Sunday, July 19, 2009

Favorite Things, And Not So Favorite Things

“Aware that God wanted to make us all a single people and that he made his Church the universal sacrament of salvation, the brothers and sisters should commit themselves to a faith-inspired reflection on the Church, its mission in today’s world and the role of the Franciscan laity within it. They should take up the challenges and accept the responsibilities that this reflection will lead them to discover.” (Art. 14: 1, Secular Franciscan Order General Constitutions)

I am in the midst of the evaluation process for the Permanent Diaconate Candidate program. My wife and I had to meet with a deacon and his wife, for an evaluation interview. Towards the end of it, we were asked what we liked about the Church, and what we did not like about the Church.

What I like about the Church? The way it, through its members, is able to show compassion to the poor, the outcast, and the marginalized. I like the way the Church stands up for these people, being a voice for those who have no voice in their societies. I like the spiritual traditions of the Church, that keep us connected with the believers of the past, and those yet unborn. Yet, the Church always finds ways to make those traditions relevant to our world today. I love the liturgical life of the Church, which, at its best, helps me experience the presence of God.

What I do not like about the Church? The way factions in the Church demonize each other. They seem unable to use compassion or courtesy amongst themselves. I definitely do not like the way some of the bishops showed more concern for the institution, the bureaucracy, than the safety and needs of their people. And the way some of the bishops and pastors fail to listen to their parishioners, hearing their concerns, before making decisions.

So those are many of my favorite things about Church, and some of my not so much favorite things. Overall, I love the Church and I hope that I will continue to serve it, in what ever way the Spirit leads me

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