"Are we prepared to promote conditions in which the living contact with God can be reestablished? For our lives today have become godless to the point of complete vacuity. God is no longer with us in the conscious sense of the word. He is denied, ignored, excluded from every claim to have a part in our daily life." - Alfred Delp, S.J.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

I'm not trying to use the Pope's words against anybody...

Nor am I taking his name in vain...

Today the Pope expresses things I have been thinking about - especially when it comes to blogging, blogs, bloggers, and issues or movements within the Church that I frequently write about.  Oh.  And he makes an indirect reference to Elizabeth Scalia's recent book, Strange Gods again too:
"There is a love, of sorts: it is love of self, love for oneself. That narcissist idolatry that leads them to betray others, that leads them to abuse of trust. "
I know!  It's too much of a coincidence that the Holy Father keeps bringing it up.  (JK)

Seriously, the Holy Father speaks directly to problems we as Christians face.  What do I always say?  "He who flatters you, deceives you.  He who praises you, deceives you."  We bloggers do that.. All. The. Time.   We praise one another, and then like spinning on a dime, can turn on one another when the other says something we dislike or disagree with.  The 'corrupt' as the Holy Father calls them, know this about us.  Call them dissidents, liberals, what have you - they speak softly and pleasantly, and even say things like; "I know what you are saying... but..."  Or, "Terry, I wish you were able to accept ..."  Or, "I appreciate that you are faithful to Church teaching but ..."

How treacherous the human heart, how easily deceived...

We must have love... charity.
"Hypocrisy is the very language of corruption. And when Jesus speaks to his disciples, he says: 'let your language be,' Yes, yes! No, no '. Hypocrisy is not a language of truth, because the truth is never given alone. Never! It is always given with love! There is no truth without love. Love is the first truth. If there is no love, there is no truth. They want a true enslaved to their interests. There is a love, of sorts: it is love of self, love for oneself. That narcissist idolatry that leads them to betray others, that leads them to abuse of trust. "
The Holy Father is a little soul, like Therese of Lisieux, he teaches so simply, with such charity:
"And the meekness that Jesus wants us to have, has nothing, has nothing of this adulation, this sickly sweet way of going on. Nothing! Meekness is simple, it is like that of a child. And a child is not hypocritical, because it is not corrupt. When Jesus says to us: 'Let your speech be' Yes is yes! No, is no! 'with the soul of a child', he means the exact opposite to the speech of these [hypocrites –ed]".The Pope’s final consideration regarded "certain inner weakness", stimulated by "vanity", that means "we like people to say good things about us." The "corrupt know this well" and " are trying to weaken us with this language".

"Let us think closely today: What is our language? Do we speak in truth, with love, or do we speak with that social language to be polite, even say nice things, which we do not feel? Let our language be evangelical brothers and sisters! Then these hypocrites that start out with flattery, adulation and all of that, end up, through false witnesses, with accusing the very ones they had flattered. Let us ask the Lord today that our language be the language of the simple, the language of a child, the language of the children of God, the language of truth in love. " - VR
When we speak of 'idolatry' I wonder if we shouldn't return to the Carmelite understanding of it, in the sense of Elijah perhaps, yet more distinctly, in the writings of John of the Cross and his exposition on vain rejoicing in created goods, the senses, as well as spiritual goods.  I think St. John zeros in on the particular 'idols' of everyday life Elizabeth Scalia and Pope Francis have been 'unmasking' for us. 

Ed. note:  The Scalia tie-in is just for fun. 


  1. Sometimes I have trouble distinguishing between "vain rejoicing in created goods, the senses, as well as spiritual goods" and gratitude to God for goods, for His gifts.

    It seems to me there's two sides to the coin: the 'negative' one that the Carmelites stress which reminds us that nothing is God and we better not forget that, and the 'positive' side which St. Ignatius stressed - gratitude in all things, God being able to lead us to Him them; that we can actually savor His gifts and praise Him for them.

    1. I know what you mean - I wonder if it is better understood in addiction language?

      One aspect I thought of is going online first thing in the morning and last thing at night - and skipping our prayers or not going to daily Mass.

      Or committing some habitual fault or permitting an inordinate attachment to something or some pleasure in the place of one's duty, and esp. in place of our duty to God.

      Does that make sense?

  2. +JMJ+

    Are you sure he's not making indirect references to The Last Psychiatrist? ;-)


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