Monday night I had the great pleasure of gathering with some of my brother priests and our MANY seminarians for dinner as we inaugurated this year’s “Summer Seminarian Gathering Week” with Bishop Morlino. Please pray for our sems this week.
As the evening came to its conclusion, we were treated to another one of Bishop Morlino’s amazing talks. As he drew upon our Holy Father’s recent comments, this Sunday’s Gospel and the topic of “forgiveness,” which was the theme for the sems’ Summer gathering, Bishop Morlino offered us a spiritual cocktail for conversion.
Bishop pointed out that a person of forgiveness is a person who is serene. It was our Holy Father, in his recent heroic efforts to unite our Catholics in China, who “praised those Catholics who resisted pressure to join the official church and paid a price for it ‘with the shedding of their blood.’ But he urged them to forgive and reconcile with others for the sake of unifying the church. ‘Indeed, the purification of memory, the pardoning of wrongdoers, the forgetting of injustices suffered and the loving restoration to serenity of troubled hearts … can require moving beyond personal positions or viewpoints, born of painful or difficult experiences,’ he wrote.”
This gentle pope of ours continues to inspire us, by his example and teaching, to be that precious anawim with such beautiful words as, “The loving restoration to serenity of troubled hearts.” Isn’t that the goal in all relationships?
Even more, it is this “serene heart” — the heart of Mary’s Anawim — that Christ asks us to present to the world, as we heard in this Sunday’s Gospel: “Behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves,” and then calling us to bless with peace upon all first encounters: “Into whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this household'” (Luke 10:3,5).
As courageous and firm are Pope Benedict XVI and Bishop Robert Morlino in bringing the truth to a waiting world, their serenity of heart is profoundly evident. Like Christ, they will not ask us to do anything they would not do first. These courageous leaders are going out like lambs among wolves and they are inspiring the precious anawim to follow.
Mary said, “He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly” (Hebrew: anawim). May God continue to bless these courageous and serene spiritual shepherds who are joining, with our Lord, to lift up the lowly (anawim).
What are some of your thoughts about Pope Benedict XVI? About Bishop Morlino? And/or about our call to live as Mary’s Anawim?