“that the thing the church needs most today is the ability to heal wounds and to warm the hearts of the faithful; it needs nearness, proximity. I see the church as a field hospital after battle. It is useless to ask a seriously injured person if he has high cholesterol and about the level of his blood sugars! You have to heal his wounds. Then we can talk about everything else. Heal the wounds, heal the wounds…. And you have to start from the ground up.”
Pope Benedict wrote this in his letter on God’s Love, “Being a Christian is not an ethic or a moral code it is the fruit of an experience with the person of Jesus.”
Sometimes as a priest I think people judge how orthodox a priest is by how many times he can mention abortion contraception and other hot bottom items in the same sentence.
Raniero Cantalamessa, who was the preacher to the papal household for both John Paul 11 and Pope Benedict says this, “What makes the new testament different than the old testament is that with the new testament grace comes first than duties.” He said, how often do priests present the Gospel as if nothing has really changed from the old testament to the new testament? How often do priest preach homilies that give the impression that Christianity is simply a mater of following rules, do this avoid that? When the homily is only about rules, even the rule to Love God and neighbor, without placing Jesus first we have not made the transition from the Old Testament to the New.
What makes the new testament New is that Jesus has come, grace has entered into the world. The good news is that we are saved by Jesus,
I remember when I was about to be ordained and I read a book by Ralph Martin and a verse jumped out at me, Jesus says, “If I be lifted up I will draw all men to myself.” The reason this verse jumped out at me is that I had the impression that it was my job to make sure that everyone followed the moral law, that I was personally responsible for everyone.
This verse helped me to realize that my call was to lift up the person of Jesus and He would work miracles of Mercy in people hearts. That if we knew Jesus than we would want to follow the commandments.
One of the things that I have learned as a priest is that most sin comes from our wounded nature. That if we were seriously concerned with reducing sin in the world we ought to start first with healing. When we experience God healing in our life we are less likely to sin.
What Pope Francis is saying is that the greatest need in the church is Healing Healing Healing,,,,,,,,,,,,
Just some thoughts as i am about to lock up church for the night