Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster has said that travelling in a silver Mercedes to meet business leaders in London made him start questioning himself.
In a homily at a Mass with seminarians at Walsingham last weekend, he said he had asked himself if he should be following Pope Francis’s example of using older cars. “What am I doing here? What do I know about questions involving the regulation of the finance industry?” he said. “I also thought that I should be in a Ford Focus (or even a battered old Renault 4), heading off to one of the many economically deprived parts of London!”
But a phrase came to his mind, he said. “It consoled me, and also gave me a sense of identity and purpose as Canary Wharf drew near. The phrase is one often used by Pope Francis to describe our fundamental vocation, a title given to us in baptism and lived out in our own particular vocation. I am a ‘missionary disciple’. That is what I am and why I am in this car.
“This is where the Lord wants me to be. This is his initiative. So no matter how uncomfortable I feel in the silver Mercedes I am there only because he wants me there. So, this is the Lord’s business. To remember that is a great liberation.”
Archbishop Nichols also said: “Often, as a celebrant and preacher, I am quite dissatisfied. I have not spoken well. The congregation seem
restless and distracted, the servers are shuffling around behind me.
“But then a great peace can come to me. I am here, as a priest, at this and every Mass, to do one thing above all else. It is to lift Him up… I lift him up: his body, broken and given for us; his blood, poured out for us. And, for those moments, the church falls silent, all heads are raised and bowed. It happens.”
This article first appeared in print edition of The Catholic Herald dated 20/9/13
Having been unable to sell in churches for well over a year due to the pandemic, we are now inviting readers to support the Herald by investing in our future. We have been a bold and influential voice in the church since 1888, standing up for traditional Catholic culture and values.
Please join us on our 130 year mission by supporting us. We are raising £250,000 to safeguard the Herald as a world-leading voice in Catholic journalism and teaching. For more information from our chairman on contributing to the Herald Patron's Fund, click here
Make a Donation
Donors giving £500 or more will automatically become sponsor patrons of the Herald. This includes two complimentary print/digital gift subscriptions, invitations to Patron events, pilgrimages and dinners, and 6 gift subscriptions sent to priests, seminaries, Catholic schools, religious care homes and prison and university chaplaincies. Click here for more information on becoming a Patron Sponsor. Click here for more information about contributing to the Herald Patron's Fund