Friday, April 08, 2005

My Silence...
I know that I have been very quiet on CRM for sometime. Please be assured that it has not been due to a lack of interest, but more because of a lack of time and energy. The parish to which I am assigned is rather big, and I am the liturgist for the parish. I was not sure if I was going to make it through Holy Week with all the liturgies I had to plan. While I do have a wonderful group of parishioners who are ever willing to pitch in, they still expect me to be there to supervise. So in addition to planning the liturgies, I had to supervise the decoration of the church and auditorium (where we have the "overflow" Masses), coordinate with our RCIA team, and train the Altar Servers. All went very well, but I gained an appreciation of the old clergy joke, "Christ arises on Easter, but it kills the priest."

I was hoping to have some "slow" time now, but the Holy Father's death naturally called for more liturgies. We had a Memorial Mass on Tuesday for the parish, and then yesterday we had a Memorial Mass for the two schools (so about 2000 people). I was the celebrant for both of those Masses. While of course there is much sadness about the loss of such a Holy man, this has also provided such teachable moments about the Catholic Faith, and the hope we have rooted in the Resurrection of Christ Jesus.

In surfing the Net for different comments about the Holy Father's death, I have been moved to see just how much he inspired and moved so many from other faiths. I have seen articles by Evangelicals and Jews and Moslems who call him "their Pope." I believe that Pope John Paul II's heroic preaching of the Truth of Jesus Christ, in charity, has planted the good seed, and it will bear the fruit (or I should say, continue to bear the fruit) of many conversions.

It is a shame that most of the "dissent" has come from so-called US Catholics, with their agenda for sexual liberalism. I was deeply hurt and angered by the comments of MSNBC's Chris Matthews ("Hardball") who basically blamed John Paul II for the AIDS epidemic in Africa, the shortage of priests, and the priest sexual abuse scandal. His logic escapes me, and I have challenged him on it. One of my favorite writes is Maggie Gallagher, who writes for the NY Post. She seems to really get it. First she correctly understood the witness of hope the Holy Father gave in his final illness when so many were calling on him to resign. In today's NY Post, she has a wonder piece on "Catholicism's Future: Sexual Liberals, out of step."

Let us learn from the example of Pope John Paul the Great, who lived what he taught; even in his last written address he exclaimed, "Love converts hearts and gives peace."

No comments: