Mining the depths of Holy Father Pope Francis' spirituality...
From the life of St. Therese:
One day in the infirmary during her last illness, my sister called my attention to the soft, downy linens which the infirmarian, Sr. Stanislaus always had at hand for the benefit of her patients. "Souls should be treated with the same tender care," Therese said, "but why is it that we forget this so frequently, and allow those about us to go on unnoticed in the endurance of sharp interior pain? Shouldn't the spiritual needs of the soul be attended to with the same clarity, with the same delicate care we devote to our neighbor's bodily necessities? For some souls are really sick; there are many weak souls on earth, and all souls without exception suffer at one time or other during life. How tenderly we should not only love them but also show our love for them. - My Sister, St. Therese, By Celine MartinYesterday I received a comment to moderate on an older post of mine, which moved me to deeper prayer and understanding of ... life, I guess.
Terry I've lived in constant pain my whole life trying to balance my love of God within the Catholic theological, sacramental and ecclesiological framework and my sexual orientation. It has (is) been psychologically and spiritually exhausting. How does one reconcile belief in a loving Creating, Redeeming and Sanctifying God who is supposed to have loved me into existence with the Church declaration that I am made with an intrinsic evil? How do I continue to profess faith within the Church when I have to accept, no, BELIEVE that I (not my feelings and desires, but my personhood) am evil? And as you so frustratingly point out, how does one continue in a Church that is forever holding up the sinful inadequacies of the laity while protecting the "good ole boys" on the upper rungs of the hierarchical ladder? I don't know, I really don't. I haven't been to mass in several years, and yes I miss it terribly, but I am going to go pray Evening Prayer for the Feast of St Therese anyway, and continue to suffer since that is apparently the will of God. - Commenter
I began my response:
Bob - I hope Therese will be with you, very specially and closely. Bob - I've lived in constant pain too. All I can say is that I suffer with you... - TN
Do not be afraid of holiness, of letting yourself be loved and purified by God.
The Holy Father is saying these things better, and hopefully those most in need will help us all understand a bit more clearly the meaning of the Lord's words, "It is mercy I desire, not sacrifice."
From the Holy Father's Wednesday audience:
“How can we say that the Church is holy, if we see that the Church throughout history, during her long journey through the centuries, has experienced many moments of darkness? How can a Church be holy if she is made up of human beings, of sinners? Of men who are sinners, women who are sinners, priests who are sinners, nuns who are sinners, bishops who are sinners, cardinals who are sinners, popes who are sinners? Everyone. How can a Church like this be holy?”
The Church is holy because “she comes from God Who is holy, Who is faithful to her and never abandons her to the power of death and evil. She is holy because Jesus Christ, Saint of God, is indissolubly united to her; she is holy because she is guided by the Holy Spirit which purifies, transforms, and renews. She is not holy by our merits, but because God makes her holy”.
“You could say to me: but the Church is made up of sinners, we see this every day. And this is true: we are a Church of sinners, and we sinners are called to let ourselves be transformed … by God. Throughout history there has been the temptation to say: the Church is just the Church of the pure, of those who are entirely coherent, and the rest are to be cast aside. No! It's true! This is heresy... The Church is holy, she does not refuse sinners; on the contrary, she welcomes them, she is open even to those who are most distant, she calls to all to allow themselves to be surrounded by the mercy, tenderness, and forgiveness of the Father, Who offers to all the opportunity to encounter Him and to walk the path to holiness. … Is there anyone here who brings no sin with them? No, we all carry our sins with us.”
In the Church, the God we encounter “is not a ruthless judge, but is like the Father in the Gospel parable. … The Lord wants us to be part of a Church who knows how to extend her arms to welcome all, who is not the house of few, but the home of all, where everyone can be renewed, transformed and sanctified by His love; the strongest and the weakest, sinners, the indifferent, the discouraged and the lost. The Church offers to all the possibility of embarking on the road of holiness, which is the road of the Christian”.
“Do not be afraid of holiness”, concluded Francis, “of letting yourself be loved and purified by God. … Let us allow God's holiness be transmitted to us. Every Christian is called to holiness; and holiness does not consist, first and foremost, in doing extraordinary things, but rather in letting God act. It is the encounter between our weakness and the strength of His grace”. - VIS
Pray very much for the conversion of sinners.
Pray for the Holy Father.
Pray the rosary every day.