Skip to main content

Conversion: Thoughts from Pope Benedict XVI

“To be converted” is not to seek after one’s own success, not to seek after one’s own prestige, one’s position. “To be converted” means to stop constructing a personal image, not to work at constructing a monument to oneself, which could often end up becoming a false god. “To be converted” means accepting the suffering of truth. Conversion demands that truth, faith, love become not in a general way, but day by day, in the little things, more important than our physical life or than comfort, success, prestige, and tranquility in our lives. In fact, success, prestige, tranquility and ease are those false gods which largely impede truth and true progress in private and in public life. By accepting this priority of truth we follow the Lord, we take up our cross and share in cultivating love, which is to Cultivate the Cross.

--Pope Benedict XVI, Journey to Easter

Pope Benedict XVI presents this passage as an examination of conscience. When have I cut corners in practicing my faith for the sake of my own success, prestige, tranquility, or ease? When have I stayed silent because speaking the truth might “ruffle some feathers”? When have I worked to be “discreet” about my faith for fear of offending?

Living, as we do, in a culture that worships “diversity and tolerance”, the assertion of an absolute truth is often viewed as bigoted or narrow-minded. The reality is the Truth of Christ is true freedom and truly inclusive. The Truth of Christ transcends politics, race, gender, and any other man-made divisions. How can we justify hiding this Truth for a moment of earthly ease when to do so jeopardizes an eternity of true love and peace?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Parent Letter from a Catechist

I am going to be teaching seventh grade CCD this year. We do most of the preparation for confirmation during this year since Confirmation is usually scheduled for the fall of the eighth grade year.I have composed a letter to the parents to try and keep them active in their children's religious education. I thought I would post it here and get your feedback before I send it out in a couple of weeks.

I am privileged to be your child’s seventh grade CCD teacher for the 2006-2007 school year. This is a very important year. We will focus on your child’s preparation for confirmation. Of course, you have already been preparing your child for this sacrament for many years. You are the primary catechist for your child. You show how important your Faith is by making Mass attendance a top priority and by family prayer.

Confirmation is one of the Sacraments of Initiation. It is a beginning. It is not a graduation. This year we will work to solidify the foundation of your child’s Catholic Faith.…

Dispelling the Myth of the Travel Dispensation

One of the fun things about having a site meter on my blog is I can see which posts garner the most attention. I can also see how people find my blog. One of the most read posts from my two years of blogging is this one that discusses finding Mass while traveling. I would like to think this post is so popular because it is so well written. The truth of the matter is that it generates so much traffic because I use the words “travel dispensation for Mass”—as in “There is no such thing as a travel dispensation for Mass.” I would guess that nearly a dozen times every week, someone googles “travel dispensation for Mass” and finds my blog. I wonder how many of these folks are poor souls trying to assuage their Catholic guilt with evidence of a justification for missing Mass while on the road.

I know that when I tell my seventh grade CCD students that attending Mass every Sunday is a commandment (one of the top ten!) and not just a pretty good idea they are amazed. Missing Mass has become so …

United Breaks Guitars

This guy is really talented and what a creative way to get your message across. I think he captured the "indifferent employee" perfectly. They don't just work for airlines. I think I ran into them at Walmart on Friday!