Fr. Dan White, S.J.
February 22, 2015
We know Pope Francis is unafraid to tackle a challenge. Right before Christmas, he spoke to the Roman Curia on “diseases and temptations which weaken our service to the Lord.” As you might expect, the Pope pulls no punches in listing the sins in order for true reconciliation to occur. Google the full document to see just how strong the language is.
The address was directed to the Curia but I feel it pertains to any person in a leadership position in the Church. Therefore, I am going to use the Pope’s words for my own Lenten reflection and prayer. From time to time, I will share how this may pertain to all of us at College Church.
Consider the importance of Francis’ starting point: he cares deeply about the spiritual health of those who serve in the Curia, and he includes himself as a sinner. Like the good pastor he is, Francis speaks of faults only out of compassion. He does not exempt himself, but puts himself squarely with sinners. All that follows comes from this place.
This perspective is crucial for an authentic Christian sense of weakness. We can articulate the failings of others only from a place of care, and the recognition we share in this condition. The Gospel does not free us from naming temptations. We are not to be silent in the face of sin. However, we proclaim reconciliation with an attitude of mercy and out of our own brokenness.