Curious

4 Apr

This is a curious Pope.

I still do not enjoy his “gung-ho” attitude towards meeting and greeting the people. This is a nightmare for the gendarmes I’m sure.

And with these ‘impulse’ gestures (I still wouldn’t call them innovations or even inventions), my traditional Catholic side is getting kinda bruised and makes me miss Benedict’s papacy. And perhaps adding fear that Francis would undo what the Bishop Emeritus of Rome has done in the past 8 years. Should I be concerned?

Nevertheless, I still talk myself out of it and say that these things aren’t the real important things. Perhaps Francis’ style is not my style but I still respect him immensely for accepting the challenge of guiding the Catholic faithful. Or perhaps because I hold on to sentimentality and still thank Benedict for being my Pope when I reverted back to the faith. What’s important is what I do about it… I can still continue with what Benedict gave us and still learn from Francis’ teaching on how to relate to others.

Being trained in the same school of thought, I am reminded of Cardinal Tagle’s speech on a Church that should listen and be Christ to the world through its actions. Social Justice. Which, frankly speaking, I am totally fed up with since I was in college. You see, I was once an activist and my concern then was already social justice, without knowing it. But what was my guiding principle for social justice? It was the economy. Without Jesus, social justice, relatively speaking, can be achieved. In a socialist state, this can be arrived at undeniably. And this is what pervades society… that social justice does not need the voice of God to be achieved.

Relativism. Only logic is required. That there are no absolute moral truths if you really think about it. If you rationalize and think logically enough. If you are rich and there are poor people, the rich must give to the poor. All are humans and created equal. We all just came from animals so what’s the fuss about not allowing homosexuals to adopt children or get married? They are humans and they do have rights. They can think for themselves, can’t they? And while we’re on that subject, maybe a woman who has full knowledge of herself and her body and her life can control whatever happens to that thing in her tummy that can’t think for itself!

God has no place in this. There is no voice of God in this.

That is why I appreciate Benedict’s return to the beauty of the liturgy to attract people back to realize and remind us that it is in this beauty that we see God. We encounter God here. In the Eucharist, first and foremost. In our actions outside worship, second. And Francis reminds us that if we are merely doing all these good things without God, we are no better than an ordinary NGO. We only have better-dressed workers!

So perhaps that is the continuity that I am looking for. It is unfortunate that Benedict’s work was cut short because of his health. At times I do feel abandoned and then realize how selfish it is to ask him to stay when he is too weak. He hasn’t really abandoned us. He prays for us all the time. He prays for the Church. He prays for Francis.

Curious, this Pope might be. We must always try to see the bigger picture. And in the end, we hope we understand, even just a little, what truly is transpiring.

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