Love in Action

“For Francis, it seems, the timidity of tightly held borders, the safe-harbor of accepted opinion and doctrinal purity risks a greater sin—a greater loss to the Church—than the dangerous paths of love and welcome….” – John D. Whitney, SJ

seattle

I love it when people make a mess.

Okay, not in my office or my house, but in what we perceive as ‘normal’ or ‘okay.’ Especially when they make a mess for love – faithful, true, healing love.

An amazing group of high schoolers in Seattle is doing just that. After the firing of their gay vice principal for marrying his partner, the kids decided to do something. Their conscience led, and they followed.

Beyond my personal beliefs of equality and justice, these students are also being truly Catholic – even though many may not be of the faith themselves. I am lucky to have been taught by Jesuits, and lay Catholics, that to truly be a part of the Church is to ask questions of it.

To have ever-growing, challenging, frustrating, fulfilling conversation. A Jesuit from Seattle University offered this reflection about such action’s resonance with the roots of the Christian Church:

“What is most amazing about this moment in the [early] Church is how the community comes to decide, together, what is to be done. There is debate and disruption, but it is not seen as division; rather, it is the way the Holy Spirit is working within the community. Further, this debate is grounded on human experience, and not on tradition or on the power of office. “

And as long as they keep stepping forward, keep speaking out, they are seeking the same light we all reach toward – trying to understand Augustine’s words:

“It is not physical beauty nor temporal glory nor the brightness of light dear to earthly eyes, nor the sweet melodies of all kinds of songs, nor the gentle odor of flowers, and ointments and perfumes, nor manna or honey, nor limbs welcoming the embraces of the flesh; it is not these I love when I love my God.

Yet there is a light I love, and a food, and a kind of embrace when I love my God — a light, voice, odor, food, embrace of my innerness, where my soul is floodlit by light which space cannot contain, where there is sound that time cannot seize, where there is a perfume which no breeze disperses, where there is a taste for food no amount of eating can lessen, and where there is a bond of union that no satiety can part.

That is what I love when I love my God.”

***

The Art of the Everyday – January 30: Throwback Thursday to a 2013 theme, Manresa, wherein I discern in the Ignatian sense.

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