We Need to Look, Smell, Feel and Breathe More Catholic

We Need to Look, Smell, Feel and Breathe More Catholic May 2, 2022

I watched Superman –Man of Steel, and the fundamental argument is that sometimes, you have to kill “for the greater good.”  People did not like this movie for many reasons, but one of them was the fundamental reality –that we don’t want Superman to be morally ambiguous.  We want our heroes to be heroic –bigger than life.  It doesn’t matter what they do, we want, we long for those we admire to be better than they are.   At the end of everything, we want a happy ending, with the bad guys stopped and reformed, and the good guys, helping those who get stuck in the crossfire to thrive.   We want it of our politicians, of our priests, of our celebrities, of our athletes, of everyone we ever admire.  We don’t want to have to parse our admiration.

This admiration/adoration for someone other than God in many cases, for worthy reasons –charity of spirit, scholarship, service, can lead those who possess such gifts and those of us who admire them into deep trouble.
Part of our problem is we do want them to be perfect, and our affection becomes tied with if they say what our itching ears want to hear, rather than the Gospel. They become wedded to the attention, and we to the affirmation, and through this double bind of toxic adulation, both received and given, neither finds themselves in deeper friendship with their neighbor or Christ as a result.

Yet the reality is, we are all of us, fallen at all times, and in desperate need of more grace than we seek.   In Catholic circles, we need to recognize the reality of humanity –we’re going to screw up, we’re going to be tempted, and only the humblest of people steeped in the sacraments and prayer will emerge.  They will be scathed and sifted through because all who witness to Christ will be by the world.   We will also be challenged –do we believe or do we not.

Witness today is in short supply perhaps because we do not pray as we should. We do not fast as we should. (I know for me, fasting is just about the hardest thing you can ask).  We just finished Lent, but have we washed the sand from each other’s feet, and stepped out into Easter?   Are we going about the business of trying to bring in more and more or are we going about the business we always have as if nothing changed on Easter?   Everything changed on Easter, so everything should change for us.  We should live knowing Christ is Resurrected, and that He desires us to share in that infinite reality.

The Church must reveal Christ…and is only successful in reality to the extent she helps the world to see and know Him.   The more we reveal Christ, the more people will long to come in.  Our whole job is to throw open the door. Christ will do the inviting if we just get out of the way.

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