John Allen has been a Vatican correspondent for twenty years and has just gone to the Boston Globe in that capacity.  It is fascinating to hear what he has to say.

In this interview with Fr. Mike, John gives his insights into Pope Francis who has captured the imagination of the global world. He says of Pope Francis: "What you see is what you get. He is a humble, simple, ordinary guy, a real man. It is not an act."

Fr. Mike asks about the Vatican's opinion of the Church in the U.S. John has some valuable insights for us to ponder. They discuss the questionnaire on the family, shortage of priestly vocations, and what we can expect; or not!.

 There is no doubt that the style and tone of Pope Francis is definitely pastoral.
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All of us want to look attractive and do things to help that happen. Where does this all fit in God’s plan/  Today’s story is about a woman, Judith, who did just that in order to trap an enemy of her people.

Fr. Mike gives the historical context, as far as is possible. Some facts in this tale are not historically accurate but the lessons remain.  Judith, a widow, wanted to help save her people. So she went to the city council and told them that she could do this. Indeed she made it happen.   As you may remember, she dresses up to seduce the enemy leader, Holofernes, and ends up killing him.

Quite a story! Fr. Mike then spends some time talking about topics that apply to us today. Some of which are 1) the drive to be attractive 2) shame 3) murder as a means to doing a good 4) the place of the military and 5) the call to be extraordinary.

He ends with questions to consider when studying Judith