Tuesday, September 19, 2006

"Who do people say that I am?"


Jesus asked his disciples this question, while it continues to reverberate throughout the ages and comes down to each individual soul to answer. Jesus knew what people thought of him, he knows what people think of him. He was calling forth a confession of faith, he was calling those who believed in him to be confessors. In the first reading for Mass this morning Paul discusses the various parts of the mystical body of Christ; Apostles, prophets, teachers, and so on. Ultimately all are called to be confessors.

Immediately upon waking this morning Our Lord's words echoed in my heart, "Who do people say I am?" I recalled the words scrawled upon that defaced picture of Pope Benedict XVI calling Christ a "monkey upon a cross." As a Catholic I felt a sharp pain in my soul, that Jesus is yet mocked and rejected. I think it was a grace I experienced, feeling perhaps the pain that love is not loved. I felt no anger, no need to retaliate, no desire for Catholics to riot and threaten extermination of Muslims, nor any desire to deface an image of Mohammad, not even the most remote desire to burn a mosque or spit upon the next Islamic women I see all wrapped up in a burka.

Neither did I feel any need or desire to dialogue or debate the tenets of opposing views of religious belief. Instead I silently gazed upon an image of the Holy Face this morning. It seems to me that the Church has long been experiencing the passion of it's Master, and now she is mounting the hill of crucifixion, amidst the crowds clamoring for her execution. It is the terrifying and purifying dark night of the soul, or so it seems to me. It is almost overwhelmingly sad that love is not loved.

I don't want the Holy Father to go to Turkey in November, but I suspect he will. Perhaps he will be safe, perhaps not. If he goes, I shall be reminded of St. Ignatius of Antioch, who, fearless of the martyrdom that awaited him in Rome, protested to those who would attempt to stop him and prevent his going, to leave him free to make the journey. He wrote, to paraphrase his own words, asking that they 'not stand in the way of his martyrdom, that he might be ground by the teeth of lions, such as the wheat prepared for the Eucharist.' (Another of my 'free-base' quotes.)

From now on, we all must be confessors of Jesus Christ. Pray for the Holy Father.

5 comments:

  1. I should have written my concern for the Holy Father, which may seem extreme to some, stems from Turkish workers now asking that the Pope be arrested when he visits Turkey, with other Muslim clerics calling for his death, as well as threats against the Vatican from el Quieda - or whatever the hell their names are.

    I do not think anyone really understands the threat that is present. I just think we Americans are so comfortable with our power and dominance in the world, as well as our luxury and self-indulgent pleasure, and some people's intellectual arrogance, we imagine we are invincible and untouchable. It's like the Twilight Zone sometimes - many, many, people are in such incredible denial.

    Islam may be medieval in its world view, but the people are not stupid, and as I say, they have a long memory - they are the greatest threat to western civilization at this time.

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  2. Is he still planning to go?

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  3. Yes I believe he is. I'm sure the angry reactions to his speech will soon fade away and it will be considered safe for him to make the trip as planned.

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  4. I don't think the Holy Father should've apologized. It's about time someone called the Islamists on the carpet about their demonic religion. I was actually happy when I read what he said or quoted rather.

    America stinks. Democracy stinks. The only cure is to pray for the Catholic confessional state and it's glorious resurrection in the world. Amen.

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  5. Pardon?

    Lady Fett- No one & nothing in this world is perfect. You are correct- we should be praying anyway- there is always a need. And praying for everyone, as our Lord told us to- not just our friends & family, as the pagans do.
    His words- not mine...

    We have His example- & more recently, the forgiveness of the sweet nun who was killed the other day.

    Do you watch EWTN? The rosary is on in the evening- I'll pray it with you at that time.

    You too, Terry- okay?

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