Tuesday, March 12, 2013

city of dreams

Pietro Perugino - Delivery of the Keys, 1482
"everything seems like a city of dreams,
i never know why,
but i still miss You" (Alesso & Dirty South - City of Dreams, 2012)
black smoke.  as Fr. Tim mentioned yesterday, the Cardinals - in Vatican City - are voting (started today) while meditating on many different paintings in the Sistine Chapel, including this one, "in which the first 'Pope' is kneeling and calmly accepting this symbol of authority from Christ."
"The Cardinals know they stand before God in casting their vote for the new Pope. Let us pray for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon them, and in the words of Cardinal Barbarin, whom I heard speak yesterday, let us also pray for the man chosen to be Pope, then he will not be afraid, but will plunge into the mercy of God, with his eyes fixed on Christ."  (Fr. Tim on the art of Italy and the Theology of the Body)
i'm sure you've heard by now the common expression, "enter a pope, leave a cardinal."  indicating the false humility of those who strive for the papacy, and leave eating humble pie as a cardinal.  a similar expression exists at the parish level.  "the bishop is the bishop of the diocese, but the pastor is pope of his parish."  what does that mean?  it seems to indicate the type of priest that once served the People of God, "my way or the highway!"  where is the Church going today?  what type of pope will sit on the Chair of Peter?  what type of priests do parishes need now?  what is the role of the laity?  what is our role, collectively, towards the rest of the world?  the Church is indeed changing.  i can feel it in my bones!  therefore, maybe these growing pains for me can be explained through the journey from priest to pastor.  today, we need shepherds, not fonctionaires.  men who will not only work for God, but who will also love Him.

seeing that it is sede vacante here in my parish too - my pastor is absent (recovering from surgery) - i am now struggling, praying, discerning being temporary pastor (there was no vote), and diving deeper into the priesthood.  i started reading for the second, third time, Cardinal Dulles (1918 - 2008) reflections on the priesthood:
"the residential bishop is a sign and agent of unity for the diocese.  As fellow-workers with their bishops, presbyters must strive to reconcile Catholics to one another, so that the church may be a more effective sign and instrument of that unity to which all the faithful are called in Christ." (The Priestly Office:  A Theological Reflection by Avery Dulles, sj, 1997)
so, back to the song, no matter how much we abide in God's love, we can still say, "i still miss You."  there is the scandal, the darkness.  there is always a gap.  we want to be closer, but struggle.  as St. Augustine said, "if you know God, what you know is not God."  let us continue to pray for the Church, and for one another.  peace.

ps.  another view from Rome, live with Fr. Roderick Vonhögen !

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