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Monday, May 04, 2015

Kneeling Before the Poor

In a recent radio address, Pope Francis expressed his heart's desire: "How I wish," he said, "that Christians could kneel in veneration when a poor person enters the church."

Some Catholics are taking issue with the Pope. "We kneel only before Christ Himself!" they exclaim heatedly.

Now, before I take a step more, let me quote St. Augustine (all saint quotes are taken from the preceding link):
Try to acquire the virtues you believe lacking in your brothers. Then you will no longer see their defects, for you will no longer have them yourself.
Some would say I am not virtuous, because I see a lack of virtue in this response to the Pope. I absolutely cannot argue with that assertion. I wholeheartedly agree with it. I am not virtuous. That having been said, I will merely point out that the people who attack the Pope for this remark have a problem. The Pope is quoting, almost word for word, a saint of the Catholic Church:
The poor and the sick are our owners and they represent the very person of Jesus Christ.
St. Luigi Scrosoppi
So, by asserting that the Pope is wrong, they are asserting the saint is wrong. In fact, they are asserting Christ is wrong.
The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of theleast of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.' “Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.' "
I may not like the papal emphasis on the poor. But, the extent to which I don't like it demonstrates how NOT virtuous I am. In fact, it demonstrates how NOT Catholic I truly am. Catholics talk and act like Pope Francis, they don't talk and act like me.

Here are some additional saint quotes that prove Pope Francis is holier than you and I are:
No one has ever been accused for not providing ornaments, but for those who neglect their neighbour a hell awaits with an inextinguishable fire and torment in the company of the demons. Do not, therefore, adorn the church and ignore your afflicted brother, for he is the most precious temple of all.  St John Chrysostom 
He alone loves the Creator perfectly who manifests a pure love for his neighbor.
St. Bede the Venerable 
If you want God to hear your prayers, hear the voice of the poor. If you wish God to anticipate your wants, provide those of the needy without waiting for them to ask you. Especially anticipate the needs of those who are ashamed to beg. To make them ask for alms is to make them buy it.  St. Thomas of Villanova 
Let us not love by words alone, but let us love until it hurts. 
Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta 
So long as there are poor,
I am poor,
So long as there are prisons,
I am a prisoner,
So long as there are sick,
I am weak,
So long as there is ignorance,
I must learn the truth,
So long as there is hate,
I must love,
So long as there is hunger,
I am famished.
Such is the identification Our Divine Lord would have us make with all whom He made in love and for love.

Bishop Fulton J. Sheen
Now, no one cried "foul!" when Bishop Fulton Sheen said the same thing the Pope is saying today. If I dislike the Pope for saying this and things like it, then I dislike Christ.

That's a problem.

You and I, we need to solve our problems and remove the beams from our own eyes before we start attacking the Pope's vision.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Wonderfully put. Thanks,