Many people are confused by this Pope. Some are angry. Some are elated. Some are nearly unhinged in spittle-flecked nutties.
My friend Fr. Eduard Perrone of Assumption Grotto in Detroit delivered a thoughful sermon about Pope Francis.
Thus… Fr. Perrone. We begin well into his sermon… HERE
What then to say of Pope Francis? First of all, he is a true, legitimate successor of Saint Peter and visible head of the Church, the vicar of Christ, whose essential duty is to preserve the deposit of faith, the apostolic inheritance: a conservating not a creative function. One need not like all that a pope does–history providing many, many examples of popes imprudent in their doings. The fact remains that the pope is the Holy Father, and like the father of a human family, deserves the respect of his God-appointed position. Should dads err, or even sin, they do not cease thereby to be fathers, nor lose their claim to respect and love. Similarly (as I’ve said before in sermons), the Church as our mother suffering (note the relational words, ‘father’ and ‘mother’) is no warrant for disowning or abandoning her. Pope and clergy–and Mother Church generally–demand our love and our prayers, now more than ever, even if we cannot as a matter of conscience agree with everything they do. Realize however that there is no alternative Church, nor Pope, nor legitimate hierarchy apart from what we are given.
My constant advice is to remain calm, prudent, prayerful, charitable–and unyieldingly in the orthodox profession of our faith. This is no easy accomplishment: it is a suffering from the conflicting inner tension of a reverent forbearance with the unrelenting imperative of orthodoxy in faith.
We are not living in ordinary times and cannot pretend to live in a time past when a greater observance of God’s moral laws and a more strict observance of the Catholic faith were prevalent. You are obligated to be faithful to Christ and to His Church in this age. God, for reasons of His own, made us to live not in some idyllic past but in this time of crisis and confusion.
Be true and valiant Catholics! Love the pope, practice the faith with exactitude, and join to your prayers the sacrifice of your sorrows and your daily works, so that the glory of Christ may be made manifest in the suffering members of His mystical body. Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, pray for us!
Good thoughts from Fr. Perrone. Read the whole thing there.
I, for one, have taken the Long View Approach™
Every pontificate of every pope in the whole history of the Church is but a “parenthesis”.
Some parentheses are long and some are short. Some parentheses are important and some are not. One of these days God will hit the SHIFT+0 key and close this parenthesis. Time will tell what this pontificate will have been and it is not fruitful right now to worry about that too much. Every pontificate has its benefits and its disadvantages. (BTW… if God is using an Italian keyboard that day it’s SHIFT+9.)
As a commentator mentioned elsewhere on this blog, Christ promised us the help of the Holy Spirit because He knew that we were going to have a rough time of it! I add, “even with our Popes!”
We must keep close to hand our Rosary, our schedules for confession and Holy Mass (hopefully TLM), our copies of the Holy Writ, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Roman Catechism, good spiritual reading, our To Do Lists for spiritual and corporal works of mercy, etc.
Please consider paying less attention to ephemera until the decks stop pitching.
Dear readers… stick closely and fervently to what your state in life calls you to do and you’ll fret less about what’s going on, even as you are aware that not everything is beer and skittles right now.
Remember that Pope Francis has the office of Peter. God offers him graces so that he can carry out his role.
There may well come a day when he surprises everyone, a kind of “Paul VI – Humanae vitae Moment”. As St. Yogi might put it: “Imperfectum usque dum perfectum!”
That said, I humbly admit to having had to breathe into a paper bag now and then.
It is easy to get worked up about things that are going on in our day, because current events distract us from the larger picture, past and future.
Again, not every pontificate (parenthesis) or event, such as a synod or council, are equally important in the large scheme that God has for the Church. Without a historical perspective, it’s easy to get drunk on the ephemera of current events, the stuff that seems so very important because it’s close to us.
So, if you are getting upset all the time with this Pope, if this pontificate is undermining your spiritual life for whatever reason, if you are inclined to crawl out onto the ledge every time this Pope opens his mouth, come back inside, examine your conscience, review your vocational duties, and get busy with something that will bring spiritual benefits to you and to the whole Church through you.