Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Can We Remember the Love Story?

I love this recent quote from Pope Francis in an April homily -

"We, the women and men of the Church, we are in the middle of a love story: each of us is a link in this chain of love. And if we do not understand this, we have understood nothing of what the Church is.”

Do we understand what the Church is? Do we remember that we are in the "middle of a love story"?

Some comments and questions don’t sound like it:
"The Church needs to come into the 21st century."
"We should allow birth control."
"When are women going to be ordained?"

I actually read a comment from a woman who said that she was going to leave the Church if it did not start ordaining women. I think she missed the love story part.

The Church is not a democracy. Majority does not rule here. We don’t get to vote on changing the Ten Commandments, for heaven's sake.

Have we forgotten who is in charge here?

"Christ said, “I am the Truth”; he did not say “I am the custom." -St. Toribio (1538-1606)

And then there is the infighting that has really driven me crazy. Disagreements are one thing but some people are very uncharitable. Even Pope Francis, in a speech to the cardinals before his election as pope, referred to the harsh comments and "hypercriticism" being found in blogs and comment boxes.

When I first started blogging, I visited the blog of a convert. Being a convert myself, I thought it might be a blog I would want to follow. And I was anxious to become part of the blogging community, though I was not sure what that meant.

There was a post that had caused quite a controversy and rather strong arguments. I decided to put in my two cents, in a charitable way. And I quickly got cut down for it.
I was so hurt. And I never went back to that blog.

"… One isn't a good Catholic when he is looking only for the negative, for what separates us. This isn't what Jesus wants." - Pope Francis

Amen to that.

We will probably always disagree. We are part of a pretty large family. But can we not discuss these things with love?

Can we not stop our whining?

Can we remember the love story?


Nancy Shuman said...

I love it. :)

Mary N. said...

This has always troubled me too, Colleen. I can't help but think that a number of Catholics who blog are extremely poor examples of Christ's love and mercy. When I first started blogging it shocked me, but then I got used to it. Sad though, some of the worst offenders are on MAJOR Catholic sites that get tons of traffic. When I read what they write I can't figure out how they could possibly be blind to the harm they are doing to the Body of Christ, especially when they sin against charity which is the marker for Christ's teachings. What is even sadder is that I can't see how someone would want to "come home" or enter the Church if they came across some of this stuff in the searching stage.

I love how Pope Francis speaks up about everything! I think he is a one man army and will do the church a lot of good :)

Great post and I loved the quote: Christ said, “I am the Truth”; he did not say “I am the custom." Never heard that one before but it's perfect!

Maria said...

We're in the midst of the greatest love story of all time!

This is a great post & just want I needed to read today. Thank you!

(P.S. One of my "prove you're not a robot" words is "atrocious"! That's definitely NOT indicative of your post! LOL)

Colleen said...

Nancy, thank you! :)

Mary, I was shocked at first too. Just hard to understand. Amen to all you said, including the one man army!
I loved that quote too. I had a couple of others and then I found that one. Right on!! I plan on using it a lot!

Maria, you are welcome! I have been working on this for some time - guess today was the right day!
Funny about "atrocious'!! :)

Chris said...

Found your blog at RAnn's Sun snippets..... How have I missed you all this time? :)
I can't agree with you more!

It is shocking that in Catholic circles in general, if you don't mind me extrapolating your thoughts on Catholic bloggers to Catholicism in general, I've found some very poor examples of Christ's presence and love. Basic kindness and compassion are missing in so many who call themselves Catholics. We had an incident last year in which friends who we thought would be friends for life, who we thought were good role models for our kids and whose kids we thought were good influences on ours, turned out to be the most unkind and I hate to say it, downright wicked people. It was enough for us to leave our Catholic HS group in favor of a secular group b/c there. we found a "break" from the disillusionment, the false-ness. These were people we were friends with for close to 10 years...
it's so scary when people, under the guise of "Faith" betray you.
This happened right around Election day and with the loss of Romney, plus our "friends" acting in a downright shocking, disloyal manner, it was a very diificult time for our family.
We really needed Advent and an intermission in "life" so we could rethink and regroup and find a new path.
Your take on Catholic bloggers reminded me so much of my family's negative experience.
I should say too, that my family is by no means above reproach. I know when I get to the pearly gates, there's a lot that I will have to answer for.
What's scary is people who befriend you falsely and then hurt you all while extolling their Faith. It has happened to us several times.
Thank you for sharing your story.(I hope my comment is not too long!)
God bless!

Colleen said...

Chris, thank you so much. I am so sorry for your experience! I am afraid that I have heard others' stories like your's. I have close friends who went through something similar. Two different friends in different circumstances. So I have been thinking about writing about it for a long time and and then the pope spoke about the love story and I knew it was time. I am glad it spoke to you! And I am glad to "meet" you! Thanks and God bless!

Barb Schoeneberger said...

Colleen, the St. Toribio quote is terrific. I wish I had the money to post it on billboards all over the USA.

It's tempting to get into some combox discussions, but I've learned the hard way to stay out of areas where the famous blogger isn't really interested in the truth but in defending his/her position. If something is going to disturb my peace of mind, it's better to move on.

Colleen said...

Barb, I agree with you. I just stop visiting blogs like that.
And I agree about that quote!! I could not believe my eyes when I found it. Perfect! And what amuses me is that he said it centuries ago!! So perhaps we have always had this problem, with people wanting to change the church to their own vision. Or custom. Or by popular vote.

Nancy Ward said...

Of course we all have been disappointed with some of the rhetoric on the Catholic blogs, especially when there's a blatant political agenda. Let's not throw the baby out with the bath water. Pray that we can bring some positive comments to all the negativism, even though we get scourged. It's a great sacrifice but our voices need to balance the bashing.

Colleen said...

Nancy, I agree with you. I did not meant that we stay silent. We do need to speak the truth and sometimes it takes courage to do so. The blog that I left was not interested in listening to the truth or to have any kind of intelligent loving conversation. Their message to me was - either I agreed with them or I had nothing to add to their conversation. They had an agenda and that was it. In that case, we need to do what Jesus told the 72 to do when they were not received - wipe the dust off our feet and move on.