Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By David Jackson

12/16/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Pope Francis and the Joy of Being Catholic and practicing this faith.

There's an old axiom that a good sales person sells the sizzle and not the steak. The idea being that there are few things more fun for a steak eater than to go a fine restaurant and have a beautiful steak delivered to one's table still sizzling from the oven. 

Pope Francis' popularity is so vast that even non-Catholics applaud him.

Pope Francis' popularity is so vast that even non-Catholics applaud him.

Highlights

By David Jackson

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/16/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Blog

Keywords: Pope Francis, Rush Limbaugh, Economy, Marxism


LOS ANGELES, CA - The sight, sound, and aroma all herald what promises to be a delicious, savory flavor. One is not buying just a piece of cooked meat.  One is buying the experience.  A good sales person sells that more than the product he is plying.

Such is the genius of Pope Francis. If one reads and listens to what Francis is saying, he has not changed one iota of Catholic teaching. In point of fact, the recent brouhaha over his statements on economic social justice from his Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium that got the likes of Rush Limbaugh and other conservatives in a froth are nearly identical to statements made by Pope Benedict XVI and Pope John Paul II. The previous pontiffs made their statements in encyclicals which are even weightier church documents than an apostolic exhortation.

Francis has captured the joy of being Catholic. That's right. There is genuine joy in truly practicing this faith.  It is a joy that most outside of the faith find difficult to understand. Why would anyone want to be part of a faith that required so much attention to detail? Words like dogma, obligation, confession, cannon law, guilt, unworthiness.these do not make for an attractive pursuit for most people.  

Pope Francis has captured the joy of being Catholic.


Additionally, the world has come to see the Catholic faith as the antithesis of their favorite sins. While the world is for unrestricted abortion, the Church is against it. While the world is for artificial contraception, the Church is against it.  While the world is for premarital sex, the Church is against it. While the world is for redefining marriage, the Church is set against such changes. The folly of setting the Church as the dialectical extreme is that it implies that somewhere in the middle is the truth.

The door that Francis has opened up is the front door of the Church. In essence he has been able to communicate in words and actions that while one's sins will never be the path that leads to truth, it doesn't mean one can't turn to Christ.  Catholics hate the sin because it leads one away from truth, but they really love the sinner whom God has uniquely created out of pure love.The proposition of Catholicism is not come join us when one has achieved perfection. The central message is more that all are decidedly imperfect, but a perfect savior has been gifted to humanity in Jesus Christ to help navigate a fallen world that would prefer that souls find comfort in the lie that is sin.

There is an inherent desire in each person to be a better person. Most people do a pretty good job condemning themselves and others. It may not show up publicly where all put the best face upon the reality of their lives; however, in the quiet of day, or maybe in the small hours of the morning when sleep evades the sinner, and he is left alone to examine his conscience, there comes a recognition that perhaps all is not as it should be. There has to be something more as the current lifestyle is comfortable, but not fulfilling.

Another reason for the Pope's rapid gain in popularity is that nature abhors a vacuum, and the space Francis has filled is authentic moral leadership. People thirst for that. There was a time when leaders of countries, presidents, prime ministers, kings, were held in esteem and could be looked to as examples of behavior. Often that was a farce. A look in the private lives of many a historical figure reveals they had their own individual problems, but those issues were not paraded into the public spotlight. Not so anymore. Calumny is the sport of media and politicians alike so that no one in a leadership role is viewed in high regard.  All are suspect.

While many on the left and right disagree with some of Francis' statements, his character has not been assassinated.  In him, is seen a kind of public figure that has inspired that very thing that got Mr. Obama elected president.hope. Only the hope that Francis puts forward is not just a political phrase with his image on a poster that plays exclusively to emotions. The hope Francis portrays is the hope found only in the love of Christ, the true hope, and whether one believes in Christ or not, that hope is wonderfully attractive.

So faith, hope, charity abide, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. (1Corinthians 13:13)
History may one day record that John Paul II was the pope who personified hope;  Benedict XVI was the pope of faith; and Francis is the Pope of charity, the Pope of caritas. The sizzle of Catholicism is found in the joy that comes through the transmission of the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ. That spreading of the good news can come in a multitude of fashions, most of which don't require a degree in theology or philosophy or a perfect understanding of canon law. 

Francis is showing a side of the Church that perhaps has been underexposed yet has always been there. Perhaps when John Paul II spoke of the springtime of evangelization in the Church he was planting the seed. When Benedict XVI gifted us with his brilliant theological teaching he was providing the nutrients for growth. Now Francis is perhaps the conduit for the sunlight that has germinated seeds for a new harvest of faith, hope, and caritas (Charity).



---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2014
Christmas, hope for humanity:
That the birth of the Redeemer may bring peace and hope to all people of good will.
Parents: That parents may be true evangelizers, passing on to their children the precious gift of faith.



Comments


More Blog

Would You Drink Poison if it was Offered in a Golden Cup?

Image of Imagine a very warm cup of tea in one hand and a heavy book in the other.

By Emily Derois

Never read books you aren't sure about . . . even supposing that these bad books are very well written from a literary point of view. Let me ask you this: Would you drink something you knew was poisoned just because it was offered to you in a golden cup? ~ St. John ... continue reading


Triage in the Confessional

Image of Confession heals and makes us whole.

By by Tara K. E. Brelinsky

Last year, at around this same time in Advent, we were sitting in church. Mass having just been celebrated, Monsignor Williams was announcing the upcoming events on the calendar when he invited us all to a penance service. Ever eloquent, his description began to ... continue reading


Who Will Step Up This Christmas and Speak the Truth in Love?

Image of God's love is eternal.

By Michael Seagriff

This is one of the two times each year when, I believe, our Lord most dreads the silence that will envelop far too many of our parishes. Someone needs to give voice to His yearnings. Where is the zeal for the salvation of souls?  What follows is similar to some of ... continue reading


The Pagan Who Helped Build the Catholic Church

Image of Gaius Valerius Diocles was born sometime around the year 244. He took the Roman throne, persecute the early Christians but give the Church its base structure that survives to this day.

By Michael Clark

As we approach the Christmas season and the celebration of the birth of Jesus (and by extension, the Church), we would be remiss if we did not learn more about the pagan who helped give the Church its structure and the means to expand throughout the world: the Emperor ... continue reading


A Simple Reflection on Mary's Fiat

Image of Mary's 'fiat' changed the eternal fate of mankind.

By Michael Seagriff

In today's Gospel (Luke 1:26-38) we hear the angel Gabriel's familiar greeting to our heavenly Mother Mary: 'Hail full of grace'. We repeat that salutation every time we pray the 'Hail Mary.  As a result, we sometimes forget the significance of those words and the ... continue reading


Everything we have is a gift from God!

Image of Give God everything you desire, everything you are fighting to hang on to. Then wait for the Lord. In quiet and in calm, wait for the Lord. 'By waiting and by calm you shall be saved, in quiet and in trust shall be your strength' (Isaiah 30:15).

By Jackie Stammen

Nothing here on this earth is actually ours. Nothing. Our family is not even technically our own - they are on loan to us, a gift from God to help us through life and hopefully make us holy in order to obtain the ultimate gift, Heaven. NASHVILLE, TN - Even though I ... continue reading


When We Lived in the Wild West

Image of A would be burglar caught by police.

By by Tara K. E. Brelinsky

A fierce rage swelled inside of me as I considered the events of that night. My children and quite frankly I were unsettled at the notion that a stranger was casing our house, inventorying our belongings. I was annoyed that my neighbor wasn't free to unload his ... continue reading


Thank You for never giving up on us, Lord

Image of Lord, grasp my heart that I might always seek you and draw closer to You.

By Jackie Stammen

My heart has been all over the place today. This morning, I left those I love the most (my family) and made the 400 mile drive back to Nashville. A holiday weekend filled with the love of family is just what I needed, but it also stirred a multitude of emotions within ... continue reading


If You Have To Paint, Make It A Painting Party

By Jackie Stammen

It's been a really long time since I lasted posted on here, but I haven't forgotten about this blog.  NASHVILLE, TN -  Truthfully it's not even that I've necessarily felt uninspired. So many times over the past few months I have thought about writing, but my ... continue reading


Are You a Contractual Catholic-Christian?

Image of During mass at the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, Cubao, Philippines

By Andee de Jesus

Every week, we celebrate the Lords day. We attended the mass not due to compliance and wishes. Our desires inspire us to keep moving, yet there are more reasons on how we should live our everyday lives with our Creator.  QUEZON CITY, PH - One Sunday afternoon, in ... continue reading


All Blog News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First John 2:3-11
3 In this way we know that we have come to know him, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 96:1-2, 2-3, 5-6
1 Sing a new song to Yahweh! Sing to Yahweh, all the ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 2:22-35
22 And when the day came for them to be purified in ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 29th, 2014 Image

St. Aileran
December 29: Monk, biographer, and scholar-also called Sapiens the Wise. ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter