IT IS GOOD FOR US TO BE HERE
with Rev. Rachel
5 IT IS GOOD FOR US TO BE HERE Mark 9
1. Feeling immortal and essential 2. Excessive activity 3. "Petrification" 4. Over-planning 5. Lack of coordination 6. Spiritual Alzheimer's 7. Rivalry and vanity 8. Existential schizophrenia 9. Gossip 10. Defiance 11. Indifference 12. The funeral face 13. Hoarding 14. Cliques 15. Showing off
I caught the tail end of the radio news bulletin. What ailed the Church was a manifestation of what ailed each and all of them present. This, the pope said, before the top brass, members of the curia, who had not yet finished greeting one another as colleagues do: It is good for us to be here (v.9)
They may not have been terrified but surely some were at a loss for words (v.6). This gathering was set to address organizational reform—not spiritual disease.
I can’t quite say what it is that delights me so about Francis. There is 3 and 12 (above), for starters. How does one not grin with appreciation?
I love it when he pays attention to the hopes and fears of real people in the crowd. I love how he brings up the poor (they are always with him) whilst we debate the surest ways to build wealth. I love that he asks Christians to act like Christ.
It was easier to locate reactions to the address than the address itself. Go figure. I found them, though, these ‘15 spiritual ailments’; and I thought of where we are in the Christian year.
If we are the people who have in some way or another gone looking for the glory (the Transfiguration account)—If we claim the prophetic voice and accountable relationships as that which draws us nearer to image of God (Elijah and Elisha)— than we ought to be over it by now, this getting offended at the idea of selfexamination. Of course we ought to be on guard against these things! And of course we can do it with a smile, a non-anxiousness, that is Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s.