On the other hand

One thing I seem to have in common with His Holiness is the ability to produce statements on politics, economics, and society that read like messages from another planet. I am sorry to say it is not always the same other planet, at least in my case, but before criticizing “Bergoglio” — as we call him when he is pronouncing on topics beyond his formal remit — I am moved to glance in my shaving mirror. My excuse, that I upload these Idleposts not under the impression that I am the Pope, can take me only so far.

Custody of the mouth and fingers, in addition to the eyes, ears, elbows, knees, and toes, should be encouraged in all Catholics, not to say all men; and perhaps in a few women, too.

As to the question, “Is the Pope Catholic?” — recently posed on the (electronic) cover of Newsweek magazine — a more personal question might be, “Am I?”

I try (hard) to avoid “preaching heresy,” but there is more to life than the sins of commission. The sins of omission are also recalled, increasingly to mind, as I grow older; the current but also life-long catalogue of opportunities missed. The “reckless” side of classic Roman behaviour — which we read about in the Lives of the Saints — is something that has seldom appealed to me. I do not like to put myself in the way of danger, or sometimes even of heavy work. To his credit, I think this appeals to Bergoglio, more.

To my credit, I am perhaps more shy to act when I don’t know what I’m doing. But this can be explained by my slow brain. Those who, as I, have participated in debates, or even in quick barroom stichomythia, may have experienced something like this problem. One thinks of the perfect thing to do, or say, about ten minutes after it would have been useful. Meanwhile, one’s only resemblance to the Doctor Angelic is to have looked superficially like a dumb ox; when not a mad cow.

Gentle reader will appreciate that today’s post is a substitution. I was in the throes of another longer composition, touching upon just what I most fear in everything from the new “fast-track annulment” process, to the preps for the Family Synod, to what a certain Bishop of Rome (as he often calls himself) might say, in his extempore manner, during his impending visit to Cuba and USA. Then relegated the whole thing to the (electronic) shredder.

Christ will come to save us at some point; indeed has Already Come; and the more painful (personal) question is whether we want to be saved. I am not even clear on that, sometimes, in moments of wrath, or toiling presumptuously among the other deadly sins.

Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows, pray for us.