On a trip to Rome last year, I stood inside the magnificent Vatican looking out the window at the Blue Ford Focus the Pope uses for transportation. Amazed at his humility, my worlds collided as the old auto-enthusiast in me tried to rationalize why the Pope would choose an “everyman’s car” when he could pick from anything under the sun.
I would describe the battle in my mind as sort of an “absurd dichotomy” and that I had difficulty reconciling the magnitude of his influence sitting inside a Ford Focus. Though I am not Catholic, it made me like him even more; his humble, less formal approach that seems to draw the crowds in a way that is new to St Peter’s Square.
The article and video showed the Pope in a less than favorable light saying things that frankly, I felt were being twisted and distorted by some very misguided Christians. The question came to mind, “Why are these people throwing stones at the Pope from their glass houses?”
On a very small scale, I have experienced the malicious attack from the mouths of Christians when my words were taken out of context. My heart sank for this Pope as he read from his carefully penned notes. His words picked apart by haters disguised as “believers.”
As I listened to the Pope, the message I gleaned was very different. What I believed through my Christian ears was this:
“Don’t turn away from the church. Yes, it is hard but we need to stand together to support one another. It is impossible for you to walk through this world alone and Jesus is the Rock of the church. To think you can face the world alone is an “absurd dichotomy.” God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit have never spent one minute alone and neither should you. Please don’t turn your back on the church. This is where you will find the Love of Christ with skin on.”
The reason we have division in the body of believers is that one arm is willing to cut off the other – an “absurd dichotomy” that will, in fact, leave limbs strewn about with not only separation from each other, but separation from the church. Isn’t that exactly what the Pope was warning us about?
If four people stand on each corner of an intersection and witness a car accident, there will be four perspectives and only one truth. Likewise, we can choose to dissect the four gospels which will cause quarrels among us or we can seek the Truth and obey the first commandment which is to love one another.
My Irish mother used to say, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” The authors of these attacks are part of a Church. I’m not sure what their motive is behind the digital assault, but I won’t be surprised to see more unbelievers who read these articles stay home on Sundays.
Please share your thoughts!
1 Corinthians 12:24-26
But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.