Monday, April 18, 2011
Not a Pope we heare from too much but this is interesting:
JOHN PAUL I
Wednesday, 13 September 1978
"My mother used to tell me when I was a boy: "When you were little, you were very ill. I had to take you from one doctor to another and watch over you whole nights; do you believe me?" How could I have said: "I don't believe you, Mamma"? "Of course I believe, I believe what you tell me, but I believe especially in you."
And so it is in faith. It is not just a question of believing in the things that God revealed, but in him who deserves our faith, who has loved us so much and done so much for our sake.
It is also difficult to accept some truths, because the truths of faith are of two kinds; some pleasant, others unpalatable to our spirit. For example, it is pleasant to hear that God has so much tenderness for us, even more tenderness than a mother has for her children, as Isaiah says. How pleasant and congenial it is! There was a great French bishop, Dupanloup, who used to say to the rectors of seminaries: "with the future priests, be fathers, be mothers". It is agreeable. Other truths, on the contrary, are hard to accept. God must punish, if I resist. He runs after me, he begs me to repent and I say: "No!" I almost force him to punish me. This is not agreeable. But it is a truth of faith. And there is a last difficulty, the Church. St Paul asked: "Who are you, Lord?" —"I am that Jesus whom you are persecuting". A light, a flash, crossed his mind. I do not persecute Jesus, I don't even know him: I persecute the Christians. It is clear that Jesus and the Christians, Jesus and the Church are the same thing: indissoluble, inseparable.
Read St Paul: "Corpus Christi quod est Ecclesia". Christ and the Church are only one thing. Christ is the Head, we, the Church, are his limbs. It is not possible to have faith and to say, "I believe in Jesus, I accept Jesus but I do not accept the Church." We must accept the Church, as she is. And what is this Church like? Pope John called her "Mater et Magistra". Teacher also. St Paul said: "Let everyone accept us as Christ's aids and stewards and dispensers of his mysteries."
When the poor Pope, when the bishops, the priests, propose the doctrine, they are merely helping Christ. It is not our doctrine, it is Christ's; we must just guard it and present it."