We’ve been reading about the Synod on the Family called by Pope Francis and begun in Rome this past Sunday. Just in case you haven’t, you can read the National Catholic Reporter’s (NCR’s) coverage by clicking here. Of course if you don’t choose the NCR as your favorite source of news you can go to Google and search for “Synod on the Family” and choose from many other sources covering this.
This is the first such post in the CPP Blog, I’m wondering if we as Partners could respond to what’s happening in our world and our church from a particularly Passionist’s point of view. How would someone dedicated to keeping alive the memory of the Passion of Jesus see this?
I have my own views, which I will express here, just to start the conversation, not as the final word. I believe it is our Passionist’s vocation to identify the marginalized, the outcasts, to have compassion for them (be willing to learn from them) and to suggest how their suffering could lead to Resurrection not just for them, but for all of us. The marginalized in this case are those divorced and remarried Catholics who don’t have enough money, or maybe don’t believe they should have to obtain an annulment and hence cannot receive Communion. To my way of thinking, this is marginalization.
Once I recognize who the marginalized are, I must ask myself if there is anything I can do. If there is, then as a Christian I believe, I must do it (Good Samaritan). In this case Pope Francis has given me a clue. All the articles I’ve read, quote Pope Francis as saying “we’re all sinners”. Recognizing we’re all sinners suggests to me the obvious. We all belong at the table of the Lord. All are welcome. I vote for inclusion at the Table of the Lord and let us sinners recognize where we sin and make appropriate amends and stop the sin when we see it in ourselves. It is not our job to tell others where they have sinned and what they need to do to atone for their sins.
We are a community of laymen and laywomen who, with vowed Passionists, seek to share in the charism of St. Paul of the Cross through prayer, ongoing spiritual formation, and proclamation of the message of Christ Crucified.