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Tuesday, October 26

God Holds His Nose And Uses What He's Got

My favorite blogging priest, Fr Jake, pointed out this article which should be read in its entirety.
Excerpt:If you're ever disillusioned by other Christians it's your own fault because you shouldn't have had illusions in the first place - either about them or yourself. We are all on the margins where God is concerned, but he holds his nose and he uses what he's got. If he wants to use a bad-tempered old bag to feed the poor of Calcutta, who are we to say otherwise? If he wants to use a rampant adulterer to bring freedom to a billion black people, who are we to complain? It was probably their sins that brought them to God in the first place. The question for us is, what comparable good have we achieved to balance out ours?

The Church that Jesus first assembled was a gang of sinners and rejects. Any Church that is His Church ought to know that it is the same. It has to show the same kind of love, the kind that includes and embraces first, then let’s the love do the healing from the inside. That’s what Catholic means. Michael Marshall once wrote: ‘the test of genuinely Catholic Christianity is not that it makes good people better, but that it makes bad people holy’.

Or as Oscar Wilde, another good Catholic put it: We are all in the gutter; but some of us are looking at the stars.
Reminds me of my good friend who belonged to a rather unusual Christian sect/religion. Her priest visited her while I was there. I didn't mean to be rude, but I was a newly graduated M.Div and eager to challenge the world. Her priest warned her not to watch tv, not to bring her son to a bowling alley (bowling alleys were completely outlawed) and all sorts of rules and regulations. So naturally I had to bring up Jesus' ministry to the marginal, the outcasts, etc. I inquired of the priest why shouldn't good Christians be permitted to bowl with the dregs of society in a bowling alley if only to witness to the loving character of god and to be a light in the world. He explained that Christians are not of this world. He was wrong. I told him so. When I received my diploma in 1992 from the catholic bishop in our diocese, he asked me what I, a lowly catholic woman, was planning on doing with my degree in theology. I told him that I would probably be a bartender or something. He thought that was a splendid idea and fully in keeping with Jesus' ministry. I ended up teaching children for several years and now I play my music in bars.

P.S. You can ignore my religious ramblings if you wish. What actually brought me to politics was the misuse of Jesus' ministry by the religious right who are so very wrong. Even though I am agnostic, like I've said many times, we need more Jesus-oriented people in the world and less formal rules and obligations. Love and compassion are in your heart no matter what your god is. Rules and regulations obliterate what is etched in our hearts by the creator.

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