I Dream of Joy

I don’t share my dreams very often, but last night I had a dream too fabulous to keep to myself.

I had begun reading the marvelous biography of Pope Francis, THE GREAT REFORMER, by Austen Ivereigh. From the very first page, the author highlights one of my favorite characteristics of Pope Francis–his joy. “But what most struck me was the energy he gave off: a biblical blend of serenity and playful joy.” (page xi)

And so I dreamed that the Pope and I had met and were getting to know one another. We were seated at a school cafeteria-style table, and leaned in close from across the table. We talked and laughed. I was mesmerized by his eyes. They were like two lit sparklers that danced with the light of animated intelligence. Busyness and chit-chat buzzed all around us; the atmosphere made me feel as if we were in an old-fashioned subterranean parish community room.

Then the scene shifts to church. I’m in the first pew, beaming at my Pope as he celebrates Mass. I wasn’t even surprised when, at the consecration, he uncorked a bottle of champagne. The joy in his eyes was mirrored by the bubbly that spilled all around.

I can’t stop smiling.

The dream symbolizes the lovely miracle that, thanks to Austen Ivereigh, I am, in fact, able to get to know Pope Francis. And the dream taught me a little lesson. There may not be an actual bottle of champagne being popped up on the altar but, from now on, that’s the mental image and the feeling inside I will have each time I *celebrate* Mass.