The depths possible in walking with God

I am now moving between two pieces of writing that will not allow me to hurry. In our culture (and especially in a world defining “leaders as readers” and shame on you if you’re not reading a book a week..) this is hard. My reading does indeed move too quickly. These writing won’t let me, and I’m grateful.  Continue reading “The depths possible in walking with God”

Creative Power

The discovery of the Creator is not only the belief in the First Cause… It is also — and first and foremost — the discovery of love. To create means not only to reveal power, omnipotence that surpasses all, but also it means: to give being, existence and goodness, therefore — to love! — Pope John Paul II, In God’s Hands: The Spiritual Diaries of Pope Saint John Paul II. 

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The problem of ministry

I am working my way through In God’s Hands: The Spiritual Diaries of Pope Saint John Paul II. These are excerpts from his personal journals written during and after spiritual retreats through his life. One passage I’ve come across early on deals with ministry and issues he faced as a bishop in the Catholic Church at that time. They ring true for ministers in general it seems. Continue reading “The problem of ministry”

Money, Sex, and Power

The New York Times has no lost love for the Catholic Church. They use every opportunity to raise the ugly issues of the Church. The new findings in sex scandals give them plenty of fodder.

I will in no way excuse the incredibly vile behavior of these priests.

This column does bring out some interesting facts about the differences between Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict. It’s worth reading.

This paragraph in particular is worth noting because it’s not just about the Catholic Church. It’s about EVERY church:

“The church’s dilatory response to the sex abuse scandals was a testament to these weaknesses. So was John Paul’s friendship with the Rev. Marcial Maciel Degollado, the founder of the Legionaries of Christ. The last pope loved him and defended him. But we know now that Father Maciel was a sexually voracious sociopath. And thanks to a recent exposé by The National Catholic Reporter’s Jason Berry, we know the secret of Maciel’s Vatican success: He was an extraordinary fund-raiser, and those funds often flowed to members of John Paul’s inner circle.”

This highlights one of the great temptations of the church in any part of the world. We are so willing to overlook a LOT of “problems” and “issues” if the money is flowing our way. I have found it true in my own denomination, and we’re just not that big! It’s amazing how we allow some things to “slide by” when that particular person has a larger church or they give a lot of money to a certain cause. In fact, if they give a lot of money, we think they’re also a good theologian!

The Catholic Church is not immune to it.

I do not wish to put John Paul II or Benedict in a bad light. I am not part of that group. However, I DO wish to point out that we face those dangers in ANY church denomination and we need better vigilance and integrity.