Thursday, September 26, 2013

More Reactions

There are two excellent articles I've read recently on the Pope's interview.

One is by Todd Aglialro, who really gives the best criticism yet, which is that the Holy Father could easily have pointed out that the moral law is not arbitrary, but the roadmap to blessedness.

Yes, when we break moral laws we give offense to the Lawgiver, and we create some kind of cosmic rift with the Eternal Law, but we also harm our natures. We deflect ourselves from the true object of happiness. God, who wills that we be happy, gives us commandments as a sure road map to that destination.
To a culture born and bred to view commandments as divine buzzkills, to mentally bifurcate gentle-loving-merciful God from commanding-judging-condemning God, this notion of a radical unity between love and law can be transformative. It’s a key that opens the door to an integrated Christian life. I’ve watched it happen.

The other is by Major Adam E. Frey, who notes that many of the right wing Catholics who are most upset with the Pope are behaving like the Older Son in the Parable of the Prodigal Son.

Jesus knew that we can just as easily be one brother or the other.  We might be the Prodigal, who has left the father to live in sin.  But we might just as easily be the Prodigal’s righteous brother, who resents the attention that the father gives to the sinner.  Pride creeps in: haven’t I obeyed the commandments and been faithful to the church?  Haven’t I stood up for life, for traditional marriage, for God?  Where are my kudos? 

That such thoughtful and rich insights are being experienced and shared is a sign that the Church is a complex and living thing.  There are many good Christians all around us, who are taking what the Pope said to heart, praying about it, and using it to bring us all closer to Our Lord.


Michael said...

I don't agree with the second extract...

I think people are more frustrated with the fact that;

1) the Pope's words can be so easily manipulated
2) the Pope has a media-influenced idea that Catholics have an inordinate focus on abortion and contraception.

In a weird way, I think he's out of touch in that I (in my experience) haven't seen the inordinate focus he is seeing... most apostolates I know of teach the fullness of the faith.

Abortion and gay marriage is rarely mentioned.

I'm thankful that I stumbled upon and learned more about God's laws, otherwise I'd still be watching porn.

I agree though, that my obedience to the laws pre-supposed my growing love for God, without which I would not have obeyed.

I feel like a repentant prodigal son who cannot understand how someone who truly loves God cannot at least obey His law as easily as I did (by the grace of God it was easier).

I don't think this prodigal son analogy fits well at all, but there's something there I think.

Joey Higgins said...

For me, I always have trouble with the prodigal son parable which shows me how much work I have left to do.

But @ Michael, the Pope's quote on abortion and gay marriage is almost identical to something Pope Benedict XVI said.

And the next day the Pope gave an interview where he stated something about abortion being a grave moral evil.

We are just seeing more media influence, I don't think it's a problem with the Pope per-say.

Regardless, good discussion and article(s) - thanks!