Sunday, April 14, 2013

What a difference a Pope makes...

My brothers, show no partiality as you adhere to the faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ. For if a man with gold rings on his fingers and in fine clothes comes into your assembly, and a poor person in shabby clothes also comes in, and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say, “Sit here, please,” while you say to the poor one, “Stand there,” or “Sit at my feet,” have you not made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil designs? - James 2

Or say a poor Pope comes in clad in the same vestments every week...

Recall when everyone in the Bolgdom of God seemed to hang onto every word Pope Benedict said?  As soon as a tweet, a statement, a homily, or an address was made, Catholics blogged about it.  Yet now it is almost as if we have no Pope.  Many of the 'holiest' of bloggers do not even mention the Pope - except to point out something negative.  One esteemed EF blogger, who used to praise just about every word Benedict said, has just one post up where the only mention of Francis is the label for the post.  Many EF Catholics seem to take refuge in their separate calendar, only to miss what the Holy Spirit says to the Church.

An exaggeration?  I'm not so sure.

I hope the new Pope will do something to end one of the liturgical 'false dichotomies' that exist, and establish one calendar for the the Roman ritual - let there be an EF and an OF - but it seems to me the calendars have to be united - so that we are all on the 'same page' as it were.

Excerpts from today's homily by Pope Francis at St. Paul Outside the Walls...
I would like all of us to ask ourselves this question: You, I, do we worship the Lord? Do we turn to God only to ask him for things, to thank him, or do we also turn to him to worship him? What does it mean, then, to worship God? It means learning to be with him, it means that we stop trying to dialogue with him, and it means sensing that his presence is the most true, the most good, the most important thing of all. All of us, in our own lives, consciously and perhaps sometimes unconsciously, have a very clear order of priority concerning the things we consider important. Worshipping the Lord means giving him the place that he must have; worshipping the Lord means stating, believing – not only by our words – that he alone truly guides our lives; worshipping the Lord means that we are convinced before him that he is the only God, the God of our lives, the God of our history.
This has a consequence in our lives: we have to empty ourselves of the many small or great idols that we have and in which we take refuge, on which we often seek to base our security. They are idols that we sometimes keep well hidden; they can be ambition, a taste for success, placing ourselves at the centre, the tendency to dominate others, the claim to be the sole masters of our lives, some sins to which we are bound, and many others. This evening I would like a question to resound in the heart of each one of you, and I would like you to answer it honestly: Have I considered which idol lies hidden in my life that prevents me from worshipping the Lord? Worshipping is stripping ourselves of our idols, even the most hidden ones, and choosing the Lord as the centre, as the highway of our lives. 
Dear brothers and sisters, each day the Lord calls us to follow him with courage and fidelity; he has made us the great gift of choosing us as his disciples; he sends us to proclaim him with joy as the Risen one, but he asks us to do so by word and by the witness of our lives, in daily life. The Lord is the only God of our lives, and he invites us to strip ourselves of our many idols and to worship him alone. May the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Paul help us on this journey and intercede for us. - Vatican Radio


  1. I've noticed it as well. I haven't been able to follow too much this week because I had so much going on, but I love what this Pope has to say. I regretted not quoting B16 more and I hope I will quote Pope Francis more. As Catholics you would think we should be interested in sharing what the Pope says more than what others say.

    In any event, here is why I was so busy, if you don't mind me dropping it in.

  2. I also love what Pope Francis has to say – Benedict also. :) As for being on the same page... especially when it comes to false and hidden idols...

    “I have come to you with open arms in order to take you into my embrace, under my mantle. I cannot do so as long as your heart is filled with false glitters and false idols. Clean your heart and allow my Angels to sing in it! At that time I'll take you under my mantle and I'll give you my Son, true peace and happiness. Do not wait, my children! I thank you!” Medjugorje message, August 2, 2005.

  3. Even though Pope Benedict was a lib with pretty questionable theology on fallen nature, he turned out far better than expected and the best pope since Pius 12. He gave us what we needed and we can live with the rest that comes our way.

    If the incredibly absurd accusations this past week running rampant through Catholic blogdom of traditionalists hating Jews and of traditionalists denying the holocaust can be used as a standard to go by, then yes I suspect you're reading more than actually exists.

    This morning after Mass the consensus was that the only person anyone had even heard of locally who denied the holocaust was some prof. up in Boulder who isn't even Catholic. And no one had ever known of anyone who hated Jews.

    Further, all the traditionalists I've spoken of on the issue are quite pleased with his shunning materialism. And could not care less about his last gasp return to the spirit of Vatican II because the tide has turned and the future is elsewhere.

    1. If I wasn't clear, I don't know of any traditionalists who went out of their way to quote Pope Benedict, let alone praise his every word, but were likewise very appreciative of all that he did.

      Hopefully we will find ourselves as appreciative of Pope Francis by his moving the Church away from materialism and consumerism.

  4. No, you are not imagining things, Terry.
    I have a soft spot in my heart for all things Benedictine, so it has made me sad that Fr. Mark of Vultus Christi hasn't said boo about our new Pope. I almost want to comment back to him a quote from his recent Letter to Our Oblates...

    "In my now long monastic life I have known the poison of an evil zeal of bitterness. It stinks of pharisaism. It is the panoply of those who would uphold the letter of the law at any price, even if it means pushing souls over the edge into an abyss of despair. How easy it is to fall into the deception of priding oneself on one's virtue, on one's spotless record of spiritual achievement, or on one's scrupulous attention to the minutest rubric, while looking at others with a sneer of disdain."

    He is going to have a lot of explaining to do to the Holy Spirit and Our Lady as to his silent treatment of Francis, a Pope they have so wisely and generously chosen for us.

    By the way, is there a web site that carries all of the homilies and talks of Pope Francis? It seems they are quoted from different sources. Thanks.

  5. E writes : "it has made me sad that Fr. Mark of Vultus Christi hasn't said boo about our new Pope."

    Why? One of the first acts of Pope Francis was to stress the local. Pope Francis' actions were specifically the opposite of Pope JP2's fostering a worldwide cult of personality, or of hanging on every word of Pope Benedict.

    If you wish to follow Pope Francis, perhaps it's best to act locally. Perhaps the message was not only to the cult hero bishops to mind the flock they've actually be assigned, but perhaps also a message to those who first look to the Pope and to first looking more locally.

  6. E - I go to Vatican Radio for everything - they seem to post his daily homilies as well.


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