Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Pope Francis is a Wonder!

     I have this small sculpture in my home.
     It was sculpted by Patrice Nobile and cast by Sabastien Nobile.
     It is a model of a work they did for a Catholic Church in NJ.
     Both are French artists and, I am proud to say, family.

This Protestant must say that something wondrous has happened in the Roman Church. God has sent a leader who will save the old, crotchety institution from irrelevance.
by Charlie Leck

There is a remarkable story in the Washington Post today: “Breaking from Tradition, Conservative Catholics Begin to Question their Pope.” The story is by Michelle Boorstein and Elizabeth Tenety. The piece was first published on 14 October 2013.

I have said here before (on this blog) that Pope Francis is a new and remarkable kind of Pope. He is opening the eyes of all kinds of non-catholics and Catholics that we might see what the heart and soul of Christianity is all about. I have, literally, found myself tearing up over some of Francis’ actions and words.

The article I reference above includes a photo gallery that depicts some of the acts of humility of this pope and provides some of his more inspirational words.

The point of the article is that many traditional Catholics are beginning to worry about this Pope and some of the things he stands for. I would like to say to these Catholics…

“Give thanks! I believe God has sent you a man to save you from irrelevancy and to teach you again that Jesus, our Lord, was a man of humility and utter service to the broken and needy about him. Rules and dots and iota meant very little to him. Substance was everything. Now you have a Pope who would serve you as Saint Francis and Jesus would have. He humbles himself before God and man as servant of both. He shows us we can serve God in but only one manner; that is, by serving fully the least of our brethren.”

If some of my protestant brethren need convincing, I print here these words that Pope Francis recently delivered over Vatican radio in the days after a boatload of immigrants seeking peace and freedom in Italy were picked from the Italian waters and returned to Africa to face punishment and torture…

“In this world of globalization we have fallen into a globalization of indifference. We are accustomed to the suffering of others, it doesn’t concern us, it’s none of our business….
“…We are a society that has forgotten the experience of weeping, of ‘suffering with.’ The globalization of indifference has taken from us the ability to weep! In the Gospel we have heard the cry, the plea, the great lament: ‘Rachel weeping for her children . . . because they are no more.’ Herod sowed death in order to defend his own well-being, his own soap bubble. And this continues to repeat itself. Let us ask the Lord to wipe out [whatever attitude] of Herod remains in our hearts; let us ask the Lord for the grace to weep over our indifference, to weep over the cruelty in the world, in ourselves, and even in those who anonymously make socio-economic decisions that open the way to tragedies like this. ‘Who has wept?’ Who in today’s world has wept?

“O Lord, in this Liturgy, a Liturgy of repentance, we ask forgiveness for the indifference towards so many brothers and sisters, we ask forgiveness for those who are pleased with themselves, who are closed in on their own well-being in a way that leads to the anaesthesia of the heart, we ask you, Father, for forgiveness for those who with their decisions at the global level have created situations that lead to these tragedies. Forgive us, Lord!”*

The full text of the Pope’s radio address can be found below. This Pope, my friends, is truly a breath of fresh, wonderful air! He has come just in time to save the Roman Catholic Church from itself!



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