Monday, 23 September 2013
How to be Loyal to Pope Francis Even When You Feel Weird About Him
2. Do what he tells you to do. Pope Francis's papal teaching isn't contrary to your Catholic Faith. If anything, his emphasis on the poor is an opportunity for you to embody the Catholic Faith.
Take up the challenge from the Successor of St Peter to be a bold witness for Jesus Christ. Feed the poor, clothe the naked, do the works of mercy the Lord asks of you. If you cannot, contribute to the work of others who do. Our Lord told us He would judge us on this, the work of love for Him. Works of mercy will help you to live less selfishly and deepen your faith and love for the Lord.
3. Love the Blessed Virgin Mary. God has given us (another) Marian Pope. If you don't have a Marian devotion, develop one. If you already love Our Lady, love her more and be devoted to her. I think it was St Maximillian Kolbe who said that you can never love Our Lady too much because nobody loves her as much as Jesus, her Divine Son and He will not be outdone in love!
4. Trust in God and trust that God is at the Helm of His Church. If your faith is shaken by press reports or even the direct quotations of the Pope that can be construed at contradicting traditional Catholic teaching, remember that the Head of the Catholic Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, is Jesus Christ Himself. Offer up any tribulations that you experience during this papacy since it is efficacious to do so. Great merit will be won by those who are able to withstand, with God's grace, the storm of a 'challenging' papacy.
Whatever happens, the Church cannot be destroyed. Were it to be destroyed to Her foundations, the Lord can raise Her up. Stay, do not leave. The only perfect liturgy is in Heaven which is where you want to go. Trust in God, trust in Our Lady. If you hear strange teachings that strike you as being foreign to the traditional understanding of the Church and of those things pertaining to Salvation, remember that these things are passing. God has given us in the Catechism a great treasure and resource. Unless it is banned, buy one, keep one and be faithful to the Magisterium. If, in the 21st century, a Third Vatican Council is called, expect the worst. That way, you won't be disappointed when the proverbial hits the fan.
When the Lord asked us to love even those who we find it challenging to love, He meant it. Do not give into hatred, commend everything to the Lord. No two Popes are exactly the same. God sends us different Popes at different times for different purposes known to Him. Pope Francis asked your prayers that he would not make many mistakes. He has the humility to understand he makes mistakes. While Benedict XVI disproved the idea you cannot have more than one Pope at the same time in the same Church, even he has already accepted obedience to his Successor. Do not start the Society of Benedict XVI.
If, as is likely, you start thinking the Pope is a Protestant, recall that every time you do so, you become a little more Protestant. Be merciful and if you feel that anybody, even the Pope, is persecuting you, Jesus Christ has already told you what to do in return. Take as a model of obedience St Pio of Pietrelcina, who offered many of his sufferings in reparation for liturgical abuses, as well as for the conversion of sinners and Salvation of souls. Do the same. Be brave, be courageous, be holy, be wise as serpents, but innocent as doves. The Lord loves a cheerful giver. So give to Pope Francis time and prayers and to the Lord all glory, all power, all praise, worship and empire. The Church and the Kingdom belong to Christ, not to you, nor even to the Pope. It is Christ's Church, His Bride, not yours. All Catholics need to remember that, from layman to Pope.
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