Monday, September 21, 2015

"He walked in peace through the midst of them." - Luke 4:30 ... a couple of thoughts.

I love that translation from Luke 4:30.

It is used in the old votive Mass for S. Benedict Joseph Labre.

I think of it especially today with the many posts for and against Pope Francis and his visit to Cuba and the United States.  I noted one headline: The pope has become a political football.  Yes, but - he walks in peace through the midst of them.

Why this tumult among nations,
among peoples this useless murmuring? - Psalm 2

And another thing ...

I think many Catholics are way too political about the Papal visit.

I think many Catholics online are too mean-spirited.

I think many Catholics online like to argue and slap-down anyone who disagrees with them.  (Nope, not talking about any Deacons here either.)

I think we can be pretty convinced of our own self-righteousness and look down upon everyone else... I'm not like you, I never experienced, never did this or that, like you did.  I know more than all who teach, because _____ fill in the blanks

That is what repels non-Catholic, non-religious people - and even Catholics.  (Why men don't go to Mass?  Why men don't join church groups?  The put downs.  The disrespect.  The lack of charity.)

Arrogance and conceit and a morbid disposition for arguments and verbal disputes...  

It's not convincing.

Yes, I hear the whisperings of many: "Terror on every side! Denounce! let us denounce him!" All those who were my friends are on the watch for any misstep of mine. "Perhaps he will be trapped; then we can prevail, and take our vengeance on him." - Jeremiah 20:10


  1. High-five.

    I find that I have much more peace if I stay away from argumentatious stuff.

  2. You're right of course, Terry. And yet, and yet...

    Let's stipulate up front that much of the dialogue on both sides has been less than informative, enlightening, or downright literate. Going on a screed rarely accomplishes much in the way of either persuasion or elucidation. Now, having established this, my problem is that I care greatly for the Church, and I believe Francis is doing much harm to it. (And Francis is a political animal, as much as the rest of us.) I promise in this comment I'm not going to pick on him anymore! :)

    The thing is, and there's always a thing, man was born a social creature. Although it is profitable and necessary for us to retreat into prayer, whether privately or publicly, at heart we desire to share things with others, whether it's happiness or joy. How many times do we hear someone say, "I just had to tell someone!" Think how this is magnified when you see someone or something you love either being helped or harmed. When a son or daughter graduates, or has a baby, or gets a new job, we want to tell everyone we can. "That's my boy!" It's human nature.

    That is the position I'm in, and I think many of those who are less than positive about the current pontificate. We see something happening to someone we love, and we're powerless to do anything about it. If a loved one is sick, we can lash out; we can blame the doctors, illogical as that may be, or we can blame circumstances, but there is something in us that requires we communicate. It's the same whenever we see something dear to us in trouble. We curse, we rant and rave, we weep. We're powerless to do anything publicly, and even after we lay it at the foot of the altar, we still need to share it with others, as if there's a chance we can mitigate our helplessness in this way.

    "I tell you," Christ says in a different context, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out." Among other things though, it suggests that the truth cannot be kept quiet. And when one sees the Church - as many do, make no mistake - at the point of collapse, how can one be expected to keep quiet? Especially if one thinks there is a way to arrest the collapse, the necessity to speak out is magnified.

    But even if it does no good - and let's face it, since the papacy is not a political office (no matter how often some of its occupants inject politics into it), there isn't much any of us can do but pray. But again, it's not in the nature of people to keep these fears to themselves forever, and just because we turn to prayer doesn't mean we aren't right to be afraid. Yes, it's important how you express yourself, and yes, there are times when silence is required. But, I say again, we are social creatures - and even if we stay quiet, will not the stones themselves cry out?


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