“Why do you say, O Jacob, and assert, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the LORD, And the justice due me escapes the notice of my God”? Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth Does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary, And to him who lacks might He increases power.” (Isaiah 40:27-29) I am up at a few minutes past 1 a.m. here because something deeply disturbed my spirit. It was not a nightmare. The city is quiet after a cloudy day with intermittent rains. We are enjoying a cool quiet night for a change but I can’t sleep.
A good friend of mine, a lady of prayer and faith, sent me this interesting link. I feel pretty much like the person writing that letter. If you read my previous article The Year of (selective) Mercy you may notice some similarities. Still I am all for obedience to the Chair of Peter as far as faith and morals. Those items are 100% guaranteed by Jesus who is praying to the Father so that the “faith of Peter does not falter.” (Luke 22:32) As for the Pope’s good behavior we have History as a witness that a Pope can be a pretty rotten fellow and yet the Church will survive.
In my own thinking I believe the Pope’s conduct is more evidence for my idea that we are living in prophetic times. Some do not believe in St Malachy’s list — that is OK as the list is not an article of faith — but I do. Now I find the last phrase rather ominous:
“In persecutione extrema S.R.E. sedebit Petrus Romanus, qui pascet oves in multis tribulationibus, quibus transactis civitas septicollis diruetur, et judex tremendus judicabit populum suum. Finis.”
Translated: “In the final persecution of the Holy Roman Church, there will sit Peter the Roman, who will pasture his sheep in many tribulations, and when these things are finished, the city of seven hills [i.e. Rome] will be destroyed, and the dreadful judge will judge his people. The End.”
The last two words before “finis” remind me of the words written in the frontispiece of Buenos Aires’ Cathedral, once the seat of Pope Francis cardinalate: “Salvum fac populum tuum,” that is Latin for “[Lord] save your people!” What can one say during times like this but “Lord, awake! Don’t You see we are about to perish?” and yet that is only our anxiety speaking because God knows everything all the time, and the salvation of our souls is one of His main objectives. Will He fail? I do not think so and you better agree with me on that!
“Fear not little flock because it’s the Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom.” God is — above all things — good, and His very nature is that of a benefactor. Everything will work for our good, even those things that are apparently bad. With the unshakable faith of Job we must go through these times and trust that all will work for our good, even when there is no good to be seen at present. This is bitter medicine that we deserve: a prince fit for a lazy and rebellious crew. God is still perfectly just and we are still the sinners. We must obey Him and trust Him.
Beyond that I don’t know anything.
Carlos, you are so very smart and write so very well. Our Holy Father is truly different than his predecessors. I have only lived in th US. I have been poor working class all my life. Everyone keeps praising Ronald Reagan and his economic policy when all I seen was how he (Reagan) plundered the unions/corporations pension plans by using the investmen vehicle of annuities, providing the bare minimum of what was promised in the terms of pension plan and fueling the bull stock market. The financial rules changed into complex formulas creating junk bonds, and the intricate investment vehicles that are pulled out of the Magicians hat out of thin air. Democracy, according to my high school teacher is a form of economy. The US is a Republic but no one knows that anymore. All the wealthy complain about all the ‘social’ welfare, yet corporate welfare runs rampant and no one points any fingers. Reaganomics is held in esteem for the trickle down theory. My dad’s was one of the pensions raided. Yes he received received a pension but it wasn’t as much as what he put in including compound interest. He died in 1999 still waiting for the trickle. Everyone holds Reagan as a hero and I don’t get it.
Jesus socialized with tax collectors and General Hookers ladies of the evening. I remember when John Paul II went to Cuba and asked that American sanctions be lifted. I hope that both Castros see Jesus through both Popes who visited them. I don’t know anything about politics in South America. I am sure that regardless of where they live the poor are exploited. Deals are made an hands are shaken and the lower class remains. When Pope Francis was in the US, I saw something that is desperately needed today and that was humility.
I have electricity and air conditioing. The kings and queens of old did not have. I cannot describe myself as poor. I don’t have much money and never did. I consider it a blessing. I can get by because I don’t expect much. I hope that what ever happens, I pass God’s test. There has always been people who are “more equal”. Those people are the ones who must answer to God for there behavior. I would hate to be in their shoes.
I was wondering if you ever read “Lord of the World” by Robert Hugh Benson and if so what your opinion is. I wish you well in your adventure in Argentina. It must be beautiful there. God bless you.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Hello Deer and thank you for your comment. Regarding the Ronald Reagan part of your comment, I really do not know enough about economics to understand what happened at the time but I was living in Boston during the Reagan years and it was a much better time for workers like me. No one wanted to go back to the Carter years. I have followed Jimmy Carter’s political antics since those days and that kind of confirms that the man was wrong on all fronts and continue to be wrong. Yet I think he provided the backdrop for a successful Reagan administration.
Regarding being rich: you are right we enjoy many comforts that Roman Emperors and European kings did not even imagine. Air conditioning in the Middle Ages was a matter of moving to the mountains in the summer! Those who could not would suffer the weather! But we are poorer in many other ways, I’m sure you know. We are morally poor, we hold lots of information but we do not have better judgment (in general) and so history continues. Capitalism has pulled a lot of people out of poverty indeed but along with it we had Socialism, Communism, Fascism that countered that by spreading misery and destruction all over. Sometimes people forget that unleashing Capitalism is what brought up all the wonders (and disgraces) of the modern world.
My point in this article is that the Papacy is perhaps way over Francis head just as it was for our first Pope, Peter. It is a case of mixed blessings so to speak but we do not have to forget that God is a benefactor and so everything He gives will bring about good for us. So God is good, He gave us Francis, we are still the imperfect sinners whose salvation is God’s divine intention and purpose. There is no other way for us but to be patient, cautious, and obedient. That is why I posted that image of Pope Alexander VI to illustrate the article. Pope Francis is a long way from being a “bad Pope” when we compare him with some really bad ones we had. Like all popes before him, He will pass and other will take his place. God is still in charge and He knows best.
I have read King of the World. A fascinating book to read today, almost prophetic!
LikeLiked by 1 person
God is truly in charge as we see in the edicts issued by popes like Alexander VI and his ilk, they were true to faith and morals. Do what I say, not what I do. In the Middle Ages it seem that it was much easier to believe in God than it is now. But even then there was drama with the Avignon debacle, simonry, murdering popes, etc.. I did not get the Pope Francis being over his head but that is a point that I will ponder. My grandmother, the one born in Scotland answered the comment that God only gives you what you can handle with “Aye, but guy skimp” meaning when facing God’s trials sometimes you get by on the skin of your teeth. When I commented this to Charlie he said that he disagrees, God puts us over our heads as a measure of our metal. (My paraphrasing) I have been thinking on that and now that you explained to me that your thoughts on the Pope, that he is in over his head and perhaps that is to test his metal as well. I don’t know many Jesuits but the one I did know was rather left leaning like Jimmy Carter. My point with Reagan, is things are not what they are but what people remember. As our Lord said the poor will always be with us. My mum has not forgiven Carter for giving the Panama canal back. I wish that more people would see history and that every generation faced trials. I wish also that they would see that the church, while errors abound, that God draws straight lines. At this point I just wish that people would see that there is truly a God. Thank you, Carlos, you have provided me with ponderings. Did you ever read “AA-1025 confessions of an anti-apostle” about the infiltration of the church by free masonry? I agree with you on “The Lord of the World”. Father Wilson, the pastor of my church recommended”How the Church Was built by Western Civilization” by Thomas Woods. I brought up the “Lord of the World” because I always wondered why the hero chose the name of Sylvester upon becoming pope. Apparently a few of the Pope Sylvester’s were really good guys. As the pope wears white in honor of Pious V, I wonder if any Dominican influence automatically infuses the pope when they assume the role. Thank you. May you always live in the Palm of the Father’s Hand.
I did not read AA-1025 but I read Alta Vendita by John Vennari a few years ago. Regarding the “over his head” issue: that is not a problem really. God delights in defeating geniuses by using totally untalented men. He has chosen the foolish things of this world to shame the wise. (1 Corinthians 1:27) St Peter was perhaps the most unqualified to be the leader of the twelve but through God’s strength and wisdom, he completed his mission. The glory then goes to God who truly deserves it. It is always that way with God: Moses had a speech impediment, David was too young, Isaac was not too bright … etc. but all were able to fulfil their mission in God’s time and with God’s strength.
LikeLiked by 1 person
My take on this is similar to yours, Carlos. My initial reaction to Pope Francis has been one of discomfort. I come from a completely opposing political viewpoint than his so I attribute much of this discomfort to his political stances. So, I try to keep my head down, stick my fingers in my ears, and ignore a lot of what comes out of his mouth pertaining to capitalism, global warming, etc. He really does send mixed messages — his proclaiming the Year of Mercy and mentioning having read The Lord of the World I believe were two subtle messages; hailing an abortionist’s work and his recent messages regarding contraception and the Zika virus not so much! There really is nothing else we can do but place our trust in God and pray, pray, pray. The US is in a death spiral and no amount of screaming back and forth on Facebook about nefarious politicians and the complete selling out of our press in upholding the truth will change that.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I have not read anything of yours for quite some time so I don’t know what you have been saying previously. This one is a good one, full of hope.
You say, “Everything will work for our good, even those things that are apparently bad” in relation to Pope Francis. I wonder if you say the same thing about our choices for U.S. president this next November. And you say, “This is bitter medicine that we deserve: a prince fit for a lazy and rebellious crew. ” Do you think Trump or Hillary is what we deserve too?
All the best to you.
Thank you Mary Fran. In general I believe God is in charge and nothing is wasted, not even bad decisions. I believe the US has been straying away from God’s will for a long time now. Eventually God will manage things to lead us into a dead end where only He can help us. It is a form of rescue or redemption. The Proverbs mention that bad princes cause shame and pain to those under them but even in those circumstances God will put the experience to good use. C.S. Lewis said once “Experience is a brutal teacher but boy can she teach!” (paraphrased, I believe it is in The Weight of Glory) Congratulations on your new home, may God give you abundant peace there.
I caught some tropical cold that’s been keeping me down for a while. Hopefully I will be back next week, God willing.
Comments are closed.