Thursday, May 15, 2014

Making Pope Francis in our own image

JMJ May 15, 2014 St. Lawrence was one of the six Deacons of Rome in the 3rd. Century. A deacon’s duty was to look after the poor. Pope Sixtus had been martyred under Pagan Emperor Valerian. The Emperor demanded that Lawrence bring him the treasures of the Church. Lawrence said that he would need three days to collect them..He then presented Valerian with the blind, the crippled, the orphans, the sick and the poor and stated “ these are the treasures of the Church.” The Emperor was not amused . He had Lawrence roasted on a hot grill. Lawrence instructed his murders “ I am quite done on this side. Now you should turn me over. “ His martyrdom caused a great surge of evangelism in Rome resulting in the end of paganism in that city. For this reason St. Lawrence was mentioned at every Mass. Now according to the proclamations around Pope Francis the story line should be St. Lawrence was a liberal. He didn’t bother to preach the Gospel or teach Christian morality. Under the New Evanglism of 238 A.D. Lawrence said that you only have to feed the poor. He was a socialist and therefore is mentioned at every Mass around the world. Absurd? Of course , as absurd as what is said of the Pope today.. When we began to do mission work up North 19 years ago many in the Church were in the throws of apologising for the Gospel, apologising for feeding and teaching the orphans, the poor and the isolated, apologising for destroying the power of witches and shamons and casting out a culture of fear and repression. It was not explained that way. It was called “ apologising for not respecting indigenous culture.” We were not the only one who were attacked for teaching Christianity. The great pioneers of the Faith such as the Grey Nuns and early Oblates were especially attacked. Since many people had beene ashamed of Christ and ashamed of the believe that there is Truth , a new wave of spreading the Gospel had to begin. To evangelise is the duty of every Christian, Evangelising assumes that there are Eternal Verities that everyone should know. It assumes that the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church has answers and solutions for everyone. It assumes that all the Gospel must be taught and practised including the mandates of Mercy. There are Corporal Works of Mercy and Spirtitual Works of Mercy. Feeding the hungry is an act of mercy; so is reproaching the sinner. We are not in a Teilhardian world where Christianity evolves . What is true in St. Matthew concerning our duty to the suffering has always been true, is true and always will be true. IF THE CHURCH HAD NOT FED THE HUNGRY NO ONE WOULD BE FEEDING THE HUNGRY. Compassion to the suffering was totally foreign to pagan Rome. In my experience I have found the worst type of poverty in Canada is children and adults who have not been taught moral truths and families whose authority and cohesiveness has been destroyed. The cure requires more than a soup kitchen. Gay