Coincidences. I could write a blog about them. Take yesterday. I'd been in Valparaiso for a week, on business I couldn't possibly describe in a popular blog. Sitting in the lounge at Benitez Airport, waiting for the flight home, I was leafing through 'The Mercury' looking for the Sudoku. The first few pages were dominated by pictures of Pope Francis in the streets, schools, and churches of Santiago at the end of his tour of Chile. Good for him, I thought. I'd known him as a young and somewhat light-hearted novice (him, that is, not me), at a seminary in San Paulo where I'd been lecturing on comparative theology. Anyway, I leafed through another few pages when blow me down wasn't the man himself coming through the automatic doors with his passport and tickets in one hand and a drink in the other. He recognised me at first glance, and came striding over with that lovely smile of his lighting up the place. I put the paper to one side, stood with open arms, and we met with a strong warm hug of genuine affection. The words that followed were more formal than the spontaneous gesture they affirmed:
'What an exquisite pleasure after all these years to meet your supreme holiness once again.'
I acknowledged them with a humble shrug.