Mar 16, 2017

The reality of the human struggle towards holiness:

This coming Sunday, the third Sunday of Lent, we hear the beautiful story of Jesus and his encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well: 



During the season of Lent we especially hear of how Jesus responded to the reality of human sin and in particular how he deals with the sinner.  By association we must see, then, of how the Church and in particular its ministers of the Gospel, priests in parish for example, should respond to his people.  What do these stories of the Gospel tell us?  That God's response to sin is always compassion for human frailty, mercy towards the sinner, an understanding of the struggle that we daily find ourselves in to avoid sin and to seek virtue, and an invitation to see the good news of Jesus as the road to salvation.  Quite frankly, I hear echoes in all of this of our present Holy Father Pope Francis.  

That is not to say that our past Popes were somehow not what Francis is today but it seems to me that Pope Francis has brought a certain humanity to the Papal throne that has deeply touched the hearts of many.  In particular when he used the metaphor of the Church as a: "field hospital" for wounded sinners.  In other words, a place for all of us!  

We priests hear it in the confessional all the time. If we are honest, we see it in our own personal life.  The truth is that there is the objective truth of Church teaching, the truth of the Gospel, the lived experience of the Church and the application of such truth to the subjective reality of our human experience as we find ourselves in a kind of spiritual warfare in the pursuit of genuine holiness. 

 I ran across an article you can find in the link below: 


I recommend everyone read it.  The pastoral application of Church teaching to the reality of this man's life is part of my ministry and the key to understanding what a gift of the Holy Spirit Pope Francis is to the Church at this time in history.  

So, if you struggle with repetitive sin, if you find yourself frustrated in the pursuit to seek good in your life, if you're not sure about receiving Holy Communion at Mass at times, read this article.  It is deeply moving and rooted in the reality of human experience. 

A blessed Lenten journey and more will indeed come . . .