There is a lot of talk about what Love is, and what it isn’t, these days. With all the hub-bub over certain movies, Valentine’s Day, and the cultural discussions of late it seemed fitting to turn the world upside down a little, and reclaim what is truly ours, as followers of God, – LOVE.
Because, God is love – and therefore love is ours, not the world’s.
I hope you enjoy it, please feel free to share it, and I pray that it helps a few people who are afraid to love, waiting for love, or looking for love.
I posted an article that I had skepticism over but thought it would be interesting to discuss, but that I knew was more “trolling” than anything.
I took down a post.
Right now, there is a battle waging over the Pope, and Catholics all over the world are fighting to make him stand for their view of Catholicism. Unfortunately, what more of us should be doing is finding ways to listen to what he says, and figure out how he can lead us to fit our lives to the views and heart of Christ.
There is a bigger post lingering in my head here, but I can’t quite figure out what is happening. I think there is a lot of fear involved in the hearts of Catholics, whether they want to admit it or not, and we forget who the real enemy is.
When, on March 13, Bergoglio inherited the throne of St. Peter—keeper of the keys to the kingdom of heaven—he made the same request of the world. Pray for me. His letter of retirement, a requirement of all bishops 75 and older, was already on file in a Vatican office, awaiting approval. Friends in Argentina had perceived him to be slowing down, like a spent force. In an instant, he was a new man, calling himself Francis after the humble saint from Assisi. As Pope, he was suddenly the sovereign of Vatican City and head of an institution so sprawling—with about enough followers to populate China—so steeped in order, so snarled by bureaucracy, so vast in its charity, so weighted by its scandals, so polarizing to those who study its teachings, so mysterious to those who don’t, that the gap between him and the daily miseries of the world’s poor might finally have seemed unbridgeable. Until the 266th Supreme Pontiff walked off in those clunky shoes to pay his hotel bill.
There is a lot that can be said about this selection. I wanted to write a, “Why I believe Pope Francis will be the POY” post yesterday, but I have had a horrible stomach thing. Regardless, this places even more media attention on the Vatican. I will save the, “What does this mean…” commentary to those better suited for it.
The swell folks over at CatholicVote.org have once again created a nifty little social media campaign to put some Catholicity into the internet. Their email today suggests to people to include the hashtag #DEOGRATIAS on tweets and facebook updates about the things for which we are thankful.
The point is to remind ourselves, and one another, that ultimately our thanks should be directed to GOD. Deo Gratias, or give thanks to God / God is good! is really the ultimate praise for all that we are blessed with in life.
So, this weekend, remember to give thanks, where thanks is due! #DEOGRATIAS
Thomas Peters, best known as “The American Papist” from his blog and his work with CatholicVote.org, was injured in a swimming accident months back. His long road to recovery has taken him and his family along the full spectrum of human emotion and spiritual battles.
Tomorrow, the Catholic Blogosphere will do a full social media assault in support of Thomas: You can find out more at the blog set up to chronicle his recovery: #IStandWithThomasPeters Day
Whether you can help with prayer, financial support, or just through spreading the word – every little bit will help.
I am on a podcast search for good Catholic podcasts. I’d prefer more theological/educational podcasts (e.g. The teachings of St. Aquinas) as opposed to pop culture offerings (e.g. Catholic life…). Yet, I am not totally opposed to the latter, if you can convince me why it is worth my time.
I would like to spend the time I have to listen to podcasts learning something. I have considered Catholic audio books, but I sometimes get distracted listening to books, and prefer to read them. But, here again, I am willing to be sold on specific titles, knowing that the reader and the content of each book is unique. My ultimate goal here is to find something and be swept away to learning-land. So please help me!
Also, I am also looking to listen to non-Catholic offerings, but I am once again looking for something unique, off the beaten path a bit. I am somewhat familiar with popular shows like T.A.R., Fresh Air, etc… but not necessarily all of them, so please leave any and all suggestions just in case I have overlooked even the most popular.
The 68-year-old Capuchin conceded that last night’s mob scene with the papal motorcade was a “frightening moment,” hinting that perhaps Francis could listen a bit more to handlers charged with his safety and saying, “There has to be some distance between the crowds and the Holy Father.”
Chaput acknowledged that members of the right wing of the Catholic church “generally have not been really happy” with some aspects of Francis’ early months and said the pope will have to find a way “to care for them, too.”
Chaput defended Francis on concerns in some circles that he’s been silent on abortion, gay marriage and euthanasia, saying, “I can’t imagine he won’t be as pro-life and pro-traditional marriage as any of the other popes.” He insisted the bishop of Rome “has to talk about those things.”
If you know anything about Chaput, it is that he is a precise speaker and thinker. There is surely more to these quotes than what you get at first glance, but in both what he says and doesn’t say, there is something to be gleamed.
My first thought is that the three things have something in common – the Pope more than likely doesn’t have a tight circle of advisors that he listens to yet, and he might be purposefully delaying such a circle. All three comments talk about his seeming unwillingness to be a “business as usual Pope.” I think this is serving him well in how he wants to lead, but like any other ideology, if you become and ideologue over someone that allows a philosophy to guide you then you run the risk of losing sight of your goals.
Now I am not saying that is what is happening, or even will happen, but it is a risk. The motorcade example is a perfect anecdote. The Pope insists on doing things a certain way, especially being “with the people” and while he might not have any personal concern he is the Pope. Much as we have to properly view him, he too must properly view his role. God placed him to lead the Church and while thrusting yourself into harm is sometimes necessary, it is also sometimes foolish. Moderation, temperance, these are virtues … in all things.
As for the “right wing of the Church” comments it is interesting. Chaput acknowledges this idea, but quickly brushes past it, but not before he says that Pope Francis must accept that such a group exists and is right to be tended to.
For all of Pope Benedict’s detractors within the Church, those that said he was “too conservative” or “too this or that” he spoke to those who disagreed with him and attempted a Catechesis with them. Always teaching was Benedict’s model. Even if this wasn’t direct or explicit, he recognized their existence, and cared for them through Catechesis and love. Even in small things, like the focus of his Encyclicals or his public acts.
While I agree with Chaput, and acknowledge divisions in the Church (both benign and malignant) I don’t think that the fissures are so deep that it is “two Churches.” I think the point is that many in the Church, like the Saints, find their spiritual life filled through different measures and paths. A new Pope is not like a new elected official. We don’t ignore the last “guy” when “our guy” comes in. There must be a HERMENEUTIC OF CONTINUITY not just in the teachings of the CHURCH but within the communal life of the Church. That is the entire point of the Eucharist.
So my prayer for the Pope, the Church, and really all of this is that we continue what Pope John Paul started and what Pope Benedict magnified – an intense love and longing for the Eucharist. Let our hearts and our minds rest on the TRUE PRESENCE. Let Him fill us and our needs.
Some blogs and talking Catholic heads have suggested that WYD is a waste of time and money. That such extravagance is contrary to what the Church should model for its flock. There seem to be more and more reasons every year why the event shouldn’t happen.
Yet, when we see the crowds, when we hear youth talk about it, we are again reminded the powerful impact it has on attendees and the faithful around the world.
What I do pray though, is that the event remains to serve as not just a catalyst of media attention on the faith, but also as a catalyst for the young to embrace and center their lives on the faith.
At the last WYD we had the moving image of Pope Benedict, the Adoration, and the storm. WYD should be an event that inspires young Catholics to see such moments as inspiration and hope. Inspire them to live the life of faith, and hope in a God that will see them through any storm. Faith isn’t exciting because it makes the world fun, faith is exciting because it is the promise that makes the world pale in comparison of what is yet to come.
I write this post with some trepidation. Over the past few weeks I have argued that we should not drive a wedge amongst Catholics, nor be too quick to compare Pope Francis to… anyone really. Therefore I offer this caveat: this post is not a comparison but more to simply state for the record.
What we must not forget is that the media is reporting about Francis what they choose to report. This is the same media that has lambasted the Catholic Church, that has attacked the Faith, and has not given an inch. We should be wary of those sheep that have the teeth of wolves. They would like nothing more than to turn Catholic against Catholic, for remember the world will hate us because of Him.