Is it time to quit the Church?

The past few weeks have been heavy news for the Church. For evangelicals… it’s been Willow Creek and the leadership failure of that megachurch. (Then there are those trying to cling to evangelical as “tribe” but the politics of it right now are a bad mess.)

For the Catholics, it was the grand jury findings in Pennsylvania, then another bombshell this week when Pope Francis himself was accused of hiding information on a pedophile within the Vatican. Continue reading “Is it time to quit the Church?”

The call of prayer is to listen

Nonetheless, it is possible that, even in prayer itself, we could refuse to let ourselves be confronted by the freedom of the Spirit, who acts as he wills. We must remember that prayerful discernment must be born of a readiness to listen: to the Lord and to others, and to reality itself, which always challenges us in new ways. Only if we are prepared to listen, do we have the freedom to set aside our own partial or insufficient ideas, our usual habits and ways of seeing things. In this way, we become truly open to accepting a call that can shatter our security, but lead us to a better life. It is not enough that everything be calm and peaceful. God may be offering us something more, but in our comfortable inadvertence, we do not recognize it. — Pope Francis, APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION GAUDETE ET EXSULTATE OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS ON THE CALL TO HOLINESS  IN TODAY’S WORLD

Too often our mantra is, “Listen, Lord, for your servant is speaking!” We need to say more often, “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.”

Where is the outcry

I understand the world, the media, etc., just won’t give the coverage to what is happening all over the world to Christians. True suffering. 

But, it is there, and we need to see it. Lord, hear our prayers!

The Pope addressed it in his Easter message.

“Today we see our brothers persecuted, decapitated, crucified for their faith in you, under our eyes and often with our complicit silence,” the pope said after the traditional Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) procession through Rome on Friday, which recreates Christ’s last hours before he was crucified.

Let us see the suffering. Let us pray.

The training of pastors

Pope Francis made some very pointed remarks about the need to train new priests.

Some of his comments are so needed in our training of pastors in protestant circles as well:

“Formation (of future priests) is a work of art, not a police action. We must form their hearts. Otherwise we are creating little monsters. And then these little monsters mold the people of God. This really gives me goose bumps,” he said.

We need to understand the formation of the pastor and not just give out formulas and hope to train future CEOs.

He mentioned being among the poor and quit looking for the next advancement. Hang out with the margins of society.

Help us heed some wise words, Lord.