Another great image from the Francis papacy. “Bat Christians.”
“We’re afraid of joy. It’s better thinking: ‘Yeah, yeah, God exists, but he’s up there; Jesus is risen, he’s there’ (at) a bit of distance,” he said.
“We’re afraid of Jesus’ closeness,” which is a source of Christian joy, he said.
This fear explains why there are “so many ‘funeral Christians,’ right? Whose life seems like a nonstop funeral. They prefer sadness and not joy. They get around more easily in the dark, not in the light of joy,” like nocturnal creatures, who only come out and see at night.
“There are ‘bat Christians’ who prefer darkness over the light of the Lord’s presence,” who are afraid of joy, afraid of believing Christ is near, he said.
Pope Francis nails it. It’s about fear.
Two, three generations from now, I can just imagine … the collected metaphors of Pope Francis.
The seeker who came out at night, Nicodemus, was illustrative of the first step of moving toward Christ. But for mature believers and disciples? That doesn’t seem appropriate.
A related discussion here on PrayTell about showing joy during the Communion procession. Why wouldn’t a person smile? And how dare someone suggest someone else’s smile is somehow offensive or distracting. To each their own, and let the hyper-introverts and Temple Police get over themselves.