A few moments ago, I saw a most wonderful sight. A flock of about twenty-five white doves flew up over the roofs and passed my window.
Now, doves symbolize many things to many people and the white dove is special. For Catholics, and some Christian denominations, the single white dove is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. For some people, the white dove represents purity. We see this in art, as frequently a saint in paintings may be depicted as holding a dove. For some, the dove is a symbol of married love, as doves mate for life, and white is a sign of love and hope. For many people who are not religious, the white dove represents peace, especially peace in the world.
Noah's dove in Genesis 8:11 symbolizes a new beginning and God's peace with the world now purged of sin.
Today, on the Feast of the Chair of Peter, when the world waits for two momentous events-the entering into a monastery by Pope Benedict XVI and the election of a new pope, the doves today reminded me of the Theological Virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity.
These virtues, given to us in baptism, are strengthened by the sacraments. Faith carries with it prayer, fidelity to Rome, and companionship with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Faith gives us a solid basis for our daily activities. Faith helps us know and believe and love.
Hope points us to the future and helps us to rest in the assurance of God's presence among us. Hope helps us to "carry on", persevere and never give up our Faith.
Love creates the culmination of all virtues. The Love of God leads us to love of those around us. As we know from Christ and St. Paul, Love is the greatest of all the virtues, 1 Corinthians 13:13
To see a flock of white doves against the grey sky threatening snow or cold rain, I am reminded of these virtues which have been given to me as gifts.
The great graces of baptism should not be forgotten or taken for granted. Just as Christ promised us to be with us until the End of the World, so too, we can look towards those virtues given to us as Children of God, as Heirs of Heaven.
For whatsoever is born of God, overcometh the world: and this is the victory which overcometh the world, our faith. 1 John 5:4 DR