I really like Neil Cavuto, the financial editor at Fox News Channel. He’s got a common sense air about him that you don’t often find among guys who talk numbers all day. He’s also Catholic, although he’s not one of these guys who wear it like a badge.
He has a column today about the Pope. It takes a different tack than most media analysis of the Holy Father’s 25th anniversary. He starts by relating a rumor that I hadn’t heard: that the Pope has told his closest confidantes that he knows when he’s going to die.
That causes Cavuto to ponder how he, or most people, would live their lives differently if they knew when they were going to die. I remember hearing a story about St. Anthony of Padua, I think, who was doing some mundane task, like washing his robe or something, when he was asked that question one day: “What would you be doing right now if you knew were going to die tomorrow?” His reply: “Washing my robe.” In other words, there shouldn’t be a difference between how we live our lives not knowing when we are going to die and how we would live them if we did, because we just don’t know when it is. We could die tomorrow or in 80 years.
But we live in denial. We pretend like we’re going to live tomorrow. There are actually people who think they’ll be able to make a deathbed confession and wipe away all the bad stuff they’re doing now. The guy who died in a car accident today didn’t get that chace. The woman who fell off the ladder didn’t either. You just don’t know.
Anyway, the rest of Cavuto’s column is good, too. He gives some perspective on why the Holy Father is so inscrutable to so many of us, why he does what does, or why he doesn’t do what we think he should. Some think he’s been an incompetent manager. Maybe he just knows more than us. That’s an item of faith I have a hard time grappling with. Not big “F” faith, but small “f”. I see the problems in the Church and wonder why he hasn’t done anything. Maybe I don’t know what he knows. All I can really do is pray and base my trust on what I know of him: he’s a very holy and loving father. what else can you do? Anger will only eat you up inside.