I won’t be home tomorrow evening and the weekend looks hectic so I have time now to write. I’ve decided to re-title my blog: Begging with, and for, Benedict XVI. The title comes from something he said in one of his interview books with Seewald, I think. I’m afraid I don’t have it written down and am too lazy tonight to look up the quote. The gist of it was that he was a “beggar” before the Lord. I like that image and idea. I too am a beggar. I’m sure what I beg for and what Benedict begs for are very different. My concerns are petty and mundane. I want to join in prayer for this man I never met who has had such a profound impact on my faith life. I want to beg the Lord for mercy, for myself and all. I want to beg the Lord to make his face visible to all. I want to beg the Lord to strengthen His Church. So, I will turn my want into action and do so once a week on these pages. But, I will do so privately every day. I am turning my year into talking about Faith to transforming my faith through prayer and action.
I read today with sadness that a priest took down a picture of Benedict in a Church in which the congregation has a sizeable gay community. Parishioners didn’t think the Pope’s words were kind to them and the picture was upsetting to them. One wonders on reading the priest’s letter when he is going to take down the crucifix so it won’t offend anyone – after all Jesus said some pretty offensive things too, about sin. We are all sinners. The crucifix reminds of this. Whether the Pope’s picture belongs in the Church is an open question but when parishioners are offended by official church teaching, the parish ceases to have an understanding of itself and perhaps is its own church, its own cult. The priest has been co-opted by the mob. Once again Christ is mocked. So, I wonder – when will he decide the Crucifix is offensive and take it down? I pray for this priest and his parishioners.