At heart, this papal visit is an apostolic visit — he’s here as earthly shepherd of his flock. And though she may be a secular leader, Mary Ann Glendon, our ambassador to the Vatican, can’t help but go straight there when offering advice to Americans listening to him this week in the U.S.:
Kathryn Jean Lopez: What should Americans be listening for when the pope speaks in Washington and New York?
Mary Ann Glendon: How about listening for words that can change one’s life? I’m guessing that’s what the pope is hoping for — that we’ll be moved to live up to what is highest and best in ourselves and in our country’s traditions. I would suggest, though, that in addition to listening we should be prepared to read and ponder his messages. It is characteristic of Pope Benedict to give so much to think about that you need time to process it all.
More from my quick interview yesterday with Glendon here.