- Oct 29, 2020
Pessimism, a dark force in the spiritual life, often stems from refusing to accept a basic truth: Reality always beats out personal desires, and life is not always what we want. Seen that way, life becomes a mystery to be unraveled rather than a problem to be solved.
From the outside the Catholic Church can sometimes look like a rigid system of command-and-control, one in which there are severe penalties for coloring outside the lines. Father Gabriele Amorth, Rome’s most celebrated exorcist who died Friday at 91, proved that’s only true if you allow it to be.
There’s great wisdom to be found in the classics of the Christian spiritual tradition, but each person is unique and therefore must find her own path in the spiritual life, and it must be modeled and flow from who she is and the state in life in which she lives.
A leading cleric of the Oriental Orthodox Churches, invited to the “Great and Holy Council” taking place in Crete only as observers, says that “humanly speaking, one cannot expect much from this synod … but we believe in the power of the Holy Spirit who can guide us at all levels.”
When one of my third graders saw the architect’s drawings of the new church we’re building for my parish, he exclaimed, “Father! It looks like a Catholic Church!” Indeed. His observation not only registered his delighted surprise, but revealed that such a church was not something he had experienced before.
Good reporters are always intrigued by paradoxes, and my friend Giacomo Galeazzi of Italy’s La Stampa newspaper is unquestionably a talented reporter. Thus it’s no surprise that his new book, Il Concilio di Papa Francesco: La Nuova Primavera della Chiesa, pivots on a paradox. (In English, the title is, “The