Quite a few years ago I was discerning a possible vocation to become a Catholic priest. That may surprise some of you but honestly, I have never experienced anything close to the light and love I have encountered within Catholicism. And since I was not born a Catholic, naturally I would consider the priesthood after undergoing a series of powerful conversion experiences.
One of the many people I talked to in my journey of discernment was Monsignor Samuel Bianco. The Monsignor is mostly retired now, I believe. Although I spoke with him more recently once or twice at my local parish where he was filling in for another monsignor.
The third – and first – monsignor I met was in Ottawa, Canada. He was extremely helpful while I was simply considering becoming Catholic, let alone wondering if I should become a priest.
From my experience, all three monsignors have one thing in common. They are real. No fluffy faking it with them. If there is a problem, they are not afraid to address it in a mature, thoughtful manner.
And that is one of the things I respect about all of them.
“Monsignor” is mostly an honorary title. I don’t think monsignors have any real ‘power’ in the Church, as we find with the bishops. But in this homily, it is the cardinal who is seated while the monsignor speaks. And I think that is totally correct. Monsignor Bianco knew the former Prime Minister John Turner personally. I would have loved to have included that segment in this video clip but for obvious reasons, have opted to keep it as short as possible.
Later yesterday evening as I was cooking dinner, the monsignor’s image of the gold coin filled with lead remained in my thoughts. It seems a perfect image for those without integrity. You take a bite and ouch. It hurts. With true gold, however, nothing but a soft imprint remains.
And isn’t that true with individuals who are sincere? Interacting with them is always a joy. Whereas the insincere, thinking they are so clever with their shabby lies, leave us with a feeling that ‘something is very wrong.’ Sometimes that feeling is just a dull emptiness, like a spiritual slap. Other times it is an offensive toxicity that pains the soul.
I never met John Turner. I spied him out of the corner of my eye once at some social event. And I was very close to the daughter of a man who knew him. All of these folks are up in heaven now. And I believe all would have really appreciated Monsignor Bianco’s homily. Or to be honest, I suspect they really enjoyed it. Because I believe they are fully awake, right now. Not slumbering until some fantastical end times.
But that’s just my opinion.
The important thing for us is the message conveyed in today’s Double Take.