Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Pope Benedict's Common Sense Down-To-Earth Advice

At the end of Pope Benedict's weekly public audience in St. Peter's Square, he gave some good common sense advice to the pilgrims present. Speaking in Italian, he offered prayers for those who have lost their lives in recent traffic accidents in Italy and sympathy for their relatives. He mentioned the need for people to "drive carefully and with a sense of responsibility." Let's hope and pray the pilgrims and the Italians heed his advice.
I've been to Italy twice, once in the 1970's with my cousin and another time with my son who accompanied me on a Italian pilgrimage during the Jubilee Year 2000.  I love Italy and can't wait to return. In the 1970's when I went with my cousin, we flew into Stuttgart, Germany where my cousin bought a brand new Mercedes Benz and we then drove it through Germany, Switzerland and Italy. I will never forget my cousin driving on the German autobahn, in a brand new car, driving close to a 100 mph. She was not alone, it seemed like everyone was driving that fast. There is no general speed limit on the autobahns only an advisory speed limit of 81 mph.  I was a teenager at the time and it was a thrilling experience and one I will never forget. The car was eventually shipped from Sicily, where we finally wound up, back to the United States.
It was a trip of a lifetime. But from my experience (and granted that was a long time ago), I think the Pope gave Europeans some very good and needed advice. Driving carefully and mindfully and with a sense of responsibility is not only a civic duty and common sense, but it can save lives.