Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Lent starts tomorrow

A while ago I admitted that I had underestimated Pope Francis. In retrospect, this is typical of me: to underestimate him simply because every one else is overestimating him.

Anyway, this bit from Evangelii Gaudium has really struck me.
Just as organic existing among virtues means no one of them can be excluded from the Christian ideal, so no truth may be denied. The integrity of the Gospel message must not be deformed. What is more, each truth is better understood when related to the harmonious totality of the Christian message; in this context all of the truths are important and illumine one another. When preaching is faithful to the Gospel, the centrality of certain truths is evident and it becomes clear that Christian morality is not a form of stoicism, or self-denial, or merely a practical philosophy or a catalogue of sins and faults. (Chapter 1, section III, #39)
I mention that because: I am guilty, guilty, guilty. I do it in a polar sort of way. For much of the year, I tend to lapse into behaving as if Christian morality is merely a practical philosophy that fits easily into contemporary culture. Come Lent, however, and I start behaving as if Christian morality is a form of stoicism and I must toughen myself up to be the lone standard of virtue in a culture gone hopelessly bad.

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