Many think differently, feel differently, seeking God or meeting God in different ways. In this crowd, in this range of religions, there is only one certainty that we have for all: we are all children of God.
I read a few objections about that last bit. Indifferentism. Ignorance of the New Testament. Pleasant relativism. I chalked it up to more of the hermeneutic of subtraction: when one really doesn’t like Pope Francis, there has to be something wrong with everything he says. Plus, people are going with the lemmings in the culture who don’t want the familial connections with Muslims, or even liberals. Like we’re different species or something.
Then one of my evangelical cousins had something pop up on my Facebook feed about Pope Francis attempting to institute one world religion.
And that was a bad thing.
The discussion got into how Catholicism is a cult and deteriorated from there.
But you know: I suspect Pope Francis might indeed have his eye on one world religion, and if we take Matthew 28:19-20 or Mark 16:15 as a mission or something, the actual end hope might indeed be a whole world, if not a whole creation under Christ.
Perhaps with problem with some conservatives, Catholic and otherwise, is that they lack hope. Without optimism, one can get trapped in all sorts of dark places: conspiracy theories, despair, the Republican Party …
I can’t really cite this passage from the CCC to my cousin, but some of you readers will get it:
2478 To avoid rash judgment, everyone should be careful to interpret insofar as possible his neighbor’s thoughts, words, and deeds in a favorable way:
Every good Christian ought to be more ready to give a favorable interpretation to another’s statement than to condemn it.
Personal dialogue is then recommended if that favorable reading isn’t possible. Find out where the person is coming from before you smear them on Facebook or try to get them fired from their job. Where a pope is concerned, it’s not likely you will get a one-on-one opportunity. Unless you are an atheist editor of an Italian news medium.
In the good ol’ days, one could surf to Zenit or the NCReg and be consoled that good Catholics thought alike, and now that has all changed. More people are questioning the kool-aid and saying, “No thanks, I prefer tea. Or a nice stout ale.”
You know: everybody gets thirsty. At the root of any drink is H2O. Even booze has that OH group sticking out somewhere on the compound. At some point everybody is going to have to imbibe and absorb hydrogen and oxygen molecules in liquid form. Does that make for some sad sibling arrangements? Oh well.
My sense is that one can overthink prayer. And if someone doesn’t care for one person’s prayer, just make up something sincere on one’s own and just pray it.