That influence, The Anchoress suggests, might well be the Holy Spirit:
Mrs. Pelosi may seem confused to some; perhaps she is. I prefer to believe that her seeming inability to stop herself from conflating her religion and her politics is evidence that the Holy Spirit is working upon her-that perhaps her photo-op-free meeting with Pope Benedict, and with her bishop (or her public communion-taking) have flicked her conscience in such a way that we are now watching a woman try to reconcile her faith and her politics in a very public manner.
One can certainly serve the World by first being faithful to the Word; the great saints have proven this time and again. But can one serve the Word by employing the wisdom and sensibilities of the Worldly, without falling into an inconsistency (and spiritual chaos) that may cast one into mortal error?
I mean to pray for Mrs. Pelosi. I have no doubt that her identification as a Catholic is a sincere one, and I know firsthand how difficult it can be to form a conscience in the midst of sometimes pernicious influences. If she is being schooled and ravished by the Holy Spirit while also being pulled by all of her worldly attachments, then something will have to give, in God’s own time.
And there you have one more reason why the writings of The Anchoress (oh, let’s just call her Elizabeth Scalia, okay?) are so challenging and, well, alive. There is a welcome and refreshing generosity of spirit there — and it comes from an avowed conservative whose politics are lightyears away from Pelosi’s. Even though she sharply disagrees with Madame Speaker, Scalia can’t help but recognizes in her something akin to grace.
That’s a quality we so rarely recognize in others — especially those we dislike, or even despise.