How can one not have thoughts today about the conservative vs liberal mess in our modern world? Try as I might, I cannot shake from my mind the things that dominate the headlines today in that regard. In almost every way, I am an ordinary American, living day to day working, sleeping, eating, reading, playing, getting by, watching TV, going to sporting events, shopping, attending daily Mass. Well, I said in ALMOST every way. Attending daily Mass is not so ordinary, probably. More on that later. But how should I react?
Watching the presidential election process play itself out has been painful. The pain began years ago when it became obvious that each side in Washington was obstructing the other when it came to passing legislation. President Obama, clearly upset with "obstructionist" Republicans, went the way of a dictator and used his power of executive orders to put his agenda into place. The Republicans, on the other hand, clearly not wanting the liberal priorities to be passed, blocked any progress with all possible measures at their disposal. The word “compromise” was never heard anywhere. They became like little children on a playground fighting for their own personal idea of how things should be. And this continued into the election season in a big way, resulting in two nominees that repulsed many citizens on both sides. And, speaking of the word repulsed ... in the time since the outcome of the election has been realized, both sides are leveling appalling and salacious allegations against the other. These little children need discipline! Spanking is in order! The election is over! Grow up!
And now we have news coming from the Vatican that is eerily similar. Pope Francis has demonstrated a seemingly liberal bias with his recent exhortation Amoris Laetitia, which seems to call for an end to longstanding policies against divorced and remarried Catholics receiving the Eucharist at Mass. A conservative group of cardinals has called for clarification, publicly saying that there can be no change in said policies. Whoa! Slow down! We have the promise of the Holy Spirit guiding Christ’s church in matters of faith and morals until the end of time, so let’s pray for guidance and not let this dispute get out of hand!
So here I am sitting at my desk with anxious Thursday Thoughts swirling about. What do I make of all this stuff? I find myself offering my daily Mass for our civil and religious leadership to discover the will of God in all the confusion. After all, that is part of how Jesus responded when his disciples asked Him to teach them how to pray: “... thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” So let us try not be ordinary in the face of these issues. Pray for the will of God to be done. Amen!