See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Thursday, February 10, 2011

More thoughts on Pope Benedict XVI



The Pope of the prophecy.
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Fr. Z likes to call him the Pope of Christian Unity.  That works.  But the more I ponder it, the more I think he is John Bosco's Pope; the Pope who guides the Barque of Peter into port, anchoring the Church between the two columns of the Eucharist and Our Lady, Help of Christians.
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In St. John's dream, some of the ships remained at a distance from the Pope's ship during the stormy battle, but gradually they drew near in support.  I'm convinced we are witnessing this today with the Eastern Churches, the traditional Anglicans, and perhaps even the SSPX.  One by one.
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Perhaps I'm being too pious about this, but I am continually reminded of St. John Bosco's dream whenever the Pope speaks to the many hopeful signs occurring in our midst these days. The Holy Father's message to the new Archbishops seems to me especially striking:
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Benedict XVI concluded his homily with a call to action aimed at the new archbishops. He told them to "throw out the nets of the Gospel into the stormy seas of our time, to obtain the adherence of men and women to Christ, so as to draw them out ... from the salty waters of death and from the dark where the light of heaven does not reach.  "You must bring them onto the earth, to live in communion with Jesus Christ." - CNA
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What kind of lifelines?
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It's amazing what can be done.  I may have written about this before, but years ago a friend's mother suffering from cancer needed to be reconciled to the Church.  She was a fallen away Catholic due to the fact  she was divorced and remarried.  The couple had been married for years, their children grown.  Acting on an intuition, I called the lady's pastor and asked him to hear her confession.  She was quickly and eagerly reconciled to the Church and the sacraments, and after her recovery, she and her husband lived as brother and sister and attended daily Mass.  There was a lifeline thrown to that woman and she was united once again to the Church.
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Similar stories happen all of the time - even with same-sex couples.  God always provides a way for those who need to come home. 
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That is why I think our Holy Father's words in reference to St. Peter Canisius are so important for us in our concern not only for the salvation of others, but ourselves as well; the saint humbly “avoided severity and the rhetoric of anger ... and sought only to explain our spiritual roots and to revitalize faith in the Church.”  Charity, truth in love, is what attracts the floundering soul.  It is not beauty that will save the world, but love.
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I think we need to remember there is always a lifeline.  Nothing is ever impossible where love is concerned - in other words, nothing is impossible with God.

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Art: Dream of Two Columns - © A.Vonn Hartung   St. John Bosco Church, Orocovis, Puerto Rico

6 comments:

  1. Well written. You should do a painting of St John Bosco's dream - I'd buy it if you did.

    Provided it wasn't too expensive, of course. :-)

    (You can include a little boat being towed behind the Barque, with me hanging on for dear life!)

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  2. Larry--Carol McKinley often quotes a priest who says we all need to tie ourselves to the boat! lol

    Terry: I waw reading about Canisius... Hardon SJ makes just your points, Terry:

    "Second feature of Peter Canisius: In order to convert people and there were millions to convert in his day, to convert people from error to the truth, it is not enough to preach to them, you must first practice charity towards them. In other words, you will win over those who have been mislead by error only if you practice charity. Charity first and then, proclaim the truth.

    Fifth feauture: Peter thought that people don't become heretics out of malice, they become heretics out of ignorance".

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  3. I need a job, and you need an agent!
    Problems solved!

    But really, Lady D, OOPS! I mean Larry D, has a good point - you should do the painting.

    In all sincerity, your blog continually helps me on my spiritual quest, and the Pope's recent words have made me look at my blog and its mission... how are we to be fierce warriors for God, but at the same time keep as our secret weapon - love?

    Always keep me pondering Terry.

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  4. Terry, I have sometimes had the same thought about Don Bosco's dream of the 2 pillars. In part because the previous Pope is shot down & gets up before being struck a 2nd time (the Parkinson's disease). & Papa Benedetto was elected after only 4 ballots, 1 of the fastest elections in modern times.

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  5. Put me on a little boat,too, hanging on to St. Peter's! :)

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  6. Terry:

    Thanks for sharing this. As a convert who just joined Peter's Barque at Easter 2009, I had never heard of St. John Bosco's dream.

    I would also encourage you to do a painting of a scene from the dream -- I'd particularly like to see your interpretation of the columns (with their statues and inscriptions).

    If you do one, please post it!

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