…. “A religion without mystics is a philosophy.” Then, Scalfari asks whether the Pope is a mystic. The Pope doubts that he is. He defines a mystic in this way: “The mystic manages to strip himself of action, of facts, objectives and even the pastoral mission and rises until he reaches communion with Beatitude. Brief moments but which fill an entire life.”
When asked, the Pope admitted that such moments rarely happened to him, though when he was elected, he recalls, he asked for a moment to think. The image of Caravaggio’s painting of the call of St. Matthew came to him. There Christ pointed to the Tax Collector as if to say “Yes, you!” The Pope took this to mean that he should accept the burden of office.