Thursday, March 03, 2005

Lenten Messages 

From the Vatican Press Office:
"The example of a Pope who suffers is very important as we have seen in recent years: suffering is a special way of preaching. From the many letters I have received and also from direct personal witnesses, I have seen many suffering people who now feel accepted. The Association for Parkinson's Patients has written to me, thanking the Pope because he helps the ill to strengthen their image, so to speak, because the Holy Father has the courage to appear in public as a person who suffers and who continues to work. Through his suffering John Paul II has communicated many things to us: that suffering is a phase on the path of life, and that he participates in the passion of Jesus Christ, showing us how fruitful suffering can be when we share it with the Lord and live it together with all those who suffer in the world. In this way, suffering takes on a great value and can be something positive. When we look at the Pope's life, we see that this is an important message, especially in a world that tends to hide or even erase pain." --- Cardinal Ratzinger
From MamaT at Summa Mamas:

Apparently, a few years ago, Crisis magazine had an article that dealt with the "gay priest" issue, giving "warning signs" that there might be a problem with a priest. Mr. Bettinelli expanded those "warning signs" to include heterosexual priests as well, since they seemed equally valid in that situation.

And I thought he was right, and it was a good discussion.

But it was one of those "warning signs" that has stuck in my head--because it seems to me that it really applies to all of us, not just to priests. Here's the point from the magazine:

Restore simplicity to priestly life. Physical comfort is the oxygen that feeds the fires of homosexual indulgence. Cut it off. When you enter a rectory, take a look at the liquor cabinet, the videos, the wardrobe, the slick magazines, and ask yourself, “Do I get the impression that the man who lives here is in the habit of saying no to himself?” If the answer is negative, the chances are that his life of chastity is in disorder as well. It goes without saying that reforming bishops should lead by example in this department and not simply exhort.

I think it is just as easy to say "Physical comfort is the oxygen that feeds the fires of indulgence" period. And I think the question asked is appropriate to all of us. If someone walked into MY house would they have the impression that I ever said NO to myself?????

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