Hotheads? So what? The church has always had firebrands who have used strong language to preach the gospel. Surely we can all appreciate the prophetic voices in our midst and thank God that someone still has a bit of fire in their belly for the faith, and if one does not agree with Fr Z and Michael Voris or any of the other critics, why then treat them as you would wish to be treated, and engage them in polite and fraternal discussion.
You might even have a drink together and share a few jokes. You know the sort…”A Franciscan, a Jesuit and a Benedictine needed to change a lightbulb…”
After all, we are told constantly that we are to get down and get dirty and get the smell of the sheep upon us. If Voris and Fr Z smell bad to you, then listen to Pope Francis and get down and smelly with them and make a mess. We are to meet people where they are. We are to accompany them and not judge. We are to listen and engage in dialogue. Right? Well, what does it say when our Catholic intellectuals and bishops resort to insults, name calling and extremist language?
My own response is to read the parable of the wheat and the tares. The disciples were outraged at people they thought were not bona fide and asked Jesus if they should weed the garden. He shrugged and said, “the wheat and weeds grow together. Leave it till judgement day.”
I’d offer that as sage advice to both sides. Do Fr Martin and his buddies get your dander up? Take a deep breath. The weeds and the wheat grow together.
Does Michael Voris and his gang get you riled up? Do you want to call them names and lower yourself in such a way? What are you going to do-burn them at the stake like Savonarola? Take a deep breath. The weeds and the wheat grow together.
For my part, I’m determined more than ever not to be flustered by the stormy seas. I’m going to strive to be local and to do what I can with what I have where I am–to pray more, to try to overcome my faults and work harder to love God and my neighbor.
That seems enough for any one person to attempt.
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