Dispelling the Darkness:Weekly Message for 10-3-17

Dear Friends in Christ,
An early exhortation in Pope Francis’ papacy stands out in the memory. It
was when he suggested that his fellow Argentinians forgo the expensive
trip to Rome for his inauguration and instead make a contribution to the poor.

The suggestion showed how close his heart was to the downtrodden. That
his countrymen might not be there in Rome to witness the inauguration of
the first Latin American pope wasn’t important to Francis. Ceremonies
come and go. The demands of Gospel charity are perennial. As are the
needs of the poor.
That gesture pointed toward the kind of thing the Holy Father would
emphasize many times in his teaching: more action and perhaps less
emphasis on the intellectual side of the faith.

Francis is certainly no foe of intellectual work, having done doctoral studies
in Germany. But he understands that the Church’s vibrancy depends a lot
on its care of the poor, too.

That is a notion that help guide each of us. In a world that sees no shortage
of violence and polemics, the temptation toward despair is strong.

How to rise above all that? One solution (aside from lots of prayer and a
solid sacramental life) is to look around and help those in need. The poor,
the lonely, the anxious – they give us ample opportunity to make the
Gospel come alive. And they get our energies focused on positive things.

So think about what you can do for the needy. And remember that
ingredient of prayer; to that end our Retreat Guide on A Virgin’s Courage: A
Retreat Guide on St. Kateri Tekakwitha might help, giving a bit of insight
into a saint who rose above suffering in her life.

And who knows? You might find in the Lily of the Mohawks a patroness to
help you navigate through a dispirited age.

In Christ,
Father Edward McIlmail, LC
Ask a Priest contributor

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