Sunday, February 24, 2013

How Well Do WE Know the Shepherd?

Yesterday I went to my customary Lenten retreat at the Carmelite Monastery.  Something the priest said made me think about the polling that took place on someone else's blog this week asking what the minimum education requirement for papal candidates should be.  The retreat-master recounted the time a famous orator stood up and recited the 23rd Psalm before the congregation. In his best orator's voice, he dramatically recited the psalm. He finished and then  pointed to a lowly-looking old man and told him he was next.  The old man got up and haltingly recited the psalm as well.  When he concluded, the orator stood up and told the congregation: "I know the psalm, but is is obvious this man knows the Shepherd."

It is love for the Shepherd that enables us to do what might seem impossible at first.  That same love, which saints like Therese perfected, is what makes it possible for us to endure suffering and trial without seeming to notice the pain.  It is that love which makes humiliation and mortification appear as gifts from God's own hand.

It seems to me our Church is filled with too many people who are so busy trying to make something of themselves that they have forgotten the Master.  They have neglected to make their lives an offering worthy of putting before the altar.  I had a revelation the other day about why some people don't care for the Traditional Latin Mass or even a properly celebrated Novus Ordo.  It is because there is no opportunity  for an individual to single themselves out.  Isn't that why there is so much discord with this faction or that?  In the haste to make ourselves more important than we really are, we have forgotten about the Lord.

Those same self-important people are now falling down over themselves trying to point out the "qualities" they want to see in the next pope.  They are salivating at the possibility of seeing a pope elected who will permit women's ordination, among other things.  They talk about "representation" as though the Church is a government where the majority is permitted to rule.  They insist on having a "voice".  They don't understand the meaning of absolute truths.  They are intent on having a church which reflects society rather than one which resembles its Spouse.

This is folly, the great cost of which will be souls "falling into Hell like snowflakes", as St Teresa of Avila was permitted to see.

We must pray for all we're worth that they don't succeed.


  1. All I can say to that is, Amen.

  2. I am praying too for a good pope. I hate this period of instability. The western world is close to moral collapse and all that prevents it in my opinion is the Catholic Church. If we get a pope that's a relativist and goes for some of the absurd things you enumerated, our civilization just might as well give up the ghost. We've had two great popes in a row. I pray, pray, pray we get a third.

  3. Oh and I am so sorry to have missed the retreat! But Ben's show was that day. so I was required to be there. :)

  4. Off topic Joyce but this is pretty cool. You and your readers might want to adopt a Cardinal for the coming conclave:

  5. Joyce, It's funny ... In many Evangelical circles it's just the opposite. No one is focused on how many degrees you have, probably to a fault, but they do put great emphasis on their leaders loving the Shepherd. One of the good things I carried away from my years in the Protestant wilderness was that knowledge puffs up as St Paul says.
    With everyone, I'm praying and trusting the HS knows who the right man is ... the one who has both the knowledge needed and the love of His Shepherd.

    Blessings and +

  6. Hi Caroline, I forgot you used to travel in "those" circles! Interesting observation. There is a scene in "Jesus of Nazareth" when the Lord tells Judas "Open your heart, Judas, not your mind. Open your heart." And I agree with you, and St Paul, about ego that sometimes comes with knowledge. I will go out on a limb and say that I predicted Joseph Ratzinger would be made Pope, and I believe Cardinal Burke will be the first American Pope. The comfort we have is knowing that Benedict "stacked the deck" with cardinals who are like-minded and I trust they will be lead by the Spirit to elect the right man. Peace! Joyce


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