Sunday, November 17, 2013

Shocking…. Unprecedented….

He's supposed to be our spiritual leader? How can he be a man of God? He allows children to come to Him. He spoke with a Samaritan woman. He socializes with sinners. He heals on the Sabbath. He tells us to love our enemies. And He even claims that He can forgive sins.

Such were the criticisms leveled against Jesus Christ. Criticisms continue to this day, this time concerning the Vicar of Christ on earth, His Holiness Pope Francis. Our previous Popes, Paul VI, Bl. John Paul II and Benedict XVI were the recipients of negative judgments from liberals. Now, it'’s some conservatives who are criticizing the present Pope. In each case, the critics are at bay looking for some statement, some action, from the Pope to bolster their opinions. I would rather have any one of these Popes than any of their critics as the Vicar of Christ. For that’s what it is, setting up oneself as the judge as to how the papacy should run and how the Pope should act.

Pope Francis is not changing any truths that come from God as taught through the Church. Often the press hears something that he says, runs away with it and extrapolates. Then, some of the faithful take the reporters at their word and not at the Pope'’s. They rely upon the news, rather than reading the Pope’s words in their entirety. Conclusions are drawn and, all of a sudden our good Pope is maligned and labeled a bad Pope. I even heard the term "“anti-Pope"” leveled against him.

The papacy is not a conservative/liberal issue. Neither is the Catholic Church. It would be absurd to believe that people would belong to the Church because they perceive her as conservative or liberal. We are members of the Church because of Christ. In terms of our faith, we are neither conservative or liberal, but Catholic.

Pope Francis said it best in his homily during one of his Masses last month:
In ideology there is no Jesus: his tenderness, love, meekness. And ideologies are always rigid…..In every sense: rigid. And when a Christian becomes a disciple of ideology, they have lost the faith: they are no more a disciple of Jesus; they are a disciple of this attitude of thought, of this…. …And for this reason Jesus says to them: ‘You have taken away the key of knowledge’. The knowledge of Jesus is transformed into an ideological and also moralistic knowledge, because these closed the door with so many requirements.

Why does a Christian become that way? ….It is simply one thing: that Christian does not pray. And if there is no prayer, you will always close the door….It is one thing to pray and another to recite prayers.…
Yes, true prayer, and not mindless rambling, is the answer. As Pope Francis said we must pray with humility. We need to be humble and let God do the judging. His Holiness asks us to do a couple of things in order to avoid falling into the trap of ideology: “First, to not cease to pray, to not lose faith, to remain humble. So that we will not become closed, which closes the path to the Lord.”

Father Stanley

No comments:

Post a Comment