By Carol Glatz
VATICAN CITY — There’s been another strange coincidence where we at Catholic News Service have put out a story on a very specific topic and a couple of days later, Pope Francis picks up the same theme.
Pope Francis speaking with German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a private audience at the Vatican May 18. (CNS/Gregorio Borgia, pool via Reuters)
The first time I noticed it was after I wrote a piece on his use of “threes” in almost all of his talks.
Lo and behold, three (!!) days later the pope explained why he likes to break things down into three neat concepts (It’s a Jesuit thing, he said).
Then last Friday, our videographer, Robert Duncan, posted a video with Fr. Dwight Longenecker, who was visiting Rome and gave us a preview of his new book coming out, “The Romance of Religion.”
In the video, Fr. Longenecker talks about two strands running through the history of the church: what he calls the “priestly” with its attention to observing rules, and the prophetic.
And wouldn’t you know, Pope Francis emphasized exactly those two points two days later in his homily at Mass marking the World Day for Consecrated Life.
Consecrated men and women experience an encounter between observance and prophesy, he said.
“We don’t see them as two opposing realities. Rather, let’s let the Holy Spirit animate them both,” he said, urging religious to allow the joy of the Holy Spirit to guide both their observance of their communities’ rules and their willingness to be prophetic.
Obviously the pope is not scanning CNS for ideas, but the coincidences are uncanny!
Thumbs up from Pope Francis as he leaves St. Peter’s Square March 24, 2013. (CNS/Paul Haring)
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