“If he is in error, he should be corrected with all kindness.” – Ignatius of Loyola
This morning as I read the post at dotMagis,all I could think of is how critical we are out here on the internet – and while this applies to all, I am really thinking of a lot of Catholic blogs and bloggers who go after one another with wild abandon. Yes, sadly, sometimes I do this too, but I do try not to. As Lent has progressed, I have done (keep reading at the Times Union…)
“Greater attention is due to the members of the lay faithful most
engaged in the fields of catechesis, liturgical animation, charitable
activity and social commitment. Their faith formation is critical if
the Gospel is to become present and fruitful in contemporary society.
It is not right for them to feel treated like second-class citizens in
the Church, despite the committed work which they carry out in
accordance with their proper vocation, and the great sacrifice which
this dedication at times demands of them. In all of this, it is
particularly important for Pastors to ensure that a spirit of
communion reigns among priests, religious and the lay faithful, and that sterile divisions, criticism and unhealthy mistrust are avoided.”
Benedict XVI 3/25/12 (Vespers)
These words from Pope Benedict XVI were sent to me via my friend Michelle Francl Donnay. They came to me on a day that I really needed them, that’s for certain. At the very least, reading them is a reminder to me that simplistic judgements like, “Pope = good,” or “Pope = Bad.” are not helpful. However, respect and criticism are both very necessary in all things. If you ask me, that is; I know that not everyone will agree.
And while I find some encouragement with them, I do (continue reading at the Times Union…)
The sad anniversary is upon us; my sister-in-law Olga died one year ago on March 23, 2011. So much has happened and yet it seems like only a minute ago. We miss her terribly. Olga and I did not always get along, but honestly, I would be hard pressed to name someone besides my own mother, who was as good to me.
This was what I posted last year. I love that photo… that bow, that smile, that Olga.
Today I got an email from a friend who is facing death and (continue reading at the Times-Union…)
(This is the text of a reflection that I offered at Lenten Tuesday Evening Prayer at St. Edward the Confessor. I am reflecting on Tuesday’s Gospel, John 5:1-16.)
The Pool of Bethesda, Jerusalem, November 2004. Photo by Fran Rossi Szpylczyn
The words stung as I read them; he wrote: “It’s kinda like this… Many cripples were left waiting at the Pool of Bethesda. I doubt their pain would be mollified by your words. After listening to you talk about the free response that is love, a Deuteronomistic view of the world, and Job 39 – and after you and Jesus walk away with the cheering admirers – they’d still be crippled, in pain, and left behind at the Pool.”
* Ouch *
Those words came to me in the form of a recent blog comment. Ironically it came in response to a blog post that I had written about how lovely evening prayer, and our community at St. Edward’s was. This person had already left a few comments at the blog, appearing like a peaceful, unbelieving, and wistful interloper, but in retrospect, he seemed somewhat hurt and angry. My concern for him was countered with knowing that there were probably no words that I could offer to him. It was not lost on me that the last line of his comment referred to the very Gospel I would be here to talk about tonight.
This is where I…(Continue reading at the Times Union…)
For someone who began Lent by offering some thoughts on being “Too Busy for Lent,” I have proved once again that I am… continue reading at the Times Union.
Recently I heard a priest tell a story about when he was growing up. This man is probably about 6 or 8 years younger than I am. He is younger, this I know to be true. He is very gregarious and very funny, but like so many funny people, he is actually saying something serious almost all the time. He was telling us that when he was a kid, sometimes it seemed that all he ever learned was that Jesus handed out daisies. Oh that image, Hippy Jesus, nice all the time and always feeling kind of groovy, mellow and cool.
Forgive me if you find me irreverent, but that is how the image pops up for me. And frankly, it is an image of Christ that I am not too fond of.
While we are at it, I find that the idea that Jesus is judging us with suspicion all the time, and making sure that we behave, is not helpful either. Oh Jesus help us! Jesus holding our hands and giving out daisies is not helpful; Jesus smacking us down. Is this the best we can do?
Why must we project all this on the Lord? OK, OK – for the record, I have spent time in both camps; Tough Love Jesus and Hippy Jesus. At least in my own discernment, I found that those images had a lot more to do with me and where I was at that time, than with Jesus. On knowing God, St. Augustine said, “Si comprehendis, non est Deus.” (If you think that you understand God, that is not God.) Quite simply, God is (please continue reading at the Times Union…)