Sunday, September 20, 2015

Get ready to be uncomfortable!


Get out of your comfort zone!

This is a great piece by Dr. John Cavadini of the NY Daily News
What if, even just for the period of his U.S. visit, we were to allow ourselves, each in our own way, to follow his rhetoric into a zone of discomfort? Would we, oddly, find ourselves meeting there?
Read the rest.

This week, my dear fellow Catholics in the US, let us all pray for the Holy Father as comes to our shores. It is going to be an exciting time and a time of great grace and opportunity, as the Successor of St. Peter, the Vicar of Christ, the Supreme Pontiff, the Servant of the Servants of God, or as he prefers to call himself, Francis, Bishop of Rome, will be in our midst.

The media will of course look at everything from solely a social and political angle, and attempt to squeeze him into this or that mould. The narrative of a bold reformer, unlike his stodgy predecessors, the only Pope to have every kissed a baby and smiled at anyone, is already deeply entrenched. Read what the Holy Father says, from reliable sources (the Vatican, EWTN, the USCCB). I wouldn't trust AP, Reuters, the AJC, the NYT, the WaPo in their reporting one bit. Nor the TV stations.

But really, let it be. Don't fret The whole nation (indeed the whole world) will be looking at the Holy Father. And he will, as he always does, so simply, so disarmingly, invite us to look at Jesus Christ.

And pray that you are able to hear his words directed at you. If you hear him say something and think, "Aha! He got those people good over there! Those crazy [fill-in-the-blank-label], who think they're Catholic/good/right, but ... " well, we're doing the same thing. We're wanting to fit him into our own preconceived notions and ideas. We're judging others, and, really, condemning ourselves, and not actually facing reality and looking at what the Lord is doing right now!

The Lord and His Gospel transcend all this. And He always calls us out of our complacency and comfort, to live a life of service, of sacrifice, of love. To seek the good of others, to pursue justice, to give our lives away.

And in His goodness, the Lord is sending His Vicar, this charismatic, enigmatic, beloved Pontiff our way. He wants us to be attentive, to be receptive, like Our Lady, to this opportunity, to this event, to this moment of grace.

So, pray hard, dear brothers and sisters in Christ. And be prepared to be uncomfortable!

[First shared on Facebook, Sept. 20, 2015] 

2 comments:

Ollllddude said...

What about this?:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/pope-franciss-actions-speak-louder-than-his-words/2015/09/20/7c1899ac-5fc0-11e5-b38e-06883aacba64_story.html

Fr. Gaurav Shroff said...

Eh. Bless E.J. Dionne and that generation of progressive Catholics. I'm sure they felt frustrated by John Paul and especially Benedict. They've embraced Francis, and many are pinning their hopes on him to realize the dream Church of their imaginations (one that, for most, tends to look not very different from, say, Episcopalianism). I think Pope Francis much more radical than either "side" realizes. And Dionne, like so many commentators, simply cannot let go of political categories.

I do agree that Francis actions speak so much, so much. He's like a prophet. He makes us all squirm. He really does seem to focus all our attention on Christ. So did Benedict, in a different way. (I'm not going to argue they're the same, or their emphases are the same. They're not. But those who pit them against each other ... most tend to think that Benedict talked way too much about the darned pelvic issues, and forgot everything else. He didn't. But he couldn't shake the narrative that had built up about him as Ratzinger).

As to Fr. Reese. Oy. "He preaches the Gospel, not the Catechism." Come hang out with the college kids I know. They find the Catechism to be mind-blowingly radical, compared to what their peers do Friday through Sunday. Because Dionne, and his generation, never taught them the faith. Because Dionne, and that generation, taught them to question everything, except their progressive assumptions. When they discover the beauty of the Catechism (i.e. the Gospel), it's amazing. This opposition between the Gospel and the Catechism is, of course, a trademark of the progressive wing (though it really is, ultimately, Protestant).

To me, the most glaring thing is the sterility of the progressive Catholic view. Over a decade, much to chagrin and heartache in some circles, Cardinal George called "liberal Catholicism" a dead project. It really is. It doesn't reproduce. There's no new generation of young, on fire radicals who want to evangelize the Church with the world. The young just leave in droves. The progressive lament is that it's because the Church is still too rigid, i.e. the faith hasn't been watered down enough.

Just look around: in the West, where is there life? The (overall rather minuscule, but still real, and with effects far beyond its size) Catholic revival in the US is not there. Qui aures habet, audiat.