SInce I have been having a writer’s block for a few weeks, struggling to write anything original regarding the Catholic faith, I thought I might compose one of my “Random Thoughts” posts. So here it goes:
The Holy Father recently seems to have begun talking about the Church as Mother, and we the people as orphans. He spoke to a convention of the Diocese of Rome on Tuesday, I believe, and gave a rather long address about this. I am in the process of translating it into English with the intention of posting it here for all of you. His assertion that so many of our young people are orphans, i.e., fatherless, when they grow up because of the inhuman ways parents need to live in order to provide for their families and the inability and/or unwillingness of parents to play with their children because of time and fatigue is interesting to say the least. He wonders whether young people today, by and large, will have the memory of family life necessary to form sustainable relationships of their own in the future. He reflect too on the fact that there is so much unemployment among the youth that society itself “orphans” the young and renders them a message that essentially says, “You are not important.” The Holy Father is clearly focusing on family, and reaching out to the youth of the Church and world. Good for him. I hope we all listen and change our attitudes about children and parenthood.
Since we are talking about society, I am more and more concerned about recent trends. I am referring to how society is changing language to fit political agendas. Look at the redefinitions that are underway: marriage (for eons defined as a relationship between a males and female, now to include whoever you choose), suicide (historically denotes the killing of oneself which is instinctively known as unwanted by society at large, but now redefined as one form of acceptable death experiences to which one has a right), person (which has historically been understood as “one who is able to act by virtue of their very nature” with such a definition to include the unborn – who clearly have the ability to act and change – and the frail elderly, but now excludes or is excluding more and more the unborn and the elderly and the handicapped, and redefinded to denote only the healthy, strong, youthful and those capable of making an economic contribution to such individuals), and the definitions of male and female (historically defined by one’s genetic makeup and one’s genital configuration, now open to choice dependent on the individual’s preferences). The second thing that disturbs me in contemporary society is the accelerating influx of paganism and withcraft in the United States and their acceptance as beneficient influences. Frankly, they are anything but “good producing.” Think about it, how can that which invites the influence of evil into your life be capable of producing good fruit? It would be a complete contradiction, in my view. With our strenuous efforts to be “inclusive” we are letting ourselves be excluded from normalcy.
Totally unrelated to the above, a question: “Why do we move around so much? Why all the motion in life?” I believe we can’t sit still for any length of time because we have to avoid. We are in the habit of avoiding. You can say the same thing by saying we are fearful of encounter. We both want, but are afraid of true personal encounters. That is why we as a a whole are becoming secularists and areligious. To embrace religion in a healthy way is to encounter a person(s) who we call God. This is one reason why we are experiencing a breakdown in family life, because we do not know how to encounter another person. It is the point to which the Holy Father is directing his comments, I think, in his talks on orphans and parenthood. Having said this, I do note a uptick in interest in what is being called “mindfullness” which is actually are rather narcissistic effort to be present to one’s own thoughts and moods; an effort to encounter, if you will, oneself. To me it is interesting that a lot of effort is made by some to encounter themselves but in doing so they avoid encoutering others or are easily agitated when such an encounter draws them out of themselves.
There is a absolutely astounding change in the populace’s tolerance and acceptance of the Christian faith. To be called Christian can often be an insult or at least designation implying sexism, homophobia and deceit. Christianity is seen as the source of society’s problems nowadays (for an increasing numbe of people) rather than as the solution. Christ is being “undeified” to coin a new term.
To close on a positive note: The first official day of summer is quickly approaching. Long days of sunshine here in the upper Midwest of the United States. Beautiful weather. We have such an inspiring pope that is bringing about new hope for our world and Church. I can only pray he continues. I am in absolute awe of my brother deacons, here in the Diocese of Winona and throughout the world. What an outstanding group of men who give so much with so little given them in return. Brothers, I salute you!
Finally, a short prayer, to Pope John Paul I, Papa Luciani:
Good Pope John Paul the First, you are missed by those who knew you.Your prayers for us here on earth are needed, and so we ask you to pray without ceasing for our well-being. Watch over with your prayers the Church of which you were chief shepherd . Beg God to pour out his blessing on us, poor pilgrims and wayfarers here on earth. Ask our Lord Jesus to fill us with joy in proclaiming the Gospel message and in giving ourselves that others may have life in his name. Amen!