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The Pope and Humble Ways of Getting to Work

Public Transportation

I like it that New York City Mayor, Mike Bloomberg, rides the subway. And I like that the new Pope when he was a Cardinal working in Buenos Aires, Argentina, rode the bus.

I like it that I don’t have a car and that I have to hoof it to the metro and then to work and back everyday. I gave my car to my son when I moved to Manhattan years ago and kept it up when I moved back to Washington. I haven’t missed it. And it forces me to walk a lot.

Cars are great. I rent them when I really need them. Limos are cool. I have a service I use for special occasions. Not at all judgmental about this but there’s something leveling about public transportation.

I discovered this wonderful blog post on Andrew Sullivan’s web site today. It’s from Judith O’Reilly, a former British journalist and now author/blogger:

Why did I feel I had to ride this bus this morning? Because I wanted to know why a cardinal did not ride in a leather-seated, tinted-windowed limo though the streets of Buenos Aires, but chose instead to travel among the faithful and less-than-faithful, bumping and swaying, the wheels on the bus going round and round. What did Jorge Mario Bergoglio get from those bus-rides around the city? Stories? Comfort? Warmth? An understanding what it is to work hard, to be tired, to be lonely, to have to stand when you want to sit, to know you are going home or going far away? Maybe too, I wanted to get on the bus, any bus, because we are on our own journeys and right now at least so far as faith goes, I don’t know where I am heading. Maybe, I thought, if I catch a bus like a Pope, I’ll arrive at a destination called Faith.

Isn’t that lovely?

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