The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Pope Francis Calls

I've been enjoying the Holy Father's visit more than I could ever describe, but after the first day decided to ignore the coverage by the secular media. Listening to coverage by MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, and some of the other networks has been painful. The anchors and commentators, whether liberals or conservatives, have all demonstrated an abominable level of ignorance when it comes to the purpose of the Pope's visit, his pilgrimage, to our country and to Cuba. They all view it through their own grossly distorted political and economic lenses and don't have a clue as to the Pope's real reasons for being here and saying what he says. The liberals hope he's a progressive socialist, which of course he isn't, and the conservatives want him to castigate the left and extol unbridled capitalism, which of course he won't. 

Pope Francis is a pilgrim pontiff striving to save souls, to teach us how to live the Sermon on the Mount, to lead us to the forgiving, merciful love of Jesus Christ. He hopes for a transformation of hearts, for a transformation of the entire world. He is probably the least politically motivated man in our country today. Our politicians and the policy wonks who hide in their shadows clearly don't understand that his aim is spiritual not political. I'm reminded of something Pope Francis said back in 2002 when he was an archbishop and cardinal in Buenos Aires:

“To those who are now promising to fix all your problems, I say, ‘Go and fix yourself.’ . . . Have a change of heart. Get to confession, before you need it even more! The current crisis will not be improved by magicians from outside the country and nor will [improvement] come from the golden mouth of our politicians, so accustomed to making incredible promises.”

Now don't these words apply perfectly to our own nation today? The solution will not come from our politicians. It will come only from ourselves, from God's people, doing God's Work in humility and with love. Yes, we must first "fix" ourselves and open our hearts to the movement of the Holy Spirit within us and within our nation as a whole. We must then accept the Cross of Christ, the sign of humiliating powerlessness that points upward to God's glory and left and right to the world we are called to change. 

I have decided to watch EWTN for the remainder of the Holy Father's visit.

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