Do It Right

Catholic political blogger Thomas Peters seems well into his recovery from a devastating spinal cord accident, getting back into writing this month here and here. He seems disinclined to play to his base, the hard-core GOP 6% who disapprove of Pope Francis. Citing common errors, he chides, “You’re doing it wrong.”

Far more than six percent of his commentariat disagrees with his thinking, one person even crudely bringing up the circumstances of his accident, arguing he’s something of a heretic. Others cite confusion, or offer up resentment for things that may or may not have happened far beyond earshot.

Mr Peter’s final argument should be convincing:

Are we going to spend the next few years wringing our hands worried to death that all the accomplishments of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict are about to be undone, or are we going to take Pope Francis up on his challenge and live the Gospel more fully every day, in plain sight?

The Culture of Complaint may prove difficult to uproot after years of playing the outraged older sibling.

There wasn’t a whole lot of outrage in this short piece the other morning. Apparently NPR didn’t get the memo that only conservatives are miffed. Feminists and the frozen chosen make for a strange commonality.

The pastor mentioned Pope Francis in his Christmas Even and Midnight homilies this year. I wonder how often that happened in parishes around the country.

I do think that each believer is responsible for a personal discernment about getting on board–not with the adulation of Pope Francis, but on how to best live as a disciple of Jesus in the world. I think we are seeing the last institutional affirmation of passivity–hopefully for good. The essence of the Gospel is to spread Good News as Jesus did. A few billion Christians around the world, even minus the six-percent on the front porch, should be able to cooperate with God’s grace in a more effective way.

At some point in 2014, it will be time, if the time isn’t already upon us, to take a deeper look at our life, and assess to what we are being called. Remember the Lord’s public experience of proclaiming the Word:

When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:
‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.’ (Luke 4:16-19)

That passage doesn’t just apply to the prophet Isaiah, nor just to Jesus Christ. If we consider ourselves servants of the Father’s will, if we consider ourselves anointed in baptism and confirmation, and as long as the poor, the captives, the blind, and the oppressed are among us in the world, the mission is ours. Even the six-percent. Let’s do it right.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
This entry was posted in Commentary, evangelization, Scripture, The Blogosphere and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Do It Right

  1. Liam says:

    The elder curate at my parents’ parish chose to quote the entire opening of Gaudium et Spes as the theme of his homily for the university student-led second Christmas Eve Mass (SUNY Stonybrook). I was rather stunned. In a good way. Almost had to pinch myself.

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