I really am trying very hard NOT to be a cynic but rather to embrace the principle enunciated by St. Theophane the Recluse who wrote: The principle this is to stand before God with the intellect and the heart and to go on standing before God unceasingly, day and night, until the end of life.
This standing is, of course, in and with Jesus, lifting up to the Father, through Jesus, by the Holy Spirit, all the burdens we carry in our hearts.
It is the only antidote to the passivism of cynicism.
It IS the activism of true love for all our brothers and sisters.
That said here are some of the things which have been/are on my heart and, please God, I can share them without any [or very little] cynicism:
1] All the lather, including the document itself, over sexuality and priestly holiness, that I have read, including a recent essay in Time magazine, strikes me as overloaded with psychobabble and devoid of references to, trust in, the power of actual and sanctifying grace.
It is as if the background message is: You must convert, assure us you have converted, say yes to your Divine calling, then we will punish you because you had to be converted in the first place.
It’s like you expect a series of sweaty memos to be fired off from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints which will soon read: Dear Servants of God [insert here any name such as Thomas Merton, Dorothy Day etc.] we regret to inform you that, while we appreciate and admire your conversion and struggle to cooperate with grace throughout your life, we can no longer accept applications for canonization from anyone who actually at some point in their life prior to sainthood did indeed sin.
2] All those luminaries and others protesting the execution of a human person in the United States, where are they when the less “popular” John and Jane Does of the world are being led to a death chamber?
Where are they when unborn children, having committed no capital crime, find themselves no longer in a loving womb but in another kind of death chamber?
3] All this “isn’t it wonderful” press over the movie about the cowboys and their affair – has no one the courage to say, wait a minute here, these egotistical men use and betray their wives, their children and each other.
To confuse addiction to pleasure, disordered self-understanding and betrayal of others with some form of love doesn’t just break the back of some mountain, it breaks the heart of everyone who understands the inherent sacredness of the human person, the sacredness of holy marriage and family life, the sacredness of truth.
4] The principle thing is to not be afraid and to stand before God with the intellect and the heart and to go on standing before God unceasingly day and night until the end of life. Yep. Thanks St. Theophane – I’ll give it my best shot!
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