To say ‘this or nothing’ is not Catholic, it is heretic. The Pope made this strong statement during his homily at morning Mass in the Casa Santa Marta today. Criticizing this mentality, the Pope reminded those gathered that Jesus called for ‘healthy realism,’ which He taught to His disciples. Francis exhorted faithful to let go of this rigidity which prevents faithful from reconciling among themselves. He recalled how in Jesus’ time the people were divided among themselves since those that were teaching were not coherent in their life witness. “How many times do we in the Church hear these things: how many times! ‘But that priest, that man or that woman from the Catholic Action, that bishop, or that Pope tell us we must do this this way!’ and then they do the opposite. This is the scandal that wounds the people and prevents the people of God from growing and going forward. It doesn’t free them.” “In addition,” he continued, “these people had seen the rigidity of those scribes and Pharisees and when a prophet came to give them a bit of joy, they (the scribes and Pharisees) persecuted them and even murdered them; there was no place for prophets there. And Jesus said to them, to the Pharisees: ‘you have killed the prophets, you have persecuted the prophets: those who were bringing fresh air.’” Jesus, the Jesuit Pope stressed, wants us to let go of these non-Christian, extreme ideas and to remember and live out the Commandments by loving God and our neighbor. The Pontiff also warned against insulting others, noting when one insults one’s brother it is akin to giving ‘a slap to his spirit.’ Francis also decried when a man of the Church acts contrary to what he says, noting this is ‘a scandal.’ Before concluding, the Pope urged those gathered to always ‘following healthy realism,’ and never idealism nor rigidity.
This is a modest effort at a "blog" my attempt to offer some brief reflections each day that come from various sources that I find interesting - primarily the daily reflections of Pope Francis as found on Zenit and Rome Reports. Fr. John