Monday, September 15, 2008

On meekness

Once in the seminary I debated with another seminarian about whether the imitation of Christ legimitated a "tough love" approach to being a pastor. He said that he preferred to imitate the meekness of Christ.

At the time, I was caught up in a conservativism that reveled in the angry moments of Jesus Christ--which, to be fair, are not few. Thus, hearing my friend say that he preferred the meekness of Christ left a bad taste in my mouth. Internally, I criticized him for "sentimentalizing" the Gospel, for "cherry-picking" a "nicety-nice" Jesus out of the Gospel, which I believed was a predominantly rough-and-tumble endurance test of pained and bloody charity.

EDIT: You know what? This article says it all better than I ever could.

1 comment:

Matt of CG said...

Oh My God, that explains so much.

For all his faults, Fr. Steve is still a viable priest.

When I was in a period of heavy vocational discernment back in 2005, he asked me how I would treat an employee after repeated wrongdoing if I were his boss. I told him and he said, "so at first you would be a Jesuit about it say 'he knew better' executing a swift and final judgement and then shift to being a Franciscan about it and, 'pitty him' unto a second chance. Hmmm, interesting..."

I instantly had a "eureka and rapture" moment and realized that different approaches to Jesus Christ within the Roman Catholic faith were acceptable and I should be open to the wisdom of the entire spectrum from the "hard noses" to the "softees" and everything in between.

Talking to priests is so cool! I now realize it has saved me from tons of needless self-doubt in my young adulthood that most of my peers bash themselves to pieces against. Thank God for the royal preisthood! Weeeeeee!!!