Deacon Blog July 28, 2019
Our Point of view
The management of expectations has been brought up to me a lot lately. Everywhere I look I see the contrast between what we all want to see happen and what actually occurs. When summer arrives, I expect to fish. When my kids come to visit, I anticipate a certain amount of time spent with them. When I schedule and plan a Summer Bible experience for our kids, I hope for a great turn-out. We go to Mass and expect to be uplifted or to Confession and have a wave of peace wash over us. We get married and think we’ll live “happily ever after”. It’s all a process of our awareness, goal setting, and results. Most often expectations are formed, sub-consciously, based on our experiences or knowledge of things. Right about now you may be thinking Duh!!! But, trust me, it’s more complicated than that for these “un-conscious” expectations can settle in as cynicism or outright disappointment. It is almost an art form, balancing high expectations with an accurate sense of reality. Obviously, the fear here is a desire to “not fail” greater than the will to succeed.
Our Religion is a bit of a paradox for me but one I love and appreciate. On one level it’s a billion plus group of believers who follow a common teaching across the globe. There are some cultural nuances, but the same teachings. We can go anywhere in the world, attend Holy Mass, and pretty much follow the liturgy. But, religion is the structure of what we believe as the Life of Christ and HIS mission to the world. Religion doesn’t feed the poor. It organizes, funds, and guides our efforts, but it has never fed, clothed or housed anyone. In other words, our faith in our religion is the Faith we all follow. Religion feed us the Holy Word of God, it forms our conscience and character to the Way of Jesus (if we are open to it), and it advocates for sanctity of Life issues, but without our devotion and conviction (our faith), Christ’s mission is without “arms and legs”. This includes the Priests, Bishops and Cardinals who hold office to lead us in prayer and sanctify us through the Sacramental life. Sometimes, I feel, we view Mother Church more as the maid who will clean up the mess of the world as opposed to a nurturing parent who teaches her children how to be “grown-up” disciples of Jesus. Again, how we view the Church, and what we expect of Her is the backdrop for our involvement in Christ’s mission.
I understand the outrage and sadness over the abuse scandals. My heart aches for the victims. But what I encourage everyone to do is separate our Faith from the actions of any who have and would do harm to the little ones. “It would be better for him if a millstone were hung round his neck and he cast into the sea, than that he should cause harm to one of these little ones” (Luke 17). Humanity has a record of humans behaving badly… specifically towards other humans. I don’t think many of us would advocate abolishing the public school system or the teaching profession because the abuse of students occurs at an even higher rate than the catholic clergy…with pretty much the same expectation of safety.
We need ALL the moving parts, working as they should, to bring Heaven to earth. It takes all our hearts, all our souls and all our strength and… it requires our monetary support to make these efforts successful. God Bless You All. See you in September.
PAX CHRISTI, Deacon Mike
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