Jesus sweet & bitter at-once? Carol Glatz, in Catholic Herald, 28 February, 2019
We should not presume that God will forgive us if we have no intention to stop sinning, Pope Francis said.
Note: “The name of our God is MERCY, COMPASSION. He is the prodigal Father with open doors, standing at the gate of the courtyard looking for the return of his son gone away from his father’s house!” That is the image that we have of Pope Francis. Reportedly he owes it to Cardinal Walter Kasper, his cose adviser.
God of Wrath?
It is almost the first time we hear Francis speak of a God of wrath, reigning down fire and brim stone from heaven. This writer always thought it a lacuna on the part of the Pope, because a God, to be God, has to be a equally JUST, that is, rewarding each one — with blessings or punishment — as one deserves.
That is precisely the reason, I always spoke of both — SWEET JESUS kind and merciful, and BITTER JESUS rough and wild! As proof for the first part we have the whole gospel narrative that he went about doing good; as proof for the second part we have the whole chapter, Mt. 23, from start to finish, unparalleld in its bitter, biting rebuke to High priests and Pharisees of his times.
Ideal of Non-viollence?
During the course of years that transformed my thinking radically, it became nearly impossible to answer rationally the question: “Who is the model par excellence of Non-violence?” It could not be Jesus for two reasons: 1. He took up the whip, chased the buyers and sellers and turned upside down their money tables;
2. The fury and the bitter venom he sprayed on the “hypocrites, white washed sepulchers and brood of vipers” all through that litany of “woes” in Chapter 23, crossed all limits. If anyone attempted that literary master piece of invectives in this day and age against any religious leader, not necessarily against a Mulla or Imam, he would have been surely locked up in Central jail!
Who, except Gandhiji?
Then to whom to give the award for NON-VIOLENCE? I gave it readily long ago to GANDIJI, who was practically never violent neither in deed or word! “What blasphemy you are talking, is not Jesus the Son of God?” you may ask. If Son of God, no creature on earth can imitate him, nor lock him up in a Cathedral or tabernacle! Full stop.
Then what is Jesus for you? You may ask. My bosom friend with whom I can use any nice or nasty words to talk to(read washing of feet in John). Jesus for me is that Hound of Heaven, I am caught in his jaws tight, not he in mine. Can’t get out of his vice-like grip, can’t swallow nor spit him out. I am caught in such a dilemma. To explain fully, I will have to write a book. Being at the fag-end of life, no time left for such a fool-hardy job!
Fag-end, no time!
But how did the Eerlasting Man(Chesterton), ‘Eternal Galeleean’(Fulton Sheen) manage to compress the normal growth-span of an ideal human in four stages of Bhramachariya, Grehasta, Vanporasta, Sanyasa so fast – Bright, Brief and Begone – in the lightning flash of 33 years? More over, how did he do justice (Fiat justitia, ruat coelum = let justice be done even if the heavens were to fall) of a proper mix of Samam, Danam, Fhedam, Dennam in all four stages of life? It’s sheer mystery, incomprenenisble!
All things stated above are in varios stages of study and research, hoping against hope to find answers. Dum spiro, spero = Hope will continue to burn bright as long as breath lasts! Until then hold me excused! james kottoor, editor CCV.
Please read below God’s Wrath, Carol, in Catholic Herald
Christians must not take advantage of God’s forgiveness — selfishly repeating sin after sin — because God’s wrath for those who refuse to change their ways is just as great as his mercy, Pope Francis said in a morning homily.
“Do not say, ‘God’s compassion is great, he will forgive my many sins’ and then I just keep going on, doing what I want,” he said at morning Mass in the chapel of his residence, the Domus Sanctae Marthae.
Pope Francis suggested Catholics spend five minutes at the end of each day examining their conscience, pinpointing their failings and working to conform their life ever more closely to Christ’s.
In his homily, the Pope reflected on the first reading from the Book of Sirach (5:1-8) in which the Jewish sage warns the faithful against being too overconfident with God, “adding sin upon sin,” and delaying conversion because “mercy and anger alike are with him; upon the wicked alights his wrath.”
The reading prompted Pope Francis to tell the small congregation at Mass, “Do not wait to convert yourself, to change your life, to perfect your life, to remove the weeds.”Wisdom, he said, is something that grows through daily use and through reflection on one’s actions and controlling one’s passions, he said.
“Passion is not a bad thing; it is, let’s say, the ‘blood’ for carrying many good things, but if you are not able to control your passions, they will control you,” he said.Taking five minutes at the end of every day to reflect and to examine one’s conscience, he said, “will help us a lot to think and to not put off a change of heart and conversion to the Lord.”
No one knows when his or her hour will come, he said, and God’s infinite mercy does not mean people can keep doing what they want.
Pope also lamented ‘defeated Christians’ who do not fully trust in God.
There are too many “defeated Christians” in the Church who do not fully believe in the faith handed down to them by way of tradition and who do not completely trust in God, Pope Francis has said.
If Christians do not believe and live the faith as a victorious mover of mountains, then “there is only defeat, and the prince of the world conquers the world”, the Pope said in a homily during morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae.
The Pope focused his homily on a reading from the First Letter of John (5:5-13), in which the apostle reminds Christians that there will be eternal life for those who believe in the name of the Son of God.“Who indeed is the victor over the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” the apostle asks.
Christians should remind themselves that faith in God is powerful and that faith is what “conquers the world,” because “many times we are defeated Christians”, he said.“The Church is full of defeated Christians who don’t believe in this, that the faith is victorious,” he said.
A strong, victorious faith requires professing the faith with all of one’s heart and trusting completely in God, the Pope said.“Faith is to profess God,” as is done with the daily recitation of the Nicene Creed, he said.
“I believe in one God, I believe in Jesus, I believe … But do I believe in what I’m saying,” the Pope asked or are people just reciting from memory, repeating what’s being said “like parrots”, or saying it only because it has to be recited?
“Only those who have this strong faith are capable of adoration,” of worship, he said.Comparing the intensity of people’s ardour in worshipping God to taking someone’s temperature, the Pope said: “I dare say that the thermometer of the life of the Church is a bit low here.”
There are few people who have the capacity to really worship “because, in professing the faith, we aren’t convinced or we are only partially convinced”, he said.
Just as professing the faith allows people to worship and praise God, putting themselves completely in God’s hands brings people real hope, Pope Francis said.
“There are many Christians with watered-down hope, not strong but weak”, because “they don’t have the courage to entrust themselves to the Lord.”But by professing the faith, protecting it, entrusting oneself to God, “we will be victorious Christians and this is the victory that won over the world – our faith.”