Lord Jesus, Save me from your followers!
Always a pleasure to rise bright and early to find the latest crop of comments from the Lidless Eye crowd, calling me an idiot and the Pope a purveyor of pseudo-intellectual gibberish for the consumption of sycophants. Such winning ways the Lidless Eye folks have!
What was the Pope’s sin? He prayed for mercy for the authors of 9/11 as well as for the victims. On cue, the Lidless Eye crowd found this to be a Menace to the True Faith. One “Real Catholic” peering in his palantir and reading the mind of God, tells me he knows for a fact that Atta & Co. are damned, but of course, the real thrust of his post was the subtext “and so will JPII be since he perverts the faith by…”
By what? Loving his enemies in clear obedience to the command of the Lord Jesus? Forgiving people in obedience to the Lord’s command? Jesus makes absolutely no exceptions in his command to forgive. If you do not forgive, you will not be forgiven. Period. End of story.
“Real Catholic” is at bottom offended by this radical demand. Jesus surely can’t have meant us to forgive the perpetrators of 9/11. There are reasonable exceptions! And so my Lidless Eye readers start trotting out the excuses. No 1 Favorite: You only have to forgive those who receive forgiveness, they say. If they do not repent, you don’t have to forgive.
No. God commends his own love to us in that *while we were yet sinners* Christ died for us. There is not a hint in the teaching of Christ that we can go on hating unrepentant enemies and wishing them damnation. Mercy must be *extended* even if it is not received. This is not, by the way, arrogating the place of God. It is not an affirmation of universalism. When we extend mercy, we are extending the mercy *we* have to give as creatures, not the mercy God has to give as Judge of the World. We are releasing sinners from our judgment and handing them over to God’s judgment, which is also his mercy. He knows their souls. We don’t. We cannot determine the fate of any creature. In asking for mercy for his enemies, the Pope was *asking*. He was neither prophesying nor administering sacramental absolution. He was doing his Christian duty. We are bound to do the same by the words of the Lord’s Prayer. To reject that and a) wish the damnation of a human being and b) attack the Holy Father for doing his Christian duy is, in my opinion, extremely dangerous to one’s soul.
“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” – Matthew 6:14-15
There is neither an exception nor an escape clause here. The only real idiocy is to refuse to see that.