Friday, September 17, 2010

Christ is the Point - Part 1

We are not baptized into the hierarchy; do not receive the cardinals sacramentally; will not spend an eternity in the beatific vision of the pope. Christ is the point. I, myself, admire the present pope, but even if I criticized him as harshly as some do, even if his successor proved to be as bad as some of those who have gone before, even if I find the Church, as I have to live with it, a pain in the neck, I should still say that nothing that a pope (or a priest) could do or say would make me wish to leave the Church, although I might well wish that they would leave. ~Frank Sheed
The Church is perfect, the people who are in it and even those who run it are not. I hate to think that there are people in this world for whom I am the voice of the Catholic Church. For them, my words and actions are the words and actions of the Catholic Church, even if I am not working in any official capacity at the time. That is a terrifying thought. Still, that is what what so many are apt to do.

I met this week with a mother who removed her son from religious education and soon afterward stopped practicing the faith because of a volunteer teacher who had some less than ideal teaching methods. For her, that teacher was the face of the Church and she decided that it was better to leave because the teacher had turned her son off from religion.

I will admit that I have a responsibility as a Catholic, as a theologian, and as a parish/diocesan employee to behave in a certain way and to always bear witness to the faith. I also have a responsibility to minimize my faults and lesser qualities, but I am not perfect. I am a sinner who tries time and time again to get it right. I lose my patience sometimes. I don't always know the right thing to say. I may be in a fog and pass you by without realizing you are there. Don't hold these things against God and His Church.

Christ is the point!

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