Obnoxious! I was accused of being obnoxious! I was accused of being an obnoxious Pope defender. And it was a much loved Priest friend (not my confessor/spiritual director) doing the accusing.
It wasn’t the first time the accusation had been hurled at me. Nor was it the first time the accusation had been hurled at me by a Priest friend. And it wasn’t the first time I willingly admitted that I was an obnoxious Pope defender. I wasn’t ashamed of it (although it was implied that I ought to be). There are “more important issues” to be passionately defending today, I was told in each case. i.e. Life, Marriage, Human Trafficking Victims, the Homeless, and Immigrants. But apparently passionately defending the Pope was being obnoxious. The only thing different about this time is that this Priest friend doing the accusing did not cut me off as his friend.
During our conversations, Father S. said one thing (among many) that really had an impact. He said the Pope doesn’t need defending. I took that one statement to prayer over the next few days and ended up in the Adoration Chapel confused, floundering, and crying my heart out. To defend the Pope is to defend Christ and His Church. The three cannot be separated. That is what I had always known. Is this not what the Sacrament of Confirmation is all about?
Now, I am not an ‘open-a-book-and-the-first-sentence-you-see-is-your-answer’ kind of person. But I did decide to set the issue aside for the moment and opened my Bible to a random page. And to no surprise there was nothing on the page that offered a solution –
– there was a prayer card that fell out as I opened the Bible, and picking it up I read,
I mean, really?! What are the chances?!
There are no coincidences, only Providence!
I closed my Bible and closed my eyes, and asked … no … I begged… for the Holy Spirit to show me clearly the path He desired me to travel.
Yep. Promote. I swear. That was ‘the word’ I was ‘given’. It just popped into my head immediately upon my ‘begging’. And I knew exactly what it meant.
It was time for a change.
It was time to change from Pope Defender to Pope Promoter. I had been reading past homilies of Pope Francis from when he was Archbishop and then Cardinal in Buenos Aires. He has spoken clearly and definitively on every topic of concern today to the People of God and of all people everywhere. Every ’cause’ that any Priest ever told me was in need of passionately defending more than the Pope, our dear Pope Francis has spoken on. And he has spoken on them in constant fidelity to the Church’s teaching and the purity of the Gospel message and with the pastoral tenderness of a true Shepherd.
It is the words and works of Pope Francis that I will be promoting, for they are Christ’s words and works, and in so doing, defending Christ, His Church, and His Vicar.
If you would like to read some of the homilies and addresses of Pope Francis before he became Pope we have available at Vercillo’s Catholic Book & Gift, Pope Francis’,
ONLY LOVE CAN SAVE US: Letters, Homilies and talks of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio. Call the store Toll Free at 866-471-8399 and receive either 10% off or Free Shipping when you say, “I saw it on Toni’s blog”.