Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Have You Been "Busted" By the Pope?

"Gotcha!" No, just patting a kid's head
You have probably found that, when you read Pope Frank's homilies, you come across passages which make you think, "Oh my gosh, he just nailed me!"

Are you the lukewarm Christian who just wants a small, comfortable Church? Scorch!

Or maybe you think of God as a kind of "god-spray" that diffuses itself into a mist which goes a little bit everywhere but doesn't really matter. Zing!

Or maybe you have your little "idols"--success, careerism, vanity (or something...c'mon don't kid yourself)--that tend to bump Christ off the center of the road of your life. Yup!

Or you think being Christian is just wonderful, and you're in such a good place right now with Jesus that, like Peter, you want to build a monument right here and just be happy. But the Holy Spirit is "annoying" you, drawing your heart to grow, to go forward on the journey, and especially to embrace all that "cross" business, erk. Can't the Holy Spirit just take a nap for awhile? Hahaha...oh dear....

Do you actually worship the Lord, or do you just ask Him for stuff? Facepalm! Oh, umm... I forgot about that. Worship, yes...just saying, "God, wow, glory to You! Praise You! I adore You!" This means more than just mouthing the "Glory Be" and then saying "gimme, gimme, gimme!" It means real attention to God, silence, adoration, and praising God just because He is God.

God doesn't need our praise, of course. But as created persons, we are made to be worshipers; we are made to recognize, to adore, to rejoice in, to be amazed by Eternal, Infinite Love. He raises us up to share His glory and to fill us with His Love. We are made to worship, and as Pope Frank points out, if we don't worship God, we will worship something else instead, something less than God and therefore unworthy of our hearts and degrading to our humanity.

Okay, Francis. We surrender. We're busted.

But let us not stop there. There's a reason why he keeps ruthlessly slicing the baloney of our illusions. He wants us to see the real possibility that God offers us. He wants us to place our confidence in God and receive His mercy through Jesus Christ.

"Let us not be closed
to the newness that God wants to bring into our lives!
Are we often weary, disheartened and sad?
Do we feel weighed down by our sins?
Do we think that we won’t be able to cope?
Let us not close our hearts,
let us not lose confidence,
let us never give up:
there are no situations which God cannot change,
there is no sin which he cannot forgive
if only we open ourselves to him."

--Pope Francis