My column at First Things this week was written on the energy of annoyance:
Currently the Internet is abuzz with the news that Pope Francis, upon hearing that Catholic Traditionalist Mario Palmaro was ill, picked up the phone and called this vociferous critic of his papacy, assuring him that there were no grudges being held, only prayers being offered.
I was astonished, amazed, above all moved [by] one of the most beautiful experiences in my life. But I felt the duty to remind the Pope that I . . . had expressed specific criticisms regarding his work, while I renewed my total fidelity [to him] as a son of the Church. The Pope almost did not let me finish the sentence, saying that he had understood that those criticisms had been made with love, and how important it had been for him to receive them.
Palmaro, noting that the conversation was private, shared it reluctantly upon consideration “that [news] agencies have mentioned it . . .”
This is a very beautiful story that needed sharing; Western society is increasingly closing in upon itself, and we need this Petrine example of generosity and personal outreach.
Still, and sadly, our human hearts—disordered since Adam and strangled by the thorny vines of our own egocentrism—often do not develop the breadth of perspective or magnanimity enjoyed by Peter. We are inclined toward idol-worship that ultimately validates ourselves, and this inclination informs how we perceive others. This was evident as Palmaro’s story spread through social media, and one righteous wag after another responded with a variation of “this never happened with John Paul II and Benedict XVI!”
You can read the rest of it, here.
Pete at DaTechGuy also writes on selective media coverage of Francis, although I argue that the mainstream, secular media has never been the best place to learn about any pope.
Frank Weathers thinks the cheering press will be jumping the bus, soon once they digest how powerfully counter-cultural Francis’ messages truly are. I hope, rather, that they will come to better understanding.
I love this: In keeping with his “spiritual field hospital” theme, Pope Francis handed out “medicine” to the folks at Saint Peters via his “spiritual farmacia”. Rosaries!
NOTE: I will be taking a few days off. Blogging will be very light, but probably not non-existent.