Spiritual Resonances

In a comment on a post below, Jimmy Mac quoted a reflection on Newman. Only when I came to the end did I realize it was from an article I had written in 1991.But then the associations came thick and fast. I had taken a year's leave from Boston College to be close to my mother during her growing memory loss and to take steps to insure her well being. I lived in Our Lady of the Assumption parish with the hospitable Monsignor John Mescall. I wrote the piece for Church Magazine to mark the Newman Centenary. The magazine was founded by my good friend Monsignor Philip Murnion, who did not spare the red pencil for the sake of friendship. All this led to a real sense of spiritual communion and to prayer.Last Sunday's reading from Saint Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians contains some of the most passionate and powerful lines in the New Testament:

I swear by Gods truth, there is no Yes and No about what we say to you. The Son of God, the Christ Jesus that we proclaimed among you I mean Silvanus and Timothy and I was never Yes and No: with him it was always Yes, and however many the promises God made, the Yes to them all is in him.

Reading them I always remember an association: they adorned the ordination card of Joseph Komonchak in 1963 in Rome -- for me an association, for him, I am sure, deeply resonant spiritually. The Council was in full swing, and its outcome unsure. That newly-ordained priest has become one of the Council's significant interpreters.Then, I found Paul's words today on Amy Welborn's website, and I will now ever associate the passage with her and her beloved husband Michael. She gifts us with the full spiritual resonance of that "Yes" here.

Robert P. Imbelli, a long-time Commonweal contributor, is a priest of the Archdiocese of New York. A book of essays in his honor, The Center Is Jesus Christ Himself, edited by Andrew Meszaros, was published this year by The Catholic University of America Press.

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