Monday, March 03, 2014

Nemo dat quod non habet!

Writing for the Catholic Herald, Francis Rocca reports that, "Pope Francis has said that bishops should act not like ambitious corporate executives, but humble evangelists and men of prayer, willing to sacrifice everything for their flocks.

'We don’t need a manager, the CEO of a business, nor someone who shares our pettiness or low aspirations,' the Pope said yesterday. 'We need someone who knows how to rise to the height from which God sees us, in order to guide us to him.'

Pope Francis’s words came in a speech to the Congregation for Bishops, the Vatican body that advises him on the appointment of bishops around the world.
He stressed the importance of self-sacrifice in a bishop’s ministry, which he described as a kind of martyrdom.

'The courage to die, the generosity to offer one’s own life and exhaust one’s self for the flock are inscribed in the episcopate’s DNA,' he said. 'The episcopate is not for itself but for the Church, for the flock, for others, above all for those whom the world considers only worth throwing away.'

Pope Francis listed several desirable virtues in potential bishops, including a 'capacity for healthy, balanced relationships,' 'upright behaviour,' 'orthodoxy and fidelity' to Church doctrine; and 'transparency and detachment in administrating the goods of the community.'

The Pope laid special emphasis on a bishop’s ability to evangelise and pray.
In preaching the Gospel, bishops should be appealing rather than censorious, upholding Church teaching 'not in order to measure how far the world falls short of the truth it contains, but to fascinate the world, enchant it with the beauty of love, seduce it by offering the freedom of the Gospel.'" (Full article may be found here).

Pope John Paul II, in his book entitled "Rise, Let Us Be On Our Way," in a chapter entitled simply "The Shepherd," writes, "Christian tradition has adopted the biblical image of the shepherd in three forms: as the one who carries the lost sheep on his shoulders, as the one who leads his flocks to green pastures, and as the one who gathers his sheep with his staff and protects them from danger

In all three images there is a recurring theme: The shepherd is for the sheep, not the sheep for the shepherd.  He is bound so closely to them, if he is a real shepherd, that he is ready to lay down his life for the sheep (John 10:11).  Every year during the twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth week of Ordinary Time, the Liturgy of the Hours presents Saint Augustine's long sermon 'On the Shepherds.'  With reference to the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel, the bishop of Hippo strongly rebukes evil shepherds, who are concerned not for the sheep but only for themselves.  'Let us see how the word of God, that flatters no one, addresses the shepherds who are feeding themselves, not the sheep.  'You take the milk, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fatlings; but you do not feed my sheep.  The weak you have not strenghtened, the sick you have not healed, the crippled you have not bound up, the strayed you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought; any strong one you have killed; and my sheep are scattered because there is no shepherd.'" (pp. 63-64).

And in the chapter entitled "Courageous in Faith," the Holy Father, citing Stefan Cardinal Wyszynski, writes, "'The bishop has the duty to serve not only through his words and through the liturgy, but also through offering up his sufferings.'  Cardinal Wyszynski returned to these thoughts again on another occasion: 'Lack of courage in a bishop is the beginning of disaster.  Can he still be an apostle?  Witnessing to the Truth is essential for an apostle.  And this always demands courage.'  These words are also his: 'The greatest weakness in an apostle is fear.  What gives rise to fear is lack of confidence in the power of the Lord; this is what oppresses the heart and tightens the throat.  The apostle then ceases to offer witness.  Does he remain an apostle?  The disciples who abandoned the Master increased the courage of the executioners.  Silence in the presence of the enemies of a cause encourages them.  Fear in an apostle is the principal ally of the enemies of the cause'...Truly, there can be no turning one's back upon the truth, ceasing to proclaim it, hiding it, even if it is a hard truth that can only be revealed at the cost of great suffering.  'You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free' (John 8:32): this is our duty and our source of strength!  Here there is no room for compromise nor for an opportunistic recourse to human diplomacy.  We have to bear witness to the truth, even at the cost of persecutions, even to the shedding of our blood, like Christ Himself..." (pp. 190-191).

Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz (God love him) has displayed the courage of a real shepherd.  Back in 1996, His Excellency warned that membership in certain dissenting groups "is always perilous to the Catholic Faith and most often is totally incompatible with the Catholic Faith."  See here.

It would appear that the Bishop of Worcester, Massachusetts, lacks this same courage.  When the faithful write him with concerns over liturgical abuses or doctrinal dissent, they are most often ignored.

When I wrote the Bishop expressing interest in the priesthood, I received no response whatsoever.  See here.  I guess Bishop McManus considers me worth throwing away.

If we want to "enchant the world with the beauty of love," we must first practice love ourselves.

There is an old Latin saying: Nemo dat quod non habet!

And it applies here.


Tom said...

“[Shh.] Talk about extreme, militant Islamists and the atrocities that they have perpetrated globally might undercut the positive achievements that we Catholics have attained in our inter-religious dialogue with devout Muslims.” — Robert McManus, Roman Catholic Bishop of Worcester, Massachusetts, February 8, 2013

Unknown said...

Once and for all : islam does not worship the God of the Jews and the Christians. Their allah says different things than the One and Only True God. I lived in Israel and worked there as a nurse. I never make any difference in the way I treat my patients whatever color or religion they have but I don't hide either; I wear my Cross with Corpus (as long as it is still allowed), the 10 Commandments and my Star of David with the inscription "Shadai".One of the inscriptions on the golden Dome of the mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem says : GOD HAS NO SON .
Tell me : why are we kissing feet of muslim women hey francis, or hugging and shaking hands with muslim leaders. I don't say we have to attack them, but please there is only ONE GOD : Father, Son, Holy Spirit. Don't compromise only Jesus is the true Mashiach, not "Mehdi" the one they are expecting.
A muslim-arab told me once while walking on the Via Dolorosa : "Jesus never died on the cross, His apostles managed to put an impostor in His place etc..." Why did God become Man and died on the Cross to bring us salvation and open the Heavens again if it doesn't matter what you believe or NOT believe "as long as you are a good person".
Awful times, please Lord we beg You hasten Your coming, these world is never going to change, we are already so out of wack worse than Sodom and Gomorrah. And I guarantee you that even here in our daily lives we get persecuted because we don't belong to this world. Riki

Unknown said...

To Paul Anthony,
is it possible to correct typos ?
I wrote out of WACK : it needs to be out of WHACK
and hasten Your coming, these world : needs to be THIS world.
I really need to push that Preview button before I push Publish
Riki (Rita) :o( :o(

Unknown said...

One day I asked one of my mormon colleagues : if mormons are so called "christians" how come that I NEVER see a mormon wearing a cross ?
She answered me : " O NO because that reminds us of His defeat."
How can you call yourself a "christian" if you don't accept and understand the "cross".
Where in the Bible does it say that all mormons will get their own planet to live on with their family members and they each will become "gods".
One of my mormon colleagues gave me the "Book of Mormon" to read. (They are very pushy). I read it because I wanted to know what they are thinking. After reading it, I threw it in the trash.

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