“To Know the Unsurpassable Joy”: A Message from The Hermit

In the wake of yesterday’s post on the futility of picking papal teams, I received the following message from My Friend The Hermit (Br Rex Anthony Norris of The Little Portion Hermitage). He thought it should be for my eyes only, but I think differently. Thank you, dear Brother. This is wonderful advice to carry with us into Holy Week:

It is to know and to make known Jesus Christ and Him crucified and risen that is the beginning and end of the mission of the Church. For that, dear reader, you and I are responsible, if we are Catholic in any meaningful sense.

Good popes come, good popes go; bad popes come, bad popes go; mediocre popes come, mediocre popes go; each pope will stand before the Throne of Grace to receive divine justice tempered by divine mercy. As it is with each pope, so it will be for every person.

So let us fix the eyes on Jesus Christ more than we fix our eyes on any pope. Let each of us submit our will and our life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ regardless of who our favorite pontiff happens to be. May each of us—including the good, bad or mediocre popes—live (and be prepared to die, if necessary) that others might come to know the unsurpassable joy of what the current pope calls “a personal and transformative relationship with Jesus Christ.” If we will do these things, the person who happens to be serving in the ministry of the Bishop of Rome will matter only a little.

Looking at the photos from today’s historic meeting of two brother successors to St Peter, it seems clear that neither of them has any problem knowing on Whom to fix his eyes. Let us take up our palms and follow them!