Currently I am doing a careful meditative reading of the encyclical which, surprise and spoiler alert, fundamentally is focused on the ecology of the human heart.
In a few days I will begin work on a commentary, for today a simple story about two girls and a green worm, which is also about the human heart.
It is my custom when travelling by bus or on the light rail system in this metropolis to pray the Jesus Prayer and the Rosary for everyone I travel with and in the neighbourhoods we travel through.
The main distractions these days are people chatting loudly [which made sense on the old phone system of my childhood which was invariably so weak loudness was necessary] on their ubiquitous cell phones seemingly so oblivious to the fact others can hear, the speakers reveal intimate details about relationships, health, criminal charges etc., you are left wondering whatever has happened to a sacred sense of self.
However the very day the Holy Father’s encyclical was released on the bus was a different distraction triggered by two young girls sitting in front of me, each one on the aisle seat either side of the aisle and obviously close friends.
Teenagers, they initially were chatting back and forth, often their sentences piling onto each other, of things girls of that age loudly talk about when suddenly one of them, pointing down to the seat opposite and ahead of her said: “Wow! Look at that!”
Admittedly I glanced and noticed one of those little green worms, which often hang from tree leaves this time of year, hanging from the edge of a seat.
Her friend noted the creature was cute and said they needed to get it and protect it until they could take it outside.
So between them, with their small purses they nudged the worm from its perch onto, in turn, their purses and kept transferring the worm back and forth as their hands got tired from constantly twisting their purses so the worm could slither around and not fall off.
About twenty minutes later when the bus arrived at the terminal where they got off I watched as they walked to a nearby tree and placed the creature in its new home.
St. Francis was smiling I am sure!
Pope Francis would be proud of them too.