Saturday, May 25, 2013

Viva il papa! Our simple Pope.

"So we ask the Lord that all those who come to the Church
 find the doors open, find the doors open,
 open to meet this love of Jesus." - Francis I


Every day I love Francis more and more.

What did the disciples say to Jesus?  "Finally you are speaking to us in words we can understand." [John 16:29]  The Holy Father speaks to all in this way.  Perhaps it explains why the wise and learned were all discombobulated when he spoke about atheists doing good, and in that goodness, the Christian and the atheist have something in common.  That glimmer of charity - if I remember correctly, Pope Benedict said similar things at one time or another, and people got all nervous.  For example, in the book, Light of the World: Pope Benedict made a statement indicating that a male prostitute's use of a condom to avoid the risk of STD's could, on some level, be seen as a step toward moral responsibility - even charity.  People went a little crazy, and admittedly I too was confused for a bit.  This past week, several online apologists were needed to explain what Pope Francis really said about atheists and the redemption of 'many'.

A priest friend told me once that numerous Catholics now have degrees in theology, and religious studies/education, and many are catechized today better than before, so too are they knowledgeable about liturgy and rubrics and all things only priests once knew.  He said that isn't a bad thing, yet what more than a few now lack is devotion.  I also believe many lack meekness and charity.  I think many must not pray and meditate things through, perhaps being self assured by what they know.  It seems many prefer to instruct and correct, calling that evangelization - unwilling to endure annoyance by the misfit or less decorous, afraid to go through discomfort or confusion, dismissing the simple and ordinary, those who are not catechized properly, or do not dress appropriately or perform the necessary 'ablutions' correctly, those who just don't fit in with the parish 'community'.

The Pope knows better.
"The faith of the People of God – observes the Pope - is a simple faith, a faith that is perhaps without much theology, but it has an inward theology that is not wrong, because the Spirit is behind it."

And to explain this theological formulation he adds: "If you want to know who Mary is go to the theologian and he will tell you exactly who Mary is. But if you want to know how to love Mary go to the People of God who teach it better. " The people of God - continued the Pope - "are always asking for something closer to Jesus, they are sometimes a bit 'insistent in this. But it is the insistence of those who believe ":

"I remember once, coming out of the city of Salta, on the patronal feast, there was a humble lady who asked for a priest's blessing. The priest said, 'All right, but you were at the Mass' and explained the whole theology of blessing in the church. You did well: 'Ah, thank you father, yes father,' said the woman. When the priest had gone, the woman turned to another priest: 'Give me your blessing!'. All these words did not register with her, because she had another necessity: the need to be touched by the Lord. That is the faith that we always look for , this is the faith that brings the Holy Spirit. We must facilitate it, make it grow, help it grow. "


The Pope also mentioned the story of the blind man of Jericho, who was rebuked by the disciples because he cried to the Lord, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"

"The Gospel says that they didn’t want him to shout, they wanted him not to shout but he wanted to shout more, why? Because he had faith in Jesus! The Holy Spirit had put faith in his heart. And they said, 'No, you cannot do this! You don’t shout to the Lord. Protocol does not allow it. And 'the second Person of the Trinity! Look what you do... 'as if they were saying that, right? ".

And think about the attitude of many Christians:

"Think of the good Christians, with good will, we think about the parish secretary, a secretary of the parish ... 'Good evening, good morning, the two of us - boyfriend and girlfriend - we want to get married'. And instead of saying, 'That's great!'. They say, 'Oh, well, have a seat. If you want the Mass, it costs a lot ... '. This, instead of receiving a good welcome- It is a good thing to get married! '- But instead they get this response:' Do you have the certificate of baptism, all right ... '. And they find a closed door. When this Christian and that Christian has the ability to open a door, thanking God for this fact of a new marriage ... We are many times controllers of faith, instead of becoming facilitators of the faith of the people. "

And 'there is always a temptation - said the Pope - "try and take possession of the Lord." And he tells another story:

"Think about a single mother who goes to church, in the parish and to the secretary she says: 'I want my child baptized'. And then this Christian, this Christian says: 'No, you cannot because you're not married!'. But look, this girl who had the courage to carry her pregnancy and not to return her son to the sender, what is it? A closed door! This is not zeal! It is far from the Lord! It does not open doors! And so when we are on this street, have this attitude, we do not do good to people, the people, the People of God, but Jesus instituted the seven sacraments with this attitude and we are establishing the eighth: the sacrament of pastoral customs! ".

"Jesus is indignant when he sees these things" - said the Pope - because those who suffer are "his faithful people, the people that he loves so much"

"We think today of Jesus, who always wants us all to be closer to Him, we think of the Holy People of God, a simple people, who want to get closer to Jesus and we think of so many Christians of goodwill who are wrong and that instead of opening a door they close the door of goodwill ... So we ask the Lord that all those who come to the Church find the doors open, find the doors open, open to meet this love of Jesus. We ask this grace. " - Vatican Radio
Still confused?  Stop and think.  The Pope isn't the problem - so maybe it's you. 

7 comments:

  1. For some, the Pope is becoming a major problem... because he speaks with authority, and leads from the front.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is a good post. Its a post that makes people think about what religion really is and hopefully shows that the Catholic Church is moving in a direction that embraces a society that is no longer stuck in the past.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This has been on my heart lately. Living the faith out of my mind - making it a merely intellectual project. So many questions, perhaps valid, but still where is my heart? Why does God seem far? Maybe because He is a 'thought' to me, not a Person.

    Sometimes, to read on and on and to get involved in web discussions, I feel

    "The truth was obscure, too profound and too pure
    To live it you have to explode"

    -Bob Dylan, "Where are you tonight"

    ReplyDelete
  4. You are in studies now, aren't you Patrick? Try to let your prayer become rest in the Lord - 'cuddle up' to him. If nothing else, he will be consoled by that, by your trust. I'm serious.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you, Terry. I do try to do that, in a sense, at times. I think the Lord is making me more simple, and it has brought me joy.

    No, I am not in studies. I left the seminary. I think God's will for me is elsewhere and, again, that has brought me joy.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm happy for you Patrick - I continue to pray with you and for you.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Another great post, Terry. Perhaps this is just what Cardinal Dolan has been trying to practice ... ?

    ReplyDelete

Anonymous comments will no longer be accepted.
Please comment with charity and avoid ad hominem attacks. I exercise the right to delete comments I find inappropriate. Be sure and double check if your comment posted after you do the verification deal - sometimes it doesn't print if you made an error.