Thursday, November 10, 2016

The Little Pope ...

"Guard it with patience."

Today's papal homily made me think of Saint-Exupéry's The Little Prince ...
"One sees clearly only with the heart. The essential is invisible to the eye." - Saint-Exupéry
“The Kingdom of God is not a ‘show’ religion: one that is always seeking new things, revelations, messages … God spoke through Jesus Christ: this is the last Word of God..." - Pope Francis

The Pope was reflecting upon Today's Gospel - admonishing against running off to here or there, following sensational claims of supernatural significance, and so on.
Then he said to his disciples,
“The days will come when you will long to see
one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it.
There will be those who will say to you,
‘Look, there he is,’ or ‘Look, here he is.’
Do not go off, do not run in pursuit
. - Luke 17:20
I like it when the Holy Father talks about these very human tendencies - he reminds me of Bl. Jacinta when she told Lucia not to go 'run and hide' when it came time for her to spread devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  It seems to me the pope's message today is a bit like telling those 'TNRSteppers-Storm-chasers-after-the-Rescue people', as well as those who expect to take the 'Benedictine option' to get a grip.
Asking what we should do whilst awaiting the fullness of the Kingdom of God, Pope Francis explained that we must guard and take care of our hope.
“Guard it with patience. Patience in our work, in our sufferings… Guarding it like the man who has planted a seed and who takes care of the plant, ensuring there are no weeds close to it, so it will grow. Guard our hope. And here is the question that I put to you: if the Kingdom of God is among us today, if all of us have this seed inside us, if we have the Holy Spirit there, how do I guard it? How do I discern this, how can I discern the good plant from the seed of the darnel? The Kingdom of God grows and what must we do? Guard it. Grow through hope and guard that hope. Because we have been saved through hope. And this is the thread: hope is the thread in the history of salvation. Our hope of meeting the Lord for sure.
“Let us ask ourselves: Do I have hope? Or do I go ahead as best I can without knowing how to tell the good from the bad, the darnel seed, the light, the meek light of the Holy Spirit from the brightness of this artificial thing?" - Pope Francis
“The coming of the Kingdom of God cannot be observed, and no one will announce, ‘Look, here it is,’ or, ‘There it is.’For behold, the Kingdom of God is among you.” - Luke 17

"And no grown-up will ever understand that this is a matter of so much importance!" - Saint-Exupéry

“People have forgotten this truth," the fox said. 
"But you mustn’t forget it. 
You become responsible forever for what you’ve tamed. 
You’re responsible for your rose.” 


  1. Great food for the mind and soul ... gracias, Terry.

  2. I love the post, but I think you are a bit misinformed about what you call "the Benedictine Option." It is usually called "The Benedict Option," and the term's originator, an Eastern Orthodox layman from Louisiana, has an excellent FAQ which explains quite succinctly what it is, why it is important, and how it is most certainly not a mentality of the sky falling or heading for the hills. You may read the FAQ and still disagree, but it bears reading anyway. God Bless!

    1. Thanks - I'll check it out.

    2. I checked it out. I think I understand it - I read it before and I thought it's a great idea, for families. But I still think living in place - be it in cities, in parishes, is what the Christian is called to. Ordinary life is less 'exclusive' if you will. I may not understand it the same way you do. I live in a city, I'm single, I do not have a family. It seems to me there's still a sense in the Benedict option of finding a safe place - like a safe-room, as well as establishing a secure place of orthodoxy and liturgical correctness. What I'm trying to say is that it seems to me to be understood by some people I have read, more in the tradition of the Amish or Bruderhoff communities, or even similar to the medieval concept of a village surrounding a monastic center - like the great abbeys. Nice work if you can get it - but it seems to leave a lot of people out.

      I can better understand Catholic Worker or Madeleine Delbrel/Ordinary People of the Streets, and/or Opus Dei associates - but not moving to some idyllic setting in the mountains of Wyoming reconstructing a perfect Church, or that type of thing. Secular life is mission territory where the Christian witness is most needed, even as civil society disintegrates or simply when one lives an ordinary form of life in ordinary circumstances.

      Anyway - my apologies if I get the Benedict option wrong - I simply believe it is best to 'bloom where you are planted'... and if they come to take you away - you have the Kingdom of God within you and will go in peace to the places you do not want to go.

      Anyway - I may just misunderstand.


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