Tuesday, May 28, 2013
THIS POPE DOESN'T LIKE PRIESTS AND BISHOPS MAKING THE CHURCH THEIR CAREER! YIKES!
This child aspiring for a career in the papacy should be excommunicated! :)
One of the many emerging themes of Pope Francis' pontificate is his criticism of priests and bishops who make the Church a career. I am not entirely clear what this means, but I suspect it means when one sees the priesthood or becoming a bishop as a job rather than as a ministry and what one does rather than who one is as more important.
In fact, since Vatican II for both clergy and religious, the "job description" of being either has become more worldly just as our dress has become more worldly and our lifestyle has become more worldly.
Professionalism, good pay, nice living quarters, comfortable cars and continuing education and more degrees to keep up with the Jone's is part and parcel of the post-Vatican II experience of being a member of the clergy or a religious. (Not all of course).
Perhaps you have some idea of what the Holy Father means when he rails against careerism in the Church.
We get some hints from this morning's homily of the Holy Father at the chapel of his residence at the Vatican Motel 6:
Following Jesus ‘does not mean more power’, it is not a ‘career’ because His way is that of the Cross.
What is our reward in following you? Pope Francis began with the question Peter puts to Jesus. A question, he said, which in the end concerns the life of every Christian. Jesus says that those who follow Him will have "many good things" but "with persecution." The path of the Lord, he continued, "is a road of humility, a road that ends in the Cross." That is why, he added, "there will always be difficulties," "persecution." There will always be, "because He travelled this road before" us. The Pope warned that "when a Christian has no difficulties in life – when everything is fine, everything is beautiful - something is wrong." It leads us to think that he or she is "a great friend of the spirit of the world, of worldliness." The Pope noted this "is a temptation particular to Christians":
The Pope reiterated that "many Christians, tempted by the spirit of the world, think that following Jesus is good because it can become a career, they can get ahead." But this "is not the spirit"..
I think the following quote of the Holy Father's homily hits the nail on the head:
"Think of Mother Teresa: what does the spirit of the world say of Mother Teresa? 'Ah, Blessed Teresa is a beautiful woman, she did a lot of good things for others ...'. The spirit of the world never says that the Blessed Teresa spent, every day, many hours, in adoration ... Never! It reduces Christian activity to doing social good. As if Christian life was a gloss, a veneer of Christianity. The proclamation of Jesus is not a veneer: the proclamation of Jesus goes straight to the bones, heart, goes deep within and change us. And the spirit of the world does not tolerate it, will not tolerate it, and therefore, there is persecution. "
My final comments: Not making Christianity a career, not allowing the devil to rule one's life and not being worldly seem to be the major themes of Pope Francis. One one level he appears more conservative than Pope Benedict and more willing to back up his words with action and in a decisive way.
Where he parts ways with his predecessor is liturgically, but not entirely. Liturgy is not going to be the focus of his papacy, reform of people is, meaning reform of the clergy, the religious and the laity calling all of us to the essentials of Catholic life and spirituality which leads to prayer and liturgy as its foundation.
He parts from the more flamboyant excesses in liturgical wear and accoutrements. He gives Holy Communion to deacons who are kneeling and laity, like the first communicants on Sunday, while they stand.
Let's just say that the liturgy wars are not on his agenda nor what was touted as reform of the reform in continuity.
Where are we going? Where is Pope Francis leading us? To reform of the person so that we follow Jesus, see Him as central and pick up our cross and follow Jesus where He leads us without stopping where we like as Jesus' moves on.
Our culture and our Church influenced by the worldly (i.e. Satan) is inspired by the superficial and looking good. So we see breast augmentation, face lifts, botox injections and fat lips on women that make them look like they had a terrible bee sting there.
We see people becoming plastic like the plastic reality shows they watch on TV. As always, celebrity, television and our celebrity culture exert more influence on who we are and what we want to be than Jesus and His way of the Cross.