Beyond the Clouds by Fr. Jacob Nampudakam, S.A.C. - Page 9

It is an office which demands the various functions as a spiritual animator, leader, and administrator; an office which exposes me to various countries, cultures, and issues. I would like to share these experiences with others, so it is written from a personal perspective. Naturally, my founder, St. Vincent Pallotti, was the first inspiration. This Roman Catholic Saint- who from birth to death lived in Rome, Italy (1795- 1850)- was both a mystic and apostle. He was someone who breathed in God, and breathed out God; someone whose love for God was translated into concrete acts of charity for his brothers and sisters. He was the man of the infinite, the universal human being. The second person of great influence was our Pope Francis. Every Pope has his own charism and personal history. Therefore, it is not a matter of comparing one pope to another. I love and admire Pope Francis because in him I see Jesus who walked on the face of the earth 2000 years ago; teaching, feeding, caring, and healing. The joy that radiates on his face, his humility, and his constant call to go to the peripheries have touched me deeply. As individuals and as Religious communities, we find ourselves in the peripheries, both existential and of faith. By these inspirations, I started to write this book in the late hours of the night, after a long day of work. Initially, I had no idea what was to be written. It was then- I don’t know how- that I began to think about the airplane and its flight. The more I reflected on it, the more relevant I found it to describe human life as a flight in the infinite blue skies, going far beyond the clouds. For some, the descriptions might appear silly and pure fantasy. However, the various aspects connected to an international flight correspond to our own life- experiences. I have found them as a most interesting way to describe the various themes connected to my own life and journeys. There is one young person to whom I am deeply indebted to, and that is Julianne Calzonetti from the United States. As tiny as Mother Teresa, I came to know her quite accidentally in our Church in Rome. As I spoke with her 9