A good catch

Browsing the blogosphere has yielded some excellent finds:

1. The most cogent analysis of Benedict's truly ecumenical gesture at InsideCatholic.

Benedict has made a concrete step in order to foster true dialogue that will lead to union within the Church. Such a gesture cannot be scorned or devalued simply because it was made toward a conservative Catholic group rather than a separated Eastern Orthodox or Protestant group, since it has the same aim: healing the rifts of Christendom so that all Christians may again be one.

2. A timely definition of Parrhesia at Word Incarnate:

It seems to me that one of the great works of our Christian life is living this intimate confidence in God fully. Perhaps in the cases we usually speak of “trust” in God we ought to replace it with the richer expression “intimate confidence.” This implies something more profound and more, well, intimate, than a kind of intellectual assent to God’s solicitous providence which we might label “trust.” Intimate confidence approaches in meaning that “perfect love” which “casts out fear” (1Jn. 4:18). Intimate confidence is a trust beyond measure, a boundless trust that rests in the Lord’s goodness, mercy, and love.

The Divine Liturgy instructs us that this intimate confidence is a fruit of Holy Communion, for if we are in communion with Christ, we have the assured access to the Father, the freedom to speak openly, to ask boldly, to hold nothing back, to pray and to live in peace, to “serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all the days of our life” (Lk. 1:74-75). In the same liturgical prayer quoted at the beginning, the Trinitarian dimension is completed when we also ask for “fellowship” (better translated “communion” or “participation”; Gk. koinonia) with the Holy Spirit.

I think it is worthwhile to reflect on this, and perhaps to examine ourselves to see if our relationship to God can in fact be characterized as one of intimate confidence. In Christ we have the parrhesia to approach the Father, and in that free and loving relationship we have fullness of life in this world and in the Kingdom to come. Discover where it might be that you are lacking in intimate confidence, and ask yourself why.

3. A memorial of our Late Great Pope's last visit to America from Whispers:

America the beautiful! So you sing in one of your national songs. Yes, America, you are beautiful indeed, and blessed in so many ways:

- in your majestic mountains and fertile plains;
- in the goodness and sacrifice hidden in your teeming cities and expanding suburbs;
- in your genius for invention and for splendid progress;
- in the power that you use for service and in the wealth that you share with others;
- in what you give to your own, and in what you do for others beyond your borders;
- in how you serve, and in how you keep alive the flame of hope in many hearts;
- in your quest for excellence and in your desire to right all wrongs.

Yes, America, all this belongs to you. But your greatest beauty and your richest blessing is found in the human person: in each man, woman and child, in every immigrant, in every native-born son and daughter.

For this reason, America, your deepest identity and truest character as a nation is revealed in the position you take towards the human person. The ultimate test of your greatness in the way you treat every human being, but especially the weakest and most defenceless ones.

The best traditions of your land presume respect for those who cannot defend themselves. If you want equal justice for all, and true freedom and lasting peace, then, America, defend life! All the great causes that are yours today will have meaning only to the extent that you guarantee the right to life and protect the human person:

- feeding the poor and welcoming refugees;
- reinforcing the social fabric of this nation;
- promoting the true advancement of women;
- securing the rights of minorities;
- pursuing disarmament, while guaranteeing legitimate defence; all this will succeed only if respect for life and its protection by the law is granted to every human being from conception until natural death.

Every human person - no matter how vulnerable or helpless, no matter how young or how old, no matter how healthy, handicapped or sick, no matter how useful or productive for society - is a being of inestimable worth created in the image and likeness of God. This is the dignity of America, the reason she exists, the condition for her survival-yes, the ultimate test of her greatness: to respect every human person, especially the weakest and most defenceless ones, those as yet unborn.

It's vital that we hold our ears to the bosom of Christ, listening for his heartbeat, and allowing that to shape our decisions, reactions, and plans. That kind of intimacy dispels any noise conjured by the media, and allows us to see God at work very quietly, serenely. The tiny whispering sound is there, and we are blessed to heed such wisdom.

No comments:

Blog Archive