Magnetic Christianity

On Tuesday, Pope Francis spoke about the need for Catholics to come out of their shells in praising the Lord. I want to share some articles with quotes from his homily, as well as a few thoughts on the Pope’s call. The first of the two links includes more excerpts from his talk, while the second is more of a synopsis. My comments follow.

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/come-out-of-your-shell-to-praise-the-lord-urges-pope/

http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1400366.htm

This’ll make a lot of Catholics uncomfortable, and many will claim to know better than the Pope, or say that what people thinks he was saying wasn’t really what he was saying. The fact of the matter, however, is that we were created not for comfort but for greatness.

The New Evangelization is not simply about starting up the evangelization machine again, as if we had at one point shut it off. It’s about evolving and becoming a Church that is magnetic—a Church that dialogues with the world and draws people in by its overflowing joy and radical love.

The fact of the matter is that no amount of knowing theology, making faith a public yet private exhibition, condemning the outside world, or forming our own Christian bubbles will draw people in to the Christian truth. This will not help us in living out our call to be fishers of men—to show people the love of Christ. What’s attractive is a transformed heart, and that’s what we’re striving for here.

This is why I am so grateful for the Pope’s fearless witness. I love the fact that he’s shaking things up and making people uncomfortable. This is what made Jesus both wildly popular and yet scorned by those who prided themselves on knowing the way—scorned by those He called outside of their selves.

All of this being said, with friends that find themselves of the divide, I would simply share the insight of a friend of mine, which I’ve seen to be truer than the buttery goodness of a warm grilled cheese sandwich. That is that “charismatic Christians” could use a lot more Tradition and “traditional Christians” could use a whole lot more charisma.

The bottom line, however, is that there need not be a divide. We are all members of the same Body, and we need to remember that when we approach our brothers and sisters. Bring not an attitude of pride, self-righteousness or all-knowingness to the way you worship, but celebrate the diversity. Build bridges, not walls, between hearts, and together we can change the world by our love, as we sing, “O, Come—Magnify the Lord with me; let us exalt His name together![1]


[1] Psalm 34:3

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