Until the end of the Twitter post:
Yep. The pastor's lament. Getting people to give their all, or at least their best, or at least their better than the least. Often it is better than nothing. The old worn out television instead of a new one. Just enough to cross off the donations list. A used this or dilapidated that. Sometimes it gets even worse.
Some years ago when we were on the edge of collapse, our priest found a couple who said they would donate their car to us. That was wonderful. They made us sign a waver saying we took it as is, which was odd. But we were desperate. Two years and about $4,000.00 in repairs later, we figured out why. It was a lemon they pawned off on us, while getting to declare it as a charitable gift on their taxes.
That's what Pope Francis is no doubt looking at, and I give him thumbs up. I, too, can fall into the pit of giving a cup of cold water, but leaving it at that. After all, we are called to do nothing less than pick up our cross and follow Jesus, so giving from the best of the fold, rather than the lame and crippled of the flock, is the right thing to do.
But then he ends it with God, asking us for enthusiasm in life? It's as if he had to leave and let Oprah Winfrey step in and finish his thought. There's nothing wrong with living life to the full, as that is something God wants us to realize about this gift that is life itself.
But that's not 'what God asks.' Apart from loving God above all things, He asks that we give the cloak also, that we walk the extra mile, that we forgive those who persecute us, that we cloth the naked, feed the hungry, and bear testimony to the truth even before a hostile magistrate. In short, as Bonhoeffer demonstrated by living it, when God calls us he bids us come and die.
That's the message. Not something about enthusiasm for life that I'd get watching The View or the Rachael Ray Show in the morning. What is it with Pope Francis? I don't hate the man. There are things he says I think need said. But he inevitably stops short just when it seems he's about to cast a Gospel net over the world and acts like he's bucking for a table at the next Oscars ceremony instead.
So you're saying... the Pope should have talked about the whole and best of the Gospel, instead of offering to the world lame, generic religious pabulum?ReplyDelete
A very meta point well executed, Dave. ;)
Thank ye. I try to avoid being too negative with Pope Francis, but he continually makes it difficult. Sometimes I just want to say he's a liberal socialist schooled in Marxist inspired Latin American Liberation Theology and be done with it. But even that doesn't explain some of the things he does and says.Delete
Considering Argentina is famous for being the Neo-Nazi hotspot of Latin America, his perception of society was probably warped.Delete
I go back to what colleagues in my Protestant days who had served as missionaries in Latin America told me about that brand of Liberation Theology. A very strong emphasis on political and economic justice and solutions over and against particularly religious ones, and a palpable dislike for the Western Democracies. Both of those I see in Pope Francis, even when I try desperately not to.Delete
Of all the dubious things that Pope Francis has said, you choose THIS to object to???ReplyDelete
Enthusiasm literally means having God within. Originally it was used only in a religious sense. (Maybe it still is in Spanish/Italian.) There's nothing at all wrong with enthusiasm! I pray frequently that I and other Catholics might have more enthusiasm! Oprah sure as hell didn't invent enthusiasm!!
There is nothing wrong with enthusiasm as part of the whole Christian package. But when you say parts of the Christian package - say certain sins associated with particular political and social ideologies - are up for grabs, the call for enthusiasm ceases being a call for living life to the fullest as Christians, and becomes a platitude one expects to hear from Dr. Phil.Delete
I can't see how the pope's statement says in any way that any sins are "up for grabs". On the contrary, he says that God wants enthusiasm ON TOP OF obeying His precepts (i.e. avoiding sin).Delete
Actually he seems to act as if obeying those precepts is some obsession we can get hung up on, as opposed to the really important thing of enthusiasm for life. As I read it, he definitely puts the latter as greater than those lesser things of a few prayers an precepts.Delete