I recently was on a Catholic blog site and noticed their topics were confrontational to the Church. Unity is something we should all be focused on. Not tearing apart each other like a pack of wild wolves. I believe we should recognize a little more, the great gift our faith is, and WHO is in charge.
Tearing each other down over issues of the faith, speaking in ill regards of priests, bishops, and popes. Embracing division and increasing contempt for one another, is contrary to our beliefs.
Who do we believe truly rules over the Catholic Church? Our Faith assures us that Jesus Christ is alive in the Church and the Holy Spirit directs her movements and leadership. In 2000 years we have had good and bad leaders alike. One thing assures me of God being at the helm of this ship. In those 2000 years man has managed not to single handedly destroy the Church.
Where is YOUR Umbrella?
I remember a story a friend told me years back about faith. A Baptist Pastor from a farming community in the deep south was beginning to hear concerns from his flock. Because there had not been rain in months and their crops were going to ruin. They decided to have a prayer chain started for rain. Still a week later and no rain. The pastor then decided to hold a prayer service and the town would gather and have a night of prayer and praise for rain. The weather forecast, no rain. Finally, the pastor decided to hold an old fashioned tent revival for a week praising God and asking for rain.
Following the revival, and consequently no rain. The congregation met for services the following Sunday, concerned and bewildered over why nothing was working. The pastor took his place at the pulpit, quietly reflecting on the past services, looking over his congregation for a moment or two in silence he raised his hand and pointed over the congregation. You are all at fault for the rain we have not received. An old farmer stands up and asks. Why is it our fault? The Pastor says, “If you truly believed what we were doing would produce rain, why did none of you come to any of the prayer services with umbrellas?
If we truly believe in something, it changes the way we behave. How can we say we believe the Holy Spirit is in charge and then bicker, and worry over the future of the Church? Unity is something we should all be focused on!
St. Catherine of Siena
In the fourteenth century St. Catherine of Siena wrote The Dialogue. In this writing St. Catherine describes a conversation between her and Jesus. In the conversation Jesus permits St. Catherine to ask several questions concerning the clergy of the Church. Jesus answers her questions, and very clearly and with much depth. In light of reading it, I will say I was quite taken back. Incidentally, I now have more to offer up for forgiveness….. How many times have we had interactions with priest that simply rubbed us the wrong way, something a Bishop has said and upset us? We take to social media and begin our rant.
It sends a slight chill down my spine to hear Jesus say he takes it “personally” to consider the WORD of God taking a criticism personally, is a little eye opening. Basically, if we have an issue with any of his ministers, we are to pray for them in charity and for mercy on them, and we are to direct our concerns directly to Him. We are NOT to engage in attacking his ministers.
St. Catherine is given credit with helping to save the Church. During her life the Papacy had moved to France, and there was rampant corruption in the Church. Through her pleading with the Holy Father to return to Rome and take control of the situation in the Church, Pope Gregory XI returned to Rome in 1377! Though the damage done, and much work ahead with the Papacy moved back to Rome the healing could begin.
The current Church
I contemplate the current state of the Church. The Papacy of John Paul II spoiled us. Even those born prior to his elevation to the Throne of Peter, do not seem to mention much about the Popes, but rather the time of the Vatican Council and what it did or did not do for the Church.
Following Pope Saint John Paul II was Pope Benedict XVI. Met with a warm welcome to the Church for the return of the “Old Ways” the Traditionalist rejoiced! But also met with alarming fight from those who are reformist, and wish for a more liberal and “loving” Church. Abrogating the seat of Peter, he opened the way for the election of Pope Francis. Reformist and “liberal” voices united and Traditionalist prepared for battle as the Jesuit took the Papacy. In his first announcement from the balcony in St. Peter’s they could see things were different.
Strange thing, the Church teaches us the Holy Spirit chooses the person of the Pope. The Holy Spirit directs the Church, and St. Joseph is her Patron Saint. St. Michael guards her, and Jesus is her Bridegroom. Yet we disagree with, and incidentally, publicly decry our objections. Now, I can say I am guilty of looking at circumstances in the Church and not agreeing with them. I have guilt too, for saying I disagree with this or that. I am not without blame. The log in my eye is something I need to deal with. My way of dealing with it is to write this post. To say, Mea Cupla, Mea Cupla, Mea Maxima Cupla! But to also say unity is something we should all be focused on! We all need to realize the importance of being of one voice and one heart, The Most Sacred Heart!
Again, unity is something WE should ALL be focused on
Unity is something we should all be focused on, in prayer and in Faith. The workings of the Church will be taken care of by the Divine oversight that is in place! We do not need to worry about that. When we see something we don’t agree with or understand. We need to pray. To understand God’s will and plan. Not to immediately get angry and respond in such anger. How many of us know the job or the Pope? How many of us have been Pastor’s or Bishops and know the weight of that office? Any one reading this would you like someone to march into your office and tell you how crappy you are at your job?
Why then is it ok for us, to stand up and talk down, about the successes and failures of those in the Church leadership? To rate a priest on his job, or a Bishop, or Pope on what he is doing? The struggles they face daily we can not know or imagine.
Let’s work together
In closing, we must acknowledge we are all in need of help. We go to church, and participate in the sacraments because we need help. The clergy are human just as us, they make mistakes. They answer not to us, but to Him, who they represent. We need to pray for them, and for ourselves. I leave you with this quote from Jesus, from the revelation he gave to St. Catherine”
“For this reason no one has excuse to say, “I am doing no harm, nor am I rebelling against holy Church. I am simply acting against the sins of evil pastors.” Such persons are deluded, blinded as they are by their own selfishness…. It is me they assault, just as it was me they reverenced. To me redounds every assault they make on my ministers: derision, slander, disgrace, abuse. Whatever is done to them I count as done to me….” Jesus, to St. Catherine of Siena, The Dialogue
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