This is a Very day.
Some days are like that. Some emotions are like that.
No further adjectives, no exclamatory punctuation, no suggestive ellipses.
Very. Full stop.
Today is Divine Mercy Sunday. It is day eight of the Octave of Easter (the Church sees the Octave as being, essentially, one - as if we woke up eight times on Easter Sunday.)
What lifts a very nice day, a very special day to a Very day, is that today were two men dearly loved by the Church raised to the altar of Saints. Today, Pope Francis proclaimed Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II to be Saints. To make the Very even sweeter, our beloved Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was present among the hundreds of Cardinals, and it was beautiful to see the joy with which he was greeted by his brothers, including Francis, and the multitude present in the square.
The Church really shines in moments like this, because she understands the need of the human heart for solemnity and ceremony. It is right and just that we celebrate with dignity and reverence, and certainly it is fitting that we present our very best to give honour to God. But another factor is that as human beings, our experience comes through our bodies - through eyes and ears and mind and heart. To see the beautiful vestments and flowers and altar, to hear the gorgeous sacred music, the solemn words of canonization, the ancient formula of the Mass, is to remind us of the import, of the magnitude, of what is happening, and of who God is to us. We do not process our Bishops and Cardinals in all their splendour to please ourselves or to honour them, but because we recognize the things of God are higher, bigger, deeper, more mysterious, than us.
Our imagination, when it comes to God, is like the incense we see reaching for heaven but straining into wisps before giving up altogether not even getting close. And so we have the Saints, those men and women who reveal something of God to us in their lives, their teachings. They have forged a path before us, to show us the way to His heart, and invite us to follow them in the journey.
Saint John XXIII, Saint John Paul II, pray for us!