To Keep My Mind Open, My Heart Too

There are Catholics and there are Catholics. I don’t mean conservatives and liberals, or Dominicans and Jesuits. I’m talking about Catholics who remain open to experience, because in that experience they may find beauty, they may even find Christ—and Catholics who are closed to experience, because they’re right enough as they are, thank you very much. I had a vivid demonstration of the difference yesterday, when our men’s group welcomed four members of Communion and Liberation (CL) from Boston and Cambridge.

They are four remarkable young Catholics: a doctor from the Massachusetts General Hospital; a Harvard Ph.D candidate and composer of music; his wife, a concert pianist; and a Ph.D candidate in philosophy from Boston College. Three are natives of Italy, one of Paraguay (though he moved to Kansas as a young child). Bright, articulate, and passionate about life—they are typical of the people I have met in CL. They are the kind of people you look at and think, I want to have that kind of passion for life!

What different responses they evoked from the 35 parishioners who came to hear them speak!

I won’t even talk about J. and M., who seemed so fascinated by what was said that they stayed after to learn more. Perhaps one or both will begin to take part in “The Movement.” Instead, I want to boast about my dear friend Carrie. (Yes, women were invited to this special session of our men’s group, a first. Next week the doors slam shut again! LOL) Carrie is in her mid-70s and does not exactly fit the CL demographic, where the average age is probably half hers, if that. Carrie is the sort of elder lady seen at daily Mass of whom an outsider might think, “What else can she do? She’s gone to Mass all her life, and she doesn’t know any other way. The poor dear probably doesn’t even think about it anymore.”

How wrong that outsider would be! After the hour-long discussion of CL, Carrie called me over. She had taken meticulous notes and there were a couple of points she wanted to clarify. She so desired to understand the particular charism of CL, that she asked me a couple of searching questions. When I had answered to her satisfaction, she twinkled a smile at me and said, “Thank you, I just wanted to understand. Thank you. God bless you. God bless you.” I was very touched.

Later in the day, I happened to be out walking when I ran into a friend whom I will call T. He is a good man, good husband, good father. T. was walking the dog with his wife, F. We stopped to talk and the first words out of T.’s mouth were, “I gotta tell you. I have no idea what that CL is about.” T. had sat through the same hour that Carrie and I had witnessed. He had all the same information, though not the same experience. When I rejoindered, “You could probably learn more from the CL web site. You know, there’s a great CL web site,” T. said, “I’m sure there is.” It was obvious that T. had no intention of checking out the CL web site.

I pondered this experience as I continued my walk home and later over dinner with Katie. T. is an admirable man and a devout, well-read Catholic. But it seemed to me that there was something a bit too certain about his point of view, almost as if he viewed the world from behind battlements: “I am a Catholic, I will defend Catholicism to the death, and I will not let pass anything that even smells of the unknown.”

There is a difference between the unknown and the unorthodox. If one took the time to study CL, one would discover that the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation was approved as a valid ecclesial movement within the Church by Pope John Paul II in 1982. (Founder Luigi Giussani began teaching in 1954. The photograph shows him with early students.) One would discover that the homilist at Don Giussani’s funeral was none other than Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, our present Pope. One might even discover that our present Pope meets in weekly School of Community (the term for a CL meeting) with consecrated women of CL who manage the papal household.

But T. will probably never open his mind and heart far enough to appreciate the consequences of these facts, even if he is confronted with them. Which is why I saw little point in arguing with him, and when another dog came by to play with his dog, I used this opportunity to break off our brief conversation and wish T. and F. a pleasant evening.

The truly remarkable person in all this was my dear friend Ferde, because in Ferde I can see the tension between openness to experience and a limiting sense of rightness. To hear him speak sometimes, to exchange e-mails with him, you would think that Ferde must fall into the closed-minded camp. Ferde’s e-mail signature reads, “If the Catholic Church teaches it, it must be right.” That doesn’t leave a lot of room for doubt. Ferde is definitely in the “Catholic right or wrong” camp, but you see, that’s something else entirely. That’s upholding orthodoxy. An actor, a writer, and something of a free spirit for all his gruff righteousness, Ferde is orthodox and open.

Given that there are Catholics and there are Catholics, “Catholic right or wrong” necessarily has an expanded definition. Within the Catholic experience, within a full following of the Church and its doctrine, it is possible to be open- and closed-minded. Ferde’s mind is open, which is all the more remarkable because his eardrums are as good as closed.

I’m not telling any tales out of school here to write that Ferde has a congenital hearing deficit. So to sit for an hour listening to accented English, with his hearing aids turned up full, in a space with bad acoustics required an extraordinary effort. (Our upper church has the acoustics of an ear trumpet; our lower church is hushed like the catacombs.) Ferde made a concerted effort to understand, as difficult as that effort may have been for him, and when the hour was over, he was one of the few who asked a searching question of our four guests. As righteous as he may sound at times, Ferde’s desire for the truth is very much intact. This moved me. This impressed me. This showed me once again why Ferde has been such an important friend to me in the Church.

I thank my friends from The Movement for bringing this and many other insights to friends of mine in my home parish.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16021781602272064901 Allison

    Thanks for this Webster. The SOC will meet at my parish this week because its home parish is unavailable. I hope to invite a couple of friends.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12442813565745123497 MUJERLATINA

    Might I say that, there are ecclesial movements in the church like Focolare which, despite being embraced by Rome, are scarily non-Christo-centric. I speak from experience. So Webster, I do believe that the 'dog walker' is correct to be skeptical, as we all know that Rome is fallible! Perhaps those who questioned you askance are people familiar with the likes of Focolare. With time these folks might learn about CL and find that it is Christo-centric. I myself will check out a meeting sometime soon — though I must admit that being asked if I am 'over 35 years old' (I am)apparently made me 'ineligible' for some sort of recreuiting process. Hmmm…

  • Webster Bull

    Mujerlatina, I know nothing about an age limit in CL. As I've written many times before, I am 58. And I lead our School of Community with backup from Father Barnes. There are high school- and college-oriented branches of CL, and it may be that Memores Domini has an age limit, but I don't think you qualify for any of those, for a variety of reasons.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12442813565745123497 MUJERLATINA

    Webster: I 'get it,' but you likely see my point. To be asked how old one is, even before coming to a meeting, means that the group is aleady slotting me into a category… That can seem off putting. It is simply an example of why some of your parishoners may be skeptical. That is all. I shall still go to a meeting anyway. Pax Christi.

  • Webster Bull

    Then I guess it's hard to explain 77-year-old Carrie taking an active interest in CL. Unless being young chronologically does not guarantee that one's mind or heart is open, or vice versa.

  • http://joy.niklas.us Jjoy

    I think one of the things about CL is the 'L'. Many years ago, I thought CL and Liberation Theology were the same thing. They are not. Also, in many instances, there is a difference between what 'The Church' teaches (the authentic Magisterium) and what members of the Church teach (relativistic interpretation). It is vital to really know your faith. As St. Paul said, 'test everything; hold onto that which is good.'

  • Mack

    Please don't let go of the Faith when the reality about this organization is exposed. Your narrative by itself contains so many warnings.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01819831282677092730 Frank

    Webster, when you said There is a difference between the unknown and the unorthodox, this reminds me of the tension between unorthodox practitioners of orthodoxy in the Army for example. I have read (but not experienced because I was a Marine) that there are similar tensions between career officers in Special Forces vs. career officers in the Regular, straight leg (read non-Airborne) Army. To stay too long in Special Forces is a "career-killer". Maybe someone else can verify this.Having no opportunity to attend a CL meeting, but having read the first two Giussani books, coupled with my level of scriptural knowledge, I think I would enjoy CL. Someone ignorant of the scriptures themselves, however, would be well served in spending more time in a Bible study group first. One day when I show up on your doorstep, you can take me to one of these CL meetings. As a hillbilly, I might just be in awe of the "big city" so you could keep me oriented during culture shock (LOL.) Adapt, improvise, overcome…I like unorthodox orthodoxy!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01819831282677092730 Frank

    @ Mack: Please elaborate. In the meantime, I agree to a point. Which is why I recommend a better foundation in the Bible. There are no CL groups in my area. And that is fine, because the Church is enoughfor me. Perhaps Mack has seen something like this happen before. The Utopia Instinct. And that too is something I liked about the Marines: No special units, no patches, every Marine a rifleman. Food for thought.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01262662173303042998 Fred

    @Mujerlatina: in some areas there are young adult groups. Typically (but not entirely) these groups are made up of folks who were involved with CL during their time in university (CLU). I've also met people when I visited Minnesota who had a SOC group called CL Silver (for older folks). I know groups of women that meet together. One thing about CL is that there's a great diversity that has its origin in friendship and freedom.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07842496412575851453 Will Duquette

    I wonder…there are many ways to follow Christ in the Church—many different charisms open to the laity. A way that seems lucid and compelling to A might perhaps seem baffling to B, without B being any less open to the movement of the spirit. B's simply not called to that particular movement, or perhaps to any specific movement within the Church.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01819831282677092730 Frank

    @ Will, another good point. After all, there are close to 325 orders for religious within the Church as well. Lots of variety to chose from. Catholic Orders.How many lay ecclesial groups are there? Only a handful, plus a few third orders (lay Franciscans, lay Benedictines etc. Lay ecclesial groups.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01262662173303042998 Fred

    Frank: see this… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Directory_of_International_Associations_of_the_FaithfulThe purpose of CL is that Christ be followed in one's environment. When Fr. Giussani began, high school students had religious activity (sorted by gender) in the parish but went to a coed public schools where nihilists and Marxists taught side-by-side with Catholics. College students, young adults, the (like me), and seniors often move in different environments – and SOC happens in a particular environment. There are also regular meetings with everybody – like the Way of the Cross, etc.

  • Maria

    I love Ferde, the man I have never met… It is Orthodoxy that makes possible an open heart… St. Benedict tell us: "Listen carefully my child, to my instructions, and attend to them with the ear of your heart. This is advice from one who loves you; welcome it and faithfully put it into practice." Prologue to the Rule of St. BenedictBasil Pennington advises that “Benedict is saying, ‘Wake up! Open your eyes! Open your ears! Let the divine life and light invade you so that your life is filled with aspiration, joy and hope.’”

  • Webster Bull

    @Maria,So glad you picked up on the Ferde part of the post because it really is the point: orthodoxy with an open heart. How could Christianity be anything else?@Fred, Thanks to you and Frank for "covering my six" while I was in choir this morning. You provide some good context for non-CLers to understand better. You mention the Way of the Cross. I would also mention the CL summer vacation, a three-day weekend in a country setting where all ages come together (though children are split out for some activities). Everyone sings, hikes, eats together. The 2009 Northeast Vacation was the time when I really "got" the beauty of CL as a way of seeking and begging for the presence of Christ in our everyday existence.@Mujerlatina, Christocentric it certainly is.@Mack, Like Frank, I would like to hear a fuller statement from you. I'll keep my mind open until you write again!Thanks all.

  • Anushree

    I'm a first time poster, but have enjoyed this blog for quite some time..God bless you all for having started it!It's interesting that this discussion has started the day after the Holy Father appointed papal control over the Legionaries of Christ (and by extension over their lay apostolate Regnum Christi). I knew people in RC many years ago and there was a tendency to hold their movement as an outward sign of a more perfect Catholicism. It bothered me enough back then to not stop attending RC sponsored events. Perhaps I was being close-minded but in light of recent events, I can only thank God that I didn't become more deeply involved. This is not to cast dispersions in any way on CL. Indeed, some of my very good friends are enthusiastic members and I myself have attended several CL sponsored events in NYC. My larger point is essentially what Will Duquette had to say. It may be that people are being close minded if they automatically dismiss CL or other lay associations within the Church, but the Spirit may just be guiding them on a different path.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12442813565745123497 MUJERLATINA

    Thank you for commenting, Anushree. I had friends who were nuns from Italy who became very involved in the Focolare Movement. Over the years, and in visiting them at their Focolare Center in Italy, I became increasingly concerned that their focus was on the founder Chiara Lubich instead of on Jesus Himself. The chapel there was, shall I say, 'new age' and I was struck by the complete lack of Tabernacle or oher Catholc sacramentals which might lead a person towards Jesus. Currently, The Legionaire's are under tremendous scrutiny — as they should be — though I find their spirituality and their charism very Christo-centric. I shall see what I think of CL.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16021781602272064901 Allison

    I was very dubious of CL myself. Just not a group type person. But I did a ton of research and have gone to a few meetings. I think they have a lot to offer in terms of enriching one's faith. That said, CL isn't for everyone. No one group, movement, parish etc etc. would be.

  • Mack

    Frank, you and others said it far better than I. Be wise, everyone, and use your critical thinking skills. Why a separate organization? Why should you join it? Who leads it? Why? Who is he or she? Are there age requirements? Are you permitted to see a copy of the budget and have a third-party CPA look at it? Why does someone feel the need to submit himself to a group? Why does the group want or need a specific individual? Why a new group, since there are many historic and morally clean existing ones? If someone accuses you of judgmentalism for asking, don't buy into it. God gave us minds for a reason; let no one bully you into not using yours.

  • Ferde

    Thank you, Webster for your witness to our friendship. I have a few comments. First, my e-mail signature; I've changed the last word from 'right' to 'true.' "If the Catholic Church teaches it, it must be true." That's not a dogmatic command of rigid orthodoxy. It is nothing more (or less) than faith in Jesus Christ and in His Gospel. "When he comes, therefore, being the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth." John 16:13. That's the Lord's promise to His Church and our guarantee the Church will teach the truth of the Christian faith. It's what separates the Catholic Church from Martin Luther and the thousands of progeny spawned by his heresy.I say 'If the Catholic Church' teaches. That doesn't mean when the pope teaches or when my bishop or priest teaches or when any of the smorgasbord of allegedly Catholic theologians teach. It means when the Church, through the Pope speaking ex cathedra or the Magesterium in Council, teaches, it comes from the Holy Spirit and it is the truth.In that context, there is no tension between what I know and what I leave open to experience so long as there is no conflict between the two. The instant resolution to the conflicts is simple. Christ and His divinely revealed Gospel message trump all the rest and, yes, I am closed-minded about that as I think Maria is. That's essentially what CL teaches, through all the jargon and the meandering thoughts and pronouncements of the Founder; that Christ is present in our lives, not as a memory of someone who lived 2000 years ago or who lives today in the Blessed Sacrament, but as as a presence as vivid as the person standing next to us; a presence Who belongs at the center of our lives. The rest is window dressing.I sometimes think the reason God made me hard of hearing is so I don't have to hear too much of it.

  • Webster Bull

    Ferde,Thanks, my friend. You haven't steered me wrong yet, and it is great fun to explore CL with you.

  • Jessica

    I have to be honest, I tried reading Fr. Giussani's books and found them to be completely impossible to read (except for "The Psalms" which I love). Same with meeting some CL'ers…I honestly had no idea what they were talking about. Perhaps it would be different now, but I'm not sure.

  • Ferde

    Jessica, welcome to the club. I told the one of the four who came to talk to us about CL that I was often puzzled by what Fr. Guissani says and couldn't understand it. He said he has trouble understanding it, too. This is the guy closest to Fr. Guiddani. So close, in fact, he was a pall bearer at his funeral. You're in good company, so don't give up. There are some real gems there if we're willing to hunt them down.

  • Anonymous

    Oh Webster, how could you be so misguided in Judging T. You presume to know of a predisposition to dismiss when one may not exist. As written by you, T. wished to know what CL is. As one who sat in on Saturday’s meeting I can attest that no one addressed what CL is, we heard a good deal about what some people in CL do, and when T. afforded you the opportunity to explain, you used a distraction to break off and slip away. It sounds like you slipped away from an opportunity to share, to witness. That almost rings as disingenuous.I certainly ask the same questions as T. What is CL, what does one do, are there meetings, what does one do at meetings. None of these questions was answered at our meeting so I asked a friend who tells me there is a CL group that meets right here in our parish. His input, together with what our speakers had to say and the website leads me to think that CL is a type of charismatic prayer group.I can tell you honestly that nothing will send me running faster than a charismatic prayer group. My personal experiences with them have been bad, very bad. In the past in other parishes I experienced very misguided people and the experience still resonates.Webster, If one took the time to investigate the Apparition of Our Lady at Fatima they would find that John Paul II worshipped at the shrine, that the Church has approved the apparition as genuine, etc, etc etc…And they would learn that even though it is an approved apparition, no one is required to believe in it. Take the messages to heart if you will, give it no credence if you choose.Perhaps you try to rob T. of his option to dismiss for whatever reason he has, perhaps the lack of a direct answer to the question of what is CL will be enough. By the way, how dare you accuse the man of being closed minded, how did you become the reader of a man’s heart to know it was closed? You seem to put great stock in being open and orthodox, did you rush to the defense of the one who’s choice it is to receive communion in the hand rather than on the tongue like the truly holy Catholics do ? What happened to If the Church teaches it must be right? Where you commenting right away when one esteemed member of our group referred to the Low Altar as a picnic table when expressing his love of the Latin Mass? I hope so. I am not a faithful reader of your words. Perhaps T. sees CL as just another lay activity, one of many mistrusted mini ministries, from what I can see no real effort has been made by the panel our you to provide the answers to valid questions.I am not buying your criticisms and please save us from interpreting Catholic right and wrong, you are not qualified, My trust rests in the magisterium not in interpretation by the laity however well intentioned. Of course I presume you act and speak in the greatest of Christian conscience, however, in judging T. you crossed a line, made assumptions and drew conclusions you had no business making.I left this anonymous Webster, of course by now you know who I am, I am T.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01819831282677092730 Frank

    I'm with Jessica on this one. There is enough stuff written with perfect clarity that I have on my nightstand to read and which I can misunderstand and misinterpret already. LOL!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01819831282677092730 Frank

    Like this for example available at the YIM Catholic Bookshelf: The Religion of the Plain Manby Fr. Robert Hugh Benson.

  • James

    This blog post and thread has been on my mind since it went up on Saturday. I think that lay movements are important and provocative because by their nature they challenge us to confront complacency and threaten to take us out of our 'comfort zones'. I don't know T and I doubt that he's close minded else he wouldn't of bothered to attend the presentation but there certainly is no shortage of closed minds and narrow thinking in the pews. The result is stagnation and a take it for granted attitude instead of a living faith. CL and movements like it provide fresh air and dynamism that ought to be understood for the important role they play and welcomed for providing an avenue to explore and expand our faith lives. That having been said, I also think that these groups aren't for everyone and there are as many ways to enrich and live a full Catholic life as there are Catholics. I for one am glad these groups are available to us and don't think they should be subject to contempt prior to investigation. As for CL itself, Ferde and Webster graciously took me along to a presentation in February which was very interesting. There was a certain obliqueness in the speakers approach that left me with some uncertainty and more questions than answers but I was heartened by the energy, intelligence and openness of the members. It was a youthful group but as a silver hair I didn't feel unwelcome. The website is more thorough and in fairness to the speaker, he was addressing those involved with and familiar to the movement. The article in the link provided by Webster pretty much says it all about why these Movements are an important supplement to the Church and CL is high amongst them. There's room for all of us.

  • Webster Bull

    @James, friend and cousin–Thanks so much for this. Your judgment is balanced and fair. Which may say more for your comment than my post. But let the post stand, if only as a testament to my own pridefulness. As for obliqueness, no kidding! Ferde and I go to every meeting, and we're still trying to figure out exactly what Fr. Giussani is writing about! But what is convincing to me about CL is not the texts but the people: a more lively, intelligent, loving, engaged group I have never met, in or out of the church. What members of the Movement are to CL, the Saints are to the Church: living witnesses to Christ. That makes them, and CL, compelling for me.

  • Turgonian

    "Why a new group, since there are many historic and morally clean existing ones?"If this logic were consistently followed, no new group or order could ever have attracted followers. Why did the early Dominicans and Franciscans join those orders when they could have become Augustinians? Perhaps because they had a calling…

  • Webster Bull

    Turgo,Thanks so much for jumping in on this post! Great point. It makes me wonder how the Franciscans were received in their day. Not well, I imagine. I hope you are well.Greetings from America!

  • Robert R. LaPorte

    will try to keep my comments personal, and positive. I love Ferde, because he is like a "glazed Ham" that God has basted over and over again through the years. The first time I baked a ham under the instruction of a great chef that I was friends with prior to his death, he made sure to tell me that I had to "Baste" it over and over again. I wanted to put it in the oven and let it be, but upon following his adviceit turned out to have an outward appearance of a thick crust, but the inside was moist and preserved. Had I left it alone, the inside would have been dry and hardened. Ferde loves Sacred Scripture and immerses his life in and around it. He makes most of his daily judgements based on whether he can reconcile what is "in front" of him at the time of his reflection with the Gospel Message as he understands it. That is commendable, noble, and I respect him for that, and it's something that we share in common. But where I depart from my dear Friend, is that Jesus singled out the Twelve, "his cahal" andset them forth to decide things on this Earth, whether this rings favorably on today's culture, or to the ears of modern Catholic academicians,it's a theological truth that stands timeless.Christ in the Gospel of John, in and around 17, says "Satan would have sifted Thee (third person plural in the Latin vulgate) had I Not Prayed For Thee (first person singular) (meaning Peter).This along with the Matthew 16 and other references is where Christ singles out Peter and offers to him to be the "leader among equals". There have only been two to three concrete accepted "ex cathedra" teachings proclaimed throughout the entirety of the Church's history.Pope Pius IX, I believe proclaimed on the Immaculate Conception and made it dogma, and Pius XII defined the Assumption of Mary an article of faith. I've enclosed the link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assumption_of_Mary. So if my dear friend is only following those ex cathedra teachings, that leaves much open to personal interpretation. For Lay Catholics to believe that through the power of the Holy Spirit, they can run with their own interpretations of the Gospel message,based on the fragility of the English language is a practice that the Church has discouraged for years. The Church has always felt that "a bit of knowledge" of Scripture was more dangerous than no knowledge of it. All one has to do is come into contact with several evangelicals, or listen to Joel Olsteen to see the dangers of this practice. When I think that theologians study for an average of over 40 years, and have the libraries available to them, study language of the time, the Authors bias, understand the political setting, social influences, and the cultural climate, leaves me with a greater confidence that Holy Mother Church stands a greater chance at "Getting it Right" than my weekly Scripture study group.

  • Robert R. LaPorte

    As far as Cl goes, I look forward to hearing Ferde say the Angelus. His sincerity alone, brings it to life in an experiential way for us all. Father Barnes will lead the meeting this week, and Webster's Zeal will be missed. Maybe I'll ask Ferde to pray the Angelus when on Saturday when I present for Men's group.CL, for me isn't as "confusing" as I've read it to be in the above posts. Ferde was kind using the word meandering, when speaking about the author of the books, maybe erudition would be more accurate. But in any event, when the dust all clears, the power of "personal experience" rings more true to the ears of humankind than does theological proclamation. So when "two or more are gathered in his name", (there lies the Greatest Setting of All Time) and they are, on Friday evenings at our group, we share our personal struggles, our deficits, life hardships,spiritual journeys throughout our lives, with each other, and witness to each other how Christ has touched our lives in a real way, and how that Grace of Recognition, (which is the precursor to all things Christ) allows us to see his influence on our lives, and on the lives of our children, and those we encounter.I look forward to seeing N & J, E our Matriarch,Ferde & H, and Webster, P, E & M, C, Fr B, and V, and some others who join us from time to time. These meetings require guidance, and in Webster we find it. He beieves in the process, because it has effected his life positively, and he wants to enflame the world with it. His Zeal is admirable, and I Pray that he treasures it as what it is, "The Grace of Recognition" and not his own understanding, or assesment. I would just offer, that a close and careful look at the words of Christ, leave us with first and foremost realizing that we are still in fact "IN need of forgiveness", and that we need to participate in reconciliation by extending forgiveness to those in need of it, not because they have repented to us, but simply because it was the Lord's example. Jesus knew and understood human nature, and he knew that the first and initial step towards forgiveness was the breakdown of pride, and that the first step was a humbling one. But it's one worth taking, because steps two through infinity allow us to partake in possibly one of the two "Only Divine" acts that Humans can participate on this Earth. Pro Creation, and Forgiveness.Pray for me, and my dying Mother,Robert R. LaPorte

  • Webster Bull

    You know, Bob, when I first met you, I didn't know what to make of you. Still don't sometimes. And I'm pretty sure you didn't know what to make of me. But if CL had no other testament, this would be enough: You and I (and Ferde, FB, D, E, M, H, C, E, P, J, N, and so on) have developed a friendship that surprises me every time I think about it. I don't think you get that in every ecclesial movement or "charismatic prayer group." God bless you, your family, and especially today your mother.


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