Today’s headlines when one searches “pope” on Google are basically – the Bishops and Popes are battling one another. I hope so. First – isn’t this what Francis wants – Bishops taking ownership. Second, he said – make a mess. He seems to enjoy this. But for me, I hope the Bishops take a stand on the side of the Gospel, not the Social Gospel. Don’t misread me but the second flows from the first and is essential. Francis’ embrace of the Social Gospel will be an everlasting legacy. So too will his legacy of lesser faith be if the Bishops don’t stand up for the Gospel message. The Gospel message isn’t to take care of the poor although that is part of it. The Gospel message is – There is a God, I love you, I sent my son – listen to Him. Listen to His Words, listen to His Actions. He is the Way. Jesus sat with sinners of every social and economic class. We are all sinners. He came for all – to know and be reconciled with the Father. That is Francis’ inherited mission.
I’ve been pondering my own small understanding of Jesus in trying to understand Francis. I think I have been wrong about the going after the 1 at the expense of the 99. Jesus said to do this. Francis is right in insisting on this. But what is he going to do when he gets the one – say Hi? This is where Francis is very unclear. He talks about mercy. Does someone who doesn’t know or love the Father care about mercy in the same way a missionary does? I doubt one would listen until clothed and fed. Again, Francis is onto something there. BUT, what comes next – does Francis say – Get up and follow Him, sin no more, strive to holiness? I don’t hear that often from him. I hear it from some Bishops, but not all. Why are they afraid of holiness? Why won’t they fight for it? Why do they insist that it is okay for me to wallow in my sin, presuming mercy when I don’t ask for it and just assume it is mine? Why won’t they help me, all of us, to become better.
Isn’t ironic how secular society talks about personal growth all the time yet the church lately seems to loath to talk about spiritual growth? What is the difference between the secular social worker and the faithful on a mission in Francis’ conception of things?
In today’s readings we learn from the Angel to nourish ourselves in the waters of the Sanctuary. We learn that we are God’s temple and that we need to build it up, in ourselves!. We learn that Jesus risks much when angry about how His Father’s house is being treated. We learn “Zeal for your house will consume me” (John 2: 17; readings found here ). Help me someone – do you see Francis’ zeal for the Sanctuary? for the Mass? for the Word? Help me overcome my observations of him this week alone. My observation is that he is a contradiction and that in essence he is more about power for himself and his friends to overturn the Church by getting rid of the people he finds unattractive, in order to make the Church attractive. Aren’t those unattractive people ones who have done what St. Paul said – built upon the foundation given, “namely, Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 3:11)?
Yes, I hope the Bishops will do Battle with the Pope. My spiritual life depends upon his aquiring more wisdom about how to get the message out. WORDS are more important that he understands. Praxis is not WORD.
Let’s pray the full rosary today and the Prayer to St. Michael. In addition, I am not condemming Francis. I don’t understand and mistrust. So I am praying for enlightenment for either him, me and both! I standby my support for the Battle.
St. Michael (full prayer): http://www.indefenseofthecross.com/Prayer_to_St_Michael.htm
And a prayer to the Holy Spirit which I will pray three times – once for myself and then substituting Francis’ name and then “Bishops” for the personal petition within – http://catholicism.about.com/od/prayers/qt/Prayer_Gifts_HS.htm