Monday, June 06, 2005

Points to Ponder: Salt of the Earth

In a continuing effort to reveal the actual person of the Holy Father Benedict XVI, I will be posting brief excerpts from his pre-pontificate writing. I wouldn't want to suggest that Benedict wouldn't be as candid now as then but you have to admit it is a different venue he finds himself in now as opposed to then. Today's sample comes from Salt of the Earth pg. 11-12. Please feel free to comment below. The questions in the selection come from Peter Seewald.

Does a cardinal have certain higher demands to live up to, higher, I
mean, than those placed on, say, a priest or an archbishop?
A cardinal is a Christian, a priest, and a bishop. He is
someone who has a responsibility in the Church to see that the Gospel is being proclaimed and the sacraments are being celebrated. I wouldn't simply accept the phrase "higher demands." I would say instead that there are very specific demands on a cardinal. Even a parish priest, a simple
country priest, has very heavy demands made of him, and in that he has to understand people and assist them in sickness, grief, and joy, at marriages and funerals, in crises and in moments of joy. He has to try to believe with
them and to keep the ship of the Church on course.

(Sidebar - This last sentence so completely justifies using Captain Picard and Captain Sisko as human models for pastoral leadership.)

Isn't it extremely wearing having to deal with God every day?
Doesn't one get sick and tired of it?
Dealing with God every day is a necessity for me. For just as
we have to breath every day, just as we need light every day and have to eat every day, just as we also need friendship every day and truly need certain people every day, dealing with God is one of the absolutely fundamental elements
of life. If God suddenly disappeared, my soul wouldn't be able to breathe properly. In that sense there is no boredom here. It can occur when it comes to certain pious practices, in relation to certain devotional readings, but not in relation to God as such.

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