We continue looking at that acrostic reflection Pope Francis gave in his address to the curia last December. If you’ve been following, you’ll note that instead of just one word, he is giving some thought to related or contrasting principles.
5. Rationality and gentleness: rationality helps avoid emotional excesses, while gentleness helps avoid an excess of bureaucracy, programs and planning. These qualities are necessary for a balanced personality: “The enemy pays careful heed to whether a soul is coarse or delicate; if it is delicate, he finds a way to make it overly delicate, in order to cause it greater distress and confusion”. Every excess is a symptom of some imbalance.
Mind and heart. Reason and feeling. One human impulse is to find out what one is good at doing, then enhance that to the maximum. Pope Francis suggests that a Christian disciple can better aim for balance.
Balance, or a lack of it, comes into play more often than we realize. What do you make of the Holy Father’s suggestion that temptation comes when we are nudged further to an extreme?