On Monday July 9th, something really special happened. I had the good fortune to be invited by my favorite publisher, Sandy Ghattas, to join her for lunch with His Eminence Mor Polycarpus Eugene Aydin, Archbishop of The Netherlands. Together with Sandy and His Eminence, we were joined by two of six of His Eminence’s brothers.
Upon meeting His Eminence, I was first impressed by his youth and vitality. He has an easy laugh and an engaging nature. As the conversation around the lunch table continued, I then became impressed with his ability to listen and to share thoughts that moved beyond the usual banter and helped me look deeper into myself, ask better questions, and come to new insights into my view of the world.
For example when talking about faith, he shared with me the New Testament quote, “Faith comes from hearing” (Romans 10:17). When His Eminence shared these words, they helped calm me, take a breathe, and to listen more carefully. These are all things I should be doing more of every day!
Plus, His Eminence recommended a book, I’m reading now — The Cloister Walk by Kathleen Norris – This book is in the tradition of Thomas Merton. It is opening a new window within me where I’m exploring my own spirituality. The book has humor, questioning, and peacefulness.
Too soon, His Eminence and his brothers needed to leave to make their way to the airport. I would like to give my special thanks to Sandy, for inviting me to this delightful and thought-provoking lunch.