By Charlie Johnston
Tomorrow my son gets married to a wonderful woman. Last night I had dinner with the new in-laws and some of the wedding party. Today, all my family gathers in town. Tonight we have the rehearsal dinner. and tomorrow the wedding. What a joy! I will be notably light in posting this weekend – and will try to get back to it first thing next week.
My next public meeting will be near Birmingham next Thursday at:
Thursday, May 12, 2016
7:00 pm: 72 Highway 400 Shelby, AL 35143
Contact: Susan at firstname.lastname@example.org
Four days ago, Dan Lynch wrote a piece, “Did Pope Francis Open the Door for Communion for the Divorced and Remarried?” It is notably harder than other critical pieces I have printed or linked to on the subject of Amoris Laetitia, more bluntly critical of the Pope. Though the reasoning and conclusions are significantly different than my own, I am glad that someone I know and trust so much wrote it. As I mentioned recently, I have great sympathy for those who are on a bit of a hair trigger. After several generations where many clerics and activists HAVE abused whatever they can twist to abuse, it is reasonable to be concerned with something that has ambiguities that practically invite abuse by many who are so inclined.
While I think Pope Francis has made a good beginning to finding an approach to draw people back from disorder into a renewed fullness of the faith, I also think those who urgently ask for clarification and assurance that this will NOT be another occasion of inviting distortion and abuse are well justified. So any fruitful pastoral approach must do more than merely condemn those who have ensnared themselves in sin, but it must do more than merely condemn those who seek clarification as Pharisees. It is a good time to consider the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32). People usually focus on the son who went astray and came back, forgetting the son who was offended at the killing of the fatted calf to celebrate his brother’s return. Let us not forget that the father in this story did not just rejoice in his prodigal son’s return, but also went and ministered to his faithful son who had never strayed and was offended by the party. May our hierarchy minister to all, that none might be lost.
I enjoyed this piece by Dennis Praeger in the National Review on the dark, Godless times that are upon us. Even better was this piece by David French on how we reached this point. It struck me reading it that the “path of least resistance” is actually the highway to hell – and that we got here because at millions of moments, good people did not resist the next wrong step because, after all, it was just one step. To paraphrase Thomas Jefferson, the price of integrity is eternal vigilance.
Confusion will continue to rise, at an ever dizzying pace. We have entered into a time of fulfillment. Rather than just get disoriented or go into despair, again, we really have to Live It with steady resolve.
See you next week!