch bowl at your next BBQ. You don't need a special occasion to use your special stuff. Pull out that china and those linen napkins for your next family movie night. Turn the ordinary into something extraordinary.
In the conclave, Pope Francis touched on the early church fathers' sense of the mysterium lunae. The mystery of the moon is that it has no light of its own; it only reflects the light of the sun. He said the church should not mistake itself for the sun. It has instead the mystery of the moon. It must remember that it only shines by reflecting the light of the divine.
As Francis has repeated on several occasions, "the Pope emeritus is not a statue in a museum. It is an institution," which "participates in the life of the Church." This new "institution" is a consequence of Benedict's historical resignation on February 11, 2013. It has "opened the door," according to Jorge Bergoglio. Meaning, he could very well do the same.
Nothing can distract you in Santa Martha. When you enter the residence, where the Vatican accommodates some of its visitors, there is no Raphael fresco or Bernini sculptor to catch your eye. Just plain white walls and green plants on a tidily kept marble floor. The outside six-story facade and the inside lobby alike are as neutral and impartial as a clinic. Yet the one you may come across, in the elevator, is Pope Francis. He stays in Room 201 on the second floor. A young cardinal once found himself with the pope suddenly entering the lift. "Holy Father," he said most politely. Francis replied: "Holy Son!" The pope recently explained to journalists that he had insisted on taking the elevator alone, with no one on duty to accompany him: "My life is as normal as I can make it." And as normal as one of a priest, that he wants it to remain.
World Elephant Day is recognized on August 12, an appeal to all global citizens to help conserve and protect elephants from the numerous threats they face. A few days after learning of the death of Satao I met up with beloved scientist and conservationist Dr. Jane Goodall to discuss the elephant crisis.