Friday, 15 February 2013

Struggling for Love

Struggling. The prevailing theme of Lent. To struggle, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is "to make strenuous or violent efforts in the face of difficulties or opposition".

For an imperfect creature, loving a perfect, self-sufficient being is unthinkable. Matching his perfect passions is impossible. But we, these imperfect lowly creatures, struggle. We dare "to make strenuous or violent efforts in the face of difficulties or opposition" that is ourselves. We struggle because we try to love Him who loved us first, with a Love that is flawless, a Love that spans all space and time, a Love that is Himself. We struggle to love Love. And to love Love, we do what Love does: to suffer.

This is not an easy task. People die in the process. Blood is spilled and tears are shed, all in the efforts to see the face of Love. But Love is alive. Those who are brave enough to give themselves to Love, give also themselves to Life. Love is the death of Death; Love suffering is Death tormented.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Poor guy Valentine

by Jason J. Bach

Happy Feast, everybody! Give our St. Valentine some love!

Papa Bene's greatest teaching

Well I'm not good at writing a goodbye message, let alone an entire goodbye post. Too much emotion involved, too many memories rushing into a blink of an eye. But let me just say this:

We are at war. The Bride of Christ is always at war, but especially now She is facing what could be the beginning of the ultimate war. Morality is collapsing. The institution of marriage and family is disintegrating. Persecution of Christians is growing more common and tolerable. The culture of death creeps into almost every area of our lives. Centuries ago it was easier for the Church because it was obvious who was right and who was wrong; the Devil played devil. But now the Devil has started playing angel, and the Church is fighting him in a very sticky situation where She doesn't have much room for maneuver. She sticks to her guns, Her Spouse has promised that She will always prevail, and yet the Harlot is growing stronger.

With the Pope resigning, it is easy to believe that we are losing the battle. Seeing our commander stepping down from his horse is uncalled for (Pope, please! In the middle of battle?!) and accepting it is a bitter pill to swallow. Just imagine what the enemy is thinking, right? (replace the word "Pope" with "old pedophile/misogynist/crazyhead", because that's his community-given alias on Twitter): "Finally! The Pope is accepting defeat!""The Pope is a coward!", "The Catholic Church is on the verge of collapse!".

Maybe this is more for me than for you, and maybe this sounds more poetic than practical, but let's remember: we are not losing. In fact, we are gaining momentum. Yes, this is a time that calls for great humility, both for the Pope (I'm sure), and for us. But with great humility, comes great courage. A sincere humility is the bravest thing even the most coward man can perform. Our commander in battle has shown what a bold man he is by admitting that he is of poor health and therefore unable to perform his ministry well. This is a calling and a reminder for us Christians to follow his example. It's really alright to admit our weaknesses, because...
He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Cor 12:9-10)

Lent is just the perfect season for us to exercise this humility. Think, this Lent is very different because the entire Church is being humbled. This collective humiliation, I think, is what the Church needs right now. The world has seen our glory, our power, our authority, our passion. What the world needs to see now is our purity, our perseverance, our patience, our "Fiat!" to whatever God has in store for us. They need to see "how we roll", essentially, how we deal with such a shocking reality. It is time for us to prove to the modern world, once again, that the Bride of Christ is not only brave, passionate, strong, and authoritative, but also meek, humble, and submissive to the will of Her Spouse. This, hopefully, will lead to the salvation of more souls.

Papa Bene's abdication, ironically, could very well be his greatest teaching.