Letter to the Editor

Focus on the essential

San Luis ObispoApril 2, 2014 

An estimated 1.2 million euros, or $1.65 million, is merely a fraction of what was spent for the beatification of John Paul II. Under Pope Francis, this won’t be the case.

In the article “No-frills Canonization for Popes JP II, John XXIII,” (March 31), the Vatican communications director emphasized that it was important to “get to the essential.” As a Catholic and future pilgrim to the canonizations in Rome, I am definitely in favor of getting to “the essential.” At the same time, I realize that there are different ways of doing this. Does an extravagant birthday party miss the point? Does a plain wedding “get to the essential?”

What we are celebrating is the essential thing: the life, the love of two people. It seems to me that canonizations are essentially about the life and love of great people who have gone before us. Can extravagance do this? Of course. Can “no-frills?” Of course. While our current pope emphasizes simplicity, I don’t think he would hold that past extravagance missed the point.

May we always remember to focus on what is essential, whether surrounded by simplicity or extravagance.

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