Typically, I write a blog about an obscure saint of the day, but Luke overshadows the calendar. I couldn't find much about the other saints that share this feast day with him. Much is already written about Luke by great theologians and writers far more gifted than me, and I decided not to bring coals to Newcastle, as they say, but to make a comment about something that is happening in our "modern" Catholic Church.
It has come to my attention that certain priests and lay persons are publishing dissent against the faith and criticism of Pope Francis. Rather than humbly consenting to be led by the pontiff, these persons have, instead, decided to broadcast their disapproval of his approach in blogs, on television, in newspapers, and wherever else their opinion can find a foothold.
No one ever became a saint by publishing complaints about the Pope and The Holy Catholic Church. They became protestant. Remember Martin Luther. He published his condemnation by hammering it onto the door of the church. His role in separating thousands of people from the church that Jesus founded was not rewarded in heaven, I can assure you. I am not presuming to know whether or not Luther is in heaven. He may be in heaven despite his break with the faith, but certainly not because of it.
Like most of you, I absolutely love Holy Mother Church. There are some things that bug me about the modern church in America, but it isn't helpful for me to air my grievances. I will not become a saint by doing that.
Our whole mission in life is to become saints so that we can spend eternity in heaven, gazing upon the Lord, being with Him, experiencing Him. It isn't a question of "earning" it, because no one can deserve union with God. We have to prepare ourselves to be with God by becoming more like God, so that we can be in harmony with Him.
As I study the saints throughout the years, I have yet to find one that became a saint because they publicly dissented with the Pope and the church and tried to get others involved in their dissatisfaction.
Prayer, fasting, alms giving, performing spiritual and corporeal works of mercy, forgiving our enemies and doing good toward those who harm us, loving our neighbor as much as ourselves. We know these things. They involve an emptying of ourselves and our petty egos and opinions so that we can be filled with and led by God.
If the Pope was having a mistress or stealing from the coffers or committing mortal sins, we would have to admonish the sinner, at least someone would have to be doing that, but this is not the case in the current instance. Some people, apparently, do not like his style of leadership and they are fomenting fear among the laity that Pope Francis will destroy the church by his mode of leadership.
Jesus promised us that His Church would last until the end of time and that He would be with us until the end of time. Even the "gates of hell" can not withstand the Holy Catholic Church. We have assurances from Christ Himself that no one can destroy His Church.
All of this controversy about the Pope, the current Synod, and the various factions that are trying to change the unchangeable...all of it...is a distraction and a detour away from what we have been told to do by Christ Himself.
Please join me in praying for The Church and everyone in it. Pray for Pope Francis, as he has many times asked us to do, and refrain from engaging in or encouraging this useless chatter that is exploding all around us. Continue your devotions and increase your prayers if you can. This is what Jesus was talking about when He said to remove the beam from our own eye before we try to remove the speck from our neighbor's!
Have confidence in the promises of Jesus. He will not fail.
Silver Rose Parnell
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