Amanda Vernon

Catholic Evangelist

Filtering by Tag: Pope Benedict XVI

My Letter from the Pope

From visiting foreign countries (including the USA), to writing encyclicals, to canonizing new saints, Benedict XVI was busy during his relatively brief pontificate.  

During the past 8 years, his presence as the head of the Roman Catholic Church made a direct impact on my life.  In particular, his sentiments about meeting the truth through beauty have shaped my career path. 

More than anything, his humility is striking. 

I was at a hotel in Wisconsin when I heard the news.  The Holy Father was stepping down from his role as the Pope.  Someone in a TV interview that morning expressed how rare it is for anyone to willingly give up power.

This quote in the New York Times from Pope Benedict's last audience gracefully echos of real virtue.  

"To love the church also means having the courage to make difficult decisions, bearing always in mind the good of the church and not of oneself." 

Although he was referring to the church in this quote, I could easily insert someone else's name.  For instance, "David."  If I think about this in light of loving my husband, it is a compelling challenge. 

"To love (David) also means having the courage to make difficult decisions, bearing always in mind the good of (David) and not of oneself."

Food for thought for this dreamer.  Speaking of dreams, a couple years ago, I received a once-in-a-lifetime letter from Pope Benedict XVI.  

I had recently released my CD "Living His Story."  Jay Round, my producer, told me his friend Mic Carlson was traveling to the Vatican for an audience with the Pope.  Jay gave Mic a copy of my CD to bring to the audience, along with a letter from me asking for an apostolic blessing.  

Not long after Mic's trip to Rome, I received an official-looking letter in the mail.  It was from the Vatican, expressing Pope Benedict XVI's thanks and blessings!  David kindly scanned it so you can see for yourself.

Check it out. 

Have you heard that the Pope has an iPod?  Maybe my CD made it onto his playlist. 

In case you use iTunes, also, I'm including a link to a free podcast I gave a few years ago about the Holy Father.  In the interview, I describe how my music, ministry and marriage would not be the same without him. 

Good bye, Papa Bene.  Thanks for beng an image of servant leadership.  God-speed and enjoy the peace and quiet. 



An Epiphany

Epiphany: a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential
meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace 
occurrence or experience.



I think it is best to be specific in prayer.

Last year, I hoped God would give me the answer to some important questions for Christmas.  The answer finally came this Christmas.  

For the past couple of years, I have been wrestling with the role of faith as an artist.  Pope Benedict XVI has spoken of the artist’s “great responsibility to communicate beauty (Meeting with Artists, 11/21/2009).”  Many of the Church documents talk about the importance of true art.

I appreciate the vote of confidence.  But I wonder what it means for me specifically.  And am I a “Catholic artist” or an artist who is Catholic?

That’s the question I hoped God would answer last year.  Instead, He gave me more time to ponder. Finally, this Christmas Season it dawned upon me after I tucked our daughter in for the night.  The answer is (drum roll, please): both, and.  

How Catholic is that?  Our faith is full of mind-boggling paradoxes, like how we describe Jesus Christ:

True God, True Man

Word made Flesh

The Beginning and the End

The First and the Last

I suppose being a “Catholic artist” and an artist-who-happens-to-be-Catholic isn’t so baffling.  It is not the black-or-white answer I anticipated, but I tend to overanalyze.  (I’m writing a song with that title, by the way.) 

Apparently, I need to relax.  Sometimes God might call me to stand under a spotlight and speak about the beauty of Catholicism.  At other times, He might lead me to sing some love songs with the love of God in my heart.  In both circumstances, I live out my vocation as an artist, embracing my responsibility to communicate beauty.

I’m grateful to begin 2013 in the beauty of a simple epiphany.  It was worth the wait.

After Christmas Mass with the fam!  Photo courtesy Deanna Rae Photography 

Happy New Year from my family to yours!


Amanda, David, Jamal & Chiara

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