“No sacrifice is more acceptable to God than zeal for souls.” ~ Pope St. Gregory the Great
We saw a great singer-songwriter up at the Falcon last night named Jim Hayes. I love seeing people doing…engaged…committed…loving what they do. You see the same thing with great comedians…like Jimmie Fallon, or business people…like Mark Cuban. I see the same qualities in my doctor …
Singer-songwriters make us feel. Comedians make us laugh. Business people bring us business. Doctors heal us. Priests ______ us? I came to this point and realized something significant. Twenty years ago I wouldn’t have given it a second thought. I would have filled in the blank with “comfort”, “guide”…or “preach to”…but today I know its much, much more than that…which explains the celibacy requirement of the Catholic Church. Good Sunday Morning Dear Friend!
The Zeal-less Archbishop of New York
I have always wanted to know God. Many successful people, whether they are singer-songwriters or doctors will say they always wanted to make people happy…or save someone’s life. I have always wanted to know God. When I was a kid I ran away from home to seek refuge in the church. I slept the entire night…next to the pulpit. I looked for him in Buddhism years later thinking they seemed to have found something. But when I got there I found nothing…which was sort of the point…I suppose.
There was no possible way for me to follow a path of nothingness leading me to disengage from the world…in 2008! It wasn’t long after that I discovered Ann Barnhardt and the Catholic Church…in that order. I wrote a lyric in the song Guilty years before that, “So hard to remember, so tough to forget…but the purpose of living hasn’t dawned on me yet.” In reality, these words are the confession of a soul in need of an intervention. In other words…in need of a good priest! How in the world would I ever know God without understanding my purpose?
Only those of us in denial do not see an America in deep, deep trouble. Today I see a world so full of suffering, disillusionment, despair, resentment and lack of hope and I know. I know it’s not the singer-songwriters, the comedians, the business people or the doctors who haven’t done their jobs. It’s the devastating number of shepherds in the community of the American Clergy who have failed to do theirs!
For the rest of the world to have performed as poorly as our community of clergy has, singer-songwriters would have left us empty, comedians would have left us sad, business people would have left us out of business and doctors would have left us for dead!
“How can we answer to ourselves for the souls who have in our times lived and died in sin; the souls that have been lost and are now waiting for the judgment, seeing that for what we know, we were ordained to influence or reverse their present destiny and have not done it?” ~ Cardinal John Newman
My Catholic mentor brought Cardinal Newman’s words to my attention in her blog post Got Zeal? As usual, her message is so perfect and timely it can only be explained, as my friend Gene likes to say, by her state of Grace. She is everything a Buddhist is not…
…which brings us to our friend the Archbishop of New York, Timothy Dolan. I should say to God…if I ever have the chance, “With friends like that…” Well, my friend Michael Voris is actually far more qualified to say! But if I were to put it into laymen’s terms, I would simply urge you to be especially vigilant right about now…for yourselves…your families…and your children. In fact I would say that vigilance to the flock is as important as zeal is to the shepherd!
For example…getting on a bus to “nowhere” would be avoided by the vigilance of the would-be passenger who took the time to learn who’s driving the bus! There are far, far more important things to tend to…like our purpose for living! 🙂